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The Museum is closed to the public due to the federal government shutdown. It will reopen when the federal government resumes operations. The following summarizes the Museum’s lapse plan, as required by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-11.

Major Activities Impacted during a Shutdown

  • The Museum will be closed to the public.
  • All on-site and off-site public programs funded with appropriated funds will be cancelled.
  • The Museum will conform to normal shutdown procedures.

Shutdown Highlights

  • The Museum will be closed to the public. Operations funded by federal appropriations will cease, except for those deemed necessary to protect lives and the Museum’s property (buildings and collections).
  • Non-appropriated staff will continue working.
  • The Museum’s website will continue operating. Non-appropriated funds will be used to pay for website operational costs during the shutdown.
  • The Museum will need one-half a day to complete orderly shutdown operations.

Employees on Board before Implementation of This Plan

  • Non-appropriated: 225
  • Federal: 177

Employees Retained under This Plan

  • All non-appropriated employees.
  • Federal employees who are deemed necessary because of responsibilities related to the safety of human life and the protection of property.
  • The following federal management personnel will be on-call during the furlough only for the purpose of furlough-related decisions affecting the safety of human life and the protection of property:
    • Chief of Staff
    • Chief Financial Officer
    • Director, Human Resources
    • Director, Museum Operations and Administration
    • General Counsel
    • Director, Protection Services
    • Director, Operations
  • The determination of using non-appropriated staff and designating necessary personnel may change depending on the duration of a shutdown.

Staff Status


  • Federal staff may not perform any services other than those involved in the orderly suspension of non-excepted activities. Excepted activities that may be continued are generally those that are authorized by law, or those that protect life and property, in accordance with OMB guidance.
  • Federal benefits will continue as usual. Federal employees who are furloughed will not be paid during a shutdown and should not expect to be paid retroactively. Retained federal employees who work during a shutdown will receive pay for their services once the shutdown expires.


  • Non-appropriated staff will report for work as usual. 
  • Non-appropriated pay and benefits will continue as usual.
  • The Museum director will remain on duty. 
  • There will be a non-appropriated person (and a back-up) designated as senior staff on duty during a shutdown. This position will report to the Museum director and will be responsible for all day-to-day operational decisions during a shutdown.

Buildings Status

  • Museum: Closed to the public. Open to all non-appropriated staff, retained federal staff, and designated contractors.
  • Ross Administrative Center: Open to non-appropriated staff, retained federal staff, and designated contractors.
  • Off-site leased space: Open to non-appropriated staff, retained federal staff, and designated contractors.
  • Regional offices: Open. These are non-appropriated operations.

Operational Status by Unit

Museum Services

  • One non-appropriated position will work during a shutdown.
  • Retained federal staff and contractors: None.

Operations / Facilities Management

  • There will be minimum operational support for items/services such as supplies, mailroom, housekeeping, loading dock, phones, and copy/fax machines.

Human Resources

  • There will only be emergency support.
  • Two non-appropriated human resources specialists will work during a shutdown.
  • Retained federal staff and contractors: None.

Information Technology

  • There will be minimal staffing and contractor support paid with non-appropriated funds unless required by the excepted activities related to safety of human life or the protection of property, including safeguarding systems. 
  • The Museum’s website will continue operations, as it includes capabilities related to congressionally authorized non-appropriated activities, including fundraising.  
  • Non-appropriated funds will pay for operational costs.
  • Retained federal staff and contractors: None.


  • A security staff consisting of retained federal employees and contractors deemed necessary to ensure the safety of the non-appropriated staff and necessary to safeguard Museum property will remain on-site.


  • Non-appropriated staff will continue to work and are adequate to properly safeguard the collection.
  • Retained federal staff and contractors: None.

Financial Management

  • Depending on the length of a shutdown, Museum management will revisit the issue of processing non-appropriated payments. 
  • Non-appropriated staff cannot perform the necessary functions due to required separation of duties and security authorizations in the financial systems.
  • Retained federal staff and contractors: None.

Additional Operational Items


  • Federal staff on travel will be recalled where reasonable and practicable.
  • Non-appropriated staff travel is subject to recall but will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. During a shutdown, donated staff can use the travel-arranger contractor to make arrangements (charged to non-appropriated funds). Travel expenses are subject to normal government travel regulations.


  • Signs will be posted at the Museum building entrances.
  • All inquiries and official media relations are handled by staff in Media Relations.


  • Subject to the listed exceptions, contactors paid with federal funds will not be allowed to work, even if the work is funded by no-year funds. The only contractors that will be allowed to work are those whose responsibilities include the safety of human life and the protection of property. Those contractors have already been identified by the appropriate units (Operations and Protection Services).
  • Contracts paid with non-appropriated funds can continue.

Volunteers (includes unpaid interns)

  • Museum volunteers (and non-paid interns) will not be utilized in any capacity. 

Paid Interns (all paid with non-appropriated funds)

  • The status of paid interns will be determined by the division or office in which they are assigned, based on the unit’s needs. 

Fellows, Researchers, and Visiting Scholars

  • These guests will be allowed to continue their work within the constraints of shutdown operations, including limited access to Museum resources and understanding that Finance might not be able to issue stipends. Final working status/conditions will be determined by the division or office to whom they report.


  • All federal staff will be informed that they are prohibited by law from continuing work during the shutdown (no telework, work at home, or use of Museum resources or equipment). This does not apply to retained employees and on-call management officials.

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