We are now one week in to a government shutdown and there's no indication that this fiasco will end before the debt ceiling confrontation. Thousands of government employees have been furloughed and the private sector contractors who do government-funded work are similarly affected (as I discussed inlast week's blog post).
We've heard that essential services continue to function. Slate posted a chart last week showing thepercent of workers furloughed by agency. But we were wondering what government offices and agencies continue to obligate funds to private sector contracts - and what companies are still getting their contracts funded.
The following analysis is powered by the data from our iPhone app, hōrd, which provides insight and access into the universe of government contracting. hōrd integrates data from multiple public government data sources.
The Department of Veteran's Affairs continues to obligate the most funds by far. In fact, Veteran's Affairs has obligated more funds in FY 2014 than all other offices and agencies combined ($615 million for VA; $500 million for the rest of the USG). This is largely thanks to the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act, signed by the President just after the near budget crisis in 2009 to "[shield] the VA health care system from the harmful effects of budget stalemates, continuing resolutions and government shutdowns."
The Federal Prison System is the most active of the remaining offices with $120 million in obligations so far this FY. Most of this is spending on utilities and infrastructure - literally keeping the lights on. Some medical spending is mixed in there as well. (Funding for the IRS is similarly pragmatic.)
The next four, the U.S. Mint, the Comptroller of the Currency, the Patent and Trademark Office, and the research office for the Department of Transportation are able to continue obligating funds to private sector contracts because they are fully or partially self funded through fees and other revenue sources.
A look at the companies receiving funding obligations during the shutdown reinforces the view by office/department. Systems Made Simple, Inc. has a large IT hardware and software contract with Veteran's Affairs. Siemens and Philips also have several contracts with VA.
Pitney Bowes and Sunshine Minting both have contracts with the U.S. Mint. SGT has an IT contract with the Department of Transportation.
So no big surprises at the top vendors in FY 2014. However, the view by funding category highlights one additional interesting trend.