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Friday, April 8, 2011

What to do about ONC meetings next week if the US Government Shuts down

Just got this via e-mail today (because Monday the mail might not go thru).  In summary, if the Gov't shuts down, FACAs will not meet -- read the entire message below the line for details.

I have not been able to confirm what would happen to ONC S & I activities. Because those are led by contractors rather than ONC employees, it isn't at all clear what will  happen, and few of them are answering Skype/e-mail/twitter right now (just before 5:00 EST).

If a shutdown does happen, I will use any extra time (note, I said extra, because it was never free) to make progress on other fronts that have been postponed by government activities ;-)

If I learn more, I'll update this post.

Update: According to one source: All is still on: Contractors work at risk, and from another: Purely federal folks will not be on calls, but contractors are allowed to work at their own discretion.

Oh well, so much for work put on hold ;-(

   -- Keith

Dear FACA members,

As you may know, we face a possible government shut down as of midnight tonight, April 8. In case we do shut down, there will be no federal government activity including any FACA meetings or calls. I, and others at ONC, will be prohibited from conducting any of our duties while the government is closed. Once funding is available, we will return to work. IF THERE IS NO SHUT DOWN, THE MEETINGS WILL CONTINUE AS PLANNED.

Assuming we are shut down:  If there is a FACA Workgroup conference call and we are shut down, that call will not take place. However, if we find out the day before the call is scheduled, please assume that the call will take place. For example, the Information Exchange Workgroup has a call scheduled for Friday, April 15; if we are back at work on Thursday, April 14, that call will take place.

The situation is a little different if there is an in-person meeting, such as the HIT Policy Committee on April 13 in Washington, DC.  If we know by noon the day before (in this case, noon on April 12), you may assume the meeting will take place.

Travel: if you travel on the morning of April 12 for the HITPC but find after noon that the meeting is cancelled, we will be able to cover your costs since the funds are from FY10 money.  Also, if you find that the notification of the meeting occurring is short, you may wish to call into the meeting and we can arrange that.

Since we will know more at midnight tonight (but I cannot come into work this weekend if we are furloughed), I will email you all on Monday morning, April 11, with final instructions. I hope any shutdown is not lengthy, but if it does stretch more than next week, please watch the news. I will send you an email as soon as I am able. Please call or email me if you have questions. I will be available until about 11:30 am/ET on Monday, April  11 (Not over weekend if we are shut down).  Thank you for your patience and understanding. Judy

FACA Schedule – April 11 through April 22

In-person Meetings in Washington (will be held if Government open by noon the day before):
April 13, HIT Policy Committee meeting

April 20, HIT Standards Meeting

April 21, Certification/Adopting Workgroup meeting (I am also sending this information to panelists)

Workgroup calls (will be held if Government is opened the day before):
April  12, Quality Measures WG

April 14, Vocabulary Task Force

April 15, Information Exchange WG

April 18, Privacy & Security Tiger Team and Clinical Quality WG

April 19, Business Rules Tiger Team/Enrollment WG

April 22, Clinical Operations WG

Judith Sparrow
Office of the National Coordinator for HIT
Dept of Health and Human Services
Washington, DC

1 comment:

  1. Hey Keith, I also posted this message at the S&I Framework blog:

    Looks like it was just a false alarm though!