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GAO: Contracts, Grants Stalled at 3 Federal Agencies During 2013 Shutdown

ContractSigningThe 2013 U.S. government shutdown halted grant programs and contract activities within the departments of the Health and Human Services, Energy and Transportation, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office.

GAO said Friday the three agencies’ operations faced disruptions as the shutdown forced the organizations to furlough several employees and delay payments.

HHS’ National Institutes of Health had to stop patient enrollment for clinical trials and reschedule an evaluation of more than 13,700 grant applications, the report stated.

The DOT-run Merchant Marine Academy in New York closed during the shutdown and entailed a change in academic schedule to help students graduate on time.

Contract work at the Office of Environmental Management continued generally due to multiyear funding programs, but stop-work orders affected more than 1,700 contractor employees who provide support to the office, according to GAO.

GAO recommended the Office of Management and Budget ask agencies to record lessons they learn when they prepare for a shutdown in the future.

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