PSC warns contractors to get ready for a shutdown

By Marjorie Censer / August 15, 2017 at 10:56 AM

Contractors should start preparing now in case of a government shutdown, top Professional Services Council executives said this week.

Though a shutdown remains unlikely, David Berteau, PSC's chief executive, said during an Aug. 14 seminar with contracting executives, companies shouldn't hesitate.

"I think the likelihood is low, but I don't know that I could put a number on it," he said. "If you wait until the week before, you're a little bit late."

John Cooney, a partner at Venable who spoke at the same event, told companies programs are shut down on a case-by-case basis.

"Keep in touch with your [contracting officers]," he said. "They're going to play a major role in this right at the end."

Additionally, Cooney recommended companies consider how they would get in touch with their COs and their employees in the case of a shutdown. He recommended companies segregate costs related to stopping work and restarting so they can recover those expenses later.

Alan Chvotkin of PSC told executives to consider that even if their contracts continue during a shutdown, they may not be able to interact with government employees or to access facilities.

"Now is the right time to prepare," he said.