CFTC braces for government shutdown

The limited contingent of excepted employees has been identified to ensure, to the extent practicable, that a bare minimum level of oversight and surveillance of the futures markets, clearing operations, and intermediaries is maintained. However, the vast bulk of the CFTC’s oversight and surveillance functions will cease during a lapse of appropriations. In the event that circumstances change such that an imminent risk to the safety of human life or the protection of property emerges, the excepted employees will be responsible for notifying appropriate agency officials, who then will make a determination as to whether additional employees must be recalled from furlough to address the imminent risk.

For your information, we are attaching three documents as appendices to this response:

1.A copy of the CFTC’s Lapse Procedure, dated April 2011.

2.A chart containing a list of the 25 employees who have been determined to be excepted for purposes of the Antideficiency Act.

3.A one-page summary of which CFTC functions will continue in the event of a lapse of appropriations, and which functions will cease during such a lapse

Please feel free to contact me at 202-418-5190 if you have any questions.

CFTC Procedure

Date: April 2011

Description: Lapse in Appropriation – This procedure describes the agency’s plan for operating in the event of an emergency shutdown due to a lapse in appropriations

Contact: Catherine McCoy, Mark Carney


This procedure outlines the process the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will follow to shut down operations in the event of a lapse in appropriations. Under the Antideficiency Act (31 USC §1341 et seq.), officers and employees of the federal government cannot, among other things, enter into obligations in advance of appropriations or employ federal personnel except in emergencies involving the safety of human life or protection of property, or to accomplish the orderly suspension of agency operations. If no funds are available, the agency must:

  • Initiate the orderly shutdown of agency activities not considered essential to the safety of human life or protection of property; and
  • Continue only those functions that are essential to the safety of human life or protection of property, as defined in this procedure.
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