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From Banking and Finance Law Daily, September 30, 2013

Treasury issues contingency plan for lapse in appropriations

By Andrew A. Turner, J.D.

The Treasury Department has released a Department-wide lapse in appropriations contingency plan if Congress does not reach a funding agreement to avert a government shutdown.

Treasury bureaus that are funded from sources other than annual Congressional appropriations, such as the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency would operate normally if a government shutdown were to occur. The Financial Stability Oversight Council is included among Treasury functions not funded from annual appropriations that would continue. On the other hand, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) are among the Treasury bureaus that have prepared lapse plans.

Similarly, federal agencies that do not rely on annual spending bills, including other federal banking regulators, would not be directed impacted by a government shutdown. For example, as noted in Footnote 1 of the FDIC Office of Inspector General Shutdown PlanDuring Periods of Lapsed Appropriations, since the FDIC is funded by assessments and does not use appropriated funds to pay its expenses it will not be affected by a government shutdown. As a result, guidance is only provided for an FDIC OIG plan, not the FDIC.

FinCEN would halt most Bank Secrecy Act regulatory and foreign and domestic law enforcement support functions, but would provide some support for its domestic and foreign law enforcement customers as is deemed necessary for safety and protection of property.

SIGTARP plans to use available prior year balances during a short lapse of appropriations. In the event of a longer-term lapse, it would re-evaluate based upon a range of factors, including availability of funds.

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