Government Shutdown:

Data on Effects of 1990 Columbus Day Weekend Funding Lapse

GGD-91-17FS: Published: Oct 19, 1990. Publicly Released: Oct 19, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO surveyed the effects of the shutdown of some of the federal government over the Columbus Day 1990 weekend and determined the potential effects of a hypothetical 3-day shutdown during a normal workweek.

GAO found that: (1) 15 departments and agencies reported no shutdown of operations, 6 reported partial shutdown, and 4 reported complete shutdown; (2) departments and agencies sent home or told a total of 8,710 employees not to report to work over the weekend; (3) the net cost of the shutdown was about $1.67 million, and the administrative cost was $926,122; (4) the Department of Defense was unable to provide information on the potential effects of a hypothetical 3-day shutdown; (5) deterioration of employee morale, decreased efficiency of operations, and problems with the retention and recruitment of high-quality employees were several adverse effects of the 3-day shutdown; (6) the estimated number of furloughed employees during a 3 consecutive weekday shutdown would be about 1.2 million; and (7) estimated costs of such a shutdown would total about $398.6 million.

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