Peace Corps Prepares for Shutdown
By Jonathan Pearson on Friday, April 8th, 2011
Peace Corps is no exception. And while limited interruptions are planned for current volunteers and trainees, many other aspects of Peace Corps operations would be affected.
Among the items referenced in a fifteen page “Operations Plan in the Absence of Current Year Appropriations,” the agency outlines the following:
Volunteers, Trainees and Overseas Staff Will Remain on the Job: Indicating that any lapse in funding is expected to be temporary and brief, the agency notes that closing posts and sending home volunteers would take significant time at a significant cost. ”The agency has, therefore, determined that the Peace Corps is not required during a lapse in appropriated funding to take any action to evacuate Volunteers and return them to their homes of record. The Director has determined that all Peace Corps U.S. direct hire and Foreign Service National employees overseas are reasonably necessary for the protection of human life and property and, are required to ensure the health, safety and security of currently serving volunteers.”
Most Headquarters Staff Would be Furloughed: The outline indicates approximately 75 of the 613 direct hire employees at Peace Corps Headquarters “will be required to protect the health, safety and security of Volunteers (or for protection of lives and property in the U.S.) and to ensure that Volunteers continue to receive living allowances and other subsistence payments.” Two-thirds of those are in the Office of Global Operations, Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer and employees engaged in the direct provision of health care.
Suspended Peace Corps Activities: The document lists activities not necessary for safety of human life and protection of property and scheduled to be suspended. Those activities include:
- Volunteer recruitment, selection and placement
- 50th anniversary commemorations and Third Goal activities
- Activities of thirteen program offices including the Office of Volunteer Recruitment and Selection, Office of Public Engagement, Office of Overseas Programming and Training Support and the American Diversity Programs Office.
New Volunteer Stagings: Any stagings scheduled for three weeks after the beginning of a shutdown should be continued. Other future stagings will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Hiring Freeze: The document notes there will be an immediate hiring freeze at the outset of the shutdown. ”No new job offers will be made, and any firm or tentative job offers are suspended until the funding hiatus is over.”
To read Peace Corps’ Operations Plan in preparation for a government shutdown, click here.