Procurement within the federal judiciary is not subject to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which applies to most Executive Branch agencies. Judiciary procurement policies are issued in the Guide to Judiciary Policy, Volume 14 – Procurement (external).
Offerors or contractors wishing to find the full text of individual provisions or clauses incorporated by reference in judiciary solicitations and contracts are directed to Appendix 1B of Volume 14 (external).
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) is issuing this notice to apprise CAFC’s contractor community of the court’s plans regarding contract actions that may be necessary if contract funding is affected by a lapse in appropriations, better known as a Federal Government Shutdown. As you are aware, the budget for fiscal year 2024 has not been enacted and may result in a lapse in the funds designated to purchase supplies and services by contract and a reduction in the Government’s capacity to administer the court’s contracts.
Although there is still enough time for Congress to prevent a government shutdown due to a lapse in appropriations, annual funding for the government expires at midnight on Sept. 30, 2023. A lapse in appropriations would mean that several government activities would cease, including, in some cases, performance under contracts. In addition, certain planned procurements may be cancelled, and certain existing contracts may be postponed, stopped, or reduced in scope due to shortages of court staff. In yet other cases, both contractors and the court may be unable to fulfill their contractual obligations due to circumstances created by the lapse in appropriations, a sovereign act of the government.
Should the court’s contracting officers determine that any of these actions is necessary or that contractors will be unable to fulfill their obligations, a contracting officer will provide prompt notice and instructions to contractors for each affected contract. If a contract will not be affected by the lapse in appropriations, the court will not provide a separate notification or communication to that effect.
Unless a contracting officer provides the contractor a formal notification to the contrary, all CAFC contractors must continue to fulfill their contractual obligations to the court; i.e., unless notified otherwise, contractors must continue to comply with all terms, conditions, requirements, and delivery requirements specified in their contracts during a period covered by a lapse in appropriations.
Thank you for your continued support and business with CAFC, and for your cooperation as we work together to manage a potential lapse in appropriations.