Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Grinston, right, the 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team command sergeant major, and Col. Patrick Matlock, rear, the 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team commander, make donations through the Combined Federal Campaign last year. (Staff Sgt. Christopher Klutts/Army)
The Defense Department has suspended all Combined Federal Campaign activities throughout the continental U.S. until the partial government shutdown ends.
“Until such time as we have a continuing resolution or congressionally-approved appropriation, please postpone all CFC events, training and fundraisers,” Susan Yarwood, director of the department’s CFC campaign and human resources director for the department’s Washington Headquarters Services, wrote in a Wednesday memo. After a legal review, DoD officials decided that such activities are not exempted from furloughs, Yarwood wrote. Employees wanting to pledge electronically through myPay may still do so if they are in approved jurisdictions, she added.
DoD service members and civilian employees play a huge role in underwriting the campaign. At the National Capital Area CFC, the nation’s largest, the suspension will “hopefully” not have much effect, said Kalman Stein, president and CEO of EarthShare, which now runs the campaign. The impact will depend on a number of factors, he said, such as how long the shutdown lasts and whether Congress approves back pay for furloughed federal employees.
While many agencies are effectively closed because of the funding impasse that began Oct. 1, Stein did not know of any others that have officially frozen CFC functions. The Office of Personnel Management, which oversees the CFC, has not suspended the program governmentwide “given that federal operations vary by agency,” spokesman Thomas Richards said in an email Friday.
“However, we have counseled agencies to be mindful of the current environment and to exercise discretion and consult with their general counsel’s office when deciding whether such activities are appropriate,” he added.