The National Park Service sent the following notification to the Sponsored Projects Office.

December 26, 2018

Subject: Performance of NPS Financial Assistance Agreements During a Lapse in Appropriations

National Park Service (NPS) appropriations expired on December 21, 2018. As of December 22, 2018 there are no annual appropriations for some Federal Agencies, including the National Park Service.

NPS financial assistance agreements include grants, cooperative agreements, and task agreements. Regardless of additional information and criteria provided below, existing financial assistance agreement(s) that prevent imminent harm to life or property, including the care of captive animals, will continue during the lapse in appropriations.

Access to NPS sites and employees will be very limited as of December 22, 2018 until further notice. Therefore, no work is to be performed under financial assistance agreement(s) that require access to NPS sites or NPS personnel or that are dependent on additional appropriations after midnight ET, December 21st. You are instructed to refrain from providing services related financial assistance agreement(s) that fall into this category, to direct any sub-recipients to comply with the contents of this letter, and to otherwise minimize costs.

However, some financial assistance agreements are not dependent on additional appropriations, access to NPS sites, or substantial involvement of NPS personnel. As a result, we have determined that performance of grants that fall into this category are allowed to continue during the lapse in appropriations. While cooperative agreements and task agreements do require substantial involvement for at least a portion of their period of performance, if the cooperative agreement or task agreement is not dependent on additional appropriations, access to NPS sites or NPS personnel, or substantial involvement for the period of performance during the lapse in appropriations these agreements are also allowed to continue. If you are uncertain as to whether or not performance should continue for your financial assistance agreement(s) then performance should cease until you can obtain clarification from the point of contact provided below or until further written communication from a NPS Financial Assistance Agreements Officer is received.

The direction in this written notification is in effect until you receive further written communication from a NPS Financial Assistance Agreements Officer. That is not expected to happen until appropriations again become available for this agency. Until appropriations again become available, the Government will be working with a very limited staff, so you may be contacted by another Financial Assistance Awarding Officer within the National Park Service.

If you have any questions, please contact Andrew Lubner at (303) 888-4412.