Would a Shutdown Affect Commissaries? 

3/1/2011 

In the event of a government shutdown, commissary customers are asked to check their local military installation news outlets before, during and after the event to determine if stores serving their area are open.

“As a matter of course, the Defense Commissary Agency plans for any event that could affect the operation of its stores,” said Joseph H. Jeu, DeCA director and CEO. “We are currently updating existing plans to adjust commissary operations in case of a government shutdown. If this action does occur, we will use all available media to notify our customers of any specific changes in commissary operations. Customers should also stay abreast of the news that affects services on their installations.”

If a shutdown occurs, commissary customers also should monitor the Department of Defense website, http://www.defense.gov, for any breaking news that affects service members and government civilians. During that time, customers can attempt to access http://www.commissaries.com, but the agency’s website could be down.

When the federal government’s fiscal year begins Oct. 1, operations and programs must be funded through appropriations enacted by Congress and signed into law by the president. If Congress and the president have not approved annual funding, Congress may pass a continuing resolution to extend government operations for a period of time. As of Tuesday morning, Congress had yet to approve another funding extension granting continuing resolution authority. The current authority is set to end midnight March 4.

Since 1980, all agencies in the government have been required to plan for potential government shutdowns. Despite a shutdown, DoD would still continue support to its deployed troops and must continue operations necessary for the safety of human life and protection of property. These types of activities would be “exempt” from any temporary stoppage of government activities.