The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) newly-minted cybersecurity component agency, along with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), have furloughed substantial chunks of their workforce as a result of the continuing partial Federal government shutdown, according to planning documents issued last month.

According to agency planning documents from December, DHS stated that 43 percent–totaling 1,523 employees out of a total roster of 3,531 employees–of its Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency staff would be furloughed during a lapse of appropriations.

NIST, according to the planning documents, takes the largest hit with 87 percent–totaling 2,943 employees out of a total roster of 3,378 employees–furloughed during the shutdown, along with diminished website operations.  Among its many functions, NIST is responsible for developing cybersecurity standards for Federal government agencies and the private sector.

The partial government shutdown that began on Dec. 22 has extended into early January as President Trump and Congress remain at odds over funding for a border wall on the southern U.S. border.  The President and congressional leaders were scheduled to meet later today to discuss border security issues, and presumably the related funding impasse.

President Trump reiterated on Twitter today that Mexico would pay for the wall through the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA), and that the wall was largely already built and renovated.

If a government funding deal isn’t in place by the end of today, the shutdown will extend into the 116th Congress which will take office on January 3.



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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.