Readers polled on government shutdown’s impact

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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

YARMOUTH, Maine—During the recent prolonged government shutdown, Security Systems News polled readers on the implications and possible ramifications of the shutdown on their businesses, as well as what impact these types of shutdowns can have on national security overall.

What is interesting is that while most (72 percent) of respondents did not see the shutdown as having a “major” impact, there were still 27 percent who felt that the shutdown has had either “some impact” (17 percent) or a “major impact” (10 percent).

“The press makes it sound like it is much worse than reality,” one respondent said. “Everything will be up and running again soon.” While another respondent added, “I think border security is worth any short-term inconveniences.”

When pressed on which areas are most vulnerable during a prolonged shutdown, more than half (55 percent) said “airports, transportation, etc.” while 31 percent noted “critical infrastructure,” as most vulnerable, and the remaining 14 percent said “government websites, servers and databases.”

When asked if they thought the shutdown could have a serious impact on national security overall, 62 percent felt there would be an impact, with 34 percent saying, “yes, somewhat of an impact,” and 28 percent noting, “yes, this could get bad.” Thirty-eight percent of respondents felt a prolonged shutdown would not have much an impact to national security overall.

Several respondents worried about the impact of a long shutdown on federal workers and morale overall to such a critically important workforce.

One respondent felt the shutdown could cause a “long-term degradation of service and morale of federal workforce. The people will get paid, but we are talking about month of lost work. I suspect many quality public servants will think twice about staying in the current roles. This will cost people clearances, increased debt and much more personally. As a government contractor, it is hurting my ability to collect existing money owed as well as impacting ability to generate new revenue.”