Denali Commission Act of 1998
The Denali Commission Act of 1998 established the Denali Commission (Commission) to deliver services of the federal government in the most cost-effective manner by reducing administrative and overhead costs. As part of the act, the Commission’s mission of providing job training and other economic development services in rural communities was established with a specific focus on promoting rural development, and providing power generation, transition facilities, modern communication systems, water and sewer systems and other infrastructure needs in rural Alaska.
Since its inception, the Denali Commission Act of 1998 has been updated several times expanding its mission to include the planning and construction of health care facilities and the establishment of the Denali Access System Program for surface transportation infrastructure and waterfront transportation projects.
Most recently, the Denali Commission Act was again expanded to include the authority for the Commission to accept funding from other federal agencies as well as gifts or donations for the purpose of carrying out the act.
Denali Commission Government Lapse Plan
The Denali Commission will only incur obligations that can lawfully be funded from prior no year appropriations (remaining available until expended) as authorized by law. All Denali staff members will continue to report to work during the period for which their salaries may be paid through prior, no-year appropriations. Prior to the shutdown, the Denali Commission has 13 employees reporting to work; after the enactment of a shutdown, the Denali Commission will have 13 employees reporting to work.
The current balance of no year prior year appropriations is at a sufficient level to maintain the operations into fiscal year 2022. In the unlikely event that available funds are exhausted, the excepted employees would include the Director of Programs, the Senior Finance Officer and General Counsel. The Director of Programs would be available to address any emergency situations that might arise in the performance of the Commission’s grantees. The Senior Financial Officer and General Counsel would be available to interpret statutes, such as the Antideficiency Act, to avoid significant constitutional issues. All other employees would be furloughed until new funding is made available.