OMB, industry create telework site

A group of public and private executives announced a new Web site today to help promote telework in the federal government and end the gridlock that has prevented it from flourishing.

The Web site -- www.teleworkexchange.org -- is intended to provide information to federal employees about how they can join the telework ranks. It also provides an online chat room called the Water Cooler for federal workers to discuss problems. The move was prompted by a survey showing that only about 20 percent of all federal workers telework.

Karen Evans, administrator of e-government and information technology at the Office of Management and Budget, said at a press briefing that telework provides plenty of benefits for federal agencies that go beyond cost and environmental savings.

"We really want to eliminate the telework gridlock," she told a press conference at the annual FOSE show.

Bumper stickers handed out at the press conference included "Honk if you’d rather be teleworking" and "My other car is a PC."

The Web site features calculators that tally the cost of federal commuting and include the potential savings both in cost and environmental impact. Federal employees can register on the site and log how many miles they commute to work or save by teleworking.

"Information technology has replaced the automobile as the engine powering today's public- and private-sector economies," said Alfred Toussaint, federal marketing manager at Intel. "The convergence of mobile computing and communication, coupled with the availability of secure broadband wireless access is empowering today’s government workers and their agencies to be more flexible and agile."

Industry partners for the partnership, known as the Telework Exchange, include Intel, CDW Government, Citrix Systems and Juniper Networks.

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