Telework bill moves forward in House

Telework Improvements Act unanimously approved by House Federal Workforce subcommittee

Spring may have come to Washington, but the February blizzards that hit the region remained fresh in the minds of the members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Federal Workforce Subcommittee, which March 24 unanimously approved a bill to improve teleworking in executive agencies.

The Telework Improvements Act of 2009 (H.R. 1722) would require agencies to develop a telework program that allows employees to telework at least 20 percent of the hours worked in every two administrative workweeks. The bill was sponsored by Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), John Sarbanes (D-Md.), Frank Wolf (R-Va.), Jim Moran (D-Va.) and subcommittee Chairman Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.).

COOP amendment passed

The subcommittee also unanimously adopted an amendment offered by Rep. Connolly that directs agencies to incorporate telework into their Continuity of Operations Plans in coordination with the General Services Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency and Office of Personnel Management. The amendment would ensure that agencies are prepared to use telework as a component of emergency management if federal operations are interrupted by a natural disaster, terrorist attack or other emergency.

“We already knew that telework is an essential part of federal recruitment and retention efforts, and that we can do much better than the current 6.6 percent telework rate for the federal workforce,” Connolly said. “The snowstorms in February reminded us that telework serves an important security function as well: in the event of severe weather or terrorist attack, our Continuity of Operations Plans must include telework.”

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Reader comments

Tue, May 4, 2010

Re: "The difficult part is to change the Supervisors mentality that they must have every warm body within sight" Your boss and mine ust be related! My boss uses the excuse that his personnel are "mission critical" and therefore we are stuck.

Tue, Apr 6, 2010 Carl Gardner, MA

I think govt telework is just another no show govt job. People are intrinsically lazy so let's just leave to sit at home. Telework only works when you have employees that are dedicated to working. Most have a hard enough time working when they are at work. I really don't see it as a viable alternative in the Government and I would urge my local politicians to reject this notion.

Thu, Apr 1, 2010

The difficult part is to change the Supervisors mentality that they must have every warm body within sight. Many of us have Telework contracts but we are not allowed to actually Telework, the contracts are signed and agreed to give a false sense of compliance. The supervisors do not like Telework because the worker-bees are not around to assist with sending a fax or editing a document.

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