OMB sets deadline for telework IT policies

OMB will issue a second memo by June 7 on telework cybersecurity guidelines

The Office of Management and Budget has given agencies 90 days to develop or update policies on buying IT to enable and promote the federal government’s continued adoption of telework.

OMB Director Jacob Lew issued a memo April 28 that directs agency CIOs to coordinate with chief acquisition officers on implementing the Telework Enhancement Act’s IT purchasing requirements.

“Given the unique mission and nature of each agency, agencies are granted broad discretion in formulating telework purchasing policies to best suit their unique needs,” Lew wrote.


Related story:

Telework guidance incorporates Telework Act


However, he said agencies' policies should, at a minimum, address:

  • Selecting and acquiring IT that best fits the need of the federal government and is technology- and vendor-neutral.
  • Using governmentwide and agencywide contracts, to the maximum extent possible, for new acquisitions and renewal of services to capitalize on the government’s buying power.
  • Deploying new and modernizing existing agency IT systems and infrastructure to support teleworking requirements, among other activities.

OMB plans to issue a second memo by June 7 that will provide cybersecurity guidelines for telework.

President Barack Obama signed the Telework Enhancement Act into law in December 2010. Under the law, each agency must establish telework policies, designate a telework managing officer to oversee the agency’s telework program and incorporate telework into continuity-of-operations planning.

The Office of Personnel Management recently released a guide to help agencies carry out the act by detailing key areas, such as eligibility, training and telework agreements.

About the Author

Alyah Khan is a staff writer covering IT policy.

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Reader comments

Fri, May 6, 2011 Mark Arnold, MD

OMB, you can send all the policy deadlines you want. You can even get everyone to "implement" the policies. This being said, until you get the underlying management to be accountable to allowing their staff to telework, rather than preventing it, we are going to be in the same place. The end of the story will be on this round is another game with OMB of "Hey I did what you asked .... Now what?" As opposed to actual change.

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