Oversight

GAO urges OPM to improve telework reporting

man teleworking

As telework becomes increasingly common in agencies, OPM falters at filing mandatory reporting, GAO finds. (Stock image)

The Office of Personnel Management needs to improve its annual agency telework report to Congress, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 mandates that OPM provide guidance to federal agencies on implementing telework programs, and submit an annual report on their progress to Congress.

According to GAO, of the seven reporting requirements set forth by the act, OPM partially met only two, and it did not report any agency information for the other five.

OPM's difficulties included insufficient time for all seven requirements to be fully implemented, and agencies’ challenges in measuring progress toward telework goals.

GAO made three recommendations to OPM on improving its next annual report:

    1. provide goal-setting assistance for agencies not yet able to report telework goals;

    2. include in its report the amount of cost savings resulting from the impacts of telework each agency may have identified, and the method the agency used to assess or verify the savings;

    3. improve the reliability of data collection, work with the Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO) Council and its leadership to develop documented agreements and a timetable to complete an automated tracking system or other reliable data gathering method that can be validated by OPM.

In response to GAO’s report, OPM officials said they partially concurred with the first recommendation, concurred with the second recommendation and have completed the third recommendation.

About the Author

Natalie Lauri is an editorial fellow at FCW. Connect with her on Twitter: @Nat_Lauri.

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