Team coverage: COVID-19 and the federal workforce

coronavirus molecule (creativeneko/ 

FCW is covering the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the federal workforce. This page will be updated frequently with new coverage. NOTE: CDC and OPM maintain up-to-date information for the latest on the outbreak and guidance on individual and agency response.

Union pushes back on EPA reopening plans

As one agency tussles with employees on reopening, experts told Congress that telework and hybrid approaches will likely be a reality for months to come. (June 25)

CARES Act delivery hampered by old tech, bad data

Aspects of the federal government's economic response to the coronavirus pandemic were marred by outdated state technology software and a crushing volume of beneficiaries that overwhelmed many systems, according to a new report from the watchdog Government Accountability Office. (June 25)

Collaboration inside government during the COVID crisis

Steve Kelman reports on New Zealand's all-hands approach to contain the coronavirus (June 24)

Some feds will see use-or-lose leave restored due to the pandemic

New regulations will allow workers designated essential during the coronavirus outbreak to have their unused leave restored. (June 19)

Pandemic oversight begins to take shape

The Pandemic Response Accountability Council will look at IT challenges, safety measures and funding oversight. (June 19)

Federal cloud demand shifts to apps

The remote work challenges under the COVID-19 pandemic mean that once "nice-to-have" technologies are now mission critical, leaders said. (June 18)

NIH creates central database for COVID-19

The centralized database could provide sharper insight into coronavirus patients' needs. (June 17)

Congress targets COVID cyber fraud

Pending bills would boost information sharing efforts, pay subsidies to affected states and individuals and move the Secret Service back to the Department of Treasury. (June 17)

A look at how the IC is getting back to work

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed workers who are used to top-secret networks home. But as intel agencies begin bringing more personnel back, they'll have to contend with lingering anxieties. (June 17)

Agencies begin slow return to the office as COVID restrictions ease

Veterans Affairs, State, Agriculture and other federal agencies are ramping up operations and bringing more workers into the office. (June 16)

Union heads urge caution as DHS looks to resume normal operations

As the Department of Homeland Security considers the process of resuming normal operations, unions representing agency employees are calling on agency leadership to ensure that personnel have adequate resources to protect against exposure to COVID-19. (June 16)

Connolly asks IGs to review agency reopening plans

The Government Ops chairman also wants the Pentagon's watchdog to probe a civilian federal worker's death from COVID-19. (June 15)

House Dems want the Fed to open their digital banking services

Months after IRS began doling out stimulus checks, tens of millions of Americans have yet to receive their share. Experts are calling for better tech and expanded access to the banking system. (June 12)

Federal appeals court denies union push for emergency coronavirus safety rules

The AFL-CIO had sought to force OSHA to issue an emergency temporary standard that would have addressed infectious disease in the workplace. (June 12)

Cyber and IT challenges remain as Census resumes operations

The IT systems needed to carry out the 2020 Census still face numerous testing challenges and unaddressed critical cybersecurity flaws, according to a new oversight report. (June 11)

‘COVID penalty’ could cost Pentagon at least $10 billion in contractor claims

Ellen Lord, the Defense Department’s chief buyer, told Congress that defense companies coronavirus relief claims could cost upwards of $10 billion. (June 10)

Mapping the PPE supply chain

Ninety days after the COVID-19 emergency declaration, a Senate panel examined how U.S. responders are managing procurement and delivery of needed supplies. (June 9)

Federal prison riot squads deployed to D.C.

A former union official says crisis management teams have historically been deployed for crowd control, protecting federal buildings. (June 8)

Public sector employment continues to slide

However positive signs in the May jobs report could sideline federal legislation to extend aid to local governments. (June 5)

Sen. Hassan digs into agency IT plans

The push comes, the New Hampshire Democrat explained, because of technology weaknesses exposed in the federal government response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (June 4)

OPM looks to its own reopening

As Capitol Region local governments are starting to phase in their own reopening plans, the Office of Personnel Management put out a detailed guide for returning its own employees to the office. (June 2)

Pandemic means beta.SAM shift will take a little longer

At GSA, plans to fully shift legacy acquisition systems are being stalled to help contractors and agencies keep current. (May 29)

NSA's cyber wing looks to safeguard COVID research and expand outreach

The spy agency's deputy director said its new cyber directorate is focused on protecting vaccine research from hackers and supporting activities that help get Americans back to work. (May 28)

GAO plans review of telework tech

The congressional watchdog plans to examine agency lessons learned from the rapid rollout of telework tools as part of pandemic response. (May 27)

Pentagon readies reopening plan

The Defense Department is planning to shift from pandemic footing to more normal operations, and is using White House issued criteria on declines in reported symptoms, declines in new cases and hospital access to determine when restrictions will be lifted. (May 26)

HHS watchdog defends oversight of agency amid health crisis

The Office of Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services says it is pressing on with investigations into agency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (May 26)

Pandemic duties for National Guard include cyber help

The Maryland National Guard is doing its part to help hospitals and local government detect and deflect malicious online activity during the pandemic. (May 22)

Local governments look to Congress for help with COVID impacts

Counties and municipalities put faith in SMART, HEROES legislation to offset economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. (May 21)

VA benefits backlog spikes amid COVID pandemic

The backlog of initial claims for benefits is rising in recent weeks, after holding steady amid the 100% telework posture of the Veterans Benefits Administration. (May 20)

COVID-19 shifts network priorities

Network infrastructure is a key to unlocking remote work in the new COVID environment, say agency CIOs. (May 19)

CDC, IRS and other federal sites spoofed in global phishing scams

New research from Proofpoint has identified numerous phishing email campaigns over the past two months, some of which impersonated and spoofed websites from federal agencies, international governments and public health organizations involved in COVID-19 relief. (May 18)

House passes $3 trillion HEROES Act relief legislation

The Senate has no plans to take up the bill and White House said it would veto what it called an "partisan and ideological wishlist". (May 15)

House Rules Committee approves proxy voting, remote committee work

The rules change, which must be adopted in person by the full House, would also open the door to remote voting once secure technologies are identified. (May 14)

Pentagon reassigns COVID policy response lead

The Defense Department’s chief for industrial policy, Jennifer Santos, who has been leading the organization’s production strategy for supplies needed to fight COVID-19, has been removed from her post. (May 14)

Pandemic puts new focus on IT modernization

The unexpected stress-testing that has come with COVID-19 responses can bring clarity to IT modernization thinking and practices. (May 14)

Why network management is a national security issue during the pandemic

Software-defined networking is a major part of telecommunications resiliency during pandemic, said carriers on a presidential telecommunications advisory committee. (May 13)

Navy IT looks beyond COVID

The Navy's network operations, like most federal agencies, scrambled to shift to completely remote workforce, but the experience has also shifted workers' network expectations. (May 12)

Data sharing and COVID-19

Agencies are working to simultaneously modernize and share data to ensure continuity of business. (May 12)

House Dems want paid parental leave benefit to apply retroactively

Letting new parents take time off would alleviate coronavirus-related concerns, members stated in a May 8 letter to leadership. (May 11)

COVID-19 constraints delay needed CMMC rule change

Social distancing requirements have delayed the public hearing needed for a rule change to enforce new cybersecurity standards for contractors. (May 11)

In COVID relief, lawmakers look to help states with legacy IT

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is urging House leaders to include funding for states to modernize their technology infrastructure with an eye to a cloud-first approach, shared services that deliver functionality to cities and towns and some oversight of state technology plans as a condition of receiving funding. (May 11)

House bill would protect unused leave during COVID-19

A bill from Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) would make sure that feds won't forfeit unused annual leave. (May 8)

Could DOD's maximum telework policy boost AI, tech recruiting?

Keeping telework capabilities could make it easier for DOD to hire AI scientists. (May 7)

PPE acquisition used as bait in global phishing scheme

At least 10 distinct phishing campaigns were identified between January and April, targeting governments and organizations desperate to buy Personal Protective Equipment. (May 7)

How COVID-19 is changing the game on ransomware

More money is needed to tackle the problem, especially as states deal with an unprecedented economic crisis caused by the pandemic. It's unclear whether Congress will foot the bill. (May 5)

Esper eyes phased reopen, more coronavirus stimulus funds

The Pentagon is eyeing a phased reopen and possibly more coronavirus stimulus funds to help offset costs to restock medical supplies and equipment used to fight the pandemic, the defense secretary said. (May 4)

Amid telework boom, CISA reminds agencies of DNS resolution requirements

The memo notes that CISA will begin issuing reports to agencies highlighting DNS traffic anomalies and could issue a follow up directive as new protections come online. (May 1)

House Homeland Dems want to help TSA workers in next COVID-19 relief package

Survivor benefits and health insurance premiums are expected to be covered in future legislation. (April 30)

How pandemic response is shifting federal IT

The federal government's response to COVID-19 is setting the pace for its agencies' IT futures, said some top managers. (April 30)

Paycheck protection, other pandemic response to garner 'flash' oversight

Agency inspectors general told Congress that the $2.2 trillion in spending to speed recovery and heal economic damage caused by the pandemic would be subject to quick oversight. (April 29)

Feds caught up in Trump's meat processing order

The executive order declaring meat processing plants as critical infrastructure means that federal food inspectors must visit plants that had been closed by their owners for safety reasons. (April 29)

State and local government jobs are front and center in Dems' plans for COVID-19 relief

Democratic lawmakers are seeking aid to help state and local governments retain workers and avoid layoffs in the next relief bill aimed at alleviating the economic toll that the coronavirus pandemic has had upon the U.S. economy. (April 28)

Where did the ideas for shutdowns and social distancing come from?

Steve Kelman offers another story about hero civil servants. (April 28)

IRS recalls certain mission-critical employees for tax season

The tax agency is putting distancing measures into place and requiring employees to wear face coverings on the job. (April 27)

Connolly: Pandemic response hindered by administration telework rollbacks

The Trump administration's response to keep the federal government operational during the COVID-19 pandemic was hindered by early decisions to roll back telework programs, according to Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), the chairman of the Government Operations subcommittee of the House Oversight Committee. (April 24)

Lawmakers push for answers on SBA data leak

Despite a glitch that made headlines, the Small Business Administration had planned in advance to build tech tools to support legislative mandates for emergency business loans. (April 24)

AFGE assails Trump's plan to go back to work

The federal government's largest union is demanding some concessions in exchange for agreeing to President Donald Trump's new plans to gradually send federal employees back to their places of work. (April 23)

Pentagon plans to test all troops for COVID-19

Gen. John Hyten, vice chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said testing the entire force, including National Guard and Reserves, would take until summertime. (April 23)

Why PPE acquisition looks so shady

Furtive exchanges, police interdiction, international charter flights: our acquisition reporter takes a look at the market for personal protective equipment. (April 22)

Feds disrupt hundreds of COVID-19 scammer domains

The Department of Justice said some of the domains represented themselves as U.S. government agencies or public health organizations. (April 22)

Wyden seeks funds for USDS, 18F to help states amid COVID-19

Senators push for USDS, 18F to ramp help to states struggling with legacy tech. (April 22)

House Majority Leader backs remote voting

Downplaying security concerns, Rep. Steny Hoyer said conducting House business through video teleconference software was his "clear preference" to ensure continuity of Congress during the COVID-19 crisis. (April 21)

Using tech to combat the coronavirus

Steve Kelman reports on early efforts to leverage technology for better contact tracing. (April 21)

White House lays out plans to open agencies, move off telework

In a new document, the federal government explains plans to align a reopening of all federal agency functions and a return to in-person work with national guidelines promulgated by the White House and health officials on bringing back a state of normalcy when a decline in the COVID-19 pandemic occurs. (April 20)

The federal government's identity crisis

For decades, PIV and CAC cards have been the primary tools for agencies and contractors to verify the identity of employees and contractors. The COVID-19 outbreak could change that. (April 20)

Comment: Why right now is the most challenging time in history for government CIOs

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented CIOs at all levels of government with unprecedented challenges to respond to the critical needs of the country. (April 20)

VA medical staff push for more PPE, agency bill of rights

As more patients and staffers contract coronavirus infections, employees are seeking more personal protective equipment, collaboration with management and hazard pay. (April 18)

OMB follows DOD with guidance on paying idled contractors

The White House instructs federal agencies to leverage relief for contractors in the CARES Act where appropriate. (April 17)

COVID-19 outbreak may delay audits for DOD's cyber certification

The first audits for the Defense Department's unified cybersecurity standard for vendors may be delayed up to a month. (April 16)

Navy speeds acquisition amid COVID-19 outbreak

Navy Acquisition Chief James Geurts said acquisition activities have sped up in response to the coronavirus crisis and helped the service pinpoint weak spots in the supply chain. (April 16)

Comment: The COVID-19 crisis presents an opportunity to transform the federal workforce

The forced social experiment brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic is compelling the federal government to adapt culturally and technologically at a rapid pace. (April 16)

Tech groups seek IT modernization funding in future rescue bills

Five leading technology trade groups called on lawmakers to support "meaningful" federal, state and local IT modernization in COVID stimulus legislation. (April 16)

House Dems seek $400 million to help states deal with cyber threats during COVID-19

The request for new funding comes as state and local governments face an spike in ransomware attacks. (April 15)

Federal vacancies hamper government response to COVID-19, groups allege

Government oversight experts and advocacy groups say Senate leaders should withhold cooperation until vacancies are filled. (April 15)

OPM lifts caps on hazard pay for COVID-19

Government employees who are considered essential frontline workers could receive extra pay during the coronavirus pandemic, according to new guidance from the Office of Personnel Management. (April 15)

Procurement challenges step up to the COVID-19 plate

Steve Kelman spotlights another example of how non-traditional acquisition models can encourage innovation. (April 15)

DOD's telework surge could be permanent

A new emphasis on telework at the Defense Department in response to the COVID-19 pandemic could change work culture at the Pentagon, officials said. (April 14)

House Dems seek consistency for feds in COVID-19 workforce policies

Childcare cost subsidies, weather and safety leave, telework allowances are among priorities for Democrats in planned CARES-2 legislative package. (April 14)

GSA speeds payments to small business contractors

The General Services Administration made an exception to Federal Acquisition Regulations to accelerate payments to its small business prime contractors and subcontractors. (April 14)

Temporary Excused Paid Leave sounds good but is hard to come by

Feds with dependent care responsibilities that stretch them to the breaking point have a stopgap once leave options are exhausted, but many agencies are reluctant to put it in play. (April 13)

DOD pulls the trigger on the DPA

DOD to issue $133 million in production contracts for N95 masks under the Defense Production Act. (April 13)

Agencies look to digital financial outlets to disburse relief funds

As IRS and the Small Business Administration tap digital-only financial firms to assist in relief funding, concerns are emerging about cybersecurity vulnerabilities and fraud. (April 13)

DOD cuts red tape to support fast prototyping

Ellen Lord, DOD's acquisition head, issued new guidance for prototype contracts issued through other transaction authorities. (April 10)

ICE CIO gives Zoom the cold shoulder

The top tech official at Immigration and Customs Enforcement is instructing employees to avoid installing Zoom for video conferencing and use instead Skype, MS Teams and WebEx. (April 10)

OPM loosens purse strings on recruitment, retention and relocation

New policy allows agencies to ask for waiver of 25% incentive and retention caps in COVID-19 response. (April 9)

Pelosi continues to resist calls for remote voting

While the Speaker of the House said there are constitutional and security concerns with letting members vote virtually, she has moved to loosen other rules around in-person legislating. (April 9)

FAA asks employees to round up N95 masks, other PPE

The Federal Aviation Administration put out an email blast to employees at field offices and airport facilities on April 8 looking for medical supplies to share out to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services. (April 9)

In a crisis, America turns to….COBOL programmers and fax machines

The coronavirus pandemic illustrates how far the federal government and states has to go to support an agile, 21st century public sector workforce. (April 9)

CISA looks to help secure federal telework

New guidance allows teleworking feds to connect and access agency and cloud resources from their homes while staying in compliance with the Trusted Internet Connection program. (April 8)

VA delays Cerner health record deployment

The Department of Veterans Affairs is delaying the rollout of its $16 billion health record modernization project so that the health system serving 9 million veterans can focus on the COVID-19 pandemic. (April 8)

CISA to release emergency TIC guidance for telework surge

The guidance will expire at the end of the year and will address capabilities such as email, networking, DNS, intrusion detection and data protection. (April 7)

Union warns of coronavirus exposure in federal prisons, VA facilities

The American Federation of Government Employees filed complaints with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration about alleged violations of safety standards. (April 7)

Army accelerates virtualization of training, recruitment

Army training and recruiting leaders said the service has been gradually digitizing recruiting and training, but has now shifted online amid the COVID-19 outbreak. (April 7)

Senate Dems push hazard pay for essential workers

Feds are included in the proposed premium pay increase that would float $13 dollars per hour into the paychecks of frontline workers. (April 7)

How will DOD's workforce shift post-COVID-19?

What will working in DOD look like on the other side of the COVID-19 curve? (April 7)

AFGE head: Federal managers are exacerbating pandemic risks

In a recent interview, AFGE National President Everett Kelley said that some agencies have directed managers to exclude unions from key decisions involving employee safety. (April 6)

HHS tech official warns feds, contractors on virtual meeting risks

As remote collaboration become the default, federal agencies are advising employees and users that video teleconferencing software, phone meetings and other tools are at increased risk. (April 6)

DHS contractors subject to new COVID-19 screening procedures

The new restrictions come as federal agencies and industry grapple with how best to collaborate on projects under quarantines and social distancing guidelines designed to limit in-person gatherings. (April 3)

National Labs turn to 3D printing for medical supplies

National labs look to 3D printing to ease COVID medical supply chain squeeze, but reports show need remains stark. (April 2)

Lawmakers look to shield defense contractors from COVID-19 fallout

Virginia Democrat Sen. Mark Warner and Texas Republican Rep. Mac Thornberry hope to protect national security by bolstering the industrial base. (April 2)

IRS outlines expanded flexible work schedule

The IRS, which is operating under an evacuation order that mandates telework for all eligible employees, released new guidance outlining its flexible work schedule policy. (April 2)

Pandemic delays GSA's e-commerce plans

With COVID-19 support response prioritized, the General Services Administration puts a hold on its e-commerce portal proof of concept contract. (April 1)

DOD issues permission slips for workers in national capital region

The Defense Department issued memos and permission letters for personnel working in the Washington, D.C. region as local and state governments' stay-at-home orders go into effect. (April 1).

COVID-19 could hamper national security, new data shows

Govini, a data and analytics fir3m, projected where the pandemic could impact Defense Department operations as cases increase and hospital beds become scarce. (April 1)

DOD suspends MHS Genesis deployment amid COVID-19 pandemic

The rollout of a commercial electronic health record system to Defense Department hospitals on pause to support response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (March 31)

OPM on balancing caregiving and official duties for teleworking feds

Agency stresses flexible work schedules, reserved on evacuation pay and administrative leave. (March 31)

FBI warns on Zoom conference security

New teleworkers can unintentionally open up videoconferences to unwanted intruders, warns the FBI. (March 31)

Vendors pile on the telework bandwagon

Companies that haven't considered federal markets are coming around to it, thanks to increased telework mandates, according to experts. (March 31)

AFGE sues for hazard pay

The national union alleges that "thousands of feds" likely exposed to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 while on the job. (March 30)

$2 trillion stimulus bill offers needed relief but falls short on added costs, contractors say

Defense contractors would get some relief for personnel costs under the Senate-passed $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus and relief bill but worries over increased production costs remain. (March 27)

IRS planning workforce evacuation order

The order would mandate telework for all eligible employees regardless of their prior arrangements. (March 27)

OPM launches plan to help feds find COVID-19 response work details

The planned Surge Response Program is designed to consolidate pandemic response opportunities for current federal employees. (March 27)

$2T Senate rescue bill passes with some workforce protections, but absent measures sought by the House

The $2 trillion pandemic rescue bill does not include a rollback of three years of Trump administration federal workforce policy included in a bill formulated by House Democrats. (March 26)

Federal credentialing shifts to accommodate telework, distancing

With fingerprinting services not always available, agencies are going to have to take some calculated risks with new employees. (March 26)

States would get $400 million to run elections under COVID-19 threat

The money will be administered by the Election Assistance Commission, but some experts and lawmakers say it's not nearly enough. (March 26)

DOD official: 'Adversarial capital' threatens industrial base

The Defense Department is concerned that foreign investment will take advantage of small businesses experiencing severe financial consequences from the COVID-19 pandemic. (March 25)

Higher easy acquisition thresholds help the pivot to telework

OMB's expanded easy-acquisition procedures will be useful tool as pandemic response continues, said a trade group executive. (March 25)

Tech money, workforce provisions in $2.5 trillion House stimulus

The Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act offered by House Democrats expands telework, grants hazard pay to certain front line workers and would overturn a number of Trump administration workforce policies. (March 24)

DOD to extend maximum telework to contractors

The Pentagon is asking for "maximum telework flexibilities" extended to DOD service members and civilian employees also be made available to contractors when possible. (March 24)

SEWP cuts turnaround time to support COVID-19 response

Customers including DOD and FEMA are pressing NASA's acquisition vehicle for faster quotes to support COVID-19 response. (March 24)

Employee onboarding goes virtual

Swearing-in for feds along with certain document submission can be done remotely, advises the Office of Personnel Management. (March 24)

Let's call Dr. Fauci by his proper title -- public servant

Steve Kelman argues that Americans need to understand the essential contributions civil servants make to our society's mix. (March 23)

Can Congress work from home?

The legislative branch may soon follow much of the corporate world and institute telework for its core functions, but there are serious questions about whether it has the legal and technological infrastructure in place to make it practicable for very long. (March 23)

Barr presses states to allow critical feds to go to work

Attorney General William Barr asked states to ensure that mission-critical personnel can perform official duties despite local lockdowns. (March 23)

Labor Dept. waives some contractor compliance requirements

The Department of Labor's compliance program office temporarily waived some contractor affirmative action requirements to speed up COVID-19 response. (March 23)

White House tells agencies to take on virtual collaboration, service delivery

Agencies are being asked by the White House to look into the existing toolbox for ways to manage collaboration and access internally and service delivery to citizens as government withdraws from public view during the coronavirus pandemic. (March 22)

OPM fast-tracks hiring for coronavirus response

New, temporary appointment authority for Schedule A hires is in effect until March 2021 or public emergency is declared over. (March 22)

'Parts don’t get sick, people do': A look at DOD’s logistical challenges

The Defense Department is extremely efficient at planning and logistics, but the uncertainty surrounding how long and how widespread COVID-19 will be raises concerns on how parts, people, and acquisition will be affected. (March 20)

Contractors parking in Energy Dept. HQ to steer clear of Metro

As its employees move to telework, the Energy Department relaxes contractor parking rules at its D.C. headquarters. (March 20)

Contractors still waiting on consistent pandemic guidance

A few agencies have advised their contractors on how to proceed in the current uncertain environment, but lawmakers and trade groups want clear guidance and legislation amid the worsening pandemic. (March 19)

FAA administrator instructs employees to avoid agency facilities

Only mission-critical employees are required to report to agency facilities, the administrator -- who is himself quarantined after COVID-19 exposure -- told staff March 19. (March 19)

Weichert explains employee-facing crisis communications

Deputy Director for Management Margaret Weichert said OMB has been leading federal agencies in how to respond to employee questions operating status, telework and taking weather and safety leave. (March 19)

COVID-19 funding package includes federal building safety and security

The Trump administration wants hundreds of millions of dollars in extra funding to clean and secure federal buildings from exposure to coronavirus. (March 19)

Trump inches closer to exercising powers over medical supply chain

A March 18 executive order positions President Trump to invoke enhanced contracting powers granted under the Defense Production Act. (March 18)

CFPB mandates telework

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau is requiring employees to telework while frontline agencies are sharing assessments for lowering risk of exposure for employees who cannot telework. (March 18)

House leaders join Senate in asking Trump to mandate telework

Teleworking should be seen as an essential protection for mission-critical work, lawmakers say. (March 18)

DOD looks to industry for anti-COVID-19 prototypes

The Defense Department wants prototype solutions to combat the novel coronavirus disease and other emerging bio-threats, according to a March 15 request to industry. (March 18)

Are federal facilities prepared for COVID-19?

Former DHS officials and unions worry whether existing security measures will help protect federal employees from the growing coronavirus pandemic. (March 17)

NIST offers tips for secure telework

As virtual meetings and other online interactions become a reality for many federal agencies and businesses, so too do cybersecurity threats. (March 17)

The rush to telework is testing federal systems

The sudden expansion of federal telework in response to the coronavirus pandemic is teaching agencies how to move ahead with remote workers. (March 17)

White House rolls out operational pivot to manage pandemic

Federal agencies are being asked to realign non-mission critical activities and minimize face-to-face interactions with the general public to reduce coronavirus transmission. (March 17)

House Dems ask Trump to invoke emergency contracting authority

Special acquisition powers in a 1950 law could help the government obtain needed medical equipment in the coronavirus response. (March 16)

Agencies respond to White House telework guidance

As coronavirus measures tighten, many agencies are looking to offer workplace flexibilities for all employees regardless of previous eligibility. (March 16)

DOD faces network attacks amid telework uptick

The Defense Department's networks have been stressed since expanding telework to minimize coronavirus at defense agencies. (March 16)

Coronavirus spread may affect CMMC implementation efforts

It's unclear whether emergency measures to stem coronavirus' spread will affect DOD's roll out of its unified cybersecurity standard, but mitigation efforts will likely rely on teleconferencing for training. (March 16)

OMB urges 'maximum telework flexibilities' for DC-area feds

A Sunday evening memo ahead of a potentially chaotic commute urges agency heads to pivot to telework as much as possible. (March 15)

DOD halts domestic travel for its personnel through May 11

The Defense Department expanded its travel ban with new restrictions on domestic travel civilian and military personnel. (March 14)

White House looks to curtail U.S. travel for feds

Federal employees are recommended against domestic travel to conduct agency business, except for trips deemed mission-critical. (March 14)

CISA stress tests DHS telework capacity

Not every agency will be ready to flip the switch from F2F to WFH, according to experts and former officials. (March 13)

Spinning up telework presents procurement challenges

As concerns over the coronavirus outbreak drives more agencies towards expanding employee telework, federal acquisition contracts can help ease some of the pain. (March 11)

CDC: Data modernization would have improved coronavirus detection, tracking

Officials said more money would improve the agency's detection and tracking capabilities for emerging diseases. (March 10)

USCIS, SEC extend telework amid coronavirus concerns

The Securities and Exchange Commission said it was encouraging headquarters employees to telework as a cautionary measure. (March 10)

OPM presses agencies to prep for telework in updated COVID-19 guidance

Office of Personnel Management Director Dale Cabaniss urged agency heads over the weekend to "ensure that written telework agreements are in place for as many employees as possible," and encouraged agencies to extend ad hoc telework agreements to all telework eligible employees. (March 8)

DOD stresses telework, social distancing in COVID-19 guidance

Civilian employees at the Defense Department are urged to telework, teleconference and use leave when necessary while other agencies are formulating their own workforce policy responses. (March 9)

Contractors and COVID-19

Contracting work could require some creative thinking for agencies and contractors in the event facilities are affected by the spread of coronavirus. (March 9)

AFGE urges telework expansion amid coronavirus spread

A group of Senate Democrats urged the Office of Personnel Management to assure federal employees and contractors that they won't face any discipline or adverse employment actions for following official guidance on when to stay home from work. (March 6)

Supply chain jolts linked to coronavirus hit federal IT

A governmentwide federal contract vehicle joined large commercial suppliers in voicing concern over COVID-19's impact on IT supply chains. (Feb. 28)

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