Agencies told to use telework

A telework champion in Congress recommends appointing a telework czar and demands agencies make telecommuting a priority.

A telework champion in Congress has recommended the appointment of a telework czar and demanded that agencies be held accountable for making telecommuting a priority.

Teleworking "is the law of the land and [agencies] are obligated to do it," said Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) last week, speaking before the House Government Reform Committee's Technology and Procurement Policy Subcommittee.

He said a telework czar would have governmentwide responsibility for enforcing the goals in agencies. Agencies have four years to give all their eligible workers the option to work from home or a telework center.

"Agencies that are not compliant ought to be held accountable," he said, adding that budget restrictions may be one way to enforce the practice.

Teleworking has not taken off in government for cost and cultural reasons. Agencies "are operating under an old mindset," said Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), chairman of the subcommittee. "In the scheme of things, this hasn't been given the political push [it should]...but it's the right public policy."

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