Agency Telework Plans Required by Congress

The House Oversight and Government Reform Federal Workforce Subcommittee has unanimously approved a bill to improve teleworking in executive agencies.

The Telework Improvements Act of 2009 (H.R. 1722) now requires agencies to develop a telework program that allows employees to work from beyond the office at least 20 percent of the time in every two administrative work weeks.

The same subcommittee also adopted an amendment that requires agencies to incorporate telework into their Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP) in coordination with the General Services Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency and Office of Personnel Management. Its purpose is to 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,” says Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.). “It’s human nature to believe that, if I can’t see you at your desk working, you aren’t. Yet we know that — actually every study we have says people who telework in a structured program are more productive, have higher morale, and are more effective as workers.”

H.R. 1722 was sponsored by Connolly, John Sarbanes (D-Md.), Frank Wolf (R-Va.), Jim Moran (D-Va.) and subcommittee Chairman Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.).

The House Oversight and Government Reform Federal Workforce Subcommittee has unanimously approved a bill to improve teleworking in executive agencies.

The Telework Improvements Act of 2009 (H.R. 1722) now requires agencies to develop a telework program that allows employees to work from beyond the office at least 20 percent of the time in every two administrative work weeks.

The same subcommittee also adopted an amendment that requires agencies to incorporate telework into their Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP) in coordination with the General Services Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency and Office of Personnel Management. Its purpose is to 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,” says Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.). “It’s human nature to believe that, if I can’t see you at your desk working, you aren’t. Yet we know that — actually every study we have says people who telework in a structured program are more productive, have higher morale, and are more effective as workers.”

H.R. 1722 was sponsored by Connolly, John Sarbanes (D-Md.), Frank Wolf (R-Va.), Jim Moran (D-Va.) and subcommittee Chairman Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.).

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