Today, Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) and Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Government Operations Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) reintroduced the Telework Metrics and Cost Savings Act, which seeks to strengthen and expand the federal government's telework programs by capitalizing on lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Federal employee telework has been tested and proven during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Congressman Sarbanes. "The flexibility of this program heightened work productivity, improved employee retention and delivered high-quality government service for the American people. Building on the success of the Telework Enhancement Act, which Congressman Connolly and I passed in 2010 and laid the foundation for federal telework policies, the Telework Metrics and Cost Savings Act will create a stronger future for the federal workforce."
"As we emerge from the pandemic, federal agencies must continue to invest in strategies and practices that worked," said Congressman Connolly. "And Congress must ensure that the federal government has the tools it needs to compete with the private sector for top talent. The reform included in the Telework Metrics and Cost Savings Act are critical to strengthening federal telework programs in a way that both captures some of the telework gains we made amid the pandemic while also ensuring federal telework is deployed appropriately. This bill will help attract top talent to federal service--regardless of their location."
Specifically, the Telework Metrics and Cost Savings Act would:
Reform the administration of federal telework programs by empowering the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to:
develop standards for the collection and use of federal agency data to expand telework;
help develop supervisor and manger training on telework; and
publish guidance to help agencies manage their telework programs.
Promote transparency and accountability for federal telework programs by requiring agencies to:
report annually to OPM on their goals and priorities to expand telework access--including to military spouses;
report to Congress and OPM within 30 days if the agency head has the intention to reduce telework access for any reason;
track cost savings achieved through the expansion of telework;
train managers and supervisors on how to effectively engage teleworking employees; and
consistently review and update existing telework guidance.
Clarify the definition of telework and ensure that remote work is considered a form of teleworking.
The Telework Metrics and Cost Savings Act is supported by the following organizations: The National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), the Federal Managers Association (FMA), and the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE).
Text of the legislation is available here.