Senate passes bill boosting telework

The Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved compromise legislation to expand telecommuting opportunities governmentwide.

The bill, H.R. 1722, requires federal agencies within 180 days to determine employees' eligibility to telework, establish policies under which those personnel are allowed to work remotely and develop written agreements with authorized employees. The legislation also requires agencies to integrate telework into their continuity of operations plans and to train managers, supervisors and employees on the new policies.

The Senate initially passed its version of the 2010 Telework Enhancement Act in May, while the House passed a similar measure in July. The compromise legislation was necessary to clear up minor differences between the two bills.

The Federal Managers Association expressed support for the legislation and encouraged House lawmakers to follow the Senate's lead.

"Telework has the potential to revolutionize federal agency operations and is a vital resource in meeting the challenges of retaining experienced professionals and enticing talented employees," said FMA President Patricia Niehaus.

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