GSA employee works for Kansas City office, lives in Honolulu

Flickr user gamillos

While sun, palm trees and the clear waters of Waikiki are only the stuff of daydreams for most Kansas City, Mo.-based federal employees, they are extremely close to home for at least one General Services Administration teleworker.

The GSA employee works for a regional office in Kansas City but lives in Honolulu as part of a “virtual” staff program, according to CNN.

The program involves employees who work at home -- often in a different region from where their office is based -- and occasionally travel to their office or conferences on the government’s dime. GSA has spent $24,000 in travel expenses on the Hawaii-dweller during the past year and has spent millions of dollars on the entire program during the last three years, CNN said.

The report comes amid intense scrutiny on government travel costs and on GSA spending in particular, after a lavish Las Vegas agency conference in 2010 made national headlines earlier this year.

The Kansas City employee has made nine trips to the mainland in the past year for conferences and meetings, all paid for by taxpayers and in addition to the worker’s annual salary. Jason Klumb, the Kansas City office’s regional manager, said hiring that employee was and is a worthwhile investment.

"The cost of that travel was included in the consideration of his candidacy as an employee as compared with the other applicants," Klumb told CNN. "And when factoring all of those in, it was determined that he was the best candidate, even in light of the cost that would be incurred."

A GSA spokeswoman told Government Executive new agency leadership is carefully eyeing the policy that allows employees to work from home. “GSA has placed stringent controls to drastically curb spending on travel, conferences and events for all employees, including those who work from home full time,” she said.

GSA’s acting Director Dan Tangherlini told CNN virtual employees are acceptable as long as there is justification for the hire.

"I think the most important part for the GSA to think about is make sure we open ourselves up, avail ourselves to all the smart people in the country, but then also make sure we have a clear business case," he said. "If we have someone who is working in Nebraska but reporting to Boston, there has to be a clear explanation for what value they're providing, and you've got to give me the business case. You've got to explain to me why that's a cost-effective move for the American people, and that's a new standard that we're asking everyone at GSA to adhere to."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.