The Office of Personnel Management has asked federal agencies to consider allowing employees in Washington, D.C., to telework early next week during President Obama’s summit with African leaders, which is expected to cause major traffic headaches in the city.
OPM “strongly recommends” that agencies consider telework on Aug. 4-6, “to keep the government operating normally while helping to minimize traffic congestion” during the event. Traffic is expected to be particularly bad on Aug. 5 and Aug. 6 due to road closures, the agency said in a memo to chief human capital officers.
D.C.-area employees who must report to their offices should allow extra time for their commute, OPM said, and agencies should consider additional flexibilities for those employees, such as schedule adjustments or taking previously earned compensatory time off.
The summit promises to be the largest presidential gathering of African heads of state, OPM said. Events will take place across downtown, from the Kennedy Center to the Ronald Reagan Building to the National Academy of Sciences.
The White House is moving forward with the summit despite the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa. The Centers for Disease Control has issued a travel warning against visiting the three countries affected by the outbreak – Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia – but has determined the disease is unlikely to spread to the United States, The Washington Post reported. Leaders of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have reportedly pulled out of the event, however.