Oversight committee OKs telework and TSP bills

Federal employees are one step closer to regular telecommuting and to being allowed to put the cash value of unused leave toward their retirement.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday approved measures to expand telework and to allow federal employees to invest the value of unused leave in their retirement accounts.

The panel passed the 2009 Telework Improvements Act (H.R. 1722) by a voice vote, after debating three amendments aimed at strengthening oversight. The measure would codify a governmentwide telework policy Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry announced last year, guaranteeing eligible federal employees the right to work off-site for at least 20 percent of every two-week period. It also would require every agency to designate a telework managing officer and it would provide training on the alternative work arrangement for employees and supervisors.

"This act seeks to improve access to telework governmentwide," said Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass. "Despite the fact that the federal government is seeking ways to improve its business, telework continues to be underutilized by federal agencies."

The legislation received bipartisan support, though Republican lawmakers urged clear oversight and strong management of the program. "There are some potential and demonstrated bad effects of telework," said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., ranking member of the committee. "Millions of records, classified or unclassified, have been lost as a result of telework. That is unacceptable."

The committee approved an amendment offered by Chairman Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., that would require OPM to develop guidelines to assess agency compliance with telework regulations. Further, it asks OPM to oversee agency plans for staying up and running during emergencies. "This builds on the government's current telework capability, and it requires OPM to issue governmentwide regulations for telework and provide agencies with advice and necessary training to make sure telework is utilized to the maximum capability," Towns said.

The panel also cleared an amendment by Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., that would mandate a database to help OPM determine the validity and success of telework programs. And it approved a provision by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, which would allow agencies to decide whether a current employee could take on the role of telework supervisor. "We certainly have agencies that are rather large that will require a full-time person to execute this," Chaffetz said. "We also have agencies that are rather small. This amendment will allow agencies some flexibility to determine need."

The committee also passed by voice vote a bill (H.R. 4865) that would allow federal employees to add the cash value of leftover annual leave to their Thrift Savings Plan accounts, so long as it didn't put them over annual contribution limits of $16,500 for employees younger than 50 and $22,000 for those who are 50 or older.

The measure drew bipartisan support and prompted little debate, though the panel did approve an amendment by Connolly to change the effective date to one year after enactment. That language was aimed at ensuring the TSP board has enough time for implementation.

"We need to make sure we have time to put in place adequate processing," Connolly said. "There is an allowance [in the amendment] that if they can do it faster than a year, they can do it that way as well."

The National Federation of Federal Employees praised the committee for supporting "a much needed boon to federal employees' retirement accounts, which took such a big hit in recent years." NFFE National President William Dougan thanked Lynch and Chaffetz for reaching across party lines to sponsor the measure.

"These are good government bills," Towns said. "They save taxpayers money while reducing waste and increasing workforce flexibility."

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.