H.R. 1722 (111th): Telework Enhancement Act of 2010

111th Congress, 2009–2010. Text as of May 04, 2010 (Reported by House Committee).

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Union Calendar No. 269

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 1722

[Report No. 111–474]

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 25, 2009

(for himself, Mr. Wolf, Mr. Connolly of Virginia, Mr. Lynch, Mr. Davis of Illinois, Mr. Moran of Virginia, and Mr. Ruppersberger) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

May 4, 2010

Additional sponsors: Mr. Wittman, Mr. Himes, Ms. Zoe Lofgren of California, Mrs. Capito, Mr. Doggett, Mr. Cummings, Ms. Norton, and Mr. Towns

May 4, 2010

Reported with amendments, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed

Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic

For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on March 25, 2009


A BILL

To improve teleworking in executive agencies by developing a telework program that allows employees to telework at least 20 percent of the hours worked in every 2 administrative workweeks, and for other purposes.


1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Telework Improvements Act of 2010.

2.

Telework

(a)

In general

Part III of title 5, United States Code, is amended by inserting after chapter 63 the following:

65

Telework

Sec.

6501. Definitions.

6502. Governmentwide telework requirement.

6503. Implementation.

6504. Telework Managing Officer.

6505. Evaluating telework in agencies.

6501.

Definitions

For purposes of this chapter—

(1)

the term agency means an Executive agency (as defined by section 105), except as otherwise provided in this chapter;

(2)

the term telework or teleworking refers to a work flexibility arrangement under which an employee performs the duties and responsibilities of such employee’s position, and other authorized activities, from an approved worksite other than the location from which the employee would otherwise work;

(3)

the term continuity of operations, as used with respect to an agency, refers to measures designed to ensure that functions essential to the mission of the agency can continue to be performed during a wide range of emergencies, including localized acts of nature, accidents, public health emergencies, and technological or attack-related emergencies; and

(4)

the term Telework Managing Officer means, with respect to an agency, the Telework Managing Officer of the agency designated under section 6504.

6502.

Governmentwide telework requirement

(a)

Telework requirement

(1)

In general

Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this chapter, the head of each agency shall establish a policy under which employees shall be authorized to telework, subject to paragraph (2) and subsection (b).

(2)

Agency policies

The head of each agency shall ensure—

(A)

that the telework policy established under this section—

(i)

conforms to the regulations promulgated by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management under section 6503, and

(ii)

authorizes employees to telework to the maximum extent possible without diminishing agency operations and performance; and

(B)

that information on the eligibility of employees to telework is included in descriptions of available positions and other recruiting materials.

(b)

Provisions relating to certain circumstances

Nothing in subsection (a) shall be considered—

(1)

to require the head of an agency to authorize teleworking in the case of an employee whose duties and responsibilities—

(A)

require daily direct handling of classified information; or

(B)

are such that their performance requires on-site activity which cannot be carried out from a site removed from the employee’s regular place of employment; or

(2)

to prevent the temporary denial of permission for an employee to telework if, in the judgment of the agency head, the employee is needed to respond to an emergency.

(c)

Rule of construction

Nothing in this chapter shall—

(1)

be considered to require any employee to telework; or

(2)

prevent an agency from permitting an employee to telework as part of a continuity of operations plan.

6503.

Implementation

(a)

Responsibilities of Agencies

The head of each agency shall ensure that—

(1)

appropriate training is provided to supervisors and managers, and to all employees who are authorized to telework, as directed by the Telework Managing Officer of such agency;

(2)

the training covers the information security guidelines issued by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under this section;

(3)

no distinction is made between teleworkers and nonteleworkers for purposes of—

(A)

periodic appraisals of job performance of employees,

(B)

training, rewarding, reassigning, promoting, reducing in grade, retaining, or removing employees,

(C)

work requirements, or

(D)

other acts involving managerial discretion;

(4)

in determining what constitutes diminished performance in the case of an employee who teleworks, the agency shall consult the performance management guidelines of the Office of Personnel Management; and

(5)

in the case of an agency which is named in paragraph (1) or (2) of section 901(b) of title 31, the agency incorporates telework in its continuity of operations plans and uses telework in response to emergencies.

(b)

Promulgation of Regulations by OPM

The Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall—

(1)

not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this chapter, in consultation with the Administrator of General Services, promulgate regulations necessary to carry out this chapter, except that such regulations shall not apply with respect to the Government Accountability Office;

(2)

provide advice, assistance, and any necessary training to agencies with respect to the requirements of this chapter, including with respect to—

(A)

questions of eligibility to telework, such as considerations relating to employee performance, and

(B)

making telework part of the agency's goals, including those of individual supervisors and managers; and

(3)

in consultation with the Administrator of General Services, maintain a central, publicly available telework website that includes—

(A)

any regulations relating to telework and any other information the Director considers appropriate,

(B)

an e-mail address which may be used to submit comments to the Director on agency telework programs or agreements, and

(C)

a copy of all reports issued under section 6505(a).

(c)

Security Guidelines

The Director of the Office of Management and Budget, in coordination with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, shall issue guidelines not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this chapter to ensure the adequacy of information and security protections for information and information systems used in, or otherwise affected by, teleworking. Such guidelines shall, at a minimum, include requirements necessary—

(1)

to control access to agency information and information systems;

(2)

to protect agency information (including personally identifiable information) and information systems;

(3)

to limit the introduction of vulnerabilities;

(4)

to protect information systems not under the control of the agency that are used for teleworking; and

(5)

to safeguard wireless and other telecommunications capabilities that are used for teleworking.

6504.

Telework Managing Officer

(a)

Designation and compensation

Each agency shall designate an officer, to be known as the Telework Managing Officer. The Telework Managing Officer of an agency shall be designated—

(1)

by the Chief Human Capital Officer of such agency; or

(2)

if the agency does not have a Chief Human Capital Officer, by the head of such agency.

(b)

Status Within Agency

The Telework Managing Officer of an agency shall be a senior official of the agency who has direct access to the head of the agency.

(c)

Limitations

An individual may not hold the position of Telework Managing Officer as a noncareer appointee (as defined in section 3132(a)(7)), and such position may not be considered or determined to be of a confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy advocating character.

(d)

Duties and responsibilities

Each Telework Managing Officer of an agency shall—

(1)

provide advice on teleworking to the head of such agency and to the Chief Human Capital Officer of such agency (if any);

(2)

serve as a resource on teleworking for supervisors, managers, and employees of such agency;

(3)

serve as the primary point of contact on telework matters for agency employees and (with respect to such agency) for Congress and other agencies;

(4)

work with senior management of the agency to develop and implement a plan to incorporate telework into the agency’s regular business strategies and its continuity of operations strategies, taking into consideration factors such as—

(A)

cost-effectiveness,

(B)

equipment,

(C)

training, and

(D)

data collection;

(5)

ensure that the agency’s telework policy is communicated effectively to employees;

(6)

ensure that electronic or written notification is provided to each employee of specific telework programs and the agency’s telework policy, including authorization criteria and application procedures;

(7)

develop and administer a tracking system for compliance with Governmentwide telework reporting requirements;

(8)

provide to the Director of the Office of Personnel Management and the Comptroller General such information as such individuals may require to prepare the reports required under section 6505, including the techniques used to verify and validate data on telework, except that this paragraph shall not apply with respect to the Government Accountability Office;

(9)

establish a system for receiving feedback from agency employees on the telework policy of the agency;

(10)

develop and implement a program to identify and remove barriers to telework and to maximize telework opportunities in the agency;

(11)

track and retain information on all denials of permission to telework for employees who are authorized to telework, and report such information on an annual basis to—

(A)

the Chief Human Capital Officer of such agency (or, if the agency does not have a Chief Human Capital Officer, the head of such agency), and

(B)

the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, for purposes of preparing the reports required under section 6505(a), except that this subparagraph shall not apply with respect to the Government Accountability Office;

(12)

ensure that employees are notified of grievance procedures available to them (if any) with respect to any disputes that relate to telework; and

(13)

perform such other duties and responsibilities relating to telework as the head of the agency may require.

(e)

Rule of Construction Regarding Status of Telework Managing Officer

Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit an individual who holds another office or position in an agency from serving as the Telework Managing Officer for the agency under this chapter.

6505.

Evaluating telework in agencies

(a)

Annual report by OPM

(1)

In general

The Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall submit to the Comptroller General and the appropriate committees of Congress a report evaluating the extent to which each agency is in compliance with this chapter with respect to the period covered by the report, and shall include in the report an evaluation of each of the following:

(A)

The degree of participation by employees of the agency in teleworking during the period. In the case of an agency which is an Executive department, the evaluation will include the degree of participation by employees of each component within the department, including—

(i)

the total number of employees in the agency;

(ii)

the number and percentage of such employees who are eligible to telework; and

(iii)

the number and percentage of such employees who do telework, broken down by the number and percentage who telework 3 or more days per week, one or two days per week, and less frequently than one day per week.

(B)

The method the agency uses to gather data on telework and the techniques used to verify and validate such data.

(C)

Whether the total number of employees who telework is at least 10% higher or lower than the number who teleworked during the previous reporting period and the reasons identified for any such change.

(D)

The agency’s goal for increasing the number of employees who telework in the next reporting period.

(E)

The extent to which the agency met the goal described in subparagraph (D) for its previous report, and, if the agency failed to meet the goal, the actions the agency plans to take to meet the goal for the next reporting period.

(F)

The best practices in agency telework programs.

(G)

In the case of an agency which is named in paragraph (1) or (2) of section 901(b) of title 31, the extent to which the agency incorporated telework in its continuity of operations plans and used telework in response to emergencies.

(2)

Minimum requirement for compliance

For purposes of the reports required under this subsection, the Director shall determine that an agency is in compliance with the requirements of this chapter if the Director finds that the agency—

(A)

reported the requested data accurately and in a timely manner; and

(B)

either met or exceeded the agency’s established telework goals, or provided explanations as to why the goals were not met as well as the steps the agency is taking to meet the goals.

(3)

Reporting period; timing

The Director shall submit a report under this subsection with respect to the first 1-year period for which the regulations promulgated by the Director under section 6503(b) are in effect and each of the 4 succeeding 1-year periods, and shall submit the report with respect to a period not later than 6 months after the last day of the period to which the report relates.

(4)

Exclusion of government accountability office

The Director shall not submit a report under this subsection with respect to the Government Accountability Office.

(b)

Reports by Comptroller General

(1)

Evaluations of reports by Director of OPM

Not later than 6 months after the Director submits a report under subsection (a), the Comptroller General shall review the report and submit a report to the appropriate committees of Congress. The report shall evaluate the compliance of the Office of Personnel Management and agencies with this chapter and address the overall progress of agencies in carrying out this chapter, and shall include such other information and recommendations as the Comptroller General considers appropriate.

(2)

Reports on government accountability office

The Comptroller General shall submit a report with respect to the Government Accountability Office in the same manner and in accordance with the same requirements applicable to a report submitted by the Director with respect to any other agency under subsection (a).

(c)

Appropriate Committees of Congress Defined

In this section, the term appropriate committees of Congress means—

(1)

the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives; and

(2)

the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate.

.

(b)

Technical and conforming amendments

(1)

The analysis for part III of title 5, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to chapter 63 the following:

65.Telework6501

.

(2)

Section 622 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2005, as contained in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005 (5 U.S.C. 6120 note) is amended by striking designate a Telework Coordinator to be and inserting designate a Telework Managing Officer or designate the Chief Human Capital Officer or other career employee to be.

3.

Policy Guidance

Not later than the expiration of the 120-day period which begins on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall issue policy guidance requiring each Executive agency (as such term is defined in section 105 of title 5, United States Code), when purchasing computer systems, to purchase computer systems that enable and support telework, unless the head of the agency determines that there is a mission-specific reason not to do so.

4.

Travel expense test programs

Section 5710 of title 5, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

5710.

Authority for travel expense test programs

(a)
(1)

Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, if the Administrator of General Services determines it to be in the interest of Government, the Administrator may approve the request of an agency to operate a test program under which the agency may pay through the proper disbursing official any necessary travel expenses of the employee in lieu of any payment otherwise authorized or required under this subchapter. Under an approved test program, an agency may provide an employee with the option to waive any payment authorized or required under this subchapter. An agency shall include in any request to the Administrator for approval of such a test program an analysis of the expected costs and benefits and a set of criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of the test program.

(2)

Any test program operated under this section shall be designed to enhance cost savings or other efficiencies that accrue to the Government.

(b)

The Administrator shall transmit a description of any test program approved or extended by the Administrator under this section to the appropriate committees of the Congress not later than 30 days before the program or extension takes effect.

(c)
(1)

An agency operating a test program approved under this section shall annually submit a report on the results of the program to date to the Administrator.

(2)

Not later than 3 months after the conclusion of a test program approved under this section, the agency operating the program shall submit a final report on the results of the program to the Administrator and the appropriate committees of Congress.

(d)

The Administrator may approve such number of test programs under this section as the Administrator considers appropriate, including test programs which are carried out on a government-wide basis, except that the number of test programs in operation at any time may not exceed 12.

(e)
(1)

The Administrator may not approve any test program under this section for an initial period of more than 2 years.

(2)

Upon a showing of enhanced cost savings, the Administrator may extend an approved test program for an additional period not to exceed 2 years.

(f)

In this section, the term appropriate committees of Congress means the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate.

(g)

The authority to conduct test programs under this section shall expire upon the expiration of the 6-year period which begins on the date of the enactment of the Telework Improvements Act of 2010.

.

5.

Telework research

(a)

Research by OPM on Telework

The Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall—

(1)

conduct studies on the utilization of telework by public and private sector entities that identify best practices and recommendations for the Federal government;

(2)

review the outcomes associated with an increase in telework, including the effects of telework on energy consumption, the environment, job creation and availability, urban transportation patterns, and the ability to anticipate the dispersal of work during periods of emergency; and

(3)

make any studies or reviews performed under this subsection available to the public.

(b)

Use of Contract to Carry Out Research

The Director of the Office of Personnel Management may carry out subsection (a) pursuant to a contract entered into by the Director using competitive procedures.

Amend the title so as to read: A bill to require the head of each executive agency to establish and implement a policy under which employees shall be authorized to telework, and for other purposes..

May 4, 2010

Reported with amendments, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed