Release: Connolly, Wolf, Sarbanes Telework Bill passes House

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Washington, DC, July 20, 2010 | comments
Legislation sponsored by Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), John Sarbanes (D-MD), and Frank Wolf (R-VA) to jumpstart the federal government's telework program passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday with broad bipartisan support. Read More.
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Legislation sponsored by Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), John Sarbanes (D-MD), and Frank Wolf (R-VA) to jumpstart the federal government’s telework program passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday with broad bipartisan support. 

“There is no workforce on the planet that lends itself better to Telework, yet the federal government lags behind the private sector and local governments in implementing this common sense program.  This legislation will change that and prepare the federal government for the future,” Connolly said.

“In the absence of state funding to pay for desperately-needed transportation improvements in Northern Virginia, this legislation is the best alternative to help the hard-pressed commuters of our region because it has the potential to dramatically-reduce the number of cars on our roads,” Connolly said.

“Telework is also critical to the security of the National Capital Region,” he said on the floor.

Calling the Telework Improvement Act (H.R. 1722) “an extraordinarily important piece of legislation,” Connolly said the legislation meets several critical policy goals including: reducing traffic congestion and associated air pollution from vehicle emissions, particularly in the Washington metropolitan area; lessening dependence on foreign oil; ensuring the federal government can recruit and retain highly-qualified employees at a time when 48 percent of the federal workforce is eligible to retire in the next decade; and improving federal agency’s Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP) to cope with natural disasters, terrorist incidents, and other emergency situations.

“We can get people out of their cars and increase productivity at the same time with a robust federal telework program,” Connolly said.  “We saw the benefits earlier this year during the back-to-back snowstorms when federal workers who teleworked while the federal government shut down for four-and-a-half days reduced the cost of lost productivity by $30 million a day.”

The legislation expands telework in the federal government, requires every federal agency to designate senior-level employees as Telework Managing Officers to implement telework, makes telework a central element of federal agencies’ COOP to cope with a natural or manmade emergency, and requires a study to gather data on telework’s benefits to insure it is meeting expectations.
 

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