Obama signs telework bill into law

Thursday - 12/9/2010, 2:42pm EST

By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

President Obama signed into a law today the bipartisan telework bill that enhances telework opportunities for federal employees.

"We're talking about bringing the government into the 21st century from a technology point of view and every other point of view," bill sponsor Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) told Federal News Radio last month after the House passed its version of the bill. The Senate had passed similar legislation in September.

Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), one of the bill sponsors, said the legislation will be a key in recruiting and retaining the "best and brightest workers."

According to Sarbanes' website, the legislation will:

  • Instruct OPM to issue government-wide telework guidelines and require each agency to develop a telework policy for their employees.
  • Designate a Telework Managing Officer in each agency to oversee telework.
  • Provide greater access to telework training and education and provide teleworks with greater protection against punitive treatment by supervisors and managers.
  • Require each agency to integrate telework into its Continuity of Operations Planning.
  • Require OPM to compile government-wide data on telework.
  • Require the Government Accountability Office to evaluate agency compliance.