Official Summary of Telework Enhancement Act of 2010

This is the CRS summary of HR 1722 which as become the “Telework Enhancement Act of 2010”



Title: Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 

Sponsor: Rep Sarbanes, John P. [MD-3] (introduced 3/25/2009) Cosponsors (14)

Related Bills: H.RES.1509, H.RES.1721 

Latest Major Action: 11/18/2010 Resolving differences — House actions. Status: On motion that the House agree to the Senate amendment Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: 254 – 152 (Roll no. 578).

House Reports: 111-474


9/30/2010–Passed Senate amended. 

Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 – (Sec. 2) Requires the head of each executive agency to: (1) establish a policy under which eligible agency employees may be authorized to telework; (2) determine employee eligibility to participate in telework; and (3) notify all employees of their eligibility to telework.

Requires the telework policy to: (1) ensure that telework does not diminish employee performance or agency operations; (2) require a written agreement between an agency manager and an employee that outlines the specific work arrangement agreed to; (3) provide that an employee may not be authorized to telework if that employee’s performance does not comply with the terms of the agreement; (4) not apply to any agency employee whose official duties require, on a daily basis, direct handling of secure materials determined to be inappropriate for telework or on-site activity that cannot be handled remotely or at an alternate worksite; and (5) be incorporated as part of the agency’s continuity of operations plans.

Prohibits participation in telework by an employee who has been officially disciplined for being absent without permission for more than five days in any calendar year or for viewing, downloading, or exchanging pornography on a government computer or while performing official government duties.

Directs each agency head to ensure that: (1) an interactive telework training program is provided to eligible employees and their managers; (2) an employee has successfully completed that program before entering into a written telework agreement; (3) teleworkers and nonteleworkers are treated the same for purposes of performance appraisals, training, rewarding, reassigning, promotions, reducing in grade, retaining, and removing employees, work requirements, or other acts involving managerial discretion; and (4) the agency shall consult the performance management guidelines of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) when determining what constitutes diminished employee performance.

Requires each agency, in developing telework policies, to consult with OPM, which shall: (1) provide policy guidance; (2) assist each agency in establishing appropriate qualitative and quantitative measures and teleworking goals; and (3) consult with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the General Services Administration (GSA), and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) on telework policy in areas including continuation of operations, telework centers, technology, equipment, dependent care, and records management.

Requires the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to issue guidelines to ensure the adequacy of information and security protections for information and information systems used while teleworking.

Requires each agency to incorporate telework into its continuity of operations plan.

Directs: (1) OPM to maintain a central telework website that includes telework links, announcements, and guidance developed by OPM or submitted by FEMA and GSA; and (2) the Director of OMB to issue policy guidance requiring each agency, when purchasing computer systems, to purchase systems that enable and support telework, unless the agency head determines that there is a mission-specific reason not to do so.

Directs each agency to designate a Telework Managing Officer, who shall: (1) be devoted to policy development and implementation related to agency telework programs; (2) serve as an advisor for agency leadership, a resource for managers and employees, and a primary agency point of contact for OPM on telework matters; and (3) be a senior agency official who has direct access to the agency head.

Requires: (1) the Director of OPM to submit annual reports on the telework programs of each agency (excluding the General Accountability Office [GAO]) to specified congressional committees, the Comptroller General, and OMB; (2) the Comptroller General to submit annual reports a on GAO’s telework program to such committees; and (3) the Chief Human Capital Officer of each agency to report annually to the Chair and Vice Chair of the Chief Human Capital Officers Council on agency management efforts to promote telework.

(Sec. 3) Authorizes an agency, under a test program approved by the Administrator of General Services, to pay necessary travel expenses for employees participating in a telework program in lieu of otherwise authorized travel or transportation expenses. Requires: (1) an agency to include in any request for approval of such a test program an analysis of the expected costs and benefits and a set of criteria for evaluating program effectiveness; and (2) any such test program to be designed to enhance cost savings or other efficiencies for the government. Prohibits more than 10 test programs from being conducted simultaneously.

Requires the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to conduct such a test program, under which it may pay travel expenses of an employee for travel to and from a PTO worksite or provide an employee with the option to waive such payment if PTO approves the requested arrangement for reasons of employee convenience instead of an agency need.

Terminates the authority to conduct such test programs seven years after enactment of this Act.

(Sec. 4) Requires the Director of OPM to: (1) research 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, job creation and availability, urban transportation patterns, and the ability to anticipate the dispersal of work during periods of emergency; and (3) make findings available to the public.