GSA Increases Focus On Telework
GSA # 10421
November 15, 2007
Contact: Jen Millikin, (202) 501-1231
WASHINGTON – Heeding Administrator Lurita Doan’s call to be a leader in federal government telework, U.S. General Service Administration (GSA) officials have begun making public appearances aimed at promoting the numerous benefits that telework would bring to the environment and the federal workforce.
At the same time, GSA has begun preliminary steps to meet Doan’s “Telework Challenge,” which calls for 50 percent of the agency’s eligible workforce to be teleworking by the end of the decade.
On November 6, Deputy Associate Administrator for Governmentwide Policy Stan Kaczmarczyk testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of Columbia, telling lawmakers, “Telework programs succeed when they have the basic tools necessary to support the program. Legislation that would remove barriers to federal telework is welcomed, and we look forward to working with Congress on appropriate telework legislation.”
Kaczmarczyk discussed the benefits of telework and GSA’s plans for the future of the agency’s telework program. Among the advantages he cited: reduced energy use, fewer greenhouse gas emissions, less traffic, less U.S. dependence on foreign oil, increased worker productivity and savings for American taxpayers.
On November 7, Josh Sawislak, Senior Advisor to the Administrator, discussed some of the technical challenges involved in reaching GSA’s target with IT industry leaders. “GSA plans to lead the way,” Sawislak said. “In the process, we hopefully will demonstrate to our agency clients how to balance the tricky issues of cost, security and employee productivity.” Sawislak also announced that GSA’s Chief Human Capital Officer has tasked agency managers and supervisors to look at each GSA position and determine if it is ‘telework eligible.’ “Our starting assumption is that positions are eligible unless the supervisors document why they are not,” Sawislak said. This “opt-out” approach is designed to jumpstart the effort to meet the Administrator’s Telework Challenge.
In September, GSA managers were challenged to draw up plans to enable 50 percent of eligible employees to telework one or more days per week by 2010. Currently 10 percent of eligible agency employees telework, compared to 4.2 percent for the overall federal workforce. Doan noted the benefits of telework warrant an aggressive internal campaign where GSA can lead by example.
“As we go forward, GSA welcomes and appreciates the support of federal lawmakers, agency colleagues and all other interested parties," Doan said. "Our goal of nurturing and growing federal telework requires leadership, strong policy mandates, clear guidelines and increased program support.”
In addition to working with the Office of Personnel Management to expand and improve federal teleworking, GSA is developing policy and guidance in areas such as alternative office and space savings, continuation of operations planning, the use of telework centers as an alternative to working at home, and the revision of laws to facilitate telework.
Additionally, GSA’s new flash video on Telework Centers was presented and can be found at gsa.gov/telework.
Founded in 1949, GSA serves as a centralized procurement and property management agency for the federal government. GSA manages more than one-fourth of the government’s total procurement dollars and influences the management of $500 billion in federal assets, including 8,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 205,000 vehicles. GSA helps preserve our past and define our future, as a steward of more than 425 historic properties, and as manager of USA.gov, the official portal to federal government information and services. GSA’s mission to provide superior workplaces, expert technology solutions, acquisition services, purchasing and eGov travel solutions and management policies, at best value, allows federal agencies to focus on their core missions.
Did You Know? GSA, in cooperation with the Office of Personnel Management and community partners, has established a network of 14 Telework Centers across the metropolitan area.