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GAO Critical of 2012 Telework Report

In compliance with the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 [PL 111–292], the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviewed the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) 2012 Telework Report before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. In the presentation, the GAO highlighted that OPM had not been able to attain sufficient information on many reporting requirements because insufficient time had been allowed for implementation of all aspects of the Telework Act.  The lack of data concerning levels of participation and frequency of teleworkers was recognized as a key limitation in evaluating the impact of the Act, possibly resulting in underreporting of telework activity and inability to determine the cost savings of telework.  The GAO recommended that OPM provide assistance to agencies in setting telework goals, work to identify the cost savings of telework, and work with the CHCO Council to create a reliable data gathering method of telework participation. According to the Telework Act, OPM is also required to provide policy and policy guidance to federal agencies regarding implementation of telework as an accommodation for people with disabilities. However, the GAO review did not address the issue.  OPM’s report discusses telework as a reasonable accommodation but does not provide any quantitative data on federal employees with disabilities that telework.

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The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number 90RE5007-01-00. The opinions contained in this website are those of the Wireless RERC and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or NIDILRR.