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GAO: OPM Should Clarify Guidance on Supporting Documentation for Telework Costs, Benefits

workforceThe Government Accountability Office has called on the Office of Personnel Management to clarify guidance for agencies to develop supporting data for the costs and advantages of the government’s telework program.

GAO said Monday sustained operations and reduced employee absences are among the benefits agencies get from telework programs and the costs include training, program managemen and information technology requirements.

For the report, GAO reviewed telecommuting initiatives at the Transportation Department, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., General Services Administration, Merit Systems Protection Board and the Agriculture.

The government watchdog said it found the agencies lack annual data to support the benefits or costs of their telework programs.

GAO noted that the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 “requires an annual assessment of agencies in meeting established outcome goals.”

OPM agreed to the government watchdog’s recommendations such as the inclusion of cost savings questions from previous surveys in the 2016 agency telework survey.

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