Republicans are accusing the Biden administration of withholding details about telecommuting numbers from federal staff because the White House prepares to finish the COVID-era distant work coverage.
In a letter Friday to all cupboard heads, Biden’s chief of workers Jeff Zients acknowledged that every one federal staff ought to return to the workplace this fall after years of working remotely.
“We are returning to personal work because it is critical to the well-being of our teams and will enable us to deliver better outcomes for the American people,” Zients reportedly wrote within the letter, including that it’s a “priority from the president.”
House Republicans wrote individually to the heads of the Biden bureaus on Friday, reiterating their demand for info on precisely what number of federal staff proceed to work at home three years after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. They say they’ve been held again by the administration up to now.
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., and Representatives Pete Sessions, R-Texas, and Lauren Boebert, R-Colo.
House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer has written to federal businesses asking for info on what number of staff are telecommuting
“One of two options is currently playing out: either federal agencies are withholding information from Congress, or federal agencies are not keeping track of telecommuting and telecommuting policies as required by law. Both possibilities are very concerning,” say Comer, Sessions and Boebert.
They threatened “mandatory action” if the administration didn’t present the requested info. This will be accomplished within the type of official summonses.
The Republicans opened their first investigation into the federal teleworking coverage of the Biden administration in May.
They have a look at the occupancy price of their Washington, DC places of work – and as a touch to preserve sources, ask if they’ve any plans to regulate their “real estate footprint” based mostly on present plans.
The letter references DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s demand in her inaugural deal with this 12 months for “decisive action” by the White House to “get most federal employees back to office” or have a look at the federal government’s actual property choices within the metropolis.
Comer cited reviews that solely a 3rd of federal staff have returned to the workplace because the pandemic started.
In February, the House handed the SHOWUP invoice, which goals to revive pre-pandemic ranges of telecommuting.
In the Senate, Senator Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., launched a companion invoice to the SHOWUP Act.
She mentioned, “It’s illogical that VA employees can work from a hot tub when organizations across the country have reopened safely.”
The effort to pressure extra details about the schemes just isn’t new. Republican Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wis., despatched comparable letters in 2021.
The Biden administration formally ended the COVID-19 emergency in May.
The White House mentioned ending the federal telecommuting coverage is a “President’s priority.”
Republicans are threatening “mandatory action” if the administration doesn’t present the requested info
Republicans slammed Kiran Ahuja, director of Office Personnel Management, at a March listening to on federal telecommuting insurance policies — at a time when businesses are going through retirement and retention points.
“While COVID is no longer the driver of our workforce decisions, employers have updated tools and knowledge about managing employees in hybrid work environments and the benefits to their customers,” she mentioned.
Ahuja mentioned the coverage has had a “positive impact on workplace flexibility in areas such as productivity, engagement and diversification of the talent pool.”
Without explicitly saying that staff are slacking, the letter asks company heads to “describe the management protocols your agency has implemented to ensure that employees adhere to the terms of a telecommuting agreement or otherwise fulfill their official duties.”