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Federal Telework: Better Guidance Could Help Agencies Calculate Benefits and Costs

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Citation Edit

Government Accountability Office, Federal Telework: Better Guidance Could Help Agencies Calculate Benefits and Costs (GAO-16-551) (July 15, 2016) (full-text).

Overview Edit

With over one million federal employees eligible for telework in 2013, federal agencies are fully engaged in incorporating telework as a standard human capital flexibility. The GAO was asked to review the benefits and costs associated with agency telework programs. This report (1) identifies the reported benefits and costs associated with federal agency telework programs and assesses the extent to which selected agencies have supporting data; and (2) identifies some of the key resources that federal agencies can use to help calculate benefits and costs associated with their telework programs.

The GAO selected six agencies — Department of Transportation (DOT), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), General Services Administration (GSA), Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) — based on criteria that included agency size and reported cost savings from telework.

The GAO recommends that the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) should include cost savings questions in future telework data calls and provide clarifying guidance on options for developing supporting data for benefits and costs.

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