“It is important that agencies provide federal employees with maximum flexibility to work from home while providing business-critical functions to serve the American people,” a spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget said. While White House guidelines last week encouraged agencies to “maximize remote work flexibilities” for authorized employees identified as “more at risk” of virus contamination, it on Sunday issued a separate memo calling for maximum flexibilities for all employees – regardless of risk – in the Washington area. D.C. These updated guidelines reported 85% of the federal workforce across the country and began to raise concerns. In addition, many employees still have to report to work every day, either because of the nature of the work or because they are directly involved in the coronavirus efforts, and they also have in mind that they are not receiving the proper equipment and instructions to protect them. Employees of the Transportation Security Administration, national institutes of health, the Department of Defense, and the U.S. Postal Service have contracted the virus. “Last week, we encouraged agencies across the country to maximize the flexibility of teleworking based on local health conditions,” Semmel said. “On Sunday, we expanded remote work for federal employees in Washington, D.C. based on local conditions. OMB also reminded the authorities of this power to extend teleworking in their specific regions on the basis of local conditions. Dozens of authorities across government will soon receive millions of dollars to improve their remote work capacity by increasing the network and purchasing software licenses. The Office of Personnel Management is receiving $12 million for the expansion of telecommuting, including the digitization of the normally paper-based retirement application and case management process. The General Administration of Services will receive close to $300 million, most of which will be spent on deep cleaning and improved testing in federal buildings, as well as providing unplanned space across government.

The need for remote work due to the spread of the novel coronavirus has led to several unexpected changes in cybersecurity policy and controls within the transportation security administration, according to the agency`s chief cybersecurity officer. “The half-measures taken so far are not enough because too many government employees are still working in full or almost full offices,” Reardon said. “The closure of buildings stops large assemblies, just as CDC recommends, allows for the continuation of telework and offers weather and safety leave – unlike personal leave – to those who have jobs that are not eligible for telework.” Some selected agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, have already introduced mandatory telecommuting….