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Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was a sponsoring participant in the International Telework Association and Council's (ITAC) eleventh annual telework conference recently held in Silver Spring, Maryland. The conference brought together telework coordinators from Fortune 1000 companies and the federal government who select the products and services that support their organizations' teleworkers.
"OPM Director Kay Coles James is a strong proponent of telework and continues to encourage agencies to incorporate it as a primary component in their emergency planning and preparedness efforts," stated Ronald P. Sanders, OPM's associate director for strategic human resources policy. "It is crucial agencies be aware of the significant role telework plays in their continuity of operations."
OPM has been a leader in telework efforts governmentwide. Recently, OPM conducted extensive telework training seminars for federal agencies, including a day-long training conference for telework coordinators and human relations officials that included experiential training with a noted telework expert, policy and technology briefings by OPM staff, intensive sessions with a variety of experts from both the public and private sectors, and special sessions for agencies whose telework participation rates were under two percent.
"Continuity of operations plans dictate agencies be capable of conducting the business of government from remote locations in the event of an emergency," said Sanders. "We are here today to give you examples of how we are accomplishing this."
OPM also introduced its telework tool kits, which provide federal telework coordinators with professional promotional and informational materials on effectively utilizing telework in their agencies.
Sanders also referenced OPM's cooperative relationship with the General Services Administration (GSA), OPM's telework partner. Perhaps the most visible indication of the agency's efforts to help agencies implement telework is the information from the telework website OPM maintains in collaboration with GSA, www.telework.gov, that shows the range of information, assistance, and resources available to agencies including OPM's electronic manual for managers, supervisors, and telework coordinators. The two agencies consult almost daily, and last October, signed a Memorandum of Understanding that has helped clarify the duties and responsibilities of each.
ITAC is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the growth and success of work independent of location. ITAC sponsors Telework America and other research, holds educational events, distributes publications, disseminates information about telework, and assists businesses and the public to optimize the advantages of working remotely.
Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.