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Human Capital: Telework Programs Need Clear Goals and Reliable Data

GAO-08-261T Published: Nov 06, 2007. Publicly Released: Nov 06, 2007.
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Telework continues to receive attention within Congress and federal agencies as a human capital strategy that offers various flexibilities to both employers and employees. Increasingly recognized as an important means to achieving a number of federal goals, telework offers greater capability to continue operations during emergency events, as well as affording environmental, energy, and other benefits to society. This statement highlights some of GAO's prior work on federal telework programs, including key practices for successful implementation of telework initiatives, identified in a 2003 GAO report and a 2005 GAO analysis of telework program definitions and methods in five federal agencies. It also notes more recent work where agency officials cite their telework programs as yielding benefits. As GAO has previously recommended, Congress should determine ways to promote more consistent telework definitions and measures. In particular, Congress might want to have the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Chief Human Capital Officers Council develop definitions and measures that would allow for a more meaningful assessment of progress in agency telework programs.

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Data collectionData integrityEmployeesExecutive agenciesFederal agenciesFederal employeesHuman capitalProgram evaluationProgram managementRequirements definitionTelecommutingGovernment agency oversightProgram goals or objectives