Federal Employees News Digest

Letter: Feds, report back!

A group of senators is pushing the Biden administration to get federal employees back into their offices and pre-pandemic jobsites, as soon as possible—alleging degraded service to businesses and the public being caused by telework and other COVID-control work procedures. 

“Businesses have now reopened, children and teachers have returned to in-person learning, and health care and public safety workers continue to show up for work,” states an open letter from the group, all of whom are Republicans. “Yet we continue to hear from constituents in our states about a lack of responsiveness from federal agencies.”

The lawmakers are insisting that problems with government services could be solved just by taking steps to get people back to their desks. 

“We understand the unique challenges that COVID-19 has presented, but Americans continue to face unprecedented delays in accessing their federal government,” the group says. “This is unacceptable, particularly since agency heads have had the ability to address productivity since June 2021, when the Biden Administration lifted its 25 percent cap on the number of federal employees allowed to report to worksites.”

Some agencies—for example, the Social Security Administration (SSA)—are reportedly taking steps toward returning sizable numbers of employees to their traditional worksites. However, the current administration remains committed to more telework for federal workers than did the Trump administration, citing the need to compete with the private sector for recruiting and retaining employees. 

2021 Digital Almanac

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