GAO: VA needs to better manage telework

The Veterans Benefits Administration is not meeting expectations with monitoring its telework employees’ hours, according to a Government Accountability Office report.

The report, released last week, found that Veterans Affairs “does not yet have key controls in place to ensure that employees' telework hours are recorded accurately in the time and attendance system.”

Recording of telework hours for each pay period became a requirement in March 2017 at the VA, but the agency has failed to update its agency-wide written telework policy and other guidance to reflect the change.

“[A]lthough VA began communicating the change to timekeepers and telework coordinators—officials who help manage the telework program in each office—it has not taken steps to inform all employees and supervisors throughout the agency,” the report notes.

Some VBA headquarters officials have even said they were not aware of the requirement.

Although the VBA has taken some steps to improve oversight of its telework program, GAO has recommended that the VA update all relevant policies and guidance to state that employees' telework hours be recorded in VA's time and attendance system, communicate to all VBA regional office employees that hours teleworked should be recorded in this system, and develop a process to monitor the quality of data and to ensure that employees' telework hours are recorded accurately and completely in VATAS, the VA's time and attendance system. 

See the full report here.

Reader comments

Tue, Dec 5, 2017

I love the ability to telework, mostly because it saves me 2 hours of commuting time each day and because it is quiet at home. I get more work done because people don't stop by my desk to chat and because I can concentrate rather than be distracted by my coworker's radio playing music all day. I am very conscientious about teleworking because it is such a privilege, but there are some who should have that privilege revoked.

Tue, Sep 12, 2017

Yes telework is overrated. I worked for government VA 30 plus years in management and couldn't get IT work orders completed because people were working from home. Also radiologist who were supposed to be reading x rays were taking their child to thepool.

Tue, Sep 12, 2017

All government employees need to go too job. Lets stop babying employees. No excuse you know when taking job you should have to go too work. Find someone to watch kids. We done this for years.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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