OPM Posts Feds’ Back-to-Work Guidance

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The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on Sunday posted back-to-work guidance for Federal agencies and employees that were furloughed and/or required to work without pay during the partial government shutdown that began Dec. 22 and ended late Friday with congressional and White House approval of a continuing resolution to restart shuttered operations through Feb. 15.

“With enactment of this continuing resolution, the lapse in appropriations has ended and all furloughed federal employees are required to return to work on their next regularly scheduled work day,” OPM said.

“Each employee should refer to their own agency for communications and guidance on resumption of duties,” it said.

A notice posted by the Office of Management and Budget  (OMB)late Friday told agencies to “reopen offices in a prompt and orderly manner,” and said it appreciated agencies’ “cooperation and efforts during this difficult period.”

OMB also published a checklist for agencies to follow when re-opening and highlighted numerous priority issues including:

  • Development of communications plans for priority actions;
  • Establishment of “clear channels of communications necessary for employee support, issue resolution, and escalation of issues”;
  • Procedures for “accelerated payment of employees” and contacting payroll providers regarding deadlines and special processing requirements;
  • Consideration of “employee morale impacts and potential agency support plan,” provision of assistance resolving employee “financial implications,” and communication of employee assistance resources;
  • Alignment of physical building access protocols with restart plan including operational IT resources; and
  • On the contractor side, consideration of “queueing of invoices for excepted and not excepted work to accelerate payment activities,” identification of “high-priority contract actions,” and evaluation of “requests for equitable adjustments and other special circumstances.”

OPM also published agency-specific information for employees of the following agencies:

  • Department of Agriculture;
  • Department of Commerce;
  • Department of the Interior;
  • Department of Justice;
  • Department of State;
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration;
  • S. Agency for International Development;
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development; and
  • S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.

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