The COVID-19 pandemic has driven Federal agencies to leap to maximum telework capacity on short notice. While many were able to kick telework into high gear in only a matter of days because of previous or ongoing IT modernization investments, the requirement to change fast and on the fly underscores the vital need for modernization – in the case of a pandemic or not. […]

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) – largely because of its broad, hands-on healthcare mission – is not the type of Federal agency that can transform to near 100 percent telework. But that didn’t stop the agency from more than tripling its telework capacity to meet the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, said agency CIO James Gfrerer during a May 28 AFCEA Bethesda webinar event.






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According to The Washington Post, 40 percent of Federal employees were set up for remote work before COVID-19. And, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported just four percent of state and local employees had telework capabilities. Hundreds of thousands of government workers across Federal, state, and local levels were suddenly in need of remote access.






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During the COVID-19 pandemic, Federal IT operations are providing a resilient fabric that enables accelerated delivery of vital services to citizens during an unprecedented public health crisis. As government IT operations reach their new steady-state and map the path to further modernization, MeriTalk is surfacing the untold stories – and lessons – of those efforts. In the latest installment of CIO Crossroads, we examine the Labor Department’s performance eight weeks into the fray.






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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, agencies like the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have made the telework transition much easier for their personnel because of cloud-based systems.






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General Services Administration GSA

The CIOs of the Agriculture (USDA) and Transportation (DoT) Departments said today that workforce productivity trends have been stable or improved since both agencies turned to large-scale telework in March to combat spread of COVID-19.






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Government Telework

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, just 40 percent of Federal and only 4 percent of State and Local government employees were authorized to telework. But since then, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is mandating that Federal agencies maximize telework across the nation, and many SLGs are doing the same. Embracing telework – and doing it right – is a government-wide priority. 






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Often taken for granted in the eight weeks since the coronavirus pandemic struck is one simple but vital truth: the linchpin holding together the Federal government’s ability to provide crucial services is the technology that ties the enterprise together. Federal IT has literally brought us together – as a government, and as a nation. As government IT operations achieve steady-state and look to the next chapter of digital modernization, MeriTalk is chronicling the untold stories – and lessons – of that effort. Today we check in with the General Services Administration’s Technology Transformation Services (TTS) operation…






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With most of quarantining and embracing the work-from-home lifestyle, we’re spending a lot more time with our furry friends. While we may miss seeing our colleagues in-person, we are enjoying extra quality time Fluffy and Fido.






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Pentagon Military Defense DoD

In accordance with recent White House initiatives, the Department of Defense (DoD) is developing plans for Washington, D.C.-area employees to return to the Pentagon and begin a “new normal,” Secretary Mark Esper said at a May 4 Brookings Institution webinar.






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Several members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs are criticizing the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for its lack of Senate briefings on the Federal workforce during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.






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Remote work isn’t a new thing for many organizations, but with pandemic-driven shelter-in-place orders and travel restrictions, it’s the new normal. For most, this experience is a mixed blessing.  Work-life and home-life are melding together, more time is being spent with family and furry-friends, and commutes are non-existent ­­– unless you count walking from bed to the home office.  But during work hours, instead of chatting around the water cooler at our leisure, we’re now being inundated with virtual meeting requests.






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With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing both Federal agencies and the private sector to make a rapid shift to telework, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) launched a dedicated telework product line.






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The Office of Management and Budget’s recent memo encouraging Federal agencies to maximize telework across the nation, has proven to cause some challenges for government workers making the shift, according to Kathleen Glow-Morgan, national transformational coach captain at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).






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