GSA has announced the end of an authority for agencies to create—with GSA oversight—test programs of travel expenses for teleworkers, an authority created in 2010 that proved to be little used.
Under the authority in a major telework-related bill of that year, when submitting a test program proposal to GSA, agencies were directed to include an analysis of the expected cost and benefits and a set of criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of the program. Once approved, participating agencies were required to submit an annual report on the results of the test program, including overall costs and benefits.
However, in that time “Only one federal agency, the United States Patent and Trademark Office, ever requested and then implemented a telework travel test program under this authority,” the GSA said in a May 14 Federal Register notice.
The fiscal 2020 DoD authorization bill made that program permanent while rescinding the authority for any other such programs, it said in proposing to eliminate the pertinent section of the Federal Travel Regulation.