Fedweek

fedweek.com: omb guidance agencies called on to realign Washington DC, Mar 17 2020: The National Gallery of Art is reflected in the glass doors of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, and a sign is posted to inform people that the museum is closed for COVID-19 response. Agencies have been given the go ahead to realign operations and work units.

The White House has told agencies to begin realigning their missions away from non-critical functions and stopping all face-to-face contact to the “full extent of their legal authority and discretion,” in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

According to OMB memo M-20-16, agencies should change operations and services in particular where people congregate – with exceptions for the protection of public health and safety, including law enforcement and criminal-justice functions.

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Agencies further have been given the green light to realign individuals and work units into “higher priority activities.”

By Friday agencies should have in place policies and procedures that:

Reduce and re-prioritize non-mission-critical services;

Address potential supply chain or transportation bottlenecks;

Make use of authoritative information on COVID-19, share status of Federal actions on https://www.usa.gov/coronavirus, and provide communications in line with the National Response Framework;

Maximize telework for the federal workforce nationwide (including mandatory telework, if necessary), while maintaining mission-critical workforce needs;

Assess professional services and labor contracts to extend telework flexibilities to contract workers wherever feasible;

Consider streamlining regulations and approval processes for critical services;

Agencies also are to begin working on policies and procedures to restrict individuals infected with, or at higher risk for serious illness from, COVID-19 from accessing federal facilities.

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