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. Image: Shutterstock

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.

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.

Agencies Could Get $46B for Telework, Overtime, Hazard Pay for Coronavirus Response

Telework, Office Closings Increase but Safety Concerns Continue

OPM Director Abruptly Quits Amid Virus Response

With So Many Connecting Remotely, DHS Warns of Phishing