The inspector general offices of almost all of the two dozen Cabinet departments and largest independent agencies are reviewing or will review agency compliance with safety policies as employees are recalled to their regular duty stations from telework.
Many of the reviews are being done at the request of the chair of the House government operations subcommittee, Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., while some said they already had planned to conduct such reviews. The IG at the SBA said it is not able to conduct such a review while the office at HUD had not responded as of a compilation released recently by Connolly.
The IGs said they are examining issues such as whether recalls are being handled according to stated policies, measures to mitigate risks to employees and members of the public, whether agencies are employing best practices as recommended by experts inside and outside the government, cleaning protocols, communications to employees, and more.
The responses come as chances are dimming further that Congress will enact—at least before the elections—a further pandemic relief bill with language such as a provision the House passed in May to require agencies to maintain maximum telework until certain standards are met. The Senate last week failed to advance even a much-reduced version of a relief bill.