OPM Updates Federal Closure Language, Encourages Use of Telework

The Office of Personnel Management has officially announced updates to the agency’s dismissal and closure procedures.

From now on, OPM will state “Federal offices are closed – emergency and telework-ready employees must follow their agency’s policies” to announce closures for the D.C. area. Previously, OPM would use the message “Federal offices are closed to the public,” creating confusion as to whether the offices were open to employees and whether employees needed to report to work.

“The intent of that messaging was that we passed along to people that the federal government is really never closed,” Dean Hunter, OPM’s deputy director of facilities, security and contracting, said at a press conference. “You’re always going to have emergency workers and teleworkers…With Hurricane Sandy there was some confusion with that, so we’re just modifying the language.”

To help with operational continuity during a closure, OPM is also encouraging agencies to better prepare their employees for telework.

“The government doesn’t stop because there is snow or ice or other inclement weather,” said Thomas Richards, OPM’s communication and public liaison director. “It’s really important that we encourage as many people to telework when the federal government buildings are closed.”

OPM has also updated its delayed openings policy and will now state two separate times: the first will announce when roads are safe to drive on and the second will state when federal buildings will reopen.

 

Posted in General News

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