Federal government posts notice on ‘phased transition’ back to work

Coronavirus

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

As various states begin to reopen, the federal government has taken a small but significant step in that direction with the agency that serves a human resources function for the rest of the agencies issuing a new notice on its website about a “phased transition.”

The Office of Personnel Management has updated its operating status for federal agencies on transitioning to normal working operations for government employees.

Thursday night, OPM replaced language about teleworking, now saying the federal government would “begin a phased transition to normal operations in line with the national guidelines to open up American again.”

The guidance went on to say that agencies would “make operating decisions based on state or locality of duty stations and other factors” and told employees to contact their supervisors with questions.

Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser, who has not yet made a decision on reopening the city, said her administration has been in touch with OPM during the crisis but did not appear aware of the new notice.

Bowser said that the District’s position is still that “the majority stay on telework as long as possible.”

In a an April letter, she told the agency, “We know that a continued federal telework policy will help save lives by allowing more of our region’s 360,000 federal employees to work from home.”

This new notice comes at a time when the Trump administration and President Donald Trump himself have been strongly encouraging the reopening of the economy.

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