HJR 144: Telework Opportunities
December 5, 2007
The Joint Subcommittee
Studying Telework Opportunities for the Public and Private Sector in Virginia
completed its two-year study at its December 5, 2007, meeting in Richmond.
The joint subcommittee made several recommendations relating to telework:
- Define telework
in the Code of Virginia as working remotely at least one day per week.
Currently, the Code defines telework as working remotely, but leaves
it up to each agency to determine a standard for teleworking. Thus,
in reviewing the adoption of teleworking at state agencies, there are
no common standards. In reporting the number of teleworkers at each
agencies, some agencies may use a standard of "occasionally"
working remotely, working remotely at least once a month, or working
remotely at least once a week. The definition will provide some consistency.
- Codify the Governor's
goal of having 20% of the eligible state workforce telecommuting by
January 1, 2010. Currently, the Code provides a goal of having 25% of
the eligible state workforce participating in alternative work schedules
by July 1, 2009. The joint subcommittee recognized that the 20% goal
would be a difficult goal to meet, especially if telecommuting is redefined
as one day per week.
- Formally codify
the Office of Telework and Broadband Assistance in the Governor's Office.
The Governor established this office through Executive Order 35 (2006).
The joint subcommittee felt that the role of this office was important,
and should be solidified through codification. However, in recognizing
that the need for such an "ombudsman" for telework should
diminish as telework becomes more widely adopted, the joint subcommittee
voted to put a 10-year sunset on the office. It was envisioned that
such legislation would be modeled on other agencies and positions statutorily
created in the Governor's Office, such as the Governor's Office for
Substance Abuse Prevention.
- When state agencies
implement a telework program and recognize savings, allow the agency
to keep a portion of the savings to use for other agency programs, as
an incentive to adopt a policy. On the other end of the spectrum, the
joint subcommittee also recommended establishing a monetary penalty
for not establishing a telework program (such as a reduction in the
next budget's appropriation to the agency), and to use such funds to
reward agencies that have successfully
implemented a program.
- Add adoption
of a telework program as one of the metrics reviewed on the executive
branch's management scorecard system.
Sara Wilson, director
of the Department of Human Resource Management, indicated that the management
scorecard was currently under review, and she assured the committee that
telework would be added and that legislation would not be necessary to
accomplish this goal.
- Support the efforts
to introduce legislation that would create a tax credit program for
private companies establishing telework programs.
and Mark Herring introduced such legislation in 2007, and Delegate Frederick
stated that they planned to reintroduce the legislation in 2008. The original
legislation established a cap on the program at $2 million; the joint
subcommittee recommended that the cap be established at $1 million in
light of the current budget outlooks. In addition, it was recommended
that a telework definition be included such that qualifying expenses and
projects must relate to persons teleworking at least one day per week.
It was also suggested that in pursuing the bills, the patrons seek out
savings in the budget to offset the cost of the potential new credit.
- Amend the Code
to allow members of a public body to have voting rights and their presence
count towards a quorum whether they are physically present or participating
via teleconference or video conference.
The Hon. Timothy
Patrick Cushing, Amigo Wade, DLS Staff
of Legislative Services > Legislative
Record > 2007
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