Out of Control Policy Blog

Report: Govt work safe to do at home

    The security of the government's computer systems is not an impediment to expanding agencies' use of telework, says a report from a cybersecurity public policy advocacy group.

    The 12-page report urges agencies to allow employees to work from home using high-speed Internet connections and telephone lines.

    Fifteen years of pilot programs, legislative mandates, threats to cut funding and presidential directives have made little difference in the number of employees who are able to work away from the office, according to the report from the Arlington, Va.-based Cyber Security Industry Alliance.

When it comes to adopting new technology, government is a perennial foot-dragger. Telework is no exception:

    "[O]verall federal efforts are puny compared to the wide adoption of telework by the private sector," the report says. "Adoption of telework in the federal government began in 1990 and is on the upswing, but the level seriously lags private industry."

    According to a survey by the Dieringer Research Group of Milwaukee, Wis., 44.4 million Americans worked from home in 2004, up from 41.3 million in 2003, a 7.5 percent increase. About 14 percent of federal workers worked away from their main offices in 2002 and 2003, according to numbers from a May 2004 Government Accountability Office report.

Article here.

Keep in mind that it doesn't take much to be counted as a telecommuter in the Dieringer survey:

    According to the survey, the number of employed Americans who performed any kind of work from home, with a frequency range from as little as 1 day a year to full time ...

Im big on telecommuting--see here for instance--its just important to avoid overstating what's going on.

Ted Balaker is Producer


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