Expressing Support for H.R. 1722, the Telework Improvements Act of 2010
I rise today in strong support of HR 1722, the “Telework Improvements Act of 2010.” This bill will modernize the federal government and establish our federal agencies as a model for telework.
During the month of February, when snowstorms shut down DC and other parts of the East coast, telework was used to keep our government operating at an optimum level. However, according to the Office of Personnel Management, only 56 percent of government agencies have formally introduced telework in their Continuity of Operations Plans. Teleworking benefits are economic, social, and environmental.
The Congressional Budget Office scored this legislation as deficit neutral, and telework produces savings from reduced office space as well as increased productivity during emergencies or inclement weather. H.R. 1722 would allow employees more flexibility and create a higher quality of life. Also, this legislation will reduce traffic congestion. Traffic congestion costs our nation billions of dollars and wastes fuel, time, and productivity.
In 2003, the 85 largest metropolitan areas experienced 3.7 billion vehicle hours of delay. This translates to 2.3 billion gallons of wasted fuel. Congestion is very prevalent in my district in New Jersey which is just across the river from New York City. However, it is also a problem that is growing problem in rural areas and small cities.
Transportation contributes nearly 28 percent of the greenhouse gases that are emitted in the United States and teleworking can act as a tool to lower this number. Teleworking improves our environment by cutting back on gas consumption and air pollution. In this increasingly competitive global economy, it is important to make use of tools such as telework that will maximize our country’s efficiency.
I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting passage of H.R. 1722.