The Professional Services Council (PSC), a trade group representing the Federal contractor community, today called on the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue “clear and comprehensive government-wide guidance” to provide maximum telework flexibilities for contactors.

In a March 18 letter to OMB Acting Director Russell Vought, PSC said it welcomed OMB’s March 17 instruction for maximum telework flexibility for all eligible Federal employees, and said the contractor community needs the same.

“In a crisis like this, America depends on keeping the entire Federal government working well,” PSC said. “To keep the government functioning well, continued work by contractors supporting the Federal government is also essential for continuity of operations for every agency, every mission, and every activity. The American people depend on the government’s total blended workforce of Federal civilians, uniformed personnel, and contractors. To work well, the functions of this total workforce must be fully coordinated and fully integrated.”

“This requires prompt, comprehensive, and consistent guidance to the entire workforce,” PSC said.

“Contractors are being sent home without authority to telework and may soon be furloughed, despite clear statutory and Federal Acquisition Regulation authority for telework by contractors,” PSC said. “Guidance is needed to reinforce both the authority and the responsibility of contracting officers to provide maximum flexibilities for telework for contractors as the president has done for government civilian workers.”

“As presidential guidance expands and encourages telework, contract authorization for contractors to telework is not automatic,” said David Berteau, PSC’s chief executive officer.  “Contractors can support agency missions without interruption, but leaving telework approval up to individual contracting officers is inefficient, potentially creates confusion, and undermines America’s need to keep the government going.”

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.