HJR 144: Joint Subcommittee to Study Telework
Opportunities for State and Private Sector Employees
November 15, 2006
The Joint Subcommittee to Study Telework Opportunities
for the Public and Private Sector held its final meeting of the 2006 Interim
on November 15, 2006, in Richmond. The two-year subcommittee will continue
to meet in the 2007 Interim to develop recommendations.
Jackson - Director, Office of Telework Promotion and Broadband Assistance
Ms. Jackson, the director of the newly created Office of Telework Promotion
and Broadband Assistance, introduced herself to the committee. She said
that the Office is currently working on developing awards for successful
telework programs. The Office is also trying to work with the Virginia
Information Technologies Agency (VITA) and other state agencies to identify
barriers to telework and identify policies and procedures that need to
Beaton - Chief Technology and Security Officer, Virginia Retirement System
Mr. Beaton, who is also a member of the Council on Technology Services
(COTS), provided an overview of the work of COTS as it relates to telework.
He chairs the COTS Mobile Workforce, whose primary mission is to identify
information that makes it easier for managers to pursue telework programs.
The workgroup is currently developing a paper that will describe telework
best practices. The work is not focused on creating best practices, but
on gathering information available from a variety of sources and sifting
through the information to provide relevant information to government
managers in an easy-to-use format. The paper will look at business rules,
technology enablers, and a measurement program. He said that the group
expects to complete the project in mid-February. Senator Devolites Davis
suggested that if the paper is completed while the 2007 General Assembly
is still convened, that a presentation of the paper be arranged for the
House Committee on Technology and Science and the Senate Committee on
General Laws and Technology.
Brown - Office of Commonwealth Preparedness
One of the study mandates directs the joint subcommittee to examine the
impact of increased telework opportunities on the continuity of government
operations in the event of a natural or manmade disaster. Mr. Brown provided
an overview of continuity of operation (COOP) planning in the Commonwealth.
The Office of Commonwealth
Preparedness was originally created by executive order, and was codified
by the 2006 General Assembly. The office provides oversight and review
of emergency management plans, and coordinates efforts between state agencies
and the Governor's cabinet. Preparedness is a component of each agency's
mission. The office has been working to focus efforts on COOP plans and
the need to coordinate a statewide strategy. IT solutions, such as telework,
will be an essential part of this strategy.
Planning and Infrastructure
Ward - Chief Information Security and Internal Audit Officer, VITA
Ms. Ward explained some of the issues unique to planning for a pandemic,
as opposed to other disasters. The duration of a pandemic would be in
the realm of months, not days or weeks like other events, and would likely
reduce the workforce by 30 to 40 percent. VITA convened a Pandemic Flu
Preparedness Committee in May of 2006 to address the IT concerns that
would relate to a pandemic. Telework is one aspect of the readiness plan.
VITA's goal, under such a circumstance, would be to maintain essential
Commonwealth functions. However, what is "essential" will vary
from agency to agency, and will change based on the duration of the event.
Once essential functions are identified, there would be a need to assess
the capacity needed to support telework on that scale. VITA is also working
with the Office of Commonwealth Preparedness on its Continuity of Operations
and Pandemic subcommittees.
Duball - Director, Service Management Organization, VITA
Mr. Duball briefed the joint subcommittee on the Commonwealth's networks
and the infrastructure necessary to support telework. Currently, VITA
runs about 85 separate networks -- a direct result of each agency creating
its own network prior to the creation of VITA. Because each network is
different, it is difficult to develop a single approach to managing the
infrastructure. VITA envisions a single, centrally managed network, or
"enterprise network," by 2009. This single network will serve
as a better foundation for a variety of telework solutions; however, in
the meantime, VITA is working with agencies to support telework.
The joint subcommittee will schedule its next meeting
after the 2007 Session of the General Assembly.
The Hon. Timothy
Patrick Cushing, and Amigo Wade, DLS Staff
of Legislative Services > Legislative
Record > 2006
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