Over the last five years or so, ever since the economy went south, state and local governments have been looking for ways to cut costs and make ends meet. Virtually everything has been cut: Cops, firefighters, school transportation and pretty much anything else you can name. While the localities have been tightening their belts it doesn’t really seem like the federal Government has even tried to make any cuts.
Now the federal government has come up with a cost cutting measure without cutting jobs in the form of a telecommuting measure for federal employees. You would have thought that this bill would have come down the pike a bit sooner considering corporate America figured it out years ago.
The bill that was passed by the House of Representatives and sent to President Obama for his signature, instructs each federal agency to come up with policies to promote telecommuting. Unbelievably, only five percent of the federal workforce is currently telecommuting, and the hopes are the bill will significantly increase that number.
“It creates a nimbleness on the part of the federal government with respect to how the workforce operates,” said Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., the lead sponsor. He and other supporters said it would increase productivity, improve morale, help the government recruit the best people, reduce traffic congestion and make the environment cleaner.
The bill passed the House with a 254-152 vote with Democrats overwhelmingly in favor and the Republicans overwhelmingly against. Wow, that’s a story in and of itself that the two parties are on opposite sides of the fence (sarcasm). Republicans complained about the $28 million implementation costs over five years, while Democrats say that it will save the government millions by reducing office space needs.
The question I have is what could possibly cost $28 million over 5 years to tell federal employees to work from home?It never ceases to amaze me how the government can take a seemingly simple cost cutting measure and turn it into a major expense, a $28 million dollar expense in this case.
I’ve decided it’s no longer worth trying to figure out the bureaucracy we call the United States government and have just come to the conclusion they will find a way to waste my tax dollars.