The Department of the Interior (DOI) has tripled its remote work numbers amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic as agencies were instructed to maximize telework.
“Our records show that three times as many employees are now teleworking than were previously,” a DOI spokesperson told MeriTalk. “Other employees, who cannot telework because of their mission critical functions, continue to fulfill their duties for the American people.”
The spokesperson did not clarify what types of roles DOI considers “mission critical,” but said that the agency is abiding by Office of Personnel Management, Office of Management and Budget, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local telework guidance.
The $2 trillion coronavirus relief package passed last month included millions for DOI telework, but the agency did not say exactly what upgrades they made to aid the transition. In March, DOI was granted $522 million for its Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Education departments, with direction to fund improved teleworking capabilities and IT.