Federal cyber workforce needs telework flexibilities, OPM director says

Rob Shriver said during a House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing that barriers to telework would hinder the cybersecurity workforce.
OPM Director Rob Shriver testifies during a House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing on May 22, 2024, in Washington, D.C.

Amid a concerted push on Capitol Hill to get federal workers back to their offices, the government’s personnel chief this week made the case for continued remote work for one group of agency staffers. 

During a House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing Wednesday, Office of Personnel Management Director Rob Shriver responded to mostly Republican concerns about federal telework policies by citing the practice’s usefulness with the cybersecurity workforce in advancing agency missions. 

“If we were to require cybersecurity professionals to come into the office five days a week, I think we wouldn’t be able to recruit the kind of workforce that we need,” Shriver said. “I think agencies need to keep working here to make sure they’re getting it right, that those arrangements are driving good performance.”

Shriver’s comments come weeks after Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., introduced legislation that would require federal workers to spend 60% of their time in their offices. And a bill introduced last month from Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, would call on agencies to collect telework data and boost monitoring of how the practice impacts performance metrics. 


In his witness statement, Shriver pointed to OPM’s efforts to assist and support agencies in retaining and attracting cyber talent within the federal government. He also shared that the agency supports the Tech to Gov initiative and “is helping to connect aspiring tech talent with federal employment opportunities to bolster agency cyber and emerging tech programs.”

Those efforts follow White House moves to relax education requirements for some cybersecurity contracting jobs, shift to skill-based hiring and diversify the cybersecurity workforce.

Matt Bracken contributed to this story.

Caroline Nihill

Written by Caroline Nihill

Caroline Nihill is a reporter for FedScoop in Washington, D.C., covering federal IT. Her reporting has included the tracking of artificial intelligence governance from the White House and Congress, as well as modernization efforts across the federal government. Caroline was previously an editorial fellow for Scoop News Group, writing for FedScoop, StateScoop, CyberScoop, EdScoop and DefenseScoop. She earned her bachelor’s in media and journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill after transferring from the University of Mississippi.

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