Most federal government employees continue remote work, contradicting Biden pledge

A federal watchdog published a report this week showing there is not a single government agency that occupies even half of its office space, potentially costing taxpayers millions of dollars on wasted heating and cooling costs. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued the report, which Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, requested earlier this year over concerns about wasted taxpayer dollars, revealed the 24 top federal departments utilized between 7% and 49% of their office space with most agencies using less than 30%. In a statement to Fox News Digital, Ernst said the data revealed the Biden administration’s “green hypocrisy.”  “The Biden administration’s green hypocrisy continues to show,” Ernst told Fox News Digital. “At only 17% occupancy at the EPA and 25% at the Department of Energy, imagine all those fossil fuels being emitted to heat and cool a largely empty building. Doesn’t sound very green to me!” “All the climate czars in the Biden administration should agree with me — it’s time to forfeit the unused buildings heated and cooled on the taxpayer’s dime,” the Iowa Republican added. BIDEN’S BILLION-DOLLAR PLAN TO BUILD 500,000 EV CHARGERS HAS YET TO YIELD A SINGLE CHARGER Overall, the GAO reported that the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C., and the Social Security Administration in Baltimore were tied for the lowest occupancy rate of 7%.  The Agency for International Development, Agriculture Department, Education Department, Health and Human Services Department, Labor Department, Transportation Department, Veterans Affairs Department, General Affairs Administration, NASA, National Science Foundation and Office of Personnel Management all had occupancy rates of 25% or lower. The report was released roughly four months after Ernst requested an investigation into the agencies, expressing concern that government telework policies are negatively impacting delivery and response times of services.  HOUSE PANEL TO PROBE BIDEN ADMIN’S NEGOTIATIONS WITH ECO GROUPS TRYING TO TEAR DOWN KEY POWER SOURCE In response to Ernst’s concerns, the General Services Administration’s Office of Inspector General said it would consider an audit to examine whether it has appropriately evaluated its physical space needs and utilization. The agency then announced that it would downsize 3.5 million square feet of federal buildings, an action that would save taxpayers more than $1 billion. “Thousands of calls to the Department of Veterans Affairs from veterans seeking mental health services are going unanswered,” Ernst said in a Senate floor speech in early September. “Desperate travelers are waiting hours on the phone or in line hoping to speak with someone at the State Department about passport delays that are causing vacation cancelations.” “Our seniors are calling the Social Security Administration and are increasingly being greeted with busy messages, waiting longer to speak to a representative, or having their calls go unanswered altogether as the agency shifts towards remote work,” she continued. “Frustrated Americans are being put on hold while too many federal employees are phoning it in.” “Seventy-five percent or more of the office space at the headquarters of most of our federal agencies is not being used. The vacant offices beg the question: Where are all of the federal employees?” Ernst said. “Most of America is back to work, and it’s time for burrowed bureaucrats in Washington to answer the call of duty on behalf of taxpayers, veterans, seniors, and our great nation.” She noted that President Biden pledged in his 2022 State of the Union address that most federal workers would soon return to in-person work. “It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again,” Biden remarked at the time. “People working from home can feel safe to begin to return to the office. We’re doing that here in the federal government. The vast majority of federal workers will once again work in person.”
Go to Source

Scroll to Top