USDA Announces Reopening Schedule

Senior leadership in the USDA will be back in their offices on February 28. Keith Gray, associate administrator of the Risk Management Agency made the announcement during the Crop Insurance Industry’s Annual Convention. The Hagstrom Report says mid-level staff will be expected to return by March 28, and all staff will be moved in by May 27. “But we aren’t coming back in the traditional sense,” Gray says. “We’re going to be hybrid, largely remote.” How much time RMA employees spend in the office will also depend on local conditions. The office has been 100 percent telework, but Gray says working that way hasn’t slowed them down. “In some cases, remote work has improved our response time,” Gray says. “We are going to hold everyone accountable.” Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says USDA will have a policy of maximum telework, which means they can work remotely eight out of every ten days.

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