Posted on October 3, 2019
HARTFORD—Deputy House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora on Thursday said state agencies must strictly monitor employees who telecommute while also enforcing program guidelines, and if an agency is unable to do so its telecommuting program must be suspended until proper controls are put in place.
Candelora, state representative for 86th District, reacted to a state auditors’ report on Charter Oak State College that includes concerns about telecommuting arrangements.
“Telecommuting is a nice idea, but it’s a concept that’s susceptible to abuse,” Candelora said. “Any benefit it offers goes out the window if programs aren’t properly monitored, and when that happens, state government—and taxpayers by extension—certainly loses.”
Conversation about telecommuting gained steam through the 2017 SEBAC agreement then-Gov. Malloy forged with state employees, and telecommuting could be used more widely through a deal Gov. Lamont secured with state employee unions recently. That’s why Candelora views details included in Thursday’s 2015 and 2016 audit report on Charter Oak as timely information.
Among the report’s comments about telecommuting is mention of a Charter Oak worker who moved to Florida for another full-time job yet continued to work for the college under a part-time arrangement that failed to meet the school’s telecommuting guidelines.
Candelora, who represents residents in Durham, Guilford, North Branford, and Wallingford, fears it’s an example of what could happen more often through the telecommuting deal between state employees and the governor.
“Telecommuting is something that has the potential to go sideways quickly if we don’t keep an eye on it, and we have to hold agencies and departments accountable for following guidelines—even if that means suspending their programs,” he said. “As more telecommuting takes flight, these audits will be increasingly critical. They provide real world scenarios that help highlight blindspots.”
Click here to review the auditors’ report.