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COVID-19 Update from FLEOA

March 20, 2020


Dear FLEOA Members:

The FLEOA team continues to monitor the COVID -19 situation to ensure your mission-critical roles are being prioritized and supported. FLEOA has been in continuous contact with the Administration, Congress, and relevant departments.

We have confirmed with the U.S. Department of Labor that any work-related exposures will be completely covered by the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs. The guidance is available here.

The Administration via the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has also released updated guidance due to the President's declaration of a national emergency pursuant to section 50l(b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.

Specifically, plans and operations shall accomplish the following; 
  • Reduce and re-prioritize non-mission-critical services to free up capacity for critical services; Identify and resolve supply challenges that may be limiting factors or bottlenecks; Identify a variety of transportation limitations that could impact service delivery;
  • Whenever possible and appropriate, leverage existing materials and content relating to authoritative information on COVID-19, share status of Federal actions on https://www.usa.gov/coronavirus, and provide communications in line with the National Response Framework;
  • Maximize telework across the nation for the Federal workforce (including mandatory telework, if necessary), while maintaining mission-critical workforce needs;
  • Assess professional services and labor contracts to extend telework flexibilities to contract workers wherever feasible;
  • Consider streamlining regulations and approval processes for critical services, including issuing general waivers policies and delegating decision-making where appropriate; and
  • Ensure agency policies and procedures restrict individuals infected with, or at higher risk for serious illness from, COVID-19 from accessing Federal facilities, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, as well as the Privacy Act of 1974, and other legal requirements. These agency policies must specifically include considerations not only for Federal employees, but also for contractors and visitors while balancing the needs to perform mission critical functions. Agencies shall review CDC, as well as U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) guidance below, as well as other appropriate resources, when developing and implementing new or modified policies and processes.
The full OMB guidance is available here.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) also released a factsheet with additional guidance relating to COVID-19 this morning which can be found here. Additionally, OPM has provided answers to frequently asked questions regarding evacuation payments and plans which can be accessed here.

Congress has also moved at "warp speed” to pass a funding package that supports a variety of areas the response is impacting. FLEOA has been in constant contact with the Hill to ensure federal law enforcement needs are being met. The second of what will likely be three pieces of legislation on COVID-19 provides the following: 

Department of Homeland Security
  • $565,000, Management Directorate, Operations and Support account for personal protective equipment needed for Management Directorate personnel, in response to coronavirus. The Department estimates that this funding would provide for six months' worth of such equipment.
  • $53M for personal protective equipment needed for TSA personnel, in response to coronavirus.
  • $3M, FPS, for personal protective equipment needed for FPS personnel, in response to coronavirus. The Department estimates that this funding would provide for six months' worth of such equipment.
  • $128M, USCG, for personal protective equipment needed for USCG personnel ($48 million), in response to coronavirus. The Department estimates that this funding would provide for six months' worth of such equipment. In addition, this request would provide funding for the mobilization of reservists ($81 million).
  • $566M, CBP, to fund up to nine migrant quarantine facilities along the Southwest border, including repurposed soft-sided facilities originally used for the migrant surge in 2019. Funding covers stand-up and operation/maintenance through the end of FY 2020. In addition, this request would fund medical support, transportation, and consumables related to the care of migrants in CBP custody along the southwest border and overtime costs associated with surging staff in response to COVID-19. The request would also fund $32 million in costs for personal protective equipment for CBP staff.
  • $2.5M, USSS, for personal protective equipment for United States Secret Service personnel, in response to coronavirus.
  • $249M, ICE, to convert four facilities into dedicated quarantine facilities along the Southwest border and provide for enhanced sanitation and janitorial services. In addition, the request would be used to provide temporary duty change and overtime costs associated with relocating international staff and deploying additional resources around the country, as needed. The request allows ICE to increase the number of aliens monitored with the Alternatives to Detention Program. This would allow ICE to minimize the risk of further exposure to detainees and prevent transmission within the detention system. With fewer commercial flight options, ICE charter aircraft are needed to continue repatriating aliens ordered removed and reduce the need for additional beds. The request would also provide for personal protection equipment for ICE staff.
  • $3.7M, FLETC, for personal protective equipment needed to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 to and between FLETC personnel and students.
Department of Interior
  • $32M, BLM, for cleanup of thousands of facilities, redeployment and overtime for law enforcement officers and emergency personnel, information and technology and telework needs, and quarantine costs (e.g., for employees who are mandatory occupants) in response to coronavirus.
  • $29M, USFWS, to cover cleaning and disinfecting of thousands of facilities at over 700 field stations, redeployment and overtime for staff and emergency personnel, information technology and telework support, and quarantine costs in response to coronavirus.
  • $32M, NPS, for cleanup of over 25,000 facilities at 419 units, redeployment and overtime for law enforcement officers and emergency personnel, information and technology and telework needs, and quarantine costs (e.g., for employees who are mandatory occupants) in response to coronavirus.
  • $37M, BIA, to clean and disinfect thousands of facilities and provide assistance to over 400 Tribes in response to coronavirus. This assistance would include redeployment and overtime for staff and emergency personnel, information technology to support telework, health service detailees, and quarantine costs including for inmates at 96 facilities.
  • $800,000, OIG, for various additional costs, including overtime, hazard pay, and investigations in response to coronavirus.
As our Nation’s response continues, we will continue our work to advocate for you to ensure the needs of federal law enforcement officers and agents are never forgotten.

Fraternally, 

Larry Cosme

National President
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association