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                                                  Calendar No. 569

116th Congress}                                           { Report
                                 SENATE
  2d Session  }                                           { 116-276

======================================================================   

                    TELEWORK FOR U.S. INNOVATION ACT

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                                S. 4138

             TO AMEND TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE, TO MAKE
          PERMANENT THE AUTHORITY OF THE UNITED STATES PATENT
   AND TRADEMARK OFFICE TO CONDUCT A TELEWORK TRAVEL EXPENSES PROGRAM

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


                October 1, 2020.--Ordered to be printed                
                
                                 __________
                               

                    U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE                    
                            WASHINGTON : 2020                     
          
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                
               
        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                    RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin, Chairman
ROB PORTMAN, Ohio                    GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
RAND PAUL, Kentucky                  THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
JAMES LANKFORD, Oklahoma             MAGGIE HASSAN, New Hampshire
MITT ROMNEY, Utah                    KAMALA D. HARRIS, California
RICK SCOTT, Florida                  KYRSTEN SINEMA, Arizona
MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming             JACKY ROSEN, Nevada
JOSH HAWLEY, Missouri

                Gabrielle D'Adamo Singer, Staff Director
                   Joseph C. Folio III, Chief Counsel
       Patrick J. Bailey, Chief Counsel for Governmental Affairs
                       Clark A. Hedrick, Counsel
               David M. Weinberg, Minority Staff Director
               Zachary I. Schram, Minority Chief Counsel
             Marie E. Talarico, Minority Research Assistant
                     Laura W. Kilbride, Chief Clerk
                     
                     
                     
                                                  Calendar No. 569

116th Congress}                                           { Report
                                 SENATE
  2d Session  }                                           { 116-276

======================================================================                        
 
                    TELEWORK FOR U.S. INNOVATION ACT

                                _______
                                

                October 1, 2020.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Johnson, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 4138]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 4138), to amend 
title 5, United States Code, to make permanent the authority of 
the United States Patent and Trademark Office to conduct a 
telework travel expenses program, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that 
the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background and Need for the Legislation..........................1
III. Legislative History..............................................2
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................3
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................3
 VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................3
VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............4

                         I. Purpose and Summary

    S. 4138, the Telework for U.S. Innovation Act, removes the 
statutory expiration date for the U.S. Patent and Trademark 
Office's (PTO) telework travel expenses program and requires a 
permanent annual report to Congress.

              II. Background and the Need for Legislation

    In the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, Congress 
established a test program under which the PTO ``may pay any 
travel expenses of an employee for travel to and from a [PTO] 
worksite or provide an employee with the option to waive any 
payment authorized'' under the program under certain 
conditions.\1\ Pursuant to this authority, the PTO launched the 
Telework Enhancement Act Pilot Program (TEAPP) in February 
2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\5 U.S.C. Sec. 5711(f)(2), (f)(3).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TEAPP is a voluntary program for employees wherein, in 
exchange for increased workplace flexibility, TEAPP employees 
waive the right to receive reimbursement of travel expenses for 
a limited number of potential mandatory trips to the PTO each 
year. USPTO reported that in October 2019, 2,929 full-time 
employees were participating in the program.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Telework Enhancement Act Pilot Program, Annual Evaluation, 
FY2019, U.S. Patent and Trade Office, at 2 (2019) (on file with the 
Committee).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Recent PTO annual reports demonstrate the benefits enjoyed 
by the agency, amounting to more than $123 million in net 
savings in fiscal year (FY) 2019.\3\ The PTO reports that over 
a five-year period, from FYs 2015 through 2019, the attrition 
rate for participants was 1.1 percent lower than non-
teleworking patent examiners.\4\ The PTO calculates that this 
reduced attrition accounts for up to $23 million annually in 
retained production unit capacity and avoided training 
costs.\5\ The PTO also calculates that the agency increased 
production units, bringing in an additional $48.8 million in 
revenue in FY 2019, and a savings of $52 million in avoided 
real estate costs. Other benefits include savings from salary 
differentials, avoided travel expenses, and avoided transit 
subsidy costs.\6\ The value of the benefit has increased almost 
every year since the program began.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\See id. at 19.
    \4\Id. at 5.
    \5\Id. at 5-6.
    \6\Id. at 19.
    \7\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The PTO reports a total of approximately $1.9 million in 
costs associated with TEAPP, which do not significantly offset 
the benefits. For FY 2019, these costs included $453,123 in 
travel time, $998,859 in lost revenue due to travel time, 
$140,356 in trademarks travel costs, and $299,296 in added 
shipping costs.\8\ In sum, the approximately $125 million in 
total benefits far outweigh the $1.9 million in additional 
costs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    With no statutory change, the PTO will lose the authority 
to operate the TEAPP on December 31, 2020.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\5 U.S.C. Sec. 5711(g).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        III. Legislative History

    Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and Senator Kyrsten Sinema 
(D-AZ) introduced S. 4138, the Telework for U.S. Innovation 
Act, on July 1, 2020. Senator Christopher Coons (D-DE) later 
joined as a cosponsor. The bill was referred to the Committee 
on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
    The Committee considered S. 4138 at a business meeting on 
July 22, 2020. The bill was ordered reported favorably en bloc 
by voice vote without amendment. Senators Johnson, Portman, 
Paul, Lankford, Romney, Scott, Enzi, Hawley, Peters, Carper, 
Hassan, Harris, and Rosen were present.

        IV. Section-by-Section Analysis of the Bill, as Reported


Section 1. Short title

    This section established that the bill may be cited as the 
``Telework for U.S. Innovation Act.''

Section 2. Telework Travel Expenses Program of the United States Patent 
        and Trademark Office

    Subsection (a) strikes language establishing the program as 
a ``test'' and provides that the PTO may maintain the telework 
travel expenses program but adds a requirement for an annual 
report to Congress on the program, including its effectiveness 
and costs and benefits. Subsection (b) provides technical and 
conforming amendments.

                   V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this bill and determined 
that the bill will have no regulatory impact within the meaning 
of the rules. The Committee agrees with the Congressional 
Budget Office's statement that the bill contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs 
on state, local, or tribal governments.

             VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 22, 2020.
Hon. Ron, Johnson,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 4138, the Telework 
for U.S. Innovation Act.
            If you wish further details on this estimate, we 
            will be pleased to provide them. The CBO staff 
            contact is David Hughes.
            Sincerely,
                                         Phillip L. Swagel,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

    [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
    

    S. 4138 would permanently authorize the U.S. Patent and 
Trademark Office's (PTO) Telework Enhancement Act Pilot Program 
(TEAPP). Under current law, TEAPP, which expires on December 
31, 2020, enables about 3,000 PTO employees to waive 
reimbursement for travel expenses in exchange for the ability 
to live and work anywhere in the United States or Puerto Rico 
without routinely reporting to a specific jobsite.
    Using information from the PTO, CBO expects that the agency 
would continue most aspects of the telework program after 
December 31, 2020, though some employees could be required to 
travel to a specific jobsite for training. As a result, CBO 
expects that implementing the bill would decrease travel 
reimbursements the PTO would incur after the pilot program 
expires. Using information from the PTO, CBO estimates those 
decreased costs would be less than $500,000 over the 2021-2025 
period. Because the PTO is authorized to collect fees in an 
amount sufficient to offset its annual appropriation, CBO 
expects that the agency would adjust fee collections to match 
any decrease in operating costs. On that basis, CBO estimates 
that any change in net discretionary spending by the PTO would 
be negligible, assuming appropriation action consistent with 
that authority.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is David Hughes. 
The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Director of Budget Analysis.

       VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows: (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in brackets, new matter is 
printed in italic, and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE 5--GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION AND EMPLOYEES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART III--EMPLOYEES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 57--TRAVEL, TRANSPORTATION, AND SUBSISTENCE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Subchapter I--Travel and Subsistence; Mileage Allowances

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Table of sections
Sec.
5701. Definitions.
     * * * * * * *
[5711. Authority for telework travel expenses test programs.]
     * * * * * * *
5711. Authority for telework travel expenses programs.

SEC. 5711. AUTHORITY FOR TELEWORK TRAVEL EXPENSES [TEST] PROGRAMS.

    (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (f) * * *
          (1) In this section, the term appropriate `` 
        [committee] committees of Congress'' means--
                  (A) * * *
                  (B) the Committee on Oversight and 
                [Government] Reform of the House of 
                Representatives;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (2) The Patent and Trademark Office shall conduct a 
        [test] program under this [section, including the 
        provision of reports in accordance with subsection 
        (d)(1)] subsection.
          (3) * * *
          (4) * * *
                  (A) * * *
                  (B) the oversight committee shall develop and 
                maintain the operating procedures for the 
                program under this subsection to--

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (5) * * *
                  (A) The [test] program under this subsection 
                shall be designed to enhance cost savings or 
                other efficiencies that accrue to the 
                Government.
                  [(B) The Director of the Patent and Trademark 
                Office shall--
                          [(i) prepare an analysis of the 
                        expected costs and benefits and a set 
                        of criteria for evaluating the 
                        effectiveness of the program; and
                          [(ii) before the test program is 
                        implemented, submit the analysis and 
                        criteria to the Administrator of 
                        General Services and to the appropriate 
                        committees of Congress.]
                  (B) The Director of the Patent and Trademark 
                Office shall prepare and submit to the 
                appropriate committees of Congress an annual 
                report on the operation of the program under 
                this subsection, which shall include--
                          (i) the costs and benefits of the 
                        program; and 
                          (ii) an analysis of the effectiveness 
                        of the program, as determined under 
                        criteria developed by the Director.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (g) The authority to conduct test programs [under this 
section] subsection (b) shall expire on December 31, 2020.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                                  [all]