H.R. 4171 would extend the authority to conduct two telework programs for federal workers until December 31, 2020. One is for the entire federal workforce and the other is specifically for the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). Those programs permit up to 10 agencies to test innovative methods of reimbursing telework travel expenses, though only PTO currently uses that authority.
Using information from the General Services Administration (GSA) and PTO, CBO expects that only PTO would continue to actively use this authority. CBO estimates that any additional administrative costs to GSA under H.R. 4171 would be less than $500,000 annually; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds. However, if more agencies used this authority administrative costs would be greater. CBO also estimates that the net budgetary effect on PTO to implement the bill would be negligible because we expect PTO would adjust its fee collections to offset any change in operating costs, assuming that appropriation actions were consistent with the agency’s authority to collect fees.
H.R. 4171 could affect direct spending by agencies that are not funded though annual appropriations; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. CBO estimates, however, that any net increase in spending by those agencies would be negligible. Enacting H.R. 4171 would not affect revenues.
CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 4171 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
H.R. 4171 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.