A group of eight senators including all four from Virginia and Maryland asked the Trump administration in a March 19 letter to direct Federal departments and agencies to make publicly available their continuity of operations plans (COOP) in light of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Making those plans public, the senators said in their letter to the Offices of Management and Budget (OMB) and Personnel Management (OPM), would better inform citizens about available services, and Federal employees and contractors about how to deliver them.

“Making these plans transparent and readily available is key to ensuring that our constituents understand what services are continuing” during the pandemic, they said. “It is also important for Federal employees and contractors to understand and properly implement the required mitigation measures and for policymakers to ensure compliance with those measures,” the senators said.

Public transparency on agency planning is “critical to give citizens confidence in the government response during this difficult time and assure Federal employees and contractors that the government is prioritizing their health and well-being,” the senators said.

Signing the letter were Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., Tim Kaine, D-Va., Ben Cardin, D-Md., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Gary Peters, D-Mich., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, an Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.