Sunday, September 17, 2006

Telecommuting for Soumu-sho

The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry (Soumu-sho) on Friday initiated a telecommuting program, the first in the government. They hope to allow up to 20 percent of all workers to telecommute by 2010.

The Daily Yomiuri article (which is apparently not online -- they don't put all content online, and are terrible about archiving it) says that "[w]orkers will be required to use designated computers that cannot record data in their memories, so that they will not be able to remove classified information from the ministry's premises. The ministry also said it would encode all communications." I'm not sure if this is vague because the original in Japanese was vague, or if the translation is bad, but I'd like to know a lot more before I agreed that they had covered all of the bases, especially given all of the incidents in the last couple of years of laptops with government information on them being lost or stolen.

Telecommuters will be allowed to work at home up to three days a week. They have to check in and out with their supervisor via phone or email when they start and end work, and go to and return from lunch.


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