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U.S. Rep. Capito supports telecenter legislation

March 20, 2002|BY DAVE McMILLION

RANSON, W.Va. - U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito stopped at the BizTech center in Ranson Tuesday to show her support of a bill that would allow federal contractors to work at telecenters.

The BizTech telecenter at 401 S. Fairfax Blvd. is an office building where federal government and private sector workers can work at their jobs through the use of computers instead of commuting to nearby metropolitan cities.

The center has been growing in use, although some federal agencies have been slow to allow federal contractors to telecommute, said a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., who has been working on a bill to address the issue.

When federal agencies are considering bids from companies for contract work, sometimes they will "score" the bid lower if the company uses telecommuting facilities or disqualify them altogether, said Davis spokesman Dave Murin and other officials.

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Davis' bill would prohibit federal agencies from passing over private contractors because they want to telecommute, said Murin.

"You can kind of think of it as an anti-discrimination bill," Capito spokeswoman Anne Buresh said Tuesday.

Capito, R-W.Va., stopped at the BizTech center on her way to vote in favor of Davis' bill. The House of Representatives was expected to vote on the bill Tuesday but the vote was postponed until today, Murin said.

The bill is expected to pass Congress, said Murin and Buresh.

Capito said the bill is important because it encourages "the federal government to jump into the 21st century and use the technology that's available."

By working in telecenters, government workers can avoid tiring, time-consuming commutes, and the federal government can save money by depending less on expensive, inner-city office space.

Earlier in the day Tuesday, Capito spoke to students at Opequon Elementary School in Berkeley County, W.Va.

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