Domestic Employees Teleworking Overseas

General Information

Domestic Employees Teleworking Overseas (DETOs) are overseas remote work arrangements that allow Federal Executive Branch employees to temporarily perform the work requirements and duties of their domestic Federal positions from approved overseas locations via DETO Agreements. Employees have no authorization to telework/work remotely from a foreign location without approval from HHS and the Department of State (DOS).

Sponsored DETO

An HHS employee who is the spouse or domestic partner of a sponsoring Federal Civil Service employee, Department of Defense employee, or uniformed service member assigned overseas. An HHS employee must be on the U.S. Government orders of a sponsoring employee assigned overseas. Sponsored DETOs are the only DETOs allowed at HHS.

Independent DETO

An HHS employee not included on orders of a U.S. Government sponsoring employee. Due to the expanded risks and costs of independent DETO arrangements, HHS does not allow independent DETO arrangements for its employees.

DETO Procedures and Guidance

DETO arrangements are rare in the Federal Government due to increased security concerns and costs to employing agencies. HHS will consider requests on a case-by-case basis. You should consult with the Office of Human Resources as early as possible in the process as DOS approval can take anywhere from six months to a year.

Before approval the employee must meet overseas training requirements and have proper documentation such as passports, visas, and work permits to perform work for the federal government overseas. A DETO may entail significant costs to the agency, the employee, or both, including security and administrative support costs. NIH must be prepared to address any problems with the arrangement, including situations when the employee or agency wants to terminate the DETO or the employee returns to the United States.

Upon approval of a DETO arrangement, the approved case must be forwarded to the OHR/Client Services Division to change the employee’s duty location to the overseas location. The employee will lose locality pay. DOS Standardized Regulations govern the availability of overseas allowances and differentials for civilian employees.

DOS policy requirements apply to all Federal Executive Branch agencies in addition to the requirements of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 and HHS and NIH telework policies

For questions related to DETOs, please contact the T5 Staffing and Accountability Team.