A survey of government and private sector workers shows satisfaction with pay is significantly higher in the public sector.
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Privacy and civil protections offered in the bill are called "overkill."
Legislation would hold Homeland Security to the same rules as other major agencies.
There are several ways to combat favoritism in the workplace.
Approach would require lame-duck session after elections to finalize fiscal 2005 agency budgets.
Comprehensive proposal not widely supported by Congressional Women's Caucus, which was expected to spearhead passage of the bill.
Study shows almost half of all Pentagon contracts since 1998 were awarded without full and open competitions.