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Brittany Ballenstedt

Blogger Reporter Portrait for GovernmentExecutive.com Brittany Ballenstedt writes Nextgov's Wired Workplace blog, which delves into the issues facing employees who work in the federal information technology sector. Before joining Nextgov, Brittany covered federal pay and benefits issues as a staff correspondent for Government Executive and served as an associate editor for National Journal's Technology Daily. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Mansfield University and originally hails from Pennsylvania. She currently lives near Travis Air Force Base, Calif., where her husband is stationed.
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Agencies send ‘hot lists’ of key issues to Obama review teams

November 19, 2008 Federal agencies have put together lists of top policy, management, legal and infrastructure issues for President-elect Barack Obama's agency review teams, a top presidential transition official said on Wednesday. Gail Lovelace, transition director at the General Services Administration, said at a breakfast sponsored by Government Executive that agencies have submitted ...

Merit board links employee engagement and productivity

November 18, 2008 Employees who are fully engaged tend to work in offices that achieve better program results, call in sick less often and stay with their agencies longer, according to a new report by the Merit Systems Protection Board. The report, which is based on results from a 2005 survey of nearly ...

Nonprofits urge Obama to focus on program performance

November 17, 2008 A coalition of good government groups this week will add its wish list to a growing pile of advice for President-elect Barack Obama and the 111th Congress, ranking performance measurement and improvement as top priorities. "Performance must be paramount if governing for excellence is to be attained and replicated," the ...

Health Plan Checkup

November 13, 2008 The annual open season for federal benefits elections started on Monday, and given the recent spike in premiums and the introduction of new coverage options, it may be wise to weigh alternatives to your current plan. During an online seminar hosted by Government Executive, Walton Francis, author of Consumer's Checkbook ...

Executives association reaches out to Obama administration

November 12, 2008 The Senior Executives Association on Wednesday released tips on how President-elect Barack Obama can win over high-level career employees. The paper, "A Message to the 44th President: Meeting Your Objectives Through Partnership With the Career Executive Service," gives the incoming administration advice on how to form a good relationship with ...

Rule change paves way for quicker promotions

November 11, 2008 The Office of Personnel Management recently issued a final rule that will allow some General Schedule employees to climb the career ladder faster. The rule, published in the Federal Register on Nov. 7, does away with the one-year time-in-grade requirement for promotions for employees at or above the GS-5 level. ...

Employee groups lay out priorities for next president, Congress

November 7, 2008 Federal employee advocates are optimistic that Democrats' gains in Tuesday's election will give them a wide opening to repeal Defense Department pay reforms and advance benefits legislation. Employee representatives acknowledged several victories since Democrats took control of Congress two years ago, but noted that the party's slim majority in the ...

Union hardens its stance on Pentagon personnel system

November 6, 2008 The American Federation of Government Employees said on Wednesday that it plans to seek arbitration or file a lawsuit against the Pentagon's pay-for-performance system. In a conference call with reporters, AFGE President John Gage said the union was weighing its options for challenging some of the final regulations issued in ...

Goals for Giving

November 6, 2008 Almost 50 years after President John F. Kennedy signed a 1961 executive order that gave rise to the largest charity drive in the world, the Combined Federal Campaign boasts more than $6 billion in donations. And despite today's economic challenges, officials are hoping for continued success in this year's campaign, ...

Obama win reignites push to organize airport screeners

November 5, 2008 Democrat Barack Obama's victory in the presidential election on Tuesday has spurred federal labor unions to renew efforts to organize employees at the Transportation Security Administration. Representatives of the American Federation of Government Employees and National Treasury Employees Union said that their top priority under the Obama administration will be ...