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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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OPM terminates contract for electronic retirement calculator

October 16, 2008 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Office of Personnel Management on Thursday ended a contract with Hewitt Associates because it was not satisfied with the company's performance in creating, developing and maintaining an electronic retirement calculator. Comment on this article in The Forum.Ronald Flom, OPM's senior procurement executive, said during a press conference that the ...

OPM terminates contract for electronic retirement calculator

October 16, 2008 The Office of Personnel Management on Thursday ended a contract with Hewitt Associates because it was not satisfied with the company's performance in creating, developing and maintaining an electronic retirement calculator. Ronald Flom, OPM's senior procurement executive, said during a press conference that the agency would continue its RetireEZ modernization ...

CSRS retirees to receive 5.8 percent pension boost in 2009

October 16, 2008 Federal retirees in the Civil Service Retirement System will receive a 5.8 percent increase to their pension checks in 2009, the highest increase since 1982. The government unveiled next year's cost-of-living allowance on Thursday. It is based on the change in the Labor Department's Consumer Price Index for urban wage ...

FSA Perks

October 16, 2008 There are only 25 days until the annual open season for federal benefits elections begins, and it might be wise to use this time to evaluate whether a flexible spending account is right for you. FSAs allow you to make pretax contributions to a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-protected savings account ...

New directive will ease integration of intelligence agencies

October 3, 2008 The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has published a new directive that will standardize job descriptions across the 16 intelligence agencies and play a key role in establishing a common pay system, a top personnel official said this week. The Sept. 17 document establishes a communitywide policy for ...

Homeland Security scraps plans for personnel system

October 2, 2008 The Homeland Security Department on Wednesday announced it would put an end to its new personnel system because of a provision signed into law this week that eliminates funding for the plan. In a memo issued to DHS employees, Tom Cairns, the department's chief human capital officer, said a provision ...

Healthy Choices

October 2, 2008 As participants in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program brace for the biggest premium hikes since 2005, many will be weighing their out-of-pocket costs. Come Nov. 10, when open season begins, employees will have 269 plans to choose from. But before deciding whether to switch or stay put, be sure ...

Mood Manager

October 1, 2008 Homeland Security's new HR chief has his work cut out for him as morale hits bottom. Few federal agencies have been the brunt of more jokes for their low morale, at least recently, than the Homeland Security Department. But for Tom Cairns, the department's new chief human capital officer, the ...

Pentagon drops plans to convert union employees to NSPS

September 30, 2008 The Defense Department is dropping plans to convert employees represented by labor unions to its new personnel system, at least for now, the program's top personnel official said Monday. Brad Bunn, program executive officer for the National Security Personnel System, told Government Executive that the current Defense leadership has no ...

GAO, union reach interim bargaining agreement

September 29, 2008 The Government Accountability Office on Friday arrived at its first tentative collective bargaining agreement with its new union. The deal, subject to ratification by the entire bargaining unit, covers the operations of International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers Local 1921 and employee rights. Union officials and GAO managers decided ...