Brittany Ballenstedt

Blogger Reporter Portrait for 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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Hire Calling

September 1, 2008 The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has become a model of faster, smarter hiring. As interest in nuclear energy started to heat up in 2005, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission braced for change. The demand for electricity was increasing worldwide, and people were looking for alternatives to fossil fuels. A nuclear renaissance was...

Smarter Self-Assessments

August 28, 2008 If you're a federal employee operating under a pay-for-performance system, there is one thing that could make or break you when it comes to annual performance reviews and pay increases: how you write your self-assessment. That's according to Kathryn Troutman, president of The Résumé Place Inc., a federal hiring and...

EEOC issues guide for hiring, promoting disabled employees

August 27, 2008 The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Tuesday published a guide to help agencies identify opportunities to hire and promote individuals with disabilities. The online guide responds to frequently asked questions about hiring flexibilities and legal requirements. "The EEOC is doing everything it can to provide agencies with useful guidance on...

OPM authorizes higher pay for hard-to-fill jobs

August 26, 2008 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Office of Personnel Management issued final regulations on Tuesday to allow agencies more flexibility in setting pay for hard-to-fill positions. Comment on this article in The Forum.The regulations, published in the Federal Register, provide a regulatory framework for agencies to obtain permission to offer better pay for positions that...

OPM authorizes higher pay for hard-to-fill jobs

August 26, 2008 The Office of Personnel Management issued regulations on Tuesday to allow agencies more flexibility in setting pay for hard-to-fill positions. The final rules, published in the Federal Register, provide a regulatory framework for agencies to obtain permission to offer better pay for positions that require specific expertise in the scientific,...

OPM publishes final rules for dental, vision program

August 26, 2008 The Office of Personnel Management has issued final regulations to administer a 2004 law that established a dental and vision benefits program for federal employees. The regulations, published Tuesday in the Federal Register, made minor revisions to an interim version released in October 2007. OPM began offering dental and vision...

Defense to probe fairness of pay for performance system

August 22, 2008 The Defense Department is reviewing pay data for employees under its new performance-based pay system to determine whether decisions were fair and credible. Defense is examining 2007 data from the National Security Personnel System to see if there were significant pay disparities based on an employee's age, race or gender,...

Defense to test run foreign language corps

August 19, 2008 If you're a U.S. citizen who speaks fluent Marshallese, the Defense Department wants you. Robert Slater, director of the National Security Language Program at Defense, said last week that the department plans to launch a major recruiting drive this fall for volunteers fluent in certain foreign languages to serve the...

TSP assets safe if company that manages plan goes under

August 18, 2008 If the contractor responsible for managing Thrift Savings Plan went bankrupt, the plan's assets would be protected, officials overseeing the program said on Monday. At a monthly meeting of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, officials pointed to the results of a report released last week by Buchanan, Ingersoll and...

MSPB ruling could benefit vets who file employment claims

August 13, 2008 A recent decision by the Merit Systems Protection Board could help hundreds of veterans whose claims under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act were halted because of their involvement in a collective bargaining unit. In a July brief, MSPB called for a reversal of a decision issued in...

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