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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OPM suspends portion of contract for electronic retirement system

May 29, 2008 The Office of Personnel Management has suspended a portion of a 10-year, $290 million contract awarded to Hewitt Associates to create a new electronic retirement system. OPM decided late Wednesday to suspend part of a contract with Hewitt, a human resources consulting company based in Lincolnshire, Ill., to develop the...

Pentagon issues regulations applying federal labor relations rules to pay system

May 27, 2008 The Defense Department has released proposed regulations that would require its controversial pay-for-performance system to operate under governmentwide labor relations rules. The draft regulations, published by Defense and the Office of Personnel Management in the Federal Register, call for modifications to the National Security Personnel System as mandated by the...

Pay Day

May 22, 2008 Under the House version of the fiscal 2009 defense authorization bill, which passed at the committee level last week, military members would receive a guaranteed pay raise of 0.5 percent above the Labor Department's Employment Cost Index from fiscal 2010 through fiscal 2013. The provision, if passed by Congress and...

OPM calls for end to pension penalty for rehired retirees

May 21, 2008 Allowing federal retirees to return to work without an offset to their pensions could help address many of the government's future workforce challenges, the Office of Personnel Management told a House subcommittee on Tuesday. Nancy Kichak, associate director of strategic human resources policy at OPM, told the House Oversight and...

Millennials express strong support for public service academy

May 20, 2008 A new poll conducted by SocialSphere Strategies in Cambridge, Mass., found that 57 percent of young Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 "likely" would consider applying to a public service academy, with 19 percent saying they would "very likely" do so. Among respondents, men, minorities and Southerners were...

Agencies invest more money in student loan repayments in 2007

May 16, 2008 Federal agencies provided more than $42 million in student loan repayment benefits to employees in 2007, according to a report released Thursday by the Office of Personnel Management. From fiscal 2006 to fiscal 2007, there was a 15 percent increase in the number of federal employees receiving student loan repayment...

Intelligence community to launch pay for performance system

May 15, 2008 The Office of the Director of National Intelligence will begin implementing a common pay-for-performance system across the 16 intelligence agencies in September, DNI Mike McConnell said at a briefing on Thursday. During the next year, 10 of the 16 intelligence agencies will be implementing the new system, known as the...

More federal executives are less satisfied with their pay

May 14, 2008 Senior executives across the federal government are significantly less satisfied currently with their pay than they were two years ago, according to survey results released Tuesday by the Office of Personnel Management. The survey, which sought to gauge Senior Executive Service opinions on pay for performance and executive development, found...

OPM announces plan to improve federal hiring

May 8, 2008 The Office of Personnel Management is launching a series of initiatives aimed at expediting the federal hiring process, streamlining job announcements for entry-level positions and modifying selection methods for entry into the Senior Executive Service. At a Thursday hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on the...

Dependent Clause

May 8, 2008 Democratic presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton has proposed opening the federal health program to uninsured Americans. While that plan is unlikely to raise premiums in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, most federal employees are not too keen on the idea. But the latest congressional proposal, which targets young adults...

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