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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Extending Benefits

January 3, 2008 A bipartisan group of lawmakers is hoping to put the federal government on par with many private sector companies by extending domestic partner benefits to federal employees. Under new legislation introduced in both houses of Congress on Dec. 19, 2007, a government employee and same-sex domestic partner would be eligible...

Freedom To Manage

January 1, 2008 Under the new Defense personnel system, the cost of liberty is high. When the Defense Department began moving its civilian workforce to a new personnel system almost two years ago, Pat Tamburrino knew managers would have their hands full. Many had little experience writing measurable job objectives or linking pay...

Groups question TSP interfund transfer restrictions

December 19, 2007 A federal Thrift Savings Plan advisory panel on Wednesday appeared divided as to whether a new plan to restrict the number of transfers participants can conduct each month is the best way to address the issue of frequent trading activity. The Employee Thrift Advisory Council, which consists of labor unions...

Senate approves stronger whistleblower protections

December 19, 2007 The Senate this week unanimously approved legislation that would strengthen protections for federal employees who disclose government waste, fraud or threats to public safety. The bill (S. 274), introduced by Sens. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, seeks to reform the 1989 Whistleblower Protection Act, which has been weakened...

Catch-all funding bill includes pay parity, personnel provisions

December 18, 2007 The $516 billion omnibus spending bill approved by the House late Monday includes not only a 3.5 percent pay increase for federal civilian employees, but other provisions related to contracting and efforts to overhaul agency personnel systems. The 3.5 percent figure is half a percent higher than the raise proposed...

TSP officials hear from participants on interfund restrictions

December 17, 2007 Thrift Savings Plan officials said Monday they were receiving both positive and negative feedback on a new proposal to limit the number of interfund transfers that participants can conduct each month. Officials overseeing the 401(k)-style plan said so far the TSP has received two letters in favor of and 10...

Lawmakers urge Pentagon to weigh alternatives to furloughs

December 13, 2007 The House majority leader said Wednesday that the Defense Department does not need to furlough federal employees in the midst of a budget showdown between Congress and the White House. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., announced a host of military budgeting options that would delay the need for furloughs at Defense until...

Performance Pay at VHA

December 13, 2007 Despite pushback from some employees, labor unions and lawmakers, many federal agencies still are intent on scrapping the General Schedule system and replacing it with one that ties pay more closely to performance. It's been well over two years since the Bush administration started floating the Working for America Act,...

Intelligence agencies to launch common performance appraisal system

December 11, 2007 The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has launched a new directive that will establish a common performance management system across the 16 intelligence agencies, the office's top personnel official said Tuesday. Intelligence agencies have until Oct. 1, 2008, to implement the system, which will rate all civilian employees...

Conferees move to scale back Pentagon personnel changes

December 7, 2007 House and Senate conferees on Thursday passed authorizing legislation that would restore the collective bargaining and appeal rights of employees under the Defense Department's new personnel system. The final version of the fiscal 2008 Defense authorization bill, which went to conference committee in October, includes language that would restore collective...

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