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.
Results 1661-1670 of 1848

Federal health premiums to rise slightly in 2008

September 13, 2007 Premiums for the federal employee health plan will rise by an average of 2.1 percent overall in 2008, a minimal increase from last year. The portion of that overall premium paid by the government will rise 1.7 percent while the part contributed by enrollees will grow 2.9 percent. For individual...

Top Dollar Talent

September 13, 2007 Agencies are increasingly using the incentives attached to the three R's that spell out the potential for extra earnings for federal employees -- recruitment, retention and relocation. Last year, 47 agencies paid more than $140 million in bonuses to recruit, retain and relocate employees, according to a new report by...

Union weighs solo Supreme Court challenge to Defense personnel system

September 12, 2007 Despite recent legal setbacks, a union opposing the Defense Department's new personnel system is considering a solo effort to take its case to the Supreme Court. The American Federation of Government Employees is weighing the pros and cons of appealing the case to the Supreme Court without the involvement of...

TSP to halt use of Social Security numbers as account IDs

September 10, 2007 In an effort to enhance security, the 3.8 million participants in the federal Thrift Savings Plan will no longer be identified by their Social Security numbers, officials for the retirement savings program announced Friday. Starting Oct. 1, TSP enrollees will begin using account numbers in place of Social Security numbers,...

Congress approves student loan forgiveness for public servants

September 7, 2007 Legislation that would provide student loan forgiveness for federal employees after 10 years of service will now move to President Bush's desk. The bill (H.R. 2669), sponsored by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., was agreed upon by a conference committee Wednesday and cleared by the House and Senate on Friday. The...

House panel questions complexity of veterans preference laws

September 7, 2007 Members of a House subcommittee on Thursday probed whether the complexity of laws giving veterans preference in federal employment is hindering compliance. "There are so many regulations and different parts of the mosaic that make [the law] very complex," said Meg Bartley, a senior staff attorney for the National Veterans...

Cost Control

September 6, 2007 Controlling escalating prescription drug costs may be a key step in lowering the overall cost of care under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. But disagreement swirls around the best way to curb prices. According to J. David Cox, national secretary-treasurer for the American Federation of Government Employees, there may...

Common stocks lead August TSP earnings

September 5, 2007 Common stocks in the Thrift Savings Plan made the strongest gains for August, while only international investments -- the leader for yearlong growth -- lost ground. The C Fund, which tracks Standard & Poor's 500 Index of stocks in the largest domestic companies, gained 1.54 percent last month. That increase...

Presidential candidates back stronger whistleblower protections

September 4, 2007 Nine presidential candidates have pledged support for pending legislation to enhance protections for federal employees who expose weaknesses or fraud in government programs, according to survey results released Monday by a whistleblower support group. Seven Democratic candidates and two Republicans said in response to a survey by the Washington-based National...

Hackers steal info on users of federal job site

August 30, 2007 Hackers have stolen the names and contact information of about 146,000 job seekers on the USAJOBS Web site, the Office of Personnel Management revealed Wednesday. Hackers gained access to subscribers' names, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers through the resume database maintained by, the technology provider for USAJOBS, OPM said....

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