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 1721-1730 of 1848

Union files unfair labor practice charge against GAO chief

June 22, 2007 A federal labor union on Thursday filed an unfair labor practice charge against the head of the Government Accountability Office, claiming he has made inappropriate statements interfering with employees' rights to unionize. The charge, delivered to Comptroller General David M. Walker by the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers,...

State Department urged to beef up mental health support

June 21, 2007 The State Department should make debriefings mandatory for civilian employees returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, in an effort to head off potential post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health problems, members of a House subcommittee said Tuesday. At a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East...

Payband Balancing Act

June 21, 2007 Whether or not pay-for-performance systems can work effectively across an entity as large and varied as the federal government remains an open question. And it's also not clear whether federal employees -- many of whom have grown accustomed to nearly automatic pay raises each year -- would ever view such...

TSP board rejects divestiture proposals

June 19, 2007 The board that oversees the federal employee Thrift Savings Plan on Tuesday expressed strong opposition to legislative proposals that would require divestiture of companies that do business in countries supporting genocide and terror. At their monthly meeting, members of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board expressed concern over the precedent...

Auditors uncover fraud in federal benefit programs

June 18, 2007 Recent investigations into health insurance and prescription drug providers for federal employees have uncovered improper charges, illegal kickbacks and other cases of fraud, resulting in the recovery of more than $106 million for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. The Office of Personnel Management inspector general's semiannual report, which was...

Senators urge appropriators to boost SSA administrative funds

June 15, 2007 The Social Security Administration needs $430 million beyond President Bush's fiscal 2008 budget request, in order to reduce a significant backlog of disability claims, three senators said earlier this week. In a letter to leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Max Baucus,...

House blocks funding for DHS personnel reforms

June 15, 2007 The House passed a measure Friday that would block funding for the Homeland Security Department's new personnel system, following similar action in the Senate at the committee level on Thursday. The House-passed $37.4 billion fiscal 2008 DHS spending bill would eliminate funding for the department's personnel system, formerly known as...

Panel approves student loan forgiveness for public servants

June 14, 2007 A House panel on Wednesday approved major college aid legislation that would provide student loan forgiveness after 10 years for people who pursue careers in public service. The bill (H.R. 2669), sponsored by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., includes language that would make it easier for college graduates who have high...

Survivor Savings

June 14, 2007 There's little doubt that the Thrift Savings Plan is a highly valued and attractive investment program for federal employees. But should participants pass away, their spouses might not see the full benefits. Currently, a surviving spouse beneficiary must either accept the assets of the TSP account as a lump sum,...

Employee groups back automatic TSP enrollment, new default fund

June 12, 2007 A federal Thrift Savings Plan advisory panel decided Tuesday to back proposals for legislation allowing automatic employee enrollment in the plan and changing the default fund for indecisive investors. At a biannual meeting of the Employee Thrift Advisory Council, representatives from labor unions and other federal employee groups expressed support...

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