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Brittany Ballenstedt

Blogger Reporter Portrait for GovernmentExecutive.com 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 1831-1840 of 1848

Bill on retiree health insurance premiums re-emerges

February 16, 2007 Legislation introduced Friday in the House would allow retired military and civilian federal workers to pay their monthly health care premiums with pre-tax dollars. The bill (H.R. 1110), introduced by Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., also would enable active-duty military personnel to use what he called a pre-tax rebate to pay ...

Task force recommends measures to improve DHS culture

February 13, 2007 Homeland Security Department officials should stop using the phrase "human capital," among other steps, to achieve a "mission-focused culture" within DHS and its state, tribal, local and private sector partners, according to a recent task force report. The Culture Task Force, created in 2006 by the Homeland Security Advisory Council, ...

Storm forces Washington-area agencies to close early

February 13, 2007 The Office of Personnel Management announced Tuesday afternoon that agencies in the Washington area would close at 2 p.m. due to snow and icy conditions. "Road conditions are expected to deteriorate later this afternoon, and it is essential to get federal workers home before dark so transportation authorities can treat ...

Report: Agencies fail to track disabled reservists' complaints

February 12, 2007 Federal agencies are failing to track employment complaints filed by returning military reservists with disabilities, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office. Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Defense Department has mobilized more than 500,000 reservists. But "as demobilized reservists eventually return to their civilian life, ...

Measure seeks to permanently correct military pay inequity

February 9, 2007 A bill introduced this week in the Senate would allow soldiers to treat combat pay, which is not taxed, as income eligible for valuable tax credits. "When it comes to tax relief, our soldiers do not deserve to be penalized," said Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark. The bill (S. 516) is ...

Concerns mount over air traffic controller staffing levels

February 8, 2007 Concerns are mounting over a reported decrease in air traffic controller staffing levels at the Federal Aviation Administration, with the loss being attributed largely to a retirement wave. FAA's Administrator's Fact Book indicates that controller staffing levels were 17,070 in fiscal 2004, but fell to 16,645 the following year and ...

TSP officials see ‘huge growth’ in plan

February 7, 2007 Officials of the Thrift Savings Plan on Wednesday said the plan's already low cost to participants could drop even more in the future. Board officials also predicted that investments in the plan, which currently stand at $206 billion, could grow to $300 billion in three years. "Going forward, we must ...

President’s budget pushes electronic retirement system

February 6, 2007 About a year from now, federal employees may be able to begin accessing their retirement records online. With the release of President Bush's budget Monday, the Office of Personnel Management outlined its hopes to attain $15 million in fiscal 2008 for its Retirement Systems Modernization project. The funding would be ...

OPM launches online management competency tool

February 6, 2007 The Office of Personnel Management on Tuesday unveiled a Web-based instrument for assessing the skill levels of federal managers, supervisors, team leaders, and others in key areas of leadership and performance management. The launch comes exactly one week after OPM released the agency-specific results of its Federal Human Capital Survey ...

Bush seeks 3 percent federal pay raise for 2008

February 5, 2007 President Bush proposed a 3 percent pay raise for civilian federal employees and military personnel in his fiscal 2008 budget, released Monday morning. The proposal in the budget heeds recent calls by some House lawmakers for pay parity between members of the military and civilians and for a larger raise ...