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Eric Katz

Staff Correspondent Eric Katz joined Government Executive in the summer of 2012 after graduating from The George Washington University, where he studied journalism and political science. He has written for his college newspaper and an online political news website and worked in a public affairs office for the Navy’s Military Sealift Command. Most recently, he worked for Financial Times, where he reported on national politics.
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VA Chief Says He Does Fire Poor Performers -- Thousands of Them

May 15, 2014 The Veterans Affairs Department has forced out more than 6,000 employees over the last two years, agency Secretary Eric Shinseki told Congress on Thursday. Lawmakers on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee questioned the department’s accountability amid reports of long waits and preventable deaths at the agency’s medical facilities, challenging the ...

Advocacy Groups Offer VA Whistleblowers a New Outlet

May 15, 2014 Many of the developments that ignited the current Veterans Affairs Department firestorm came to light due to employees blowing the whistle on malfeasance. Two advocacy groups -- Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and the Project on Government Oversight -- have joined forces to provide a new avenue for whistleblowers ...

Three New Bills That Could Change Feds' Benefits

May 15, 2014 House lawmakers have been busy lately. Elections are coming up and representatives are looking for avenues to promote popular ideas they can then flout on the campaign trail. Here are some recent bills lower chamber members have pitched that affect federal employee benefits, both those in the executive and legislative ...

Rubio Pitches Giving All Americans Access to the TSP

May 13, 2014 All Americans should have access to the same retirement savings plan as federal employees, according to a Republican lawmaker. But a spokeswoman for the plan said opening it to the general public might not be in the best interest of current participants. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on Tuesday unveiled a ...

The Federal Government Doesn’t Need Any More Big Ideas

May 13, 2014 Federal managers should move away from promoting performance reforms as cost-saving initiatives and instead focus on indicators that can draw the excitement of Congress and the White House, a public-sector management expert said on Tuesday. The federal government has reached a point in which it does not want or need ...

Federal Leaders: Government Needs to Do a Better Job of Self-Promotion

May 12, 2014 One of federal government’s biggest flaws is a failure to market what it does well, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Monday. Government’s inability to promote itself and the work it does takes away from its ability to accomplish its mission, Vilsack said at Government Executive’s Excellence in Government conference in ...

Agencies Could Track Feds’ Speeding to Reduce Fuel Costs

May 9, 2014 The federal government can significantly reduce costs associated with its federal fleet by more carefully tracking when its employees are speeding and idling, according to a new report. The General Services Administration purchases about 50,000 vehicles annually, which it then leases to agencies for a fixed monthly rate plus a ...

USPS Loses $1.9 Billion in Second Quarter Despite Operating Profits

May 9, 2014 The U.S. Postal Service lost $1.9 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2014, which ended March 31, though the agency showed some signs of positive growth. USPS increased revenue $379 million over the same period last year, and continued to cut personnel and other costs. The Postal Service reduced ...

Around Government

May 9, 2014 Spidey’s Speedy Delivery The U.S. Postal Service spins a partnership with Spider-Man to pitch Priority Mail. By Eric Katz It’s the old Hollywood trope: While teetering on the edge of disaster, a superhero swoops in at the last possible moment to save the day. In this case, however, the thing ...

Why Congress Might Want to Enact Legislation to Protect LGBT Federal Employees

May 8, 2014 Discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender federal employees has decreased dramatically in recent years, according to a new report, but Congress must still enact legislation to ensure LGBT workers are granted the same protections under the law as their heterosexual counterparts. Just 2 percent of federal employees said they ...