AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Eric Katz

Senior Correspondent Eric Katz writes about federal agency operations and management. His deep coverage of Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Postal Service has earned him frequent guest spots on national radio and television news programs. Eric joined Government Executive in the summer of 2012 and previously worked for The Financial Times. He is a graduate of The George Washington University.
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Feds ready East Coast for Hurricane Sandy

October 26, 2012 The Federal Emergency Management Agency is “on alert” for Hurricane Sandy and is preparing its resources for the storm’s landfall, FEMA’s director said in a conference call Friday. “We don’t have an exact point to focus on yet,” Craig Fugate said, “and this won’t be a point specific as much...

Fiscal 'cliff' might look more like a gradual, downward slope

October 25, 2012 A former budget chief in both the legislative and executive branches said Thursday the United States might not be headed for a fiscal “cliff” at all, because the effects of sequestration and tax cut expirations likely would be felt slowly over time. Jim Nussle, Office of Management and Budget director...

Some work-study vets wait weeks or months for VA paychecks

October 24, 2012 Many veterans participating in a work-study program with the Veterans Affairs Department while attending college have complained of late paychecks, according a report from the Associated Press. VA created the program for veterans who are enrolled as full-time or three-quarter-time students and seek additional income. The students work up to...

Issa subpoenas HHS documents

October 23, 2012 A top Republican lawmaker has subpoenaed documents related to a demonstration project at the Health and Human Services Department, claiming the program is an abuse of power being used to cover up the shortcomings of President Obama’s health care overhaul. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the House Oversight and Government Reform...

Conservatives are closing the gap with liberals in social media

October 22, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Young people and partisans use social media more than anyone else. Not exactly breaking news. What is perhaps more surprising in a new Pew survey is that conservatives are closing the gap with liberals in social media usage, as compared to 2008. Left-leaning Tweeters and Facebook users, however, are still...

Postal union claims USPS solvency within reach

October 22, 2012 A union representing U.S. Postal Service workers has said the agency’s financial difficulties are “manageable” and Congress is the only thing standing in the way of solvency. The National Association of Letter Carriers was responding to news that USPS recently hit its $15 billion borrowing limit. The union said the...

Federal pay losing ground compared to private sector, report finds

October 19, 2012 The pay gap between government employees and private-sector workers grew by about 8 percent this year in favor of private-sector workers, the Federal Salary Council announced Friday. FSC, which assesses the locality pay program annually, concluded federal employees earn 34.6 percent less pay on average than their private sector counterparts....

Postal Service overfunding pensions, report says

October 17, 2012 The U.S. Postal Service is overpaying into its Federal Employees Retirement System because its employees’ circumstances differ from that of typical federal workers, according to a new report. The audit, conducted by an actuarial firm contracted by the USPS inspector general, found that while the Office of Personnel Management assumed...

Senate candidate pledges reforms to federal procurement process

October 17, 2012 Republican George Allen, the former Virginia governor locked in a contentious battle to reclaim his old Senate seat, addressed a roundtable of defense contractor executives Tuesday to propose reforms to the federal procurement process. Allen, who is running against former Democratic governor Tim Kaine, suggested sweeping changes, ranging from shortening...

GAO denies CWT protest of governmentwide e-travel contract

October 15, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Government Accountability Office has rejected a contractor’s accusations of prejudice when the General Services Administration chose a competitor for a $1.3 billion contract to institute a new digital program for government travel. CWTSatoTravel, or CWT, launched a formal protest with GAO, claiming GSA used unfair evaluations and conducted misleading...