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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 to Congress: It’s Still Too Hard to Fire Bad Employees

May 14, 2015 Lawmakers grilled representatives from the Veterans Affairs Department and its health care partners on the underuse of the new law allowing certain veterans to receive private treatment on the government’s dime, while still managing to toss in some complaints on the department’s lack of firing. The House Veterans Affairs Committee ...

VA Put Vets at Risk by Spending Billions Unlawfully, Whistleblower Says

May 14, 2015 The Veterans Affairs Department unlawfully spent billions of dollars on procuring medical devices and supplies in recent years, according to a high-ranking whistleblower, leaving the department vulnerable to waste and putting veterans in harm’s way. Jan Frye, VA’s deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Acquisitions and Logistics, first brought ...

VA Officials Say They're Trying to Fire People, But It's Still Really Hard

May 13, 2015 Lawmakers grilled representatives from the Veterans Affairs Department and its health care partners on the underuse of the new law allowing certain veterans to receive private treatment on the government’s dime, while still managing to toss in some complaints on the department’s lack of firing. The House Veterans Affairs Committee ...

New Bill Would Give Thousands of Feds Collective Bargaining Rights

May 12, 2015 Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate would like to give doctors, nurses and other health providers at the Veterans Affairs Department collective bargaining rights, introducing a bill to allow them to negotiate compensation and staffing levels. Since 1991, VA’s medical professionals have been prohibited from bargaining over pay and ...

Does Congress Really Need a $17 Million Subsidy to Send Mail?

May 11, 2015 “Since colonial times,” begins a recent Congressional Research Service report, members of Congress have been entitled to communicate with their constituents using the U.S. Postal Service on the taxpayers’ dime. While the rules specifying who can take advantage of the practice known as “franking” and how they can go about ...

Examining Air Marshals' Drinking Habits Puts Them at Risk for Beheadings, Group Says

May 11, 2015 A federal employees group has issued a cease and desist demand to the Transportation Security Administration for potentially putting Federal Air Marshals in danger when conducting sobriety tests in foreign countries, though the service said there is no risk in the inquiries. The Federal Air Marshal Service instituted a policy ...

Holding ‘Bureaucrats Accountable,’ Pay Reform and Other Ideas From New GOP Presidential Candidates

May 8, 2015 Three new candidates joined the fray for the 2016 Republican nomination for president this week, and have already voiced some interesting ideas regarding the role of the federal government and its employees. Role of Government The most viable of the candidates is former Ark. Gov. Mike Huckabee, who previously ran ...

USPS Continues to Grow Revenue While Losing Money

May 8, 2015 For the sixth consecutive quarter, the U.S Postal Service turned an operational profit when accounting for its controllable costs. But the agency still lost a total of $1.5 billion from January through March due to outstanding liabilities. USPS was profitable by $313 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2015, ...

Lawmaker Encourages Americans to ‘Thank a Fed’

May 7, 2015 When it comes to improving the civil service, Congress generally waits until something breaks, and then makes a haphazard attempt to repair it. Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., is looking to change that dynamic by creating the “Thank a Fed” initiative. The long-time federal employee advocate created an email address this ...

Pentagon Workers Put Escorts and Casino Bets on DOD Charge Cards

May 7, 2015 CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated above that U.S. taxpayers paid for Pentagon employees' spending on casinos and escorts during trips to Atlantic City and Las Vegas. The federal government is not financially liable and taxpayer funds are not being used to pay for the misuse, according ...