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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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House Again Targets VA Managers Who 'Drag Their Feet and Don’t Do Their Jobs'

June 9, 2014 The House passed another bill on Monday to ease the firing of managers at the Veterans Affairs Department and restrict their bonuses. The chamber cleared unanimously by voice vote the Demanding Accountability for Veterans Act, which would require the VA secretary to identify who is responsible for implementing the solution ...

The Senate Has a Deal to Fix the VA. What’s Next?

June 6, 2014 A bipartisan pair of senators has struck a deal to ease the firing of Veterans Affairs Department senior executives, provide significant funding for the hiring of new medical personnel and advance other agency reforms, but the proposal has yet to win universal praise. Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Bernie Sanders, ...

Is $487K Too Little to Pay Federal Contractors?

June 5, 2014 The federal government has finalized a plan to expand compensation reimbursement caps to a large swath of its contracted employees, drawing the ire of its private industry partners. Congress approved the expansion in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, applying the ceiling on reimbursable pay to all Defense Department, General ...

A VA Fix That Goes Beyond Banning Bonuses

June 4, 2014 Lawmakers, advocates and bystanders alike have proclaimed myriad reasons to explain the Veterans Affairs Department’s delays in health care and ensuing cover up scandal. Poor management, lazy bureaucrats and a general complacency toward veterans have been popular pabulums voiced by the outraged-at-large. Another prevailing explanation is even simpler: money. VA ...

Lower-Ranking Feds Are Nine Times More Likely to Be Fired Than Senior Execs

June 3, 2014 Lower grade federal employees are fired at a significantly higher rate than their managers, according to a Government Executive analysis of federal data. General Schedule 1-10 employees are more than five times more likely than their GS managers to be fired for performance or discipline, and nearly nine times more ...

Democrats Also Want to Make It Easier to Fire VA Execs

June 2, 2014 A new bill from the Democratic leader on veterans issues would cut the red tape involved in firing senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department, but ensure due process protections. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats and chairs the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, will introduce The ...

VA Fired 2,247 People Last Year, But Only 2 Were Senior Executives

May 30, 2014 Lawmakers really want Veterans Affairs Department leaders to fire more employees. The House and a Senate committee have even passed a bill that would make it easier for the head of the department to sack employees in the Senior Executive Service by removing due process protections. Outgoing VA Secretary Eric ...

Is It Constitutional to Make VA Execs At-Will Employees?

May 29, 2014 A bill to ease the path to firing senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department could face constitutional challenges, according to legal experts familiar will federal employment law. The 2014 VA Management Accountability Act, which has cleared the House and a Senate committee, would allow the VA secretary to waive ...

Senator Wants to Make It Easier to Sue VA Employees, Take Their Money

May 28, 2014 Lawmakers have found all sorts of ways to penalize Veterans Affairs Department employees for the recent scandal involving extended waits for veterans seeking health care. The House passed a bill to make it easier to fire VA executives, a Senate committee cleared a measure to prohibit bonuses for some agency ...

Pentagon Will Review Its Health Care System to Avoid VA’s Mistakes

May 28, 2014 The Defense Department will conduct a comprehensive review of its military health system, aiming to identify areas where the department is not meeting a “nationally defined standard” for care. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the review after dismissing the commander of the Womack Army Medical Center on Tuesday, which followed ...