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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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Reeling from Sequestration, Forest Service Fights Rim Fire

August 27, 2013 The U.S. Forest Service has taken on a large role in containing and suppressing the wildfire that has burned more than 179,000 acres in Northern California, despite running out of firefighting funds earlier in August. Part of the Agriculture Department, the Forest Service has deployed more than 500 personnel to ...

Suspended and Unlicensed VA Physicians Receive Pay Bonuses

August 23, 2013 Doctors working for the Veterans Affairs department received performance-based bonuses despite providing poor treatment, according to a new report, due to a lack of agencywide standards defining the prerequisites for the monetary awards. In fiscal 2011, about 80 percent of Veterans Health Administration providers -- physicians and dentists -- received ...

DoD Will Lay Off 6,000 Civilians if Sequestration Continues

August 23, 2013 The Defense Department is preparing to lay off more than 6,000 civilian employees starting in October, should sequestration cuts continue, as expected. The Pentagon will begin the paperwork necessary to implement the reductions in force by mid-September if Congress fails to enact an alternative to the reduced budget levels, according ...

Pentagon Planning to Lay Off Thousands of Civilians After September

August 23, 2013 The Defense Department is preparing to lay off more than 6,000 civilian employees starting in October, should sequestration cuts continue, as expected. The Pentagon will begin the paperwork necessary to implement the reductions in force by mid-September if Congress fails to enact an alternative to the reduced budget levels, according ...

Uncle Sam Wants You (to Work on Your Golf Game)!

August 22, 2013 Do you really want to serve your country, but worry it’ll cut down on your time on the links? At last, the perfect opportunity has presented itself. The U.S. Army has posted an opening for a “golf pro” in Zama, Japan. The Army has a post in city, known as ...

State Department Says Unionizing Its Foreign National Workers Would Threaten Security

August 22, 2013 The State Department has rejected an attempt to unionize foreign nationals working for the agency, according to a letter department officials sent a union. The International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers -- a union housed within the AFL-CIO -- reached out to the State Department about the possibility of ...

EPA Cancels Another Furlough Day

August 22, 2013 The Environmental Protection Agency has canceled a departmentwide furlough day scheduled for Aug. 30. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy made the announcement in a video sent to employees Wednesday. In canceling the furlough day, McCarthy cited the work of EPA budget officials to find savings required by sequestration through other means. ...

Federal Court Limits Appeal Rights for Feds in 'Sensitive' Positions

August 21, 2013 A federal court has ruled that federal employees in national security “sensitive” positions have no right to challenge their terminations or demotions with the Merit Systems Protection Board, a move federal employee and whistleblower advocates have decried as a blow to due process. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the ...

Postal Notes: Nail Polish Sets Off Nerve Gas Scare and Other News

August 21, 2013 Postal Notes is an occasional feature showcasing unusual occurrences in the world of the U.S. Postal Service. Not a Bomb, Just Makeup A “suspicious package” at a mail processing facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City turned out not to be as dangerous as originally suspected. ...

Prohibiting VA Senior Exec Bonuses for 5 Years Would Save $18 Million

August 20, 2013 Putting a five-year moratorium on all bonuses for senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department would save the federal government $18 million, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The provision was included as an attachment to the 2013 Putting Veterans Funding First Act to ensure VA is funded one year ...