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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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New VA Chief Wants to Fire More Employees . . . Respectfully

August 15, 2014 Malfeasant Veterans Affairs Department employees will be held accountable, newly sworn-in Secretary Bob McDonald said on Thursday, but the process will take time and the employees will be treated with respect. When touring a VA facility in Memphis, McDonald told reporters he could not disclose any information on who or ...

It Just Got Easier to Lobby Federal Agencies

August 14, 2014 Many lobbyists will now be able to participate in federal government advisory boards and commissions, the Obama administration announced Wednesday. The Office of Management and Budget issued the revised guidance to largely roll back an executive action President Obama took in 2010. That memorandum prohibited all agency heads from appointing ...

How to Win a Furlough Appeal

August 14, 2014 Last summer, hundreds of thousands of federal employees were forced to take unpaid leave as agencies rushed to meet reduced spending caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act. Labor groups felt the mandatory furloughs were unfair and unnecessary, and they advised their members to appeal the decisions with the ...

Agency Chief Rebuffs Union Over Authority to More Quickly Fire Bad Employees

August 12, 2014 Misbehaving employees should be “held accountable” more quickly, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency wrote in a recent letter to a labor union, doubling down on her request for increased firing authority, which she initially pitched at a congressional hearing in June. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy drew the ire ...

Despite Revenue Gains, Postal Service Loses Another $2 Billion

August 11, 2014 The U.S. Postal Service lost $2 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2014, which ended June 30, though mail revenues actually grew $424 million over the same period last year. First-class and standard mail volume continued to decline, but an emergency rate increase implemented in January -- as well ...

The Most and Least Sustainable Agencies in Government

August 8, 2014 From hiring practices to foreign policy, President Obama repeatedly has said the U.S. government must lead by example. If any issue is the poster child for this mantra, it’s the environment. One of Obama’s earliest executive orders raised the bar for agencies to cut the amount of greenhouse gases they ...

Parents Need to Talk to Their Kids … About Federal Service

August 7, 2014 Fewer than one in 10 parents say their kids are interested in a career in federal government, according to a new survey. The poll, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs and commissioned by the National Treasury Employees Union, surveyed American adults with children between the ages of eight and 22. While ...

Federal Appeals Board Has Major Concerns With Firing Provisions in New VA Law

August 7, 2014 President Obama on Thursday signed a bill to overhaul the Veterans Affairs Department, including provisions to ease the firing of senior executives at the agency. While getting an agreement through Congress was certainly no walk in the park, the truly hard part must now begin: implementing the reforms. One major ...

Can You Accept That Gift? Take Our Quiz

August 6, 2014 It is widely agreed the federal workforce enjoys a relatively generous benefits package. It is one of the few sectors that still offers a defined-benefit retirement option, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program is considered a model of efficiency in employer-sponsored health care. There is one perk, however, federal ...

Gifts Quiz: The Answers

August 6, 2014 The Office of Government Ethics A federal employee cannot accept a gift that comes from a prohibited source or a gift that is offered because of the employee’s official positon. b. The definition includes “gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, forbearance and other item having monetary value.” c. $20. All ...