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Bye-Bye Barnhart

March 1, 2007 SSA commissioner grudgingly leaves behind the agency she loves. Jo Anne Barnhart cried in her office the week before her term as commissioner of the Social Security Administration timed out in late January. Why the emotion? It was the thought of leaving the agency's 65,000 employees, she says. "This agency...

Budgeting Benefits

March 1, 2007 Congressional number crunchers have released their most recent ideas for decreasing the country's deficit. Reducing benefits for federal employees and retirees, not surprisingly, is on the list. Many of the ideas from the Congressional Budget Office's February 2007 Budget Options book are recycled, and haven't made it anywhere near being...

Best and Worst Rewards: Share Your Stories

February 23, 2007 Starting today, Government Executive is hosting a mini-blog filled with readers' ideas on the subject of rewards for employees. We want to know how you've managed to reward your best employees during tight budget times when big bonuses may not be an option. And we'd like to hear about interesting...

Highest Honor

February 21, 2007 White House Chief Usher Gary Walters retired from government this month with some bling in hand: an inscribed gold medal on a blue and white ribbon. The medal is the President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service, the highest honor for a career federal employee. President Bush bestowed the award...

Exit Strategy

February 15, 2007 Federal employees have an exit strategy. More than half -- 53 percent -- plan to retire by age 62. That's more than double the 24 percent of employees in the general workforce who are counting on retiring by then. Younger out the door means longer in retirement. A full 38...

Off With the Offsets

February 8, 2007 The long-standing campaign to repeal two old laws that cut Social Security benefits for federal retirees began anew this week. Reps. Howard Berman, D-Calif., Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, and Buck McKeon, R-Calif., revived the fight with a press conference on Capitol Hill Tuesday, bemoaning the 1977 Government Pension Offset and the...

Freshman Missouri senator sets out to tackle government waste

February 2, 2007 The balloons from her victory party had barely been cleared before Missouri's Democratic senator-elect, Claire McCaskill, started talking about government audits. "I've been able to arm-wrestle some bureaucracies," McCaskill told the Kansas City Star on Nov. 9. "I know a lot about federal programs. I know how badly they behave....

Union Rally

February 1, 2007 Ron Ault formed the coalition powering organized labor's unexpected resurgence. Ron Ault, a brash, outspoken Arkansas shipbuilder turned labor leader, changed the fortunes of federal unions with a phone call. President of the giant Metal Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, Ault had come to the Virginia suburbs of Washington in...

She’ll Be Watching

February 1, 2007 Freshman Sen. Claire McCaskill wants to focus on government oversight. The balloons from her victory party had barely been cleared before Missouri's Democratic senator-elect, Claire McCaskill, started talking about government audits. "I've been able to arm-wrestle some bureaucracies," McCaskill told the Kansas City Star on Nov. 9. "I know a...

Free Advice

February 1, 2007 When you work in government, you're in the company of experts -- on everything from patent law to AIDS research. Sometimes, your co-workers' expertise can benefit you. Federal employees who specialize in an array of financial matters are part of an informal network that offers advice to colleagues. These specialists...

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