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Kellie Lunney

Senior Correspondent Kellie Lunney covers federal pay and benefits issues, the budget process and financial management. After starting her career in journalism at Government Executive in 2000, she returned in 2008 after four years at sister publication National Journal writing profiles of influential Washingtonians. In 2006, she received a fellowship at the Ohio State University through the Kiplinger Public Affairs in Journalism program, where she worked on a project that looked at rebuilding affordable housing in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. She has appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, NPR and Feature Story News, where she participated in a weekly radio roundtable on the 2008 presidential campaign. In the late 1990s, she worked at the Housing and Urban Development Department as a career employee. She is a graduate of Colgate University.
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1.6 Percent Pay Raise for Service Members in 2017?

February 1, 2016 President Obama will request a 1.6 percent pay raise for service members next year, according to a Feb. 1 report in Military Times. The administration’s fiscal 2017 budget proposal, scheduled for release on Feb. 9, reportedly will include the pay bump, which is slightly higher than the 1.3 percent boost...

Female Service Members Will Get 12 Weeks of Paid Maternity Leave

January 29, 2016 Female service members now will receive 12 weeks of paid maternity leave, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced on Thursday, one of several personnel initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life for military families. The move doubles the amount of current paid maternity leave available to most service members, and...

New Retirement Proposal For American Workers Modeled After TSP

January 28, 2016 American workers could benefit more from a retirement program modeled on the Thrift Savings Plan, which is available to federal employees, rather than typical private sector 401(k) options, according to a new proposal from a Washington organization. The Center for American Progress Action Fund, a sister group to the Center...

Judge Reverses Former VA Senior Executive’s Demotion

January 28, 2016 This story has been updated. The Merit Systems Protection Board has overturned the Veterans Affairs Department’s decision to demote Kimberly Graves, a former senior executive accused of using her position for personal gain. The reversal means that Graves, the former director of the Veterans Benefits Administration’s St. Paul, Minn., regional...

Former VA Senior Executives Will Learn Their Fate By Feb. 1

January 27, 2016 The Merit Systems Protection Board by Monday will issue a decision on whether to uphold or overturn the demotion of two former senior executives at the center of the relocation benefits controversy at the Veterans Affairs Department. Diana Rubens, former director of the Veterans Benefits Administration’s Philadelphia office, and Kimberly...

VA Secretary Says Job Performance Standards Have Been ‘Too Low’

January 26, 2016 The Veterans Affairs Department has to raise the bar on job performance expectations for employees to change an entrenched, bureaucratic culture that has given rise to mismanagement at the government’s second-largest agency, says VA Secretary Bob McDonald. “Our standards have been too low,” McDonald told lawmakers during a recent Senate...

Feds Made Fewer Hardship Withdrawals From TSP in 2015

January 25, 2016 Fewer federal employees tapped their Thrift Savings Plan accounts for hardship withdrawals in 2015 than in 2014, according to the board that administers the government’s 401(k)-style retirement plan. The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board reported 111,694 hardship withdrawals in 2015, totaling $1.02 billion, compared to 121,389 such withdrawals totaling $1.12...

New Advanced Degree in Information Security Operations Offers Tuition Discount For Feds

January 22, 2016 Federal employees now can pursue a master’s degree in information security operations at discounted tuition rates through a new online offering from Champlain College. The master of science degree is “designed to elevate the practitioner’s strategic planning abilities in the prevention and response to cybersecurity incidents such as data loss...

Bipartisan Bill Would Limit Administrative Leave to Five Days

January 21, 2016 A new bipartisan Senate bill would strictly limit the ability of federal agencies to put employees on extended paid administrative leave while they are being investigated -- an attempt to crack down on a practice that cost the government $3.1 billion from 2011 through 2013 alone. The legislation introduced Thursday...

Teleworking in the Snow, TSP Security Changes and More

January 20, 2016 Ready for Snowpocalypse 2016?! Forecasters are predicting a major winter storm to hit the East Coast starting on Friday and lasting through the weekend, potentially dumping between 12 and 20 inches of snow in the immediate Washington metropolitan region. So the main question is whether the federal government will be...