AUTHOR ARCHIVES

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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TRICARE Drug Co-Pay Hike on Horizon

January 31, 2013 Some TRICARE beneficiaries will pay higher co-pays for prescription drugs beginning Feb. 1 Those affected will pay anywhere from $4 to $19 more for brand name and nonformulary medications that are not filled at military clinics or hospitals. The fiscal 2013 Defense Authorization Act mandated the increases, but it could...

Wanted: Transportation tales from federal commuters

January 30, 2013 Transportation, like so many other things in this world, is not cheap. Many federal employees nationwide take advantage of the mass transit benefit program to commute to their jobs. The benefit, made available to government workers through a 2000 executive order, is worth a maximum of $245 per month in...

Social Security chief will leave in February

January 29, 2013 The head of the Social Security Administration will leave in February, according to an agency news release. Michael Astrue, a George W. Bush appointee whose six-year term expired on Jan. 19, is returning to his home in Massachusetts. Astrue has been serving under the holdover provisions of the agency’s authorizing...

OPM frees its human capital officers from daily pay and benefits grind

January 29, 2013 The Office of Personnel Management’s human capital officers no longer will handle day-to-day inquiries from agencies on issues like pay and leave, but instead will focus on implementing the Obama administration’s federal workforce priorities governmentwide. OPM’s specific policy offices from now on will field questions from agencies on a range...

Military enrollment in TSP Roth spikes

January 28, 2013 The number of service members enrolled in the Thrift Savings Plan’s Roth option grew nearly 300 percent in just one month last year, according to the board that oversees the retirement savings program. The board reported that the number of service members with Roth accounts jumped from 6,364 in November...

HUD seeks more detailed pay data on top officials

January 25, 2013 The Housing and Urban Development Department is asking public housing authorities for more detailed salary data. The department wants a more comprehensive picture of how PHAs pay their executive directors, including a breakdown of base salary, bonus and incentive compensation and which payments are made with federal funds, according to...

Army announces hiring freeze

January 25, 2013 The Army is implementing an agency-wide hiring freeze with few exceptions, according to a Jan. 22 memo. Thomas Lamont, assistant Army secretary for manpower and reserve affairs, also instructed agency officials to terminate temporary employees and not to extend the appointments of term employees. “No new tentative or firm job...

Poll: What do you know about sequestration?

January 24, 2013 Sequestration is nearly upon us. Every day it’s looking more likely that automatic, across-the-board spending cuts will happen, at least for a little while. Earlier this month, Congress delayed them until March 1, but at this point they feel almost inevitable, after more than a year of debate, dread and...

Pay Looms Large in Budget Debate

January 24, 2013 There’s been a lot of talk about pay freezes in the last week. The debt ceiling suspension bill the House approved on Wednesday withholds lawmakers’ pay if they don’t pass a fiscal 2014 budget resolution by April 15. Legislation that would extend the pay freeze for federal employees was introduced,...

House passes No Budget, No Pay

January 23, 2013 The House on Wednesday voted to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling until May, and to withhold lawmakers’ pay if Congress cannot agree on a fiscal 2014 budget by April 15. The Senate likely will pass the legislation, and the White House said it will not oppose it. The No Budget...

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