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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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VA Blows $300,000 On The Wrong TVs

August 10, 2016 The Veterans Affairs Department spent more than $300,000 on hundreds of TVs that have sat in storage in Detroit for nearly three years because they were the wrong type of television. Officials at VA's Detroit medical center didn’t check ahead of time with the contractor installing the new TVs in...

Fight Over Lucrative TRICARE Contracts Won’t Affect Beneficiaries, Defense Says

August 9, 2016 Bid protests over the Defense Department’s latest TRICARE contract award won’t disrupt beneficiaries’ access to health care, the military health system has assured TRICARE enrollees. “The current TRICARE contracts will remain in place until the protests are resolved,” said a statement from the military health system communications office. “The DHA’s...

Low Pay and Geography Contribute to Hiring Woes at Immigration Detention Facilities

August 9, 2016 Homeland Security continues to struggle with recruiting and retaining mental health care providers to work at immigration detention facilities across the country, a weakness the department’s watchdog highlighted five years ago. Officials cited an inability to offer competitive pay, a lengthy security clearance process, and geography as major obstacles in...

Surprise Inspections Show VA Health Care Improvement Since Phoenix Scandal

August 8, 2016 The Veterans Health Administration has improved the quality of and access to health care for vets over the past two years, but the agency’s continuing struggle with hiring and retaining employees is undermining its mission, according to a newly-released report from an outside organization. “Staffing shortages significantly impacted the organization’s...

OPM Tells Agencies to Submit Annual Special Pay Rate Requests

August 5, 2016 Federal agencies have until Oct. 14 to submit documentation requesting special pay rates for hard-to-fill jobs in 2017, according to a new memorandum from the Office of Personnel Management. Agencies that aren’t asking for an increase, decrease or elimination of existing special rates for certain occupations and plan to just...

Civilians in Iraq Receive Higher Premium Pay Through 2016

August 4, 2016 Civilian federal employees working on stabilization efforts in Iraq are eligible to receive higher premium pay through the end of 2016, according to new guidance from the Office of Personnel Management. OPM’s Aug. 1 memorandum -- released after a May directive from President Obama extended the national emergency in Iraq...

New Leave Benefit for Eligible Disabled Vets Takes Effect in November

August 4, 2016 This story has been updated. The Office of Personnel Management on Friday will publish the final rule implementing a law that gives new federal employees who are disabled veterans the equivalent of a full year’s sick leave up front to go to their medical appointments. The 2015 Wounded Warriors Federal...

Watchdog: Some FHA-Approved Homes in Flint Had Unsafe Water

August 3, 2016 The Housing and Urban Development Department did not properly oversee water testing of Flint, Mich., homes approved for federal mortgage insurance -- and some of those properties subsequently showed unsafe levels of lead and copper in the water, according to a newly released report. The department’s inspector general reviewed 17...

New Law Imposes Income Cap on Public Housing Residents

August 2, 2016 A new law imposes an income limit on public housing tenants and requires stronger oversight of residents’ financial assets and job earnings. If a public housing tenant’s income exceeds 120 percent of the area median income for two consecutive years, then the public housing authority must either evict the tenant,...

Families of Fallen Service Members Demand Apology From Trump

August 1, 2016 The families of twenty-three fallen service members are demanding an apology from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for his recent remarks about the parents of a Muslim-American Army captain killed in Iraq. Members of Gold Star Families, a group made up of people who have lost loved ones in battle,...