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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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...

Agencies Have More Wiggle Room to Spend on 3Rs in 2016

January 19, 2016 The government’s human resources shop is giving agencies greater wiggle room in 2016 to spend money on recruiting and retaining talented employees. The White House is cautiously lifting its four-year freeze on how much agencies can spend on recruitment, relocation and retention incentives for certain jobs, according to new guidance...

After Nearly Four Years, Phased Retirement Hasn't Quite Taken Off

January 15, 2016 It appears that when it comes to phased retirement, “phased” is truly the operative word. Congress passed a law in 2012 allowing eligible federal employees to partially retire while remaining on the job part-time to help federal agencies better manage their workforce needs. As of mid-January, a whopping 31 people...

Demoted VA Senior Executives Appeal Their Punishment

January 14, 2016 The two former senior executives at the center of the relocation benefits controversy at Veterans Affairs are appealing the department’s decision to demote them. The Merit Systems Protection Board has received appeals from both Diana Rubens and Kimberly Graves, and will render a decision in the next few weeks on...

OPM: Not Every Senior Executive Is Outstanding

January 14, 2016 The Office of Personnel Management is urging federal agencies to make more meaningful distinctions in performance ratings and bonuses for senior executives in 2016, according to a memo from Acting Director Beth Cobert. “More is required to meet the highest performance level (i.e., outstanding) in comparison to the standards set...

Panel Approves Bill Making It Easier to Suspend and Fire Senior Execs

January 12, 2016 A House panel approved a bill on Tuesday that would make it easier to discipline and fire senior executives across the federal government. The Senior Executive Service Accountability Act (H.R. 4358) would make the federal government’s top career officials eligible for one- to 14-day suspensions, and expand the criteria that...

VA Demotes and Reassigns Former Senior Executives – Again

January 11, 2016 The Veterans Affairs Department has demoted and reassigned for the second time two former senior executives accused of using their positions of authority for personal gain. Diana Rubens, former director of the Veterans Benefits Administration’s Philadelphia office, and Kimberly Graves, former director of VBA’s St. Paul, Minn., regional office, were...

VA Watchdog Can’t Prove Calif. Facility Sat on Thousands of Claims

January 11, 2016 The watchdog for the Veterans Affairs Department could not prove that the Oakland, Calif., regional office sat on more than 13,000 informal claims for benefits, delaying payments -- an allegation that emerged during an April 2015 congressional hearing. While the inspector general didn’t find evidence to substantiate an allegation that...

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