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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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Things Don’t Look Good for a 2016 COLA

August 19, 2015 It’s becoming increasingly unlikely that federal retirees will receive a cost-of-living adjustment boost next year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday released the first of three very important numbers that will determine whether retirees get a COLA in 2016. Things aren’t looking good: Based on the current data, there...

Jeb Bush: Working for Uncle Sam Should Not Be ‘Lifetime Employment’

August 18, 2015 Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush wants to make it easier to fire federal employees across government, not just at the Veterans Affairs Department. “We need to have a reform that is far broader than what Congress has passed [the 2014 Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act], and I frankly think...

Government Travel Per Diems Will Rise On Oct. 1

August 17, 2015 This story has been updated. Government travel per diem rates will increase in fiscal 2016, according to the General Services Administration. The standard lodging per diem rate for fiscal 2016 will rise $6 from $83 to $89, starting on Oct. 1, 2015. The meals and incidental expense ranges also are...

Will Making It Easier to Fire Feds Go Viral?

August 14, 2015 The head of the Merit Systems Protection Board on Thursday warned federal employees that legislative efforts making it easier to fire workers at the Veterans Affairs Department soon could expand to include other agencies. “Today, it’s the VA. Tomorrow, it could be your agency,” said MSPB Chairman Susan Tsui Grundmann...

One Public Housing Family In New York City Had An Annual Income of Nearly $500,000 in 2013

August 13, 2015 Thousands of current public housing residents earn more than the income limit for their government-subsidized rentals—squeezing out needier families, according to a new inspector general audit. The income of as many as 25,226 families living in public housing exceeded 2014 eligibility limits established by the Housing and Urban Development Department,...

Homeland Security Passes Starbucks Audit

August 12, 2015 As the government's third-largest agency, the Homeland Security Department is vulnerable to waste, fraud and abuse. But American taxpayers will be happy to know that a $31,000 Starbucks tab department employees racked up in 2013 was mostly legitimate, according to a new watchdog report. The DHS inspector general concluded that...

NTEU Elects 25-Year Veteran of the Union as President

August 11, 2015 Tony Reardon on Tuesday was elected the new national president of the National Treasury Employees Union, replacing long-time leader Colleen Kelley. Reardon, who most recently served as the union’s national executive vice president, received 89 percent of the votes cast. “I am honored and humbled by the confidence placed in...

Some Feds Will See Life Insurance Rate Hikes in January

August 11, 2015 Some federal employees and retirees who have life insurance will see their premium rates change as of Jan. 1, 2016. The Office of Personnel Management announced that some premiums under the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI) will increase, others will decrease, and some rates will stay the same....

TRICARE Enrollees Soon Will Have to Refill Certain Drugs Via Mail or at Military Facilities

August 10, 2015 Beginning on Oct. 1, TRICARE beneficiaries will have to obtain refills for certain drug prescriptions through the mail, or at military treatment facilities, according to a new interim final rule from the Defense Department. The new policy affects refills of non-generic prescription “maintenance medications,” or drugs that people take on...

Senate Votes To Protect Federal Retirees From Fraud

August 7, 2015 The Senate on Wednesday passed a bipartisan bill that aims to better protect federal retirees from nefarious financial representatives seeking to steal their benefits. The 2015 Representative Payee Fraud Prevention Act, which Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., introduced in June, would give U.S. attorneys the statutory authority...