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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GAO: Defense underestimates costs of housing allowance

May 19, 2011 The Defense Department significantly underestimates the amount of money it needs to pay for service members' housing allowances when preparing its annual budget request, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. Since 2006, the Pentagon has miscalculated the total costs of paying the housing allowance to service...

Paying for It

May 19, 2011 Barely a day goes by that a new proposal doesn't emerge targeting federal pay and benefits as a way to reduce the deficit. In fact, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of them, though both supporters and opponents remain helpfully vocal on the subject. "I believe that these...

Hiring reform shows progress, OPM chief says

May 18, 2011 The bulk of federal jobs now are filled using resumes and cover letters and no longer require knowledge, skills and abilities statements, the government's human resources chief said on Wednesday. Ninety-six percent of job announcements no longer require KSA essays, while 91 percent of positions are filled based on resumes...

CBO: Deal to avert government shutdown increases spending for fiscal year

May 17, 2011 The fiscal 2011 appropriations law enacted in April to avoid a government shutdown increases spending by $3.2 billion between now and the end of September, according to a new partial estimate from the Congressional Budget Office. The nonpartisan office found that total discretionary outlays in 2011 will be higher because...

Locality pay will remain unchanged in 2012

May 16, 2011 The President's Pay Agent has decided not to make any changes to locality pay in 2012, according to a new report. Civilian government workers will not receive an increase in locality pay next year, as a result of the two-year pay freeze enacted in January. The President's Pay Agent, which...

Treasury taps federal pensions as Uncle Sam hits debt ceiling

May 16, 2011 The Treasury Department on Monday suspended investments into federal employees' pensions, as the government officially hit its debt ceiling of $14.3 trillion. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced a debt issuance suspension period from May 16 to Aug. 2, when the government expects to default on its obligations. The law allows...

Most of the money allotted for defunct DHS financial management project went unspent

May 13, 2011 The Homeland Security Department has not spent the bulk of the money associated with two unsuccessful information technology projects aimed at integrating its financial managements systems, a department official told a congressional panel on Friday. Of the $47 million DHS carried over from eMerge2, its first failed financial systems project,...

Union wants to lower cap on executive pay in federal contracts

May 12, 2011 This story has been updated to add additional comment. The largest federal employee union Thursday called on lawmakers to support a proposal to limit the reimbursement for contractor salaries to $200,000. "Insisting that taxpayers should not be forced to reimburse contractors in excess of what is earned by the secretary...

Watchdog dings VA for poor management of rural health program

May 12, 2011 The Veterans Health Administration has not adequately managed a large chunk of funds associated with a program that provides patient services to vets in rural areas, according to a report from the department's inspector general. The IG concluded the Office of Rural Health lacked certainty that it effectively allocated $273.3...

Calculating Cost

May 12, 2011 There's still more than a month left for federal employees to consider their long-term care insurance options, and the group that manages the program has launched an online tool to help guide users through the process. The interactive consultant tool employs video, interviews, charts and other features to inform feds...

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