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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Incentives grow for agencies to prevent and recover overpayments

March 28, 2011 The amount of federal improper payments on record has risen steadily during the past decade, in part, because agencies have improved how they track and recover billions of dollars in wasted taxpayer funds. New reports from department inspectors general and the Government Accountability Office assert that improper payments continue to...

Government revoking pay raises, top career officials claim

March 25, 2011 This story has been updated. Top career officials are being asked to give up their pay raises in a move some suspect is part of President Obama's two-year governmentwide pay freeze. "We've heard from members that it's happening," said Bill Bransford, general counsel at the Senior Executives Association. "We have...

Pay Freezes: More Harm Than Good?

March 24, 2011 Pay freezes and other restrictions on federal compensation could hurt the government more than help it, a leading budget analyst said on Thursday. "Yes, you can get some savings, but in the long run, I think it could be counterproductive," said Jim Horney, Vice President for Federal Fiscal Policy at...

Cracking down on improper payments requires a fine balance, panelists say

March 23, 2011 The government faces a challenging task in preventing and recovering improper payments while simultaneously ensuring that money is disbursed in a timely manner to those entitled to it, a panel of federal officials said on Wednesday. The Housing and Urban Development Department, for example, reduced its improper payments from 17...

GSA boosts per diem rates in major metro areas

March 22, 2011 This story has been updated. The General Services Administration is raising the travel per diem rates for lodging in some expensive metropolitan areas as of April 1, according to a notice in Tuesday's Federal Register. Federal employees on business travel to New York City and San Francisco will see per...

Report urges intelligence community to use more science in recruitment of analysts

March 21, 2011 To attract the best analysts, the intelligence community must shift from an emphasis on traditional qualifications, such as formal education, and focus more on an individual's raw cognitive ability, according to a new report from the National Research Council. Knowledge of a specific political area in the world and technical...

Federal Benefits and Japan

March 17, 2011 The Office of Personnel Management now is handling inquiries related to benefits for federal annuitants who died during the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Affected family members and other individuals can call 202-606-8142 to report deaths and/or advise the government of any disruptions in April 1, 2011 annuity payments.

FEMA recoups millions in improper payments

March 17, 2011 The Federal Emergency Management Agency has improved its process for recovering improper payments made to disaster assistance applicants, recouping more than $47 million in 2010 from those affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, according to a FEMA official. "We have drastically reduced the error rates for the amount of funds...

Hitting the Ceiling

March 17, 2011 The ongoing threat of government shutdown this year has sparked talk of furloughs and concern over federal pay. But there's another crisis looming that temporarily could affect employees' benefits -- the creep toward the debt ceiling. When the federal government's spending outstrips its revenue, the Treasury can borrow money by...

Performance Reviews and 'Dehumanized Management'

March 16, 2011 Performance management is underperforming, says Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry. "There are pockets of excellence, but most agencies don't do performance management well," Berry said on Wednesday during the Interagency Resource Management Conference at Gallaudet University in Washington. Ouch. Berry said the four pillars of performance management --...

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