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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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Hiring and Firing: Why Agencies Need To Do Better

January 21, 2015 The federal government is the largest employer in the world, with roughly 2 million civilian employees all over the globe. While nobody expects a seamless personnel operation on such a scale, the processes for hiring and firing employees are riddled with complex regulations and confusion over how to apply rules ...

Can't Hire, Can't Fire

January 21, 2015 Hiring USAJobs, the government’s online warehouse of job vacancies, is still difficult to navigate and lacks sophisticated search capabilities to help applicants find positions that meet their interests and qualifications. Recruiting and hiring tools, including veterans’ preference, Pathways, and the prestigious Presidential Management Fellows program, are innovative. But they’ve become ...

Air Force Doubles Bonus Pay for Drone Pilots

January 16, 2015 The Air Force is significantly increasing the monthly incentive pay for drone pilots to help combat the stressful job’s high turnover rate, according to the department. Secretary Deborah Lee James on Thursday authorized the bump in incentive pay to $1,500 per month -- more than double the current monthly rate ...

Obama Proposes Paid Family Leave for Feds

January 15, 2015 This story has been updated. President Obama is directing agencies to advance federal employees up to six weeks of paid sick leave to care for a new child or ill family members. Obama on Thursday signed a presidential memorandum expanding the current unpaid family leave benefit – something feds and ...

VA Boosts Security After Texas Shooting

January 14, 2015 The Veterans Affairs Department is seeking more contract security personnel at its El Paso, Texas, medical facility after a fatal shooting occurred there last week. VA awarded $440,006.80 to Shetler and Associates, a Phoenix, Ariz.-based government contractor, to provide 16 additional security guards from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Monday ...

VA Bonuses for Bad Employees Targeted Again

January 13, 2015 The secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department would have clear authority to order employees to repay bonuses underlegislation introduced Monday in the House. H.R. 280 would require notifying affected employees before they had to repay the money, and would give them an opportunity for a hearing conducted by the secretary. ...

VA Bonuses Targeted Again

January 13, 2015 The secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department would have clear authority to order employees to repay bonuses under legislation introduced Monday in the House. H.R. 280 would require notifying affected employees before they had to repay the money, and would give them an opportunity for a hearing conducted by the ...

Federal Retiree Sues Virginia for Tax Discrimination

January 12, 2015 A federal retiree is suing the commonwealth of Virginia, claiming the Old Dominion is unfairly taxing residents who receive government pensions under the old Civil Service Retirement System. Former NASA employee Karl Beisel has filed a lawsuit against the commonwealth’s Department of Taxation, alleging that Virginia’s tax exemption for the ...

Senior Exec Bonuses: Top Five Most Generous Agencies

January 9, 2015 Some federal agencies were more generous than others when it came to bonuses in fiscal 2013, according to the latest data from the Office of Personnel Management. The number of career senior executives receiving a bonus based on their job performance decreased by 12.9 percent between fiscal years 2012 and ...

Fewer Senior Execs Got Bonuses in Fiscal 2013

January 8, 2015 Fewer senior executives across the federal government got bonuses in fiscal 2013 than in fiscal 2012, and the ones who did received slightly smaller awards on average, according to the latest data from the Office of Personnel Management. The number of career senior executives receiving a bonus based on their ...