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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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Senators Lambaste Agency for Reversing VA’s Decision to Punish Senior Executives

March 4, 2016 Four Republican senators are blasting the small, independent agency that adjudicates appeals from fired federal employees for rejecting the Veterans Affairs Department’s recent decisions to remove and demote senior executives accused of wrongdoing. “On behalf of our nation’s veterans who deserve better, we request analysis of the principles, laws, and...

Bill Would Enshrine Into Law Protections for LGBT Feds

March 3, 2016 Gay and transgender federal employees would be protected by law from workplace discrimination under a bipartisan bill introduced in the House on Thursday. While there are current policies prohibiting discrimination against federal employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, the legislation would codify those protections by amending Title...

Pentagon Travel Expense Cuts Are Hurting Navy Ship Maintenance

March 2, 2016 A bipartisan movement involving lawmakers, a high-ranking Defense official, labor, and business leaders to repeal a 2014 Pentagon policy that cut per diem rates for long-term government travel is gaining momentum. Rep. Mark Takai, D-Hawaii, currently is asking his colleagues to sign onto a letter to the leadership of the...

Former Phoenix VA Senior Executive Pleads Guilty to Lying About Lobbyist's Gifts

March 2, 2016 The former career senior executive who ran the Veterans Affairs Department’s Phoenix health care system when the scandal over falsifying wait lists erupted in 2014 has pleaded guilty to lying on her government financial disclosure form about gifts she received from a lobbyist. Sharon Helman, who ultimately lost her job...

Senators to Pentagon: Don't Mess With Commissary Employees' Compensation

March 1, 2016 Fifteen Democratic senators are urging the Defense Department to avoid certain changes that could adversely affect the pay and benefits of its commissary employees. The department has been considering ways to rein in costs associated with the popular commissaries, which provide groceries to military personnel, families and retirees worldwide at...

FEHBP Insurance Carriers Must Cover Autism Treatment Beginning in 2017

February 29, 2016 This story has been updated. Beginning in 2017, all insurance carriers participating in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program must cover a popular therapy for children with some form of autism, according to the Office of Personnel Management. Since 2013, FEHBP insurance carriers have had the option of covering applied...

VA Tries to Punish Senior Leaders in Cincinnati for Misconduct

February 26, 2016 The Veterans Affairs Department on Thursday moved to punish two senior leaders accused of misconduct in Ohio as part of its ongoing effort to improve accountability at the VA. Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson proposed firing Jack Hetrick, the Veterans Integrated Service Network director for Region 10, which includes Cincinnati. But...

VA Does Not Stand For 'Veterans Administration'

February 25, 2016 The 2016 presidential campaign has been everything except predictable. But we can count on one thing: At any given moment, an Oval Office hopeful somewhere is screwing up the name of the Veterans Affairs Department. Both Republican and Democratic candidates consistently call the Veterans Affairs Department the “Veterans Administration” during...

Bill Would Give Federal Employees a 5.3 Pay Raise in 2017

February 24, 2016 This story has been updated. Federal employees would receive an across-the-board pay raise of 5.3 percent next year under a Democratic-sponsored bill introduced Tuesday. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., would provide feds with a 3.9 percent boost, plus a 1.4 percent bump in locality pay for 2017....

Proposal Would Give Some VA Senior Executives More Pay

February 23, 2016 A small number of Veterans Affairs senior executives would be able to earn up to $50,000 more in annual salary under the department’s draft legislative proposal to make it easier to hire and fire top career officials. A new pay band would be created for the department’s 344 career senior...