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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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Treasury Taps Federal Pensions as Uncle Sam Hits Debt Ceiling

March 16, 2015 The Treasury Department has suspended investments into federal employees' pensions, as the government officially hit its debt ceiling of about $18.1 trillion on Monday. The law allows the government to take “extraordinary measures” to avoid a default, including tapping into and suspending investments into the Civil Service Retirement and Disability ...

Judge Tells VA to Repay Former Senior Exec’s Bonus

March 13, 2015 This story has been updated. The Veterans Affairs Department has to return the bonus it took away from Sharon Helman, the former VA senior executive at the center of the scandal over patient wait times. Judge Alan R. Caramella ruled on Feb. 25 that the department has to repay part ...

VA Manager Involved in $4M Deal That Benefited Relatives

March 13, 2015 A Veterans Affairs manager in North Carolina created a conflict of interest when she participated in a project that netted millions for her family members, according to the department’s watchdog. The VA bought 35 acres of land for $4.25 million in 2010 from the Gillis family to build a new ...

Federal Employees -- They’re Just Like Us!

March 12, 2015 This story has been updated. The most compelling stories about public policy and government management are really about people. After all, people are behind ideas, processes and end results. That’s what Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin wants Americans to remember when they think about the federal government. And that’s why the ...

Weaving A New Narrative

March 12, 2015 Every government agency deals regularly with bad press. But the public relations nightmare that exploded after long-standing management problems at the Veterans Affairs Department finally got Washington’s attention is in a league of its own. Veterans waiting months for medical appointments, employees falsifying data records, and an outbreak of Legionnaires’ ...

Around Government

March 12, 2015 Disappearing Act For Congress’ next routine, lawmakers could make even more federal jobs vanish. By Eric Katz The federal workforce is shrinking. That applies in raw numbers and relative to the rest of the nation’s workforce. As President Obama spelled out in his fiscal 2016 budget proposal, the security portion ...

VA Review Finds Culture of Fear Among Staff in ‘Candy Land’

March 11, 2015 A Veterans Affairs facility in Wisconsin overprescribed pain pills to vets and bred a culture of fear among staff that compromised patient safety, according to initial findings in a department investigation. The VA’s internal investigation, which Secretary Bob McDonald directed the interim undersecretary of health to begin in January, found ...

White House Makes Push for a More Diverse, Inclusive Federal Workforce

March 10, 2015 A new governmentwide council focused on creating a more diverse and inclusive federal workforce will have its first meeting in April. The group, made up of agency chief human capital officers as well as deputy secretaries and other high-ranking department officials, “will help to develop guidance to cultivate an organizational ...

Sick Leave Bill for Disabled Vets Advances

March 5, 2015 Senators on Wednesday advanced legislation that would give disabled veterans hired as federal employees access to their full year’s sick leave immediately upon starting their jobs. The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee reported out the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act, which would give 104 hours of sick leave up ...

The Next Looming Deadline Federal Employees Should Know About

March 4, 2015 Lawmakers managed to avert a partial shutdown of the Homeland Security Department with a few days to spare. But another deadline looms that federal employees should know about. If Congress does not raise the debt ceiling before March 16, the Treasury Department will suspend investments into federal employees’ retirement benefits ...