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Eric Katz

Senior Correspondent Eric Katz writes about federal agency operations and management. His deep coverage of Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Postal Service has earned him frequent guest spots on national radio and television news programs. Eric joined Government Executive in the summer of 2012 and previously worked for The Financial Times. He is a graduate of The George Washington University.
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Group Sues Trump Administration Over Secret Influence of Outsiders

1:38 PM ET A veterans group has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration accusing it of secretly enabling a group of private individuals to have undue influence on decision-making at the Veterans Affairs Department, violating a decades-old federal sunshine law. VA allowed a “council” of three individuals who belong to the President...

Postal Service to Ask Justice Dept. to Intervene in Fight to Ban Employees From Taking Time Off to Campaign

11:43 AM ET On Thursday, Government Executive reported that the Postal Service lost a union appeal challenging a new policy the agency had implemented to ban its workers from taking unpaid time off to campaign for political candidates. By Friday morning, the Postal Service announced it was gearing up for a fight. The...

USPS Must Rescind Its Ban on Employees Taking Leave to Campaign for Union-Backed Candidates

August 16, 2018 The U.S. Postal Service must reverse a new policy that banned employees from taking unpaid time off to campaign for political candidates ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, a third-party arbitrator has ruled. The decision came after postal unions challenged the policy as violating their collective bargaining agreements and First...

One Quarter of Suspended Feds Have Been Suspended Before

August 15, 2018 One in four federal employees suspended by federal agencies in 2016 had been suspended before, according to a new review, which suggested an array of best practices for agencies to reduce misconduct in the workplace. About 60 percent of serious disciplinary actions—including suspensions of more than 14 days, firings and...

Treasury Deletes Potentially Unlawful Trump Retweet

August 15, 2018 The Treasury Department appeared to flout a federal law on Wednesday when it retweeted a post from President Trump touting the electoral success of the Republican party. The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity while on the clock or in an official capacity. A Treasury...

Three-Quarters of Homeland Security's Employee Non-Disclosure Agreements Fail to Comply With Federal Law

August 14, 2018 President Trump, it turns out, is not the only person in the federal government making his staff sign non-disclosure agreements. The Homeland Security Department regularly requires its employees, contractors, detailees and consultants to sign NDAs in order to access DHS systems and information. In 75 percent of those agreements signed...

How Big a Deal Are the Governmentwide Hiring Reforms That Trump Just Signed Into Law?

August 13, 2018 President Trump on Monday signed into law a defense bill that included a provision with major changes to the federal hiring process. Good government groups heralded the changes as a key reform to help agencies recruit the next generation of talent. Lawmakers tucked into the fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization...

Hundreds of USDA Employees Face a Decision to Relocate or Take a Buyout

August 10, 2018 The Agriculture Department has announced it will relocate two major components outside of the Washington, D.C., area, and bring one—the Economic Research Service—directly under the purview of Secretary Sonny Perdue’s office. The changes will affect most of the 700 employees at the research service and the National Institute of Food...

Lawmakers Call for Broad Changes at VA After Report of Mar-a-Lago Members’ Influence

August 9, 2018 Lawmakers in both chambers of Congress are looking to shine a light on the individuals who, according to a recent report, have played a covert, yet significant, role in policy-making decisions at the Veterans Affairs Department. Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., the top Democrat on the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, wrote...

Postal Service Loses $1.5B in Third Quarter Despite Growing Revenue

August 9, 2018 The U.S. Postal Service on Thursday announced a net loss of $1.5 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2018, including a more than 50 percent increase in what the agency deems “controllable losses” over the same period last year. The news was not all bad for USPS, as its...