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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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OMB Needs Bigger Budget So It Can Cut Other Agencies, Director Says

June 21, 2017 Democratic lawmakers grilled the head of the Office of Management and Budget at a hearing Wednesday for boosting his own agency’s budget while slashing spending levels for most of the rest of government. OMB Director Mick Mulvaney defended the proposed 5 percent bump for fiscal 2018, saying the agency was...

Interior Is Moving Forward With Buyouts, Leaves Door Open for RIFs

June 21, 2017 The Interior Department is moving forward with buyouts and early outs despite pushback from lawmakers in both parties on the Trump administration’s proposed massive cuts to the agency’s budget. Interior will rely on attrition, reassignments and separation incentives to reduce the size of its workforce, Secretary Ryan Zinke told a...

House Approves Measure Seeking To Boost DHS Morale

June 20, 2017 The House on Tuesday approved by voice vote a bill aimed at boosting sagging morale at the Homeland Security Department, which would create an engagement steering committee and a program for non-monetary employee awards. The 2017 DHS Morale, Recognition, Learning and Engagement (MORALE) Act would seek to reverse a job...

EPA Wants 1,200 Employees to Accept Buy Outs, Early Outs

June 20, 2017 The Environmental Protection Agency will attempt to persuade more than 1,200 employees to leave their jobs through separation incentives, according to an internal memorandum. EPA has not formally sent the early retirement and buyout offers to employees, according to the memo obtained by Government Executive, but it plans to begin...

Citing Uptick in Attacks, Senators Request Better Protection for ICE Officers

June 19, 2017 A bipartisan pair of senators is calling for action to protect federal immigration officers, joining Trump administration officials in expressing concern over a wave of attacks on the law enforcement personnel. Assaults on Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers have spiked this year, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman...

Agency Leaders Backtrack From Some of Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts

June 16, 2017 During questioning by members of Congress this week on the Agriculture Department's budget proposals to cut research funding, Secretary Sonny Perdue conceded it was “one of those areas where we may have missed the mark.” Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., asked Perdue if he would support conservation, rural development and research...

OMB Looks to Cut Agencies’ Workloads by Trimming Reporting Burden

June 15, 2017 The Trump administration is revoking dozens of requirements for federal agencies and pausing any further updates to Obama administration priorities, the Office of Management and Budget announced Thursday. OMB called the push, which it said will eliminate tens of thousands of work hours across government, phase one of its own...

Agencies Promise Efficiencies, but Not Workforce Cuts in Reorganization Plans

June 15, 2017 Federal agencies working to restructure themselves are focusing primarily on serving their customers better rather than ways to cut the workforce, leaders told a Senate panel Thursday, which promised thorough oversight of the Trump administration’s reorganization efforts. Agency leaders said they were taking seriously suggestions from their rank-and-file employees on...

Contracting Dispute Delays OPM's Background Investigations Processing

June 14, 2017 The federal government’s ongoing efforts to hasten the processing of security clearances hit a speed bump this week, as an auditor ruled the Office of Personnel Management unfairly awarded a contract to a company seeking to provide support services in background investigations processing. The Government Accountability Office decision comes shortly...

Major Civil Service Reform Bill Heads to Trump’s Desk

June 13, 2017 The House on Tuesday passed 368-55 a bipartisan bill to expedite the firing of Veterans Affairs Department employees, sending reforms mostly Republican lawmakers have clamored for since scandal embroiled the agency three years ago to President Trump’s desk. The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act won overwhelming...