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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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Postal Notes: Nail Polish Sets Off Nerve Gas Scare and Other News

August 21, 2013 Postal Notes is an occasional feature showcasing unusual occurrences in the world of the U.S. Postal Service. Not a Bomb, Just Makeup A “suspicious package” at a mail processing facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City turned out not to be as dangerous as originally suspected....

Prohibiting VA Senior Exec Bonuses for 5 Years Would Save $18 Million

August 20, 2013 Putting a five-year moratorium on all bonuses for senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department would save the federal government $18 million, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The provision was included as an attachment to the 2013 Putting Veterans Funding First Act to ensure VA is funded one year...

USPS Plan to Pull Out of Fed Health Benefits Could Cost Postal Workers

August 19, 2013 U.S. Postal Service employees may have to choose between higher costs and less coverage under a new health care plan being touted by the agency, according to a government audit. The USPS plan to opt out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program would save the agency billions of dollars...

Budget Office Joins All Other Major Agencies in Reducing Furloughs

August 19, 2013 The Office of Management and Budget has joined the ranks of other major federal agencies in reducing furloughs, knocking two days off original projections, a spokeswoman told Government Executive. Every major agency that at some point laid out initial plans to require unpaid leave for employees due to sequestration in...

A Pair of Victories for Largest Postal Union

August 16, 2013 The largest labor union for U.S. Postal Service Employees announced some good news Friday, including a $937 raise beginning in September. The pay hike will apply to all career employees in the American Postal Workers Union as part of a scheduled cost of living adjustment negotiated in 2010. Just two...

Two States Lose Special Treatment Under Fed Health Plans

August 16, 2013 Federal employees in Montana and South Dakota will no longer receive special treatment for their health benefits coverage in 2014, the Office of Personnel Management has announced. The statute that governs the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program requires OPM to determine which states have “critical shortages of primary care physicians.”...

Despite Furloughs and Pay Freeze, Feds Give Record Amounts of Food

August 15, 2013 Federal employees are outpacing a record-setting 2012 in their annual food drive to diminish hunger in America. In June, they donated 477,000 pounds of food through the Feds Feed Families program, more than double the amount raised in the same period in 2012. In July, feds donated 1.4 million pounds...

Recruitment, Relocation and Retention Just Got Harder

August 15, 2013 Back in January 2011, the Office of Personnel Management issued preliminary rules to crack down on incentive payments to recruit, relocate and retain talented federal employees. More than two years later, these rules will finally take effect. OPM has finally issued its final rules for implementing the changes to the...

Postal Service Aims to Bring In $500M a Year With New Package Serivces

August 14, 2013 The Postal Service rolled out a series of changes to its package delivery service Wednesday, projecting the improvements will result in $500 million in additional annual revenue. USPS will now provide free insurance to coverage of up to $100 for customers using priority mail. This move will better align the...

Furloughed Feds: Don't Fall for this Scam

August 13, 2013 As if federal employees had not been targeted enough recently, now scam artists are looking to take advantage of the beleaguered government workforce. The Federal Trade Commission has posted a warning on its website about a caller who is specifically going after furloughed federal employees. The scammer tells the individual...