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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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Can the House Reach Bipartisan Agreement on Postal Reform?

July 15, 2013 The House’s oversight committee will discuss multiple proposals for overhauling the U.S. Postal Service at a hearing this week. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold the hearing -- The Path Forward on Postal Reform -- Wednesday after its chairman and ranking member each released their own proposals...

Sequestration Would Force Civilian Personnel Cuts in 2014, Hagel Says

July 11, 2013 The Defense Department is considering civilian reductions in force in fiscal 2014 to match reduced budget levels required by sequestration. In a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that while he is “fully committed” to enacting President Obama’s budget, he is currently planning a...

Federal Charity Drive Overhaul Proposals Draw Criticism

July 11, 2013 A plan to reform the Combined Federal Campaign in response to declining donations would cause the charity drive to lose its local appeal and increase overhead costs, stakeholders told lawmakers this week. Representatives from various charities echoed members of the House Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce,...

House Democrat’s New Postal Reform Bill Finds Some Common Ground

July 10, 2013 The Democrats’ House oversight leader has introduced his own bill to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service, seeking to create new and innovative products for the agency, reduce the number of employees and alter the payment schedule for USPS liabilities. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., ranking member of the House Oversight and...

IRS Wants to Trade Bonuses for Fewer Furloughs

July 10, 2013 The Internal Revenue Service is attempting to eliminate performance bonuses to its employees in 2013 in exchange for cutting two scheduled furlough days, according to a memo sent to IRS workers. Danny Werfel, the principal deputy commissioner at IRS -- and the agency’s effective chief -- said IRS had previously...

Lawmaker Proposes Exempting All Defense Civilians From Furloughs

July 9, 2013 One lawmaker is seeking to extend furlough exemptions to all civilians at the Defense Department. Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga., introduced a bill Monday -- the same day furloughs went into effect for roughly 650,000 Defense employees -- that would allow the president to exempt civilian workers from sequestration. Currently within...

Top 5 Fake Out of Office Messages From Furloughed Defense Workers

July 8, 2013 Monday marks the first day for roughly 650,000 Defense Department employees to take unpaid leave. The employees are legally prohibited from conducting any work while on furlough and must therefore put up auto-reply messages to notify emailers they are not in the office. According to one DoD worker -- Karen...

Lawmaker, Union Decry 'Dumb Decisions' as Defense Furloughs Kick In

July 8, 2013 Union leaders and a lawmaker representing civilian employees at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point told personal stories at a press conference Monday to demonstrate the effects of furloughs at the Defense Department. “Today marks the day the people of the Hudson Valley pay for the dysfunction of the...

Most Defense Civilians Begin Forced 3-Day Furlough Weekends

July 5, 2013 Each Defense Department entity has set its own guidelines for implementing the across-the-board furloughs scheduled to begin Monday, according to a Pentagon spokesman, though most of the department’s civilians face forced three-day weekends. “There’s no one set of rules,” said Mark Wright, a Defense spokesman. “Every office has been doing...

Retiring Military Dogs Helped Locate Explosives, Deter Terrorist Attacks

July 5, 2013 Four retiring military dogs were recently honored for their distinguished careers overseas. At a late-June event at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, Okla., the dogs’ handlers ceremoniously “passed the leash” to the canines’ new retirement caretakers, according to Stars and Stripes . The dogs primarily served to track...