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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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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...

German DoD Workers Negotiate Pay Raise as Pentagon Braces for Furloughs

July 3, 2013 The Defense Department has promised uniformity in its implementation of civilian furloughs. “We're going in together, we're coming out together,” Secretary Chuck Hagel said when announcing the final furlough plan in May. “No one service, no one's going to be protected more than anybody else.” While about 650,000 Defense civilians...

Top DHS Auditor Calls Allegations ‘Distorted’ and ‘Without Merit’

July 2, 2013 The top auditor at the Homeland Security Department has denied accusations of nepotism, abuses of power and involvement in cover-ups. In a statement issued Tuesday, Charles Edwards rejected all allegations and said their existence will inhibit the oversight of DHS. “I am very disturbed that false allegations have been made...

EEOC Considers New Wave of Furloughs

July 2, 2013 Employees at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may face a new round of furloughs, and the union that represents them is pushing back. EEOC has already implemented its first phase of furloughs because of sequestration budget cuts, requiring employees to take five days of unpaid leave. The agency, which employs...