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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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Annual Federal Charity Drive Launches With Tempered Expectations

September 6, 2013 The Combined Federal Campaign -- the 52nd annual federal employee charity drive -- kicked into gear this week, hoping to reverse the recent trend of decreasing donations and participation. But the fundraiser comes during an ongoing pay freeze and the mandatory furloughs of hundreds of thousands of workers. Elaine Kaplan,...

Same-Sex Spouses Now Eligible for Veterans Benefits

September 6, 2013 President Obama has extended federal benefits to same-sex spouses of military veterans, the Justice Department announced. The move comes after the Supreme Court struck down a major provision of the Defense of Marriage Act -- which defined marriage as between a man and a woman -- though the law did...

Army Allows Back Pay for Civilians Who Took Extra Furlough Days

September 5, 2013 The Army will provide back pay to civilian employees who took more than the requisite number of furlough days, in exchange for giving up an equivalent amount of annual leave, according to an Army spokesman. The problem arose when Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel cut the number of furlough days necessary...

Ex-EPA Employee Allegedly Made Up CIA Employment to Get Out of Work

September 5, 2013 A former executive at the Environmental Protection Agency used a series of lies and embellishments to defraud the government out of nearly $900,000, according to The Washington Post. John C. Beale allegedly told his bosses he was away from his job in order to conduct “sensitive work for another agency,”...

Senator Calls $8.7M in Obamacare Ads a 'Blatant Misuse' of Taxpayer Funds

September 4, 2013 A Republican senator has deplored the Obama administration for using taxpayer funds to advertise the upcoming implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the president’s signature health care overhaul. The Health and Human Services Department, through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, plans to spend $8.7 million to “promote Obamacare...

Loans to Furloughed Feds Suspended

September 4, 2013 The organization that has helped cash-strapped furloughed feds has run out of money. The Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund, which provides emergency no-interest loans, natural disaster grants and scholarships to needy federal workers, has stopped handing out new furlough loans to employees due to a “cash flow problem.” The...

Postal Service IG Puts Retirement and Leave Benefits Under the Microscope

September 3, 2013 The U.S. Postal Service’s internal auditor is seeking private sector input on the best way to administer paid time off and retirement benefits, according to multiple online solicitations. The USPS’ inspector general posted the requests on the FedBizOpps, asking for a supplier with “subject matter expertise” to develop a report...

Around Government

September 1, 2013 Films About War Iraq War veteran Michael Chan pursued two dreams—the military and movies. By Susan Fourney High on the list of risky career moves are fighting wars and making movies, and Michael Chan took a chance on both. The 27-year-old Iraq War veteran, who served two tours with the...

Saving Earth and Agency

September 1, 2013 Dianne Shoaf has been called a hero, but she does not want all the credit. “Postal employees are really the heroes,” says Shoaf, who won the White House’s 2012 Sustainability Hero Award for her efforts coordinating the Lean Green Team at the U.S. Postal Service. The team spearheads “low- and...

New Plan Would Give Feds a Year to Make Up for Religious Time Off

August 30, 2013 The Obama administration wants to require federal employees to provide proof of religious holidays in order to take compensatory time off, but would grant them an extended period to make up the hours. The new guidance updates proposed rules the Office of Personnel Management put forth in 2005. In October,...