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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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Committee Wants Update on Postal Regulatory Commission Travel Spending

April 19, 2013 Leaders of a Senate oversight committee are requesting follow-up information on travel expenditures at the Postal Regulatory Commission. Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., the chairman and ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, made the request in a letter to PRC Chairwoman Ruth Goldway....

'High Probability' of Furloughs Signaled for Two USDA Agencies

April 18, 2013 Two agencies within the Agriculture Department are facing possible furloughs, according to testimony Secretary Tom Vilsack delivered to Congress this week. Employees at the Farm Service Agency and Rural Development division could be forced to take up to 10 furloughs days, Vilsack told members of the House Appropriations’ agriculture subcommittee....

Lawmakers Put Their Benefits -- And Yours -- At Risk

April 18, 2013 For Republican Rep. Ted Yoho, it is all about trust. “When members of Congress break the law, they break trust,” Yoho said. And for the Florida lawmaker, trust stands for Trust Returned to the United States Taxpayer, or the TRUST Act, which he recently proposed. Yoho’s bill would force any...

Dramatic Workforce Reductions, Rate Hikes Likely for USPS

April 17, 2013 Lawmakers and U.S. Postal Service officials on Wednesday largely agreed on the need to reduce the agency’s workforce and increase rates where feasible in order for the agency to reach fiscal solvency. Witnesses and members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said during a hearing that USPS must...

Bill Granting GAO More Power Clears House

April 16, 2013 A bill to strengthen the Government Accountability Office’s powers passed the House unanimously Monday evening. The GAO Improvement Act (H.R. 1162), which would increase the comptroller general’s investigative and audit authorities, did not face any opposition from the lower chamber, passing 408-0. The bill, which will now move to the...

Opinions of the Federal Government Hit All-Time Low

April 15, 2013 More Americans than ever view the federal government negatively, with fewer than three in 10 holding a favorable opinion. Just 28 percent of respondents to a Pew Research Center poll expressed a favorable view of the federal government in a new survey, down five points from a year ago and...

Postal Reform Still At Least Several Months Off

April 12, 2013 At least one lawmaker has set August as the target for passing comprehensive reform to the U.S. Postal service, according to reports. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, told Bloomberg Thursday overhauling USPS is “eminently doable,” setting the goal of sending a bill...

Bill Would Extend MSPB Appeal Rights to 7,500 Postal Employees

April 11, 2013 Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., has proposed a bill to grant thousands of Postal Service employees the right to appeal employment grievances to the executive branch’s quasi-judicial agency. The bill would allow USPS workers “in a supervisory, professional, technical, clerical, administrative, or managerial position covered by the Executive and Administrative Schedule”...

OPM Proposes Extending Fed Health Benefits to Same Sex Partners

April 11, 2013 The Obama administration has proposed to expand the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program to domestic partners -- including both opposite- and same-sex couples -- as part of sweeping changes to the program. The Office of Personnel Management announced its proposals at a congressional hearing Thursday, saying the initiatives would improve...

Senior Execs and Their Employees Don’t See Eye-to-Eye on Promotions

April 11, 2013 High-level managers in federal government are significantly more satisfied with their jobs than the rest of the workforce, according to a new report. Members of the Senior Executive Service averaged an index score of 82.6 out of 100 in overall job satisfaction, according to the Partnership for Public Service survey,...