AUTHOR ARCHIVES

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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MSPB Could Face ‘Unprecedented’ Wave of Furlough Appeals

June 5, 2013 The Merit Systems Protection Board is bracing for the “unprecedented situation” of mass furlough appeals, according to an agency official. MSPB -- a quasi-judicial, independent agency that adjudicates appeals of “adverse personnel actions” from federal employees -- is responsible for issuing rulings on furlough appeals. Bryan Polisuk, general counsel for...

OPM Issues Guidance on How to Partially Retire

June 4, 2013 The Office of Personnel Management has released additional details on the phased retirement option for eligible federal employees, spelling out implementation plans for the proposal signed into law nearly one year ago. Phased retirement -- which allows eligible federal employees to work part time while collecting prorated pension payments --...

Secret Man Caves Found in EPA Warehouse

June 4, 2013 A warehouse maintained by contractors for the Environmental Protection Agency contained secret rooms full of exercise equipment, televisions and couches, according to an internal audit. EPA’s inspector general found contractors used partitions, screens and piled up boxes to hide the rooms from security cameras in the 70,000 square-foot building located...

Supreme Court Awards Fed’s Death Benefits to Ex-Wife, Despite Remarriage

June 3, 2013 The Supreme Court on Monday affirmed a Virginia state court’s decision to allow the ex-wife of a deceased federal employee to collect life insurance benefits from the federal government. In its decision, the high court said federal law trumped a state provision that would have given Warren Hillman’s death benefits...

Treasury Suspends Investments Into G Fund

June 3, 2013 The Treasury Department has suspended investments into the government securities G Fund, using the most stable of the federal employee pension funds to delay hitting the government’s debt ceiling. Suspending investments into the Thrift Savings Plan’s G fund -- which collects on interest-bearing Treasury bonds that make up the public...

Americans: Furloughs Were So Last Month

May 31, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Are people no longer looking for furlough information? That’s one of the conclusions that could be drawn based on trends in Google search data. While the mandatory unpaid days of leave are causing hardship for thousands of federal workers, data from the millions of searches conducted on Google’s servers reveal...

Unemployment Compensation for Furloughed Feds?

May 31, 2013 Some federal employees will take week-long furloughs in an attempt to collect unemployment insurance, according to a CNN report. A union local in Philadelphia -- an affiliate of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers -- has negotiated with Navy officials to allow the bunched furloughs, rather than the...

Proposals Would Broaden Sensitive Positions and Change Appeal Rights

May 30, 2013 The Obama administration has proposed a rule to expand the definition of federal positions designated as “sensitive,” causing backlash among whistleblower advocates who say the change will deny rights to those who speak out against bad governance. The Office of Personnel Management and Office of the Director of National Intelligence...

EPA Trims Furloughs by Three Days

May 30, 2013 The Environmental Protection Agency has cut three furlough days from the total its employees must take, according to an internal memo. The change will go into effect during the second phase of unpaid leave -- from June 16 through Sept. 30 -- and will bring the total number of furlough...

What Would Happen if the Postal Service and FEHBP Part Ways?

May 30, 2013 The U.S. Postal Service wants to be left alone. It wants to be administered by its own board of governors, make its own decisions on how many days a week to deliver mail and set its own product prices. It also wants to run its own health care plan. Currently,...