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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Around Government

August 1, 2013 Decoding Rap and Regs GSA considers site that analyzes hip-hop lyrics to cut through jargon. What will be the next social media platform to make it big in government? The answer may be Rap Genius, a four-year-old tool to decode hip-hop lyrics that federal agencies could use to crowdsource explanations...

Bills Targeting IRS Workers, Conference Spending Win House Approval

July 31, 2013 The House approved two separate bills attempting to limit federal conferences, citing recent examples of employees misusing funds. The Government Spending Accountability Act passed the House unanimously by voice vote. The bill would cap the amount an agency can spend on a single conference at $500,000, unless the agency head...

Officials Make Good on Pay Docking

July 30, 2013 Another lawmaker has added his name to the tally of officials who have pledged to donate a portion of their salary in solidarity with furloughed federal employees. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., has repeatedly spoken out against furlough plans at the Defense Department. Warner joins a long list of lawmakers and...

Justice Dept.’s Defense of Unpaid Attorney Positions Doesn’t Satisfy Union

July 26, 2013 A federal employee union has condemned the Justice Department’s recruiting of unpaid workers, as the agency maintained it is operating within the framework of the law. The Justice Department recently posted more than a dozen openings for “experienced attorneys,” without offering compensation. The department said a sequestration-induced hiring freeze and...

Bill to Limit Fed Bonuses Clears House Panel

July 25, 2013 The House oversight committee passed a slew of mostly Republican-sponsored bills Wednesday affecting federal employees and agencies, including a measure to limit bonuses for workers. The Common Sense in Compensation Act, introduced by Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., would limit bonuses for rank-and-file federal employees to 5 percent of their base...

Bill Phasing Out Door-to-Door and Saturday Mail Delivery Heads to House Floor

July 25, 2013 The fate of postal reform remains mired in uncertainty after once again clearing the oversight committee by a party line vote Wednesday. The 2013 Postal Reform Act -- introduced by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., -- gained the full support of the Republican majority...

Small Perks Proposed for Beleaguered Feds

July 25, 2013 Indiscriminate budget cuts caused by sequestration have forced Border Patrol agents to work fewer overtime hours. For the inconvenience, a group of Democratic lawmakers want to give the agents a tax break. Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Texas, has introduced the Border Security Tax Relief Act, which would allow Border Patrol employees...

Wanted: Experienced Attorneys Willing to Work for Free

July 23, 2013 The Justice Department has taken a new approach to dealing with the cutbacks caused by sequestration: hiring new employees, but not paying them. Justice has posted more than a dozen unpaid positions on its website, according to ProPublica, which first reported the story. These are not simply summer internships, either;...

Military Education, Sequestered

July 22, 2013 Children often watch the local weather forecasts with glee, hoping with every fiber of their being the storms will grant them the most vaunted wintery gift of all: a snow day. Less common, however, are students who gather ‘round to watch C-SPAN, hoping beyond hope that lawmakers will fail to...

Feds Shying Away From TSP

July 22, 2013 The number of civilian participants enrolled in the federal employees’ retirement investment plan has dropped to its lowest point in the last year. About 2.4 million participants were enrolled through the Federal Employees Retirement Systems as of last month, according to the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board -- the agency...