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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VA cited for excessive conference spending and ‘weak’ leadership

October 1, 2012 This story has been updated with additional details. The Veterans Affairs Department spent more than $6 million on two conferences in the summer of 2011, much of which was deemed wasteful and excessive, according to an internal investigation. The report, issued by VA’s inspector general’s office, called the human resources...

GSA not properly tracking its cloud transition, report finds

October 1, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The General Services Administration is not adequately tracking its goals or monitoring its savings since transitioning to a cloud-based email service, an internal report has found. GSA migrated from Lotus Notes to Google Apps for Government for email in June 2011, expecting to save $15 million within five years. GSA’s...

Around Government

October 1, 2012 A Road Well-Traveled Brenda Wells is the master of the long commute. Her daily five-hour sojourn to and from the State Department involves a drive, a ride on a commuter train, two subway lines and a bus. In May, Wells, won WTOP Radio’s inaugural Commuter Idle contest for having the...

Campaign Season

October 1, 2012 One-stop shop. Social media. Centralized online giving. These are the buzz phrases in a report commissioned in 2011, the 50th anniversary of the Combined Federal Campaign, to modernize a charity drive whose roots trace back to the Eisenhower administration. The CFC-50 Commission, which released its report in July, found donations...

Pentagon tightens oversight of flight reservations

September 28, 2012 The Defense Department will require its employees to receive supervisor approval 72 hours prior to the scheduled departure time for any work-related flight they have reserved, or else the reservation will automatically be canceled, the Pentagon has announced. The change will take effect Oct. 1. It comes after airlines complained...

HHS chief back on campaign trail after violation

September 28, 2012 Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will appear at several campaign events for President Obama in New Hampshire on Friday and Saturday despite recently facing a citation for violating the Hatch Act, the New Hampshire Union Leader reported. The Office of Special Counsel found Sebelius had defied the law...

Agencies not taking steps to avoid redundant IT spending, report finds

September 27, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal agencies are not taking full advantage of technology spending plans that can reduce duplication in government programs, a new study finds. The Government Accountability Office report recommends agencies utilize “enterprise architecture,” which GAO defines as “a blueprint that describes how an organization operates in terms of business processes and...

Feds pitch in to help colleagues affected by hurricane

September 26, 2012 On the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund website, three words are prominently featured front and center: “Feds helping feds!” After the devastation of Hurricane Isaac left thousands of homes damaged or destroyed, the nonprofit organization is helping federal workers do just that. FEEA -- established to assist federal employees...

Army chief hospitalized after Alexandria, Va., bike accident

September 26, 2012 Army Secretary John McHugh has been hospitalized due to injuries from a bike accident Monday, according to the Associated Press. The injury is not considered serious. An Army spokesman said McHugh is “resting comfortably” at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and expects to return to work soon. Details of...

White House to government contractors: Stop human trafficking

September 25, 2012 This story has been updated with comment from the White House. President Obama has issued an executive order to increase oversight that prevents human trafficking resulting from government contracts, the White House announced Tuesday. The policy will seek to strengthen existing laws against government contracts going to companies involved in...