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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Trump Opposes House-Backed Effort to Reform Emergency Disaster Spending

November 1, 2017 The House on Wednesday approved a bill to reshape the way the federal government responds to wildfires, despite pushback on the effort by the Trump administration. The Agriculture Department and its component Forest Service have for years decried the funding process for fighting the fires, noting the increasingly large portion...

Amid Federal Finger-Pointing, FEMA Takes Stock of Puerto Rico Effort

November 1, 2017 Federal officials on Tuesday consistently pointed the blame at the Puerto Rican government for failing to respond more quickly and comprehensively to the hurricane-driven disaster on the island, though it did acknowledge its own relief efforts have been imperfect. Lawmakers from both parties and agency leaders praised employees at the...

FEMA Head Acknowledges Imperfect Federal Response in Puerto Rico

October 31, 2017 Federal officials on Tuesday consistently pointed the blame at the Puerto Rican government for failing to respond more quickly and comprehensively to the hurricane-driven disaster on the island, though it did acknowledge its own relief efforts have been imperfect. Lawmakers from both parties and agency leaders praised employees at the...

FBI Employees Cannot Use Whistleblower Retaliation as a Defense, Court Rules

October 31, 2017 FBI employees do not have the right to defend themselves in federal court or a third-party appeals agency against adverse personnel actions using whistleblower retaliation, according to a recent ruling from the Federal Circuit. Most FBI employees were already prohibited in statute from appealing any adverse action before the Merit...

Puerto Rico Terminates Controversial Contract to Restore Its Power

October 30, 2017 The Puerto Rican government is canceling a controversial contract that it established to restore power to the hurricane-ravaged island, amid concerns about the procurement process, unusual provisions within the agreement and exorbitant pricing. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority announced it would end the $300 million agreement entered into with...

Lawmakers, Procurement Experts Call Puerto Rico Power Contract a 'Travesty'

October 27, 2017 The Trump administration is distancing itself from a controversial contract aimed at rebuilding the power grid in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, which procurement experts and lawmakers say has dubious origins and contains highly unusual provisions. The contract in question was valued at $300 million and awarded to a small Montana firm,...

OPM Finalizes Long-Desired Change to USPS Pensions

October 25, 2017 The U.S. Postal Service will finally see its payments into the federal employee pension account calculated using assumptions from its workforce specifically, rather than the federal workforce as a whole. The calculation has long been a sticking point at the mailing agency. USPS leadership has for years argued its payments...

House GOP Gauges Trump Team’s Interest in Expediting Firing Across Government

October 25, 2017 A group of House Republicans and several conservative advocacy groups are planning to send a letter to Trump administration officials to promote and solicit interest in easing the firing process for employees across the federal government. Reps. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, and Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., are gathering signatures for their letter,...

VA Secretary Asks Congress to Couple Hiring and Pay Reform With Private Care Expansion

October 24, 2017 The Veterans Affairs Department is asking Congress for expedited hiring authority and bonuses to help recruit and retain employees in conjunction with its push for expanding veterans’ access to private sector health care. VA Secretary David Shulkin made the request at a congressional hearing on Tuesday to examine both the...

House Votes to Ensure Lawmakers Can Oversee Homeland Security Reorganization

October 24, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow House lawmakers easily approved a measure on Monday to place tighter restrictions on the Homeland Security Department’s ability to reorganize itself, with members of Congress saying they wanted to ensure they had a voice in the process as the Trump administration looks to comprehensively restructure the federal government. The DHS...