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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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The Federal Government Has Gotten Slower at Hiring New Employees for 5 Consecutive Years

March 1, 2018 After a few years in which the federal government dramatically decreased the average time it takes to bring on new employees, hiring times have steadily crept back up. Agencies have taken longer to recruit and onboard workers in each of the last five years. The governmentwide average time to hire...

Key GOP Senator Calls Trump's Pay Freeze Plan Ill-Advised

March 1, 2018 A key Republican senator responsible for oversight of the federal workforce said on Thursday President Trump’s proposed 2019 federal pay freeze would be harmful to agencies looking to retain quality employees and recruit new ones, throwing cold water on a policy the White House suggested in its recent budget blueprint....

Congressman Wants List of Employees Deemed 'Non-Essential' During Shutdown

February 28, 2018 The White House should maintain a detailed list of the roughly 40 percent of federal employees who are furloughed during a shutdown, a Republican lawmaker proposed in a new bill, saying increasing transparency surrounding those workers would help reduce the “bloated bureaucracy.” The Essential Act (H.R. 5091), introduced by Rep....

House Democrats Request Subpoena Over Interior's Senior Executive Reassignments

February 28, 2018 The top House Democrat with oversight of the federal workforce requested a subpoena of documents related to the reassignment of dozens of senior executives at the Interior Department, saying the Trump administration has so far stymied efforts to bring transparency to the decisions. Interior sent 176 pages of documents to...

ICE Broke Contracting Rules in Establishing Its Largest Detention Facility

February 27, 2018 The nation’s largest immigrant detention facility was procured improperly, according to a watchdog report, with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2014 using an existing agreement with a town in Arizona as a vehicle to establish the center 900 miles away in Texas. Since 2014, ICE has spent $438,000 annually for...

Scandal-Plagued VA Secretary Vows to Rid Department of Adversaries Who 'Don't Belong'

February 27, 2018 The embattled head of the Veterans Affairs Department on Tuesday shook off any indication that he might step down from his post in the wake of a scandal regarding his travel last year, saying he was setting the direction for the agency and everyone should either get on board or...

Dozens of Lawmakers From Both Parties Implore Justice Dept. Not to Cut 6,000 Jobs

February 26, 2018 Fifty-two members of Congress across the ideological spectrum are asking the Justice Department not to eliminate 6,000 jobs, imploring officials to reconsider a recent mandate to eliminate the positions. The lawmakers said the the Bureau of Prisons should not cut the thousands of vacancies at federal facilities nationwide, noting they...

Senators Try Yet Again to Crack Down on VA’s Senior Executives

February 23, 2018 In 2014, the top career executives at the Veterans Affairs Department faced a new process to expedite their removal under a measure signed into law by President Obama. Last year, President Trump signed a new law replacing that authority and again creating a separate, faster track for VA to fire...

Watchdog Groups Create Guide to Help Feds Protect Themselves Against Political Misconduct

February 22, 2018 Federal scientists should write down all instances of agency personnel interfering with their work, a group of government watchdog and employee advocate groups warned this week. It will help them protect both themselves and their work. Documenting potential abuses is particularly important “in a hostile environment for science,” the groups...

Two Congressional Committees Probe Pruitt’s First-Class Travel

February 21, 2018 Two congressional committees have launched probes into the travel of the Environmental Protection Agency chief, who has faced backlash for his use of first-class travel on the government’s dime. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Democrats on the the House Energy and...