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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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Supreme Court Rules on Civil Service Law

June 23, 2017 The Supreme Court on Friday ruled against the government and in favor of a former Census Bureau employee, finding certain federal workers who appeal adverse actions on the basis of both civil service and antidiscrimination violations should file their cases in district court. In a 7-2 opinion, the court ruled...

Trump Calls Civil Service Laws ‘Outdated’ in Signing VA Firing Reform

June 23, 2017 President Trump on Friday signed a reform of civil service laws at the Veterans Affairs Department, saying he was “very proud” to be enacting the bill to ease the firing of employees. Trump highlighted what he called the “transformative change” his administration has already implemented and said the VA Accountability...

Can Volunteers Save Federal Lands and Create a Hiring Pipeline for Agencies?

June 22, 2017 Lawmakers in both chambers of Congress and political parties want to create a corps of volunteers to help maintain and preserve federal lands and parks, who would then receive a leg up when applying for federal jobs. The 2017 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act would codify and expand the...

Senators Express Dismay Over VA’s Sudden Budget Shortfall

June 22, 2017 A group of senators has expressed disappointment and confusion with the Veterans Affairs Department for its lack of clarity on the budget for one of its key programs. VA said it had plenty of money to carry the program into the next fiscal year just weeks before requesting an emergency...

OMB Needs Bigger Budget So It Can Cut Other Agencies, Director Says

June 21, 2017 Democratic lawmakers grilled the head of the Office of Management and Budget at a hearing Wednesday for boosting his own agency’s budget while slashing spending levels for most of the rest of government. OMB Director Mick Mulvaney defended the proposed 5 percent bump for fiscal 2018, saying the agency was...

Interior Is Moving Forward With Buyouts, Leaves Door Open for RIFs

June 21, 2017 The Interior Department is moving forward with buyouts and early outs despite pushback from lawmakers in both parties on the Trump administration’s proposed massive cuts to the agency’s budget. Interior will rely on attrition, reassignments and separation incentives to reduce the size of its workforce, Secretary Ryan Zinke told a...

House Approves Measure Seeking To Boost DHS Morale

June 20, 2017 The House on Tuesday approved by voice vote a bill aimed at boosting sagging morale at the Homeland Security Department, which would create an engagement steering committee and a program for non-monetary employee awards. The 2017 DHS Morale, Recognition, Learning and Engagement (MORALE) Act would seek to reverse a job...

EPA Wants 1,200 Employees to Accept Buy Outs, Early Outs

June 20, 2017 The Environmental Protection Agency will attempt to persuade more than 1,200 employees to leave their jobs through separation incentives, according to an internal memorandum. EPA has not formally sent the early retirement and buyout offers to employees, according to the memo obtained by Government Executive, but it plans to begin...

Citing Uptick in Attacks, Senators Request Better Protection for ICE Officers

June 19, 2017 A bipartisan pair of senators is calling for action to protect federal immigration officers, joining Trump administration officials in expressing concern over a wave of attacks on the law enforcement personnel. Assaults on Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers have spiked this year, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman...

Agency Leaders Backtrack From Some of Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts

June 16, 2017 During questioning by members of Congress this week on the Agriculture Department's budget proposals to cut research funding, Secretary Sonny Perdue conceded it was “one of those areas where we may have missed the mark.” Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., asked Perdue if he would support conservation, rural development and research...