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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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VA Defends Expedited Firing Law Amid Accusations It's Creating 'Cultural Fear'

July 17, 2018 The Veterans Affairs Department at a congressional hearing on Tuesday defended its implementation of a new law easing the firing of its employees, saying any complaints one year into the law’s existence were minor speed bumps on the road to overhauling the culture in government’s second largest agency. Lawmakers on...

As Lawmakers Renew Push for Repeal, OPM Says Workforce Orders Are What Feds Want

July 16, 2018 As several high-profile Democrats pushed the Trump administration to rethink its executive orders reshaping the civil service, an official took to the airwaves to say the measures actually represented the will of the federal workforce. Last week, Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., called on...

Behind the Scenes of Implementing Trump's Border Hiring Surges

July 13, 2018 The Trump administration has devoted significant manpower and financial resources to implementing the president’s immigration executive orders, according to a new report, despite the fact that Congress has declined to approve the new priorities as required. At Immigration and Customs Enforcement, for example, agency employees in the human capital office...

Multi-Agency Review Finds No Examples of Fraudulent Use of Government Charge Cards

July 13, 2018 When investigators go digging into federal agencies’ use of government charge cards, they often find illegal expenditures at bowling alleys, restaurants or even casinos. But when inspectors general recently conducted a large-scale, 20-agency review of 1,255 “high-risk transactions,” they found no examples of “potentially illegal, improper, or erroneous transactions.” The...

Here’s What House Democrats Envision Happening After They Abolish ICE

July 12, 2018 The movement to abolish the federal agency tasked with enforcing immigration laws in the interior of the United States has gained momentum in recent weeks, and lawmakers on Thursday for the first time detailed in legislation exactly how they envisioned this would play out. The Establishing a Humane Immigration Enforcement...

New EPA Chief Promises to Defend Employees' Work While Continuing Regulatory Rollbacks

July 11, 2018 The new head of the Environmental Protection Agency made a promise in his first address to its workforce: I trust you, and I will listen to you. Those words may be welcomed by employees who spent much of former Administrator Scott Pruitt’s tenure voicing frustration that they had been sidelined...

White House: 'Untrue and Misleading' That Reorg Plan Will Reduce Federal Workforce

July 11, 2018 When the White House announced its government reorganization proposal last month, it was met with skepticism among federal employee advocates, who said the plan was a veiled effort to slash services and the workers who provide them. “There’s little reason to believe this reorganization plan is anything more than a...

The Trump Administration Is Struggling to Reunify Young Separated Immigrants With Their Parents

July 10, 2018 The Trump administration has reunited just four of 102 separated immigrant children younger than five years old with their parents as of Tuesday, according to documents it filed in federal court, putting it at risk of violating a judge’s order. Immigration and Customs Enforcement expected to reunite an additional 34...

Trump Pardons Men Who Inspired Armed Occupation of Federal Facility

July 10, 2018 President Trump on Tuesday pardoned two ranchers convicted of maliciously damaging federal property and whose arrests inspired an armed militia to occupy a federal facility for 40 days. Convicted arsonists Dwight Hammond and his son Steven received full pardons from Trump. They were sentenced in 2012 for setting a fire...

Rejecting Agency's Offer, Postal Supervisors Fight for a Bigger Pay Raise

July 9, 2018 A major U.S. Postal Service group is challenging the pay raises offered by the agency, appealing to a third party to offer more significant salary increases to tens of thousands of postal workers. The raises will affect most of the 45,000 supervisors, managers, postmasters and technical specialists covered under the...