Kellie Lunney

Senior Correspondent Kellie Lunney covers federal pay and benefits issues, the budget process and financial management. After starting her career in journalism at Government Executive in 2000, she returned in 2008 after four years at sister publication National Journal writing profiles of influential Washingtonians. In 2006, she received a fellowship at the Ohio State University through the Kiplinger Public Affairs in Journalism program, where she worked on a project that looked at rebuilding affordable housing in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. She has appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, NPR and Feature Story News, where she participated in a weekly radio roundtable on the 2008 presidential campaign. In the late 1990s, she worked at the Housing and Urban Development Department as a career employee. She is a graduate of Colgate University.
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TRICARE Lowers Mental Health Care Co-Pays, Expands Treatment Options

October 12, 2016 The cost of mental health care coverage is going down for many TRICARE beneficiaries at the same time access to more treatment is expanding, according to the military health agency. TRICARE retirees, as well as non-active duty dependents and survivors, generally will pay roughly half the co-payment for outpatient mental...

Both Political Parties Believe Next Administration Should Prioritize Performance Management in Agencies

October 11, 2016 The next administration should accelerate governmentwide adoption of the performance- and evidence-based management begun under its predecessors to ensure the federal government is doing its best to improve people’s lives, according to two former Office of Management and Budget officials. “We have seen remarkable progress in recent years reducing problems...

Retirement Backlog Is Back Down

October 7, 2016 The retirement claims backlog fell in September to 15,146 applications, down from 16,334 in August, according to the latest numbers from the Office of Personnel Management. OPM actually received more claims in September than it did in August – 6,946 applications compared to 6,818. The agency managed to process 8,134...

McCain Says He Will Scrap Change to Veterans’ Preference

October 6, 2016 Sen. John MCain, R-Ariz., reportedly will scrap a provision in the Senate fiscal 2017 Defense authorization bill that would have limited veterans’ preference in federal hiring to a one-time use. The senator, who is in a tough re-election fight in Arizona, sent the American Legion a letter earlier this week...

Agencies Prepare For Hurricane Matthew

October 5, 2016 Multiple federal agencies have been preparing for the possibility that a major hurricane could wreak havoc along the East Coast over the next few days. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has response teams and supplies in place in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina as Hurricane Matthew travels from...

Longer Probationary Periods For New Defense Hires

October 4, 2016 The Pentagon officially has extended the probationary period for new civilian hires from one to two years. The change, mandated by the fiscal 2016 Defense authorization law, affects employees hired by Defense to permanent jobs in the competitive service, or appointed to the Senior Executive Service, on or after Nov....

Vets Are More Civically Engaged Than The Rest of Us, Research Finds

October 3, 2016 Veterans are more likely than non-vets to volunteer, vote and actively participate in their communities, according to a new report based on government data. The 2016 Veterans Civic Health Index found that 74 percent of vets vote in local elections compared to 57 percent of non-vets, and volunteer an average...

VHA Still Needs More Doctors and Nurses

September 29, 2016 The Veterans Health Administration continues to struggle mightily to recruit and retain doctors, nurses and psychologists one year after Congress passed legislation designed to better serve veterans, in part by hiring more health care professionals, according to a new inspector general report. VA’s “largest staffing shortages” were in five occupations:...

Congress Votes to Keep Government Open

September 28, 2016 This story has been updated. House lawmakers late Wednesday passed a short-term continuing resolution by a vote of 342-85 that funds the government through Dec. 9. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, offered an amendment to the bill which would automatically extend the CR through Jan. 18 if lawmakers fail to agree...

Congress Reaches Tentative Deal to Avoid Government Shutdown

September 28, 2016 Lawmakers tentatively reached a last-minute deal Tuesday night to avert a government shutdown on Saturday, according to news reports. House leadership has agreed on a plan to include funding to deal with the water crisis in Flint, Mich., in the 2016 Water Resources Development Act, the Washington Post and The...

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