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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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VA Opposes Bill That Would Allow Secretary to Recoup Employees’ Relocation Benefits

April 14, 2016 The Veterans Affairs Department on Thursday publicly stated its opposition to legislation that would allow the secretary to recoup relocation expenses from employees. “VA agrees federal employees should be held accountable and supports actions taken to collect debts when employees have been paid incorrectly, and [VA] has established a strong...

VA Senior Executive Bonus Ban Advances

April 13, 2016 Senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department would not receive bonuses in fiscal 2017 under a major House spending bill approved by the Appropriations Committee on Wednesday. The fiscal 2017 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations measure now heads to the House floor, and includes a provision that prohibits the...

Should Political Appointees Be Held Accountable for Hiring Top Talent?

April 12, 2016 Political appointees should be held accountable for hiring and managing employees within their agencies, the head of a good government nonprofit said on Tuesday. “One of the interesting phenomena [in government] is that we do have a performance management system for the career workforce, not for those 4,000 politicals,” Max...

HUD Wants to Help You Motivate Co-workers and Boost Morale

April 11, 2016 Federal employees interested in motivating their co-workers and improving morale in the workplace should mark their calendars for June 28-29, when the Housing and Urban Development Department is hosting its first executive coaching conference. The event, which is open to all federal employees and will be held in the auditorium...

It’s Official: Family and Medical Leave Act Now Includes Spouses of Gay Feds

April 8, 2016 The Office of Personnel Management on Friday published the final rule changing the statutory language allowing federal employees in same-sex marriages to take time off to care for ill spouses. The definition of “spouse” will be changed officially as of May 9 in OPM’s Family and Medical Leave Act regulations...

Defense Has Wrongly Taxed Disabled Combat Vets For Years

April 7, 2016 Veterans who had to medically retire from the military because of combat-related injuries during the last two decades have lost out on thousands of dollars in severance pay because the Defense Department improperly taxed those payments. It’s unclear how many veterans have been affected, but the nonprofit National Veterans Legal...

Retirement Backlog Still High Despite Slight Progress

April 5, 2016 The Office of Personnel Management made some headway on retirement claims in March, processing 9,222 applications – the most claims it has managed to complete in one month since October, according to the latest data. The March backlog of 19,211 claims still presents a major challenge for the agency, but...

Senior VA Health Executives Could Earn More Money Under Department Proposal

April 4, 2016 Senior health care executives at the Veterans Affairs Department could earn more money, but also could be fired more easily under draft legislation that Secretary Bob McDonald has sent to Capitol Hill. The proposal would create a new personnel system under Title 38 for senior executives in health care leadership...

Former GOP Presidential Candidate Pushes to Make It Easier to Fire All VA Employees

April 1, 2016 Republican sponsors of legislation that would make it easier to fire all employees at the Veterans Affairs Department are worried the final bill will lack strong accountability provisions. “We hope you realize that any piece of comprehensive veterans’ legislation that doesn’t provide the VA secretary swift and comprehensive disciplinary authority...

Mandatory Coverage of Autism Treatment Could Affect FEHBP Premiums

March 31, 2016 It’s not yet clear how new mandatory coverage of a popular therapy for autistic kids will affect premiums next year in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, according to the Office of Personnel Management. “Carriers may or may not propose a premium increase to cover this benefit, depending upon their...