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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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Former Phoenix VA Senior Executive Pleads Guilty to Lying About Lobbyist's Gifts

March 2, 2016 The former career senior executive who ran the Veterans Affairs Department’s Phoenix health care system when the scandal over falsifying wait lists erupted in 2014 has pleaded guilty to lying on her government financial disclosure form about gifts she received from a lobbyist. Sharon Helman, who ultimately lost her job...

Senators to Pentagon: Don't Mess With Commissary Employees' Compensation

March 1, 2016 Fifteen Democratic senators are urging the Defense Department to avoid certain changes that could adversely affect the pay and benefits of its commissary employees. The department has been considering ways to rein in costs associated with the popular commissaries, which provide groceries to military personnel, families and retirees worldwide at...

FEHBP Insurance Carriers Must Cover Autism Treatment Beginning in 2017

February 29, 2016 This story has been updated. Beginning in 2017, all insurance carriers participating in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program must cover a popular therapy for children with some form of autism, according to the Office of Personnel Management. Since 2013, FEHBP insurance carriers have had the option of covering applied...

VA Tries to Punish Senior Leaders in Cincinnati for Misconduct

February 26, 2016 The Veterans Affairs Department on Thursday moved to punish two senior leaders accused of misconduct in Ohio as part of its ongoing effort to improve accountability at the VA. Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson proposed firing Jack Hetrick, the Veterans Integrated Service Network director for Region 10, which includes Cincinnati. But...

VA Does Not Stand For 'Veterans Administration'

February 25, 2016 The 2016 presidential campaign has been everything except predictable. But we can count on one thing: At any given moment, an Oval Office hopeful somewhere is screwing up the name of the Veterans Affairs Department. Both Republican and Democratic candidates consistently call the Veterans Affairs Department the “Veterans Administration” during...

Bill Would Give Federal Employees a 5.3 Pay Raise in 2017

February 24, 2016 This story has been updated. Federal employees would receive an across-the-board pay raise of 5.3 percent next year under a Democratic-sponsored bill introduced Tuesday. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., would provide feds with a 3.9 percent boost, plus a 1.4 percent bump in locality pay for 2017....

Proposal Would Give Some VA Senior Executives More Pay

February 23, 2016 A small number of Veterans Affairs senior executives would be able to earn up to $50,000 more in annual salary under the department’s draft legislative proposal to make it easier to hire and fire top career officials. A new pay band would be created for the department’s 344 career senior...

VA Deputy Says He Has Confidence in Senior Executives He Demoted

February 22, 2016 Just a few months after demoting them, Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson on Monday said he was confident in the leadership abilities of two senior executives that he was forced to reinstate to their previous jobs. “The overarching theme today is for all of us to get back to...

Civilians Working in Overseas Hot Spots Eligible for Higher Premium Pay in 2016

February 19, 2016 Some civilian employees working overseas in certain countries in the Middle East and Africa are eligible to receive higher premium pay through the end of 2016, according to new guidance from the Office of Personnel Management. Government employees working abroad in support of a military operation or in response to...

Military’s Paid Maternity Leave Now 12 Weeks; Feds Still At Zero

February 18, 2016 When it comes to pay and benefits, there are many differences between military service members and the federal civilian workforce. Defense Secretary Ash Carter just reminded everyone of a big one: paid maternity leave. Carter recently announced that the Defense Department would give female service members 12 weeks of paid...