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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Changes to Veterans’ Preference Could Be On the Horizon

June 3, 2016 Veterans’ preference would only apply to a vet’s first job in federal service under a provision in the Senate fiscal 2017 Defense authorization bill. The provision, which is new this year, would not allow veterans’ preference – a confusing and often controversial factor in federal hiring – to be an...

Could Attorney General Decision Help Fired VA Senior Executive Get Her Job Back?

June 2, 2016 The Justice Department this week declined to defend a key part of a 2014 law that aimed to make it easier to fire senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department, opening the door to future challenges from affected employees and delivering another blow to a statute some consider unconstitutional. Attorney...

More Money for Defense Buyouts, Troop Pay Raise, and More

June 1, 2016 Defense civilian employees could get a bigger buyout package under a provision in the Senate fiscal 2017 Defense authorization bill. The bill would nearly double the current amount department employees could receive under a buyout, from $25,000 to $40,000. Buyouts, or Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments, are cash incentives for eligible...

Clinton Pledges More Job Flexibility, Opportunities for Military Families

May 31, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Tuesday pledged to help military families better balance work and home by providing more resources for spouses and increasing flexibility related to duty assignments and leave for service members. Clinton, who served on the Armed Services Committee when she was in the Senate, rolled...

Surviving Military Spouse Benefit Will Increase Slightly This Fall

May 27, 2016 A benefit that provides an extra financial cushion for some surviving military spouses will increase from $275 to $310 in October, although its long-term fate remains uncertain. An allowance Congress created in 2008 to ease an offset imposed by the government to prevent benefit double-dipping, is set to expire on...

Unions At Odds Over VA Employee Accountability Bill

May 26, 2016 Unions representing rank-and-file employees at the Veterans Affairs Department are at odds over legislation that would change the disciplinary process for VA poor performers. The National Federation of Federal Employees, which represents nurses, doctors and other health care professionals at 17 VA facilities across the country, on Wednesday urged senators...

Want a $10,000 Bonus? Start Looking for Ways to Cut Waste in Your Department

May 25, 2016 Bipartisan legislation that would allow agencies to give bonuses of up to $10,000 to federal employees who save the government money is headed to the Senate floor. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved the Bonuses for Cost-Cutters Act on Wednesday, a bill that would allow an agency...

MSPB Reminds Agencies They Don’t Need Airtight Proof to Get Suspected Criminals Off the Payroll

May 24, 2016 The Merit Systems Protection Board is reminding federal agencies that they can indefinitely suspend without pay employees suspected of crimes. Agencies do not by law have to wait for a criminal indictment, or actual conviction, to temporarily take workers off the payroll if they have “reasonable cause” to believe the...

HUD Turns to the 'Toyota Way' to Cut Through Red Tape in Hiring

May 20, 2016 “Give the man a cookie. He’s falling apart.” Laughter peals from a group of federal employees sitting informally around a small table in a wood-paneled conference room at the Housing and Urban Development Department in Washington. They’ve gathered for an intense brainstorming or “mapping” session on how to fix the...

House Votes to Ban Bonuses For Some Federal Senior Executives

May 19, 2016 Senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department would not receive bonuses in fiscal 2017 under a major spending bill the House passed on Thursday. The fiscal 2017 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations measure includes a provision that prohibits the department from using any funds in the legislation for senior...

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