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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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Senate Democrats Want to Triple Obama's Proposed Federal Pay Raise

March 18, 2016 Federal employees would receive an across-the-board pay raise of 5.3 percent next year under a Democratic-sponsored bill introduced in the Senate Wednesday. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, would provide feds with a 3.9 percent boost, plus a 1.4 percent bump in locality pay for 2017. The figure...

Combat Vets Now Can File For VA Health Benefits Over the Phone

March 18, 2016 Combat veterans now can apply for health care at the Veterans Affairs Department by telephone, in addition to the existing paper and online application options. The VA hopes that the new option, which will be available to all veterans starting July 5, will expedite processing of health care applications and...

Government Would Pair Service Dogs and Vets With Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Under Bill

March 17, 2016 Veterans with severe post-traumatic stress would be paired with service dogs paid for by the government to help support them under a new House bill. The Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) Act, introduced by Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., would create a five-year, $10 million pilot program that provides the animals...

VA Backpedals on Changing Status of All Senior Executives

March 15, 2016 The Veterans Affairs Department on Tuesday publicly backed away from pursuing legislation that would move all VA senior executives into a different personnel system, making it easier to hire and fire them. VA Secretary Bob McDonald told a Senate panel that the department wants to “expand the Title 38 hiring...

Most VA Senior Executives Pick Job Security Over Better Pay

March 15, 2016 This story has been updated. Most senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department don’t support moving the corps out of Title 5, even if it means better pay, according to a new survey. Sixty-four percent of respondents to a survey by the Senior Executives Association said they don’t agree with...

OPM Tries to Make Senior Executive Hiring Less Annoying For Everybody

March 14, 2016 The Office of Personnel Management is encouraging federal agencies to use a resume-based application process for senior executive candidates to attract the best applicant pool – and also save people some aggravation. “This method provides an alternative to the traditional submission by applicants of a resume and a 10-page written...

Feds: Tell Your Manager How You Really Feel -- With No Repercussions

March 10, 2016 The Office of Personnel Management will begin emailing the 2016 federal workforce survey to employees across government at the end of April, soliciting feedback on compensation, morale, agency leadership and job satisfaction. OPM will send out the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey in two phases. Each agency’s survey will be open...

Senators Urge Pentagon to Postpone Cuts to Autism Coverage for Military Kids

March 9, 2016 A bipartisan group of senators is urging the Defense Department to postpone impending cuts to reimbursement rates for autism benefits under TRICARE. Defense has proposed cuts of up to 15 percent for reimbursement rates for Applied Behavior Analysis, a popular therapy for children with disorders on the autism spectrum. ABA...

VA Senior Executives Feel 'Demoralized' and 'Betrayed' Over Latest Hiring and Firing Proposal

March 7, 2016 Senior executives at Veterans Affairs are worried that a proposal from the department’s leadership to ease SES hiring and firing will further batter recruitment and retention of top career officials to VA, according to a new survey. “A lot of folks are feeling that they think this is much more...

Senators Lambaste Agency for Reversing VA’s Decision to Punish Senior Executives

March 4, 2016 Four Republican senators are blasting the small, independent agency that adjudicates appeals from fired federal employees for rejecting the Veterans Affairs Department’s recent decisions to remove and demote senior executives accused of wrongdoing. “On behalf of our nation’s veterans who deserve better, we request analysis of the principles, laws, and...