This is one in a series of articles highlighting Breaking Gov’s best stories of the past year. As we reflected on our 2011 coverage of innovation, technology and management amongst the federal agencies and workforce, this was among the stories that stood out as delivering key insight into the top issues facing today’s government community.

A new online service emerged in the past year and put a spotlight on the 1000 most highly paid federal civil servants, renewing the debate on whether government employees are overcompensated.

The list of highest paid civil servants, issued by an Internet start-up firm, WikiOrgCharts, provides a new perspective on the extent to which doctors, lawyers and banking professionals hold top paying government jobs and the sizable incomes that the federal government pays to attract senior management talent.

The ranking also represents the latest example of private sector firms creating new products using publicly available government data.

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