Developments at the MSPB: On May 29, 2015, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued its annual report for FY 2014. The report discussed the current status of the MSPB’s caseload of furlough appeals, as well as its overall case processing in FY 2014.
The annual report notes that the MSPB, as of the end of April 2015, has completed administrative-judge level proceedings of almost 70% of the furlough appeal backlog from the roughly 32,000 furlough appeals from the 2013 Sequestration-related furloughs. 2,200 of those furlough decisions (or roughly 10% of these decisions) have been appealed to the MSPB itself on Petition for Review (PFR); the MPSB has issued 950 PFR decisions so far. The MSPB reported that the furloughs have so far been upheld in 99.5% of cases.
Statistics appearing in the annual report show a decrease in non-furlough related decisions. Excluding the furloughs, total cases adjudicated at the MSPB regional or field office level decreased over 17% from FY 2013. The MSPB further reported that fewer cases in its Mediation Appeals Program (MAP) were closed out during FY 2014, allegedly due to the need to divert resources to process furlough appeals.
MSPB staff changes discussed in the annual report include the end of former Vice Chair Wagner’s appointment in February 2015 as well as the appointment of new Chief Administrative Judges or Regional Directors in three of its regional offices. The MSPB noted that President Obama had not yet nominated a replacement for Vice Chair Wagner as of publication of the annual report, but that her absence would not prevent the MSPB from issuing decisions with the Board’s remaining members.