Developments at the MSPB: On January 19, 2018, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued its annual report for FY 2017. The report discussed the current status of the MSPB’s overall case processing in FY 2017.
The MSPB reported that its backlog of undecided Petitions for Review (PFR) continues to grow. The MSPB has been unable to issue PFR decisions since January 8, 2017, when the 3-member Board dropped down to a single member and lost quorum. In an ordinary year, the MSPB issues around 1,000-1,100 PFR decisions. The MSPB reported that the backlog of PFRs awaiting adjudication had grown to 750 cases by the end of CY 2017. The loss of quorum also prevented the MSPB from issuing new implementing regulations for recent statutory changes.
The lack of quorum did not impair the ability of MSPB administrative judges to issue hearing decisions. With the completion of processing of Sequestration-related furlough appeals, the MSPB’s hearing adjudication figures returned to its long-term averages of around 6,000 decisions issued. Other MSPB performance statistics (including percentages of cases dismissed and settled) also roughly returned to pre-Sequestration averages. However, the percentage of cases adjudicated after hearing where corrective action was lower than the pre-Sequestration era (13% in FY 2017, as compared to 22% in FY 2012 and FY 2013).