Federal Manager's Daily Report

A federal appeals court has backed MSPB’s refusal to second-guess an agency’s budget decisions in the 2013 sequester furloughs in an appeal brought by an employee who contended that her furlough was not necessary.

In responding to her furlough notice, MSPB recounted, an Army employee “included budget proposals she asserted would prevent furloughs” but the agency ultimately went through with the furlough, which covered six non-consecutive days. On appeal to the MSPB, the employee argued that the furlough “did not promote the efficiency of the service, that the agency committed harmful error by failing to consider her budget proposals.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, though, held that “although the appellant contended that her budget proposals would have averted furloughs, the Board correctly declined to second-guess agency management and spending decisions in applying the efficiency of the service standard,” according to the summary. There was substantial evidence that the official who issued the notice did consider the proposal and there was no contrary information, it added.

The court also affirmed MSPB’s rejection of her argument that the agency improperly delegated the authority to make furlough decisions.