Federal Manager's Daily Report

President Trump last year proposed nominees to fill all three seats but after a generally cordial confirmation hearing in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, they advanced no farther.

The Merit Systems Protection Board has now been without a quorum for two years, a period it has been unable to issue decisions on appeals of rulings by its hearing officers–not only the longest such period for that agency but apparently for any agency that adjudicates federal employment matters.

The three-member board has had only one sitting member during that time, who himself is serving on holdover status and apparently will have to vacate the seat in about a month. In addition to not being able to rule on appeals of hearing officer decisions–which have continued through that time–the agency is unable to issue some of its regular reports on federal workforce matters, although it has continued to put out some findings in shortened format.

President Trump last year proposed nominees to fill all three seats but after a generally cordial confirmation hearing in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, they advanced no farther. The panel late in the year scheduled a vote but that was canceled and the nominations expired with the 2017-2018 Congress. At the time, the case backlog was put at above 1,500, a figure that no doubt has increased by now.

As an alternative to appealing to the MSPB board, hearing officer decisions in many cases can be challenged instead directly into federal court. It is unclear how commonly that is being done. Nor is there any indication of when new nominations for the board will be sent to the Senate.