Fedweek

mspb appeals backlog Image: Lane V. Erickson/Shutterstock.com

The Senate has confirmed nominees for two of the three seats on the MSPB governing board, finally enabling it to issue decisions on appeals of hearing officer decisions after a five year wait.

New members Raymond Limon — until now the Interior Department’s chief human capital officer — and Tristan Leavitt — who has been the MSPB general counsel and the acting head of the agency — now will face a backlog of some 3,600 appeals that have built up since the board lost its quorum in January 2017. The board lost its last member two years later.

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The confirmations cap a tortuous process of attempts to restore the board’s normal operations which involved Senate Democrats holding up Trump administration nominees and Republicans doing the same up to now with Biden administration nominees.

That continues, though, regarding the nomination of federal employment lawyer and former union official Cathy Harris to chair the board. Her nomination remains held up over Republican concerns that resulted in tied committee votes in the evenly split Senate both last year and earlier this year.

With no members for the last three years the MSPB further has been unable to issue the types of detailed studies of federal personnel issues that also are part of its portfolio, although it has continued issuing shorter white papers and articles.

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