The MSPB governing board is now down to only one member, following the resignation of chairman Susan Tsui Grundmann, whose term expired last March but who had been serving in a holdover capacity. Without at least two of its three seats filled, the merit board cannot reach new decisions on pending cases–some decisions reached before her departure have yet to be released–or put out reports on federal personnel issues. It still can order delays of personnel actions at the request of the Office of Special Counsel, such as in cases of alleged whistleblower reprisal, although it could not extend those delays beyond the standard initial 45 days. “Based on the length of time required for previous nomination and confirmation proceedings for Board members, we believe that this situation could be in effect for several months, perhaps until fall 2017 or later,” the agency said in a statement, which added that the situation has arisen only once before, for several weeks in 2003. Meanwhile, the agency’s hearing officers will continue to process appeals of disciplinary actions and other cases, but any cases newly appealed from those hearing officers to the board level will be put in limbo. The 35-day time limit for filing an appeal at the board will continue to apply. MSPB members serve staggered seven-year terms, and it is unknown whether the new administration will move to fill both vacancies at once, or just one of them. The board can operate with two members, although if they would disagree on the outcome of a case, it would have to wait for the confirmation of a third member to serve as a tie-breaker. As an alternative, an employee dissatisfied with a hearing officer’s decision could appeal into federal court; the decisions describe that process, which commonly takes longer and is more costly than appealing to the merit board.