As of September 10, 2013, more than 32,000 furlough appeals have been filed at the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB or Board) during FY 2013. This is in addition to the almost 6,000 appeals we have received during the fiscal year on other matters that are appealable to MSPB under law. Approximately 99% of the furlough appeals were filed by civilian employees of military departments and Department of Defense (DoD) activities.
MSPB can report that almost all of the furlough appeals have been docketed by our regional offices. Certain MSPB regional offices have begun the consolidation process and have sent the parties Acknowledgment Orders, which set forth the next steps in the process. For example, the Northeastern Regional Office and Western Regional Office have consolidated a small number of DoD furlough appeals and are preparing to adjudicate these cases, while the Denver Field Office is currently adjudicating DoD furlough appeals. Under our regulations, an MSPB administrative judge may consolidate cases when doing so would expedite the processing of the cases and not adversely impact a party. Cases can be consolidated based upon a number of factors, including similarity of the issues raised, appellant work location, whether appellants ask for hearings, the deciding official involved, or command. MSPB’s goal is to consolidate cases in a manner that will allow for adjudication in the most efficient and equitable manner possible.
MSPB also has consolidated and adjudicated some furlough appeals filed by non-DoD employees. Moreover, one case involving the furloughing of administrative law judges was petitioned for review by the agency involved to the three-member Board in Washington, DC. The Board has granted a motion for expedited review of this matter and is currently reviewing the case. The Board is also currently reviewing a discovery issue related to furlough appeals that has been certified for interlocutory appeal.
MSPB sent Acknowledgment Notice
s to all parties in furlough appeals from DoD employees as they were docketed, and as stated above, we expect to send more Acknowledgment Orders to the parties as decisions are made about whether to consolidate appeals or not. As noted in the previous update, because of the volume of these appeals, we will not be able to begin adjudicating all cases at once, so if you become aware of others whose furlough appeals are being adjudicated, that does not mean that your appeal has been overlooked.