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Federal Employee Appeals Board’s Doomsday Has Arrived

  February 28, 2019 | By Eric Katz, Government Executive

The quasi-judicial agency that determines federal employees’ challenges to adverse actions will no longer have any Senate-confirmed board members starting Friday, leaving its capacity to operate at all in question.

Mark Robbins, the loan remaining member on the Merit Systems Protection Board’s central panel, will leave the agency Thursday evening, when his term is set to expire. The other two slots on the board are currently vacant, meaning the agency will be without any Senate-confirmed leadership.

The vacancies will put MSPB on loose legal footing, lawmakers and analysts said on Thursday, as the agency is entering into a situation it has never experienced in its 40-year history. Robbins has instructed his staff to continue to operate normally, he told a panel of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, noting the board has been handicapped by a lack of a quorum on its central board for the last two years anyway. MSPB will continue to lack the capacity to make final decisions on appeals or issue studies of the civil service, but will still perform administrative tasks.

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