FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 17, 2022
Over 100 Civil Society Organizations Urge Senate to Vote on Pending MSPB Nominations
WASHINGTON – This week, 104 organizations released a letter to Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Minority Leader McConnell to urge them to allow the full Senate to vote on pending nominations to all three vacancies on the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). The MSPB is the primary adjudicative agency for worker claims of whistleblower retaliation and other prohibited personnel practices for federal employees, and is essential to the prevention of waste, fraud, and abuse of power.
The board hasn’t had a quorum for more than five years, and it hasn’t had any members at all since March 2019, resulting in the largest-ever backlog of more than 3,500 cases. As a result, government whistleblowers waiting for board review of their retaliation claims remain in limbo while their only due process channel for relief under the Whistleblower Protection Act is paralyzed. This inaction opens an opportunity to many larger issues, including federal agencies taking advantage of the long wait on unresolved cases, large back pay ordered to be paid to federal employees with wrongful termination or demotion claims, and the jeopardizing of the existence of meaningfully enforceable employment rights for millions of Americans.
This is a crisis that the U.S. Senate must rectify as soon as possible. In September 2021, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee considered and reported nominations to fill all MSPB vacancies to the full Senate; the next step is clearly to bring the nominations to the Senate floor.
Government Accountability Project Legal Director Tom Devine commented:
“The last four years are the first since 1883 when there has been no authority to enforce the merit system for a professional, non-partisan work force. It has been four years since federal whistleblowers who challenge betrayals of the public trust could defend themselves. This is inexcusable. Any senator who tries to sustain this accountability vacuum is shielding fraud, waste and abuse.”
Read the full letter to Senate Leaders Schumer and McConnell here.
Contact: Andrew Harman, Communications Director
Phone: (202) 926-3304
Government Accountability Project
Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, Government Accountability Project’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, Government Accountability Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.