Washington, D.C. – Executive Director Chad Hooper of the Professional Managers Association (PMA) – formed in 1981 by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Managers as a national membership association representing the interests of professional managers, management officials and non-bargaining unit employees in the federal government – released the following statement applauding Senate confirmation of two Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) Members by unanimous consent yesterday:
“PMA enthusiastically applauds the Senate confirmation of United States Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) nominees Tristan Leavitt and Raymond Limon. For too long – over five years – the MSPB has been without a quorum and unable to provide critical finality on agency personnel actions. Most importantly, the Senate’s failure to fill these vacancies have left the federal workforce without a watchdog of employee rights and left taxpayers without an important mechanism for accountability in their government. This has wasted resources and wasted time,” Hooper stated.
“The MSPB is the primary adjudicative body for adverse personnel actions for IRS managers and non-collective bargaining unit employees. Without the MSPB, supervisors are left in a state of limbo waiting years to determine when cases will be resolved. Taxpayer services also take a hit as supervisors are forced to keep positions open in case disciplined employees are reinstated, leaving positions sporadically filled with temp employees who may lack the knowledge and expertise needed for the role,” Hooper continued. “With all the issues facing the IRS this tax season, the MSPB vacancies have been an additional, unnecessary burden entirely at the Senate’s fault.”
“The vacancies have also been a financial detriment, as each reinstated employee will receive backpay with interest for the entire time their case has been pending resolution. The dysfunction at the MSPB has needlessly wasted taxpayer funds, severely undermined employee protections, and created a breeding ground for government abuse. The vacancies’ impact on employees and managers goes widely against best practices for human capital management and the maintenance of employee rights and protections designed to maintain the equitable and nonpartisan delivery of taxpayer services,” Hooper furthered.
“Now that the Senate has restored a quorum, the Board can begin whittling down the 3,600-case backlog that has accumulated in the Board’s absence. This backlog is historic, unjustified, and deeply damaging to taxpayer services. It cannot be stated enough that the Senate’s inaction on restoring a quorum for the last five years has been the cause of disarray and mismanagement,” Hooper concluded. “Luckily, Raymond Limon and Tristan Leavitt are well suited for the task before them. They are strong nominees who will serve the MSPB well. We applaud their confirmation and continue to urge the Senate to confirm the MSPB’s final nominee, Cathy Ann Harris.”