Effect of FY 1982 Budget Reductions on the Federal Labor Relations Authority

FPCD-83-18: Published: Mar 11, 1983. Publicly Released: Mar 11, 1983.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the impact of fiscal year (FY) 1982 budget reductions on the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA).

GAO found that the final 1982 FLRA appropriation was $14.2 million, approximately 11 percent less than its 1981 appropriation and about 15 percent less than its approved request for 1982; the agency received a supplemental appropriation of $645,000 in September 1982. FLRA reduced its costs by separating 53 employees in two reductions in force; not filling vacant positions; curtailing staff travel; freezing staff promotions, cash incentive awards, Senior Executive Service bonuses, and training; suspending plans for statistical reporting and legal research systems; and cutting back on supplies, equipment, and equipment maintenance. In addition, FLRA closed a regional office and transferred its caseload to a suboffice which was upgraded to a regional office. As a result of the curtailment of staff travel: (1) disposition of unfair labor practice cases took longer; (2) the Office of the General Counsel supervised rather than conducted some union representation elections; and (3) the Federal Service Impasses Panel took longer than in the prior year to resolve negotiation impasses. The other cost-cutting actions produced mixed results. GAO concluded that, although the budget cuts prevented FLRA from effectively accomplishing its mission during the FY, fewer new cases were received during the year; thus, the agencywide backlogs did not increase. In addition, yearend measures of delays in investigations and hearings were no longer at the peak levels which occurred during the FY.

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