Merit Systems Protection Board:

Mission Performance, Employee Protections, and Working Environment

GGD-95-213: Published: Aug 15, 1995. Publicly Released: Aug 15, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the Merit Systems Protection Board's (MSPB) performance, management, and operations, focusing on: (1) whether the MSPB appeals process is effectively protecting federal employees against improper personnel practices; (2) the accountability mechanisms MSPB has in place to provide its employees with merit system protections; and (3) the actions MSPB has taken to foster an environment of trust, respect, and fairness.

GAO found that: (1) the practitioner groups surveyed generally felt that MSPB has been fair in processing employee appeals of agency personnel actions and MSPB is accomplishing its statutory mission; (2) during the 4-year period ending September 1994, 91 percent of the final MSPB decisions appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals were upheld; (3) MSPB regional offices met their 120-day case processing guideline 96 percent of the time during the same period, while MSPB headquarters met its 110-day guideline 61 percent of the time; (4) the differences in the timeliness in processing appeals has been due to the complexity of headquarters' cases; (5) MSPB has established accountability mechanisms and an equal employment opportunity (EEO) policy to protect its employees against workplace discrimination, mismanagement, abuse, and improper personnel practices; (6) two-fifths of MSPB employees surveyed said they would be reluctant to become involved in the processing of EEO complaints; and (7) although MSPB has taken a variety of actions to foster an environment of trust, respect, and fairness, only 29 percent of survey respondents felt that MSPB has been successful.

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