Effects of FY 1982 Budget Cuts on the Merit Systems Protection Board

FPCD-83-20: Published: Apr 8, 1983. Publicly Released: Apr 8, 1983.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the impact of fiscal year (FY) 1982 budget reductions on the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and its Office of the Special Counsel (OSC).

MSPB and its OSC received substantial budget reductions in FY 1982 which required both agencies to cut their operating expenses. GAO found that MSPB and OSC were less timely and, in some instances, less thorough in performing their duties in FY 1982 than in previous years, and this deterioration in service adversely affected other agencies and federal employees, particularly in terms of increased costs and processing times. MSPB realized the majority of its savings by freezing hiring, staff promotions, and overtime pay, which resulted in staff imbalances in several regional offices. Although MSPB professional employees worked uncompensated overtime to continue office operations, a greater number of 1982 decisions exceeded the MSPB processing standard. OSC postponed additional hiring despite a high rate of attrition during 1982, which created managerial and administrative problems for several regional offices. It also significantly reduced funds available for investigative travel. GAO noted that some potentially valid cases may have been closed without any followup action or following incomplete investigations, and outreach efforts were postponed.

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