Washington Post reports: Trump’s lack of appointments creating intolerable backlog of cases.
Washington, D.C. November 22, 2017. For years, whistleblowers have complained about the political nature of the Merit System Protections Board. Federal employees cannot have their whistleblower cases heard in federal district court, but instead must go before the MSPB, which is appointed by the President.
The predicament of federal employee whistleblowers is now critical. According to a report in yesterday’s Washington Post, President Trump’s foot-dragging on appointments is creating a “steadily growing backlog” with more than “660 pending cases.” One of those backlogged cases is that of Army Corp of Engineers whistleblower, Dr. Toni Savage.
Dr. Savage is stuck in a legal limbo as the MSPB requires a quorum of three members and since January 7, has only had one member. The MSPB cannot issue a final decision in any whistleblower cases until President Trump appoints new members.
A grassroots campaign to demand that Congress pass legislation to permit federal employee whistleblowers to file their cases in federal district court was launched by the National Whistleblower Center. The NWC issued an Action Alert calling out Trump’s failure to nominate members to the MSPB, as a denial of federal employee whistleblower’s, such as Dr. Savage, basic due process rights.
“Without court access, federal employee whistleblower rights are non-existent. The MSPB administrative process, even before the current crisis brought on by the lack of quorum, was criticized by every major whistleblower advocacy group in the nation,” said National Whistleblower Center Executive Director Stephen M. Kohn. He continued, “Now with the lack of quorum and year-long backlog, the broken system is simply not fixable. Federal employee whistleblowers need what other whistleblower laws provide, access to federal court and independent judges.”