Last Tuesday, March 20, Susan Grundmann of the MSPB and Carolyn Lerner of OSC went to Capitol Hill and appeared in front of Senate HSGAC Committee Chairman Daniel Akaka (and only him, see the photo to the right). The purpose of the hearing was to gauge progress of both agencies in protecting the civil service. Among the topics discussed were:
- MSPB conducting the first comprehensive review of its adjudication regulations since 1978;
- MSPB’s planned special studies, including one on federal agencies’ adherence to the nine merit principles from the employee’s perspective (including noting that “a good study will actually prevent a prohibited personnel practice from occurring”);
- OSC’s plans to revive its 5 U.S.C. 2302(c) certification program;
- OSC’s use of presidential management fellows, interns, transfers, and term limited hires to make up for a shortfall in funding;
- improving morale at OSC by meeting with staff, holding brownbag lunches, providing professional development projects (including the retaliation pilot project), and offering CLE courses and pro bono opportunities;
- OSC’s and MSPB’s limited funding.
A video of the hearing is available here. A statement by Senator Akaka can be found here, written testimony by Chairman Grundmann can be found here, and testimony by Special Counsel Lerner can be found here.