About the Merit Systems Protection Board

What is the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB)?

The federal Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) exists to protect the rights of federal civil service employees. The MSPB is designed to be independent of partisan politics and to provide federal employees with an opportunity to appeal adverse and unfair personnel decisions. In order to fulfill its role as an independent and fair system, the MSPB has been carefully organized and its board members have been appointed by the President of the United States.

Organization of the MSPB

In order to understand how your appeal will be processed and decided, it is important to understand how the MSPB is organized. The board members serve in the central Washington D.C. Office where the MSPB is headquartered. Many of the appeals and studies that are conducted by the MSPB occur in Washington where many federal workers are employed.

However, the MSPB recognizes that the federal government employs people in all areas of the country. Accordingly, there are MSPB regional offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. There are also field offices in Denver and New York. Administrative law judges hear and decide cases in these offices to make the MSPB process accessible to local federal workers and agencies.

Board Members

Board members are appointed to the MSPB for significant terms. The current Board includes (To Be Updated):

Member Mark A. Robbins: Mr Robbins was nominated by President Barack Obama on Dec 5, 2011, and confirmed by the Senate on April 26, 2012. He was confirmed by President Donald Trump on 23 January 2017. Mr Robbins previously worked as a senior provincial law advisor in Iraq prior to his appointment, and has a great deal of experience as the Executive Director of the White House Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, besides other roles as General Counsel in the government, and practicing attorney in the private sector. At the time of his nomination, Mr. Robbins was the General Counsel of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. His term ended on March 1, 2018, and he continued to serve in a holdover capacity for one more year until March 1, 2019 (the term has since expired).

Originally, the MSPB was made up of three board members, but the departure of the previous board members has left only one member to helm the board at present (Update May 2019: President Donald Trump has since nominated a third board member, B. Chad Bungard, and hopefully all three board members will be confirmed by the Senate soon). In the event of a non-agreement among two or more board members, the initial judgement of the Administrative Judge will be upheld instead, for the case that is being looked at.

The Board is charged with fulfilling the mission of the MSPB - to protect the federal merit system and the employees of that system. The Board, together with the counsel, administrative law judges, central office staff and regional staff employed by the MSPB, all play a large role in implementing the MSPB procedures to achieve that mission.