October 24, 2000
H.R. 3312 - Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB)
The Administration supports House passage of H.R. 3312, but will work with
the Senate to delete the provision in the manager's amendment which would
revise the rates of basic pay for MSPB administrative judges.
Administrative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Act of 2000
(Rep. Gekas (R) Pennsylvania)
The Administration supports the ADR provisions in H.R. 3312 and has found
that in many circumstances, ADR can help resolve conflicts in a manner that
is quicker, cheaper, and helps to preserve the relationships of the people
involved in the disputes. For this reason, the Administration encourages
the appropriate use of ADR to the maximum extent practicable. The bill
would further this goal by establishing a three-year pilot program for MSPB
to provide Federal employees and agencies with voluntary early intervention
ADR in certain personnel disputes. MSPB would use a variety of ADR
techniques and submit a report evaluating the effectiveness of the program.
While the bill could be further strengthened by requiring MSPB to offer
parties the choice of a private neutral in all cases and by calling for an
independent evaluation of the program, the Administration believes this
bill would establish a valuable program that implements the President's
interest in promoting the use of ADR in government.
However, the Administration does not support the provision that would
establish a new pay system for MSPB's administrative judges. This
provision is unnecessary. While the Administration supports efforts to
ensure the highest quality workforce, there is no evidence of recruitment
and retention problems at MSPB that cannot be solved through existing
authorities. The Administration will work with the Senate to delete this
provision from the bill.