CONGRATS TO CAROL AND ERNIE!
There is another very good piece of good news coming out of the FLRA these days, and it is thanks to Carol Pope and Ernie Dubester. (Sorry for the “Dis” Patrick, but we are pretty sure you would zero out the budget and turn out the lights if Koch Headquarters so signaled.) For years the FLRA had one of the least productive ALJ corps imaginable—precisely the kind of mess the Heritage folks wail about. But thanks to some quiet changes from the Authority’s top leadership, it has had an almost 400% increase in productivity. Here are some hard numbers.
Between May 1, 2013 and May 1, 2014 it appears that the ALJ office issued about 15 decisions the entire year. FEDSMILL.com was not reluctant to publicly whine about the pace as it watched back pay bills and other harmed parties dangling in timeless space waiting for some progress. Another way of looking at the torrid pace of ALJ production back then was that on average each of the three ALJs in the office issued one decision slightly less frequently than every other month. Moreover, that number was down from about 21 decisions the year before that.
But things started to get much better from May 1, 2014 to May 1, 2015. The three ALJs wrote about 44 decisions that year. We have been holding our breath since then thinking that the sudden surge might be attributable to them skimming the easy ones from a long list of backlogged cases. However, in the year since May 1, 2015, ending a week or so ago, the ALJs generated about 56 decisions. Praise the Lord! Her gifts are never-ending! That is more than one decision per ALJ, on average, every three weeks—which is about the pace the average college liberal arts major must produce term papers.
We have no idea whether Carol and Ernie slipped something into the ALJs’ water supply, doubled the oxygen circulating in their offices, privately prayed or inveighed, or just shamed them into it, but we are delighted. They deserve recognition from folks more reputable than us. Perhaps Paddy P can also get them a mention in The Weekly Standard, Right Wing News, JBS News, or on Fox News.
Here is hoping this is a strong sign of things to come. And if you practitioner have some extra gratitude left over after sending some to the top two FLRA Members, send the rest to Julie Clark, the General Counsel, who undoubtedly had to push her staff to litigate much faster than they were required to in the past.