26:0084(9)AR - HHS, SSA and AFGE -- 1987 FLRAdec AR



[ v26 p84 ]
26:0084(9)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 26 FLRA No. 9
 
 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND 
 HUMAN SERVICES, SOCIAL SECURITY
 ADMINISTRATION
 Agency
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT 
 EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO
 Union
 
                                            Case No. 0-AR-1262 
                                             (24 FLRA No. 11)
 
                 ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
 
                         I.  STATEMENT OF THE CASE
 
    The case is before the Authority on a motion filed by the Agency
 seeking reconsideration of the Authority's decision of November 19,
 1986, dismissing the Agency's exceptions to the Arbitrator's awards of
 September 11 and 12, 1986, as untimely filed.
 
                              II.  BACKGROUND
 
    In its decision, the Authority determined that under section 7122(b)
 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute and sections
 2425.1, 2429.21 and 2429.22 of the Authority's Rules and Regulations,
 any exceptions to the Arbitrator's bench awards of September 11 and 12,
 1986 had to be filed with the Authority within 30 days of the dates
 those awards were rendered, that is, no later than the close of business
 on October 10 and 14, 1986, respectively.  In reaching that
 determination, the Authority rejected the Agency's assertion that
 because no representative of the Agency was present at the hearing, the
 time limit for filing exceptions should begin to run from the date the
 transcript of the proceeding was mailed to the Agency.  The Authority
 found that it was well settled based upon precedent, particularly in
 cases involving other related bench rulings between these same parties,
 that bench awards are final when rendered and ripe for filing exceptions
 with the Authority at that time.  The Authority also found that the
 record clearly indicated that while the Agency did not participate in
 the September 11 and 12 hearings, it voluntarily chose not to do so and,
 thus, acted at its own peril.  The Authority therefore concluded that
 the time limit for filing exceptions expired on October 10 and 14 and
 that the Agency's exceptions filed on October 30, 1986, were untimely.
 Accordingly, the Authority dismissed the exceptions.
 
                           III.  AGENCY'S MOTION
 
    In its motion for reconsideration, the Agency alleges that the
 Authority's decision is based on erroneous findings and interpretations
 of the facts in the case.  In support of this allegation, the Agency
 argues that the Authority erred in concluding that the Agency
 voluntarily chose not to participate in the arbitration proceeding on
 September 11 and 12, 1986, asserting that the Arbitrator denied the
 Agency its right to be represented.  The Agency further alleges that the
 Authority erred in its interpr