34:---(86)AR - DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND and I.A.M. & A.W. ABERDEEN LODGE No. 2424 -- 1990 FLRAdec CA


[ v34 p-- ]
34:--(86)AR
The decision of the Authority follows:


 34 FLRA NO. 86



                    DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
                    ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND

                              and

                         I.A.M. & A.W.
                    ABERDEEN LODGE No. 2424

                           0-AR-1677

ORDER DENYING NOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

     January 23, 1990

     Before Chairman McKee and Members Talkin and Armendariz.

     I. Statement of the Case

     This case is before the Authority on a motion for
reconsideration filed by the Department of the Army, Aberdeen
Proving Ground (the Agency). The Agency requests reconsideration
of the Authority's Order of March 21, 1989, which dismissed the
Agency's exceptions to an arbitration award as untimely filed.
The I.A.M. & A.W. Aberdeen Lodge No. 2424 (the Union) did not
file an opposition to the Agency's notion for reconsideration.
For the reasons set out below, the Agency's notion for
reconsideration is denied.

     II. Background

     The time limit for filing an exception to an arbitration
award is "thirty (30)  days beginning on the date the award is
served on the filing party." 5 C.F.R. 2425.1(b). The date of
service is the date the arbitration award is deposited in the
U.S. mail or delivered in person. 5 C.F.R. 2429.27(d). If the
arbitration award is served by mail, 5 days are added to the
30-day period for filing exceptions. 5 C.F.R. 2429.22.

     The Arbitrator's award in this case was dated December 4,
1988. The Agency's exceptions were postmarked January 10, 1989.
On February 16, 1989, the Authority issued an order requiring the
Agency to show cause why its exceptions should not be dismissed
as untimely filed. In response to this order, the Agency
submitted a copy of the postmarked envelope in which the
Arbitrator's award was mailed. The postmark on the envelope was
December 6, 1988.

     Under 5 C.F.R. 2429.27(d), December 6, 1988, is the date of
service of the Arbitrator's award. Based on this service date,
the Agency's exceptions either had to be postmarked by the U.S.
Postal Service or received at the Authority in person no later
than January 9, 1989, to be considered timely. Because the
Agency's exceptions were postmarked January 10, 1989, they were
dismissed on March 21, 1989, as untimely filed.

     III. Agency's Motion for Reconsideration

     The Agency asserts that its exceptions were deposited in its
internal mail system and picked up by mail room personnel on
January 9, 1989. According to the Agency, the internal mail
system provides daily mail collection service throughout Aberdeen
Proving Ground. The Agency notes further that the collected mail
is metered by mail room personnel for delivery.

     Although the Agency acknowledges that its exceptions were
postmarked on January 10, 1989, in the mail room, the Agency
argues that "it is beyond the control of the person sending the
mail to determine the exact date on which the mail will be
metered." Motion for Reconsideration at 2. The Agency notes that
"mail delivered to the metering office after 3:00 P.M. will not
be metered until the next day." Id. The Agency concludes that
because its exceptions were placed in its internal mail system on
January 9, 1989, the Authority should find that the Agency's
exceptions were timely filed.

     IV. Analysis and Conclusion

     A party must show that "extraordinary circumstances" warrant
reconsideration of a final decision or order of the Authority. 5
C.F.R. 2429.17. For the reasons which follow, we conclude that
the Agency has failed to establish extraordinary circumstances in
this case.

     The Agency does not dispute that its exceptions had to be
postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service or received in 
person at the Authority no later than January 9, 1989, to be
considered timely. The Agency asserts only that it "should be
recognized by the Authority as having met its January 9, 1989
deadline" because it deposited the exceptions in its internal
mail system on that date and "it is beyond the control of the
person sending the mail to determine the exact date on which the
mail will be metered." Motion for Reconsideration at 2.

     We conclude that the Agency's assertion that it did not meet
this January 9, 1989, deadline due to its internal mail system
procedures does not establish extraordinary circumstances
warranting that the Authority reconsider its dismissal of the
Agency's exceptions. The Agency was aware of the date on which
its exceptions were due. The Agency also is aware of its internal
mail procedures. Despite the Agency's knowledge of these internal
procedures, the Agency "entrusted the (e)xceptions to its
internal postal service" on the last day of the filing period.
Motion for Reconsideration at 2.

     The Agency concedes that its exceptions were filed
(postmarked) 1 day after the time limit had expired. The Agency
offers no explanation for its failure to timely file its
exceptions other than its own mail procedures. In these
circumstances, we conclude that the Agency has not established
extraordinary circumstances which warrant reconsideration of the
dismissal of the its exceptions. See Department of the Treasury
U.S. Customs Service and U.S. Customs Service, Region IX.
Chicago, Illinois, 34 FLRA  No. 18 (1989) (delay in union's
mailing procedures does not constitute extraordinary circumstance
suffi