34:---(86)AR - DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND and I.A.M. & A.W. ABERDEEN LODGE No. 2424 -- 1990 FLRAdec CA
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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 sufficient to toll the filing deadline). V. Order The Agency's motion for reconsideration is denied.