Joyce Delorme was appointed to the position of Police Officer for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in March, 2011. She was terminated in July, 2012, and filed an MSPB appeal. The Agency claimed she was a probationary employee; she claimed she was only on probation one year, not two, and was a Title 5 employee. Before the jurisdiction issue was resolved, the parties entered into a settlement agreement, with the stipulation that the agreement was submitted for enforcement by the Board. The appeal was dismissed as withdrawn. In October, 2015, Ms. Delorme filed a petition for enforcement. The Administrative Judge dismissed the appeal, deciding that the agreement was not enforceable by the Board because the question of whether the Board had jurisdiction in the underlying appeal had not been resolved. Overruling Shaw v. Dept. of the Navy, 39 MSPR 586 (1989), and its progeny, the Board held that it has enforcement authority over settlement agreements that have been entered into the record, even if Board jurisdiction of the underlying appeal has not been established pursuant to 5 USC §§ 1204(a)(1)-(2) and 7701(h). The Board held that the source of the Board’s authority to enforce settlement agreements is independent of the Board’s jurisdiction over the underlying matter appealed. Delorme v. Dept. of the Interior, 2017 MSPB 2.
PRACTICE TIP: Based on the clarification provided by the Board in the above case, if you stipulate that a settlement agreement is enforceable by the Board, you can file a Petition to Enforce with the Administrative Judge, even if the issue of Board jurisdiction over the underlying appeal was not resolved before settlement.