§ 7123(a)(1); American Federation of Government Employees v. Federal Labor Relations Authority, 675 F.2d 612. Once the FLRA has issued a final decision on an exception to an arbitration award, that decision is final in every sense.
As in Public Citizen Health Research v. FDA, 238 U.S. App. D.C. 271, 740 F.2d 21, 32 (D.C. Cir. 1984), if the FLRA's delay amounts to an "abdication of statutory responsibility" the extraordinary remedy of mandamus would lie. See also, American Federation of Government Employees v. National Labor Relations Authority, 778 F.2d at 860-61 n.17 ("If indeed the [FLRA] has . . . fallen behind in its docket, there are legal . . . techniques of forcing it to speed up the process.") (citations omitted).
Defendants' argument that plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted is, likewise, without merit. Defendants cite cases where only agency delays of several years were found to be unreasonable, while the delay plaintiff complains of is little more than one year. See, e.g., MCI Telecommunications Corp. v. FCC, 200 U.S. App. D.C. 269, 627 F.2d 322 (D.C. Cir. 1980); Nader v. FCC, 172 U.S. App. D.C. 1, 520 F.2d 182 (D.C. Cir. 1975).
The cases cited by defendants actually show that a claim of unreasonable delay lodged against an administrative agency is one that courts have recognized. Furthermore, these cases simply demonstrate that unreasonable delay is a determination that must be made within the context of the agency's organic statute and the nature of the proceedings. National Congress of Hispanic American Citizens v. Marshall, 626 F.2d 882 (D.C. Cir. 1979). Simply because defendants do not agree with plaintiff's claim that the FLRA's delay is unreasonable does not mean that plaintiff has failed to state a claim for relief. See Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80, 78 S. Ct. 99 (1957).
Plaintiff's claim is based on the contention that the Statute, 5 U.S.C. § 7101-7135, and the APA entitle it to have exceptions to arbitration awards decided in a timely fashion, and that, under the APA and 28 U.S.C. § 1361, this Court is of competent jurisdiction to review the claim of unreasonable delay and grant the relief requested. The Court agrees and attaches an order denying defendants' motion to dismiss.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: The following court-provided text does not appear at this cite in 630 F. Supp.]
Upon consideration of defendants' motion to dismiss; plaintiff's opposition thereto; defendants' reply and supplemental memorandum; exhibits filed by both parties; plaintiff's motion for class certification; defendants' opposition thereto; and the the entire record herein, and for the reasons stated in the accompanying opinion, it is by the Court this 17th day of March 1986,
ORDERED that defendants' motion is denied; it is further
ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for class certification is denied; and it is further
ORDERED that defendants are to answer plaintiff's October 29, 1985, supplemental complaint within 10 days of the date of this order.