In January 2009, I reported on a dramatic rise of BPAI Appeals and the associated backlog. Since then, the backlog has almost doubled to over 10,000 pending appeals. This is the largest backlog on record and tends to explain why the Board is attempting to implement procedures to streamline the process.
At the Board's average rate of 500 disposals per month, the backlog would take over 20 months to eliminate. However, that result requires the counterfactual assumption that no additional appeals will be filed during that period. Rather, though four months remain in FY2009, the number of ex parte appeals filed this year will likely more than double the record-filing of 6400 ex parte appeals in FY2008. Thus, appeals are being filed at a rate about 2 1/2 times faster than the Board's usual work flow rate. In May 2009, for instance, the Board disposed of 523 appeals, but received 1641 new appeals to decide.