[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 190 (Tuesday, October 2, 2007)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 56019-56021]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-19447]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 190 / Tuesday, October 2, 2007 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 56019]]



OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT

5 CFR Part 352

RIN 3206-AI19


Reemployment Rights

AGENCY: Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) proposes to amend its 
regulations on the detail and transfer of Federal employees to 
international organizations. The proposed changes will make the 
regulation consistent with recent statutory changes on determining the 
rate of basic pay an employee is entitled to receive when reemployed 
after service with an international organization. The changes also 
modernize regulatory language.

DATES: Submit comments on or before December 3, 2007.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by RIN number, by any of 
the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: employ@opm.gov. Include ``RIN 3206-AI19'' in the 
subject line of the message.
     Fax: (202) 606-2329.
     Mail: Angela Bailey, Deputy Associate Director, Center for 
Talent and Capacity Policy, Division for Strategic Human Resources 
Policy, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Room 6551, 1900 E Street, 
NW., Washington, DC 20415-9700.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: OPM, Room 6500, 1900 E Street, NW., 
Washington, DC 20415.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Pam Galemore at (202) 606-0960, FAX at 
(202) 606-2329, TDD at (202) 418-3134, or e-mail at 
pamela.galemore.@opm.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This regulation is being revised for 
consistency with section 3582(b) of title 5, United States Code. 
Section 2504 of Public Law 105-277 amended the statute by eliminating 
employee entitlement to be paid an ``equalization allowance'' upon 
return to Federal service. The equalization allowance was a payment 
equal to the difference between the pay, allowances, post differential, 
and other monetary benefits paid by the international organization and 
the pay, allowances, post differential, and other monetary benefits 
that would have been paid by the employing agency had the employee been 
detailed to the international organization. Because of this amendment, 
an employee who transferred, with the consent of the employing agency, 
to an international organization on or after October 21, 1998, is 
entitled, upon reemployment, only to the rate of basic pay the employee 
would have received had the employee remained in the civil service. We 
have removed section 352.310 of the current regulations to reflect this 
change.
    We have revised section Sec.  352.309, to provide for easier 
understanding of agency responsibilities and employee entitlements, and 
explain action required to retain an employee's coverage under the 
retirement, health benefits, and group life insurance system when the 
employee transfers to an international organization.
    In addition, the revised regulation clarifies that the Department 
of State, rather than OPM, is delegated the authority for designating 
any organization as an international organization.
    This revision also modernizes regulatory language.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    I certify that these regulations will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the 
regulations pertain only to Federal employees and agencies.

Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Review

    This rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget 
in accordance with Executive Order 12866.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 352

    Administrative practice and procedure, Government employees, 
Reemployment rights.

Office of Personnel Management.
Linda M. Springer,
Director.
    Accordingly, OPM proposes to amend part 352 of title 5, Code of 
Federal Regulations, as follows:

PART 352--REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS

Subpart C--Detail and Transfer of Federal Employees to 
International Organizations

    1. The authority citation for part 352, subpart C, continues to 
read:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 3584, E.O. 11552, 3 CFR, 1966-1970 Comp., p. 
954; Section 352.313 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 7701, et seq.


Sec.  352.303  [Removed and reserved]

    2. Section 352.303 is removed and reserved.
    3. Section 352.304 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  352.304  International organizations covered.

    (a) An agency may detail or transfer an employee under this 
subpart, without prior approval, to an organization which the 
Department of State has designated as an international organization.
    (b) An agency may detail or transfer an employee under this subpart 
to any other public international organization or international 
organization preparatory commission only when the Department of State 
agrees that the organization concerned could be designated as an 
international organization covered by sections 3343 and 3581 of title 
5, United States Code.
    4. Section 352.305 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  352.305  Eligibility for detail.

    An employee is eligible for detail to an international organization 
with the rights provided for in, and in accordance with, section 3343 
of title 5, United States Code, and this subpart, except the following:
    (a) A Presidential appointee (other than a postmaster, a Foreign 
Service officer, or a Foreign Service information officer), regardless 
of whether the appointment was made by and with the advice and consent 
of the Senate.
    (b) A person serving in the executive branch in a confidential or 
policy-determining position excepted from the

[[Page 56020]]

competitive service under Schedule C of part 213 of this chapter.
    (c) A person serving under a non-career, limited emergency, or 
limited term appointment in the SES.
    (d) A person serving under a temporary appointment.
    5. Section 352.306 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  352.306  Length of details.

    A detail or series of details must not exceed 5 consecutive years, 
except that when the Secretary of State, on the recommendation of the 
head of the agency, determines it to be in the national interest, the 
5-year detail may be extended for up to an additional 3 years. A detail 
or series of details or combination of details and transfers must not 
exceed 8 years in the aggregate throughout an employee's Federal 
career.
    6. Section 352.308 is amended by revising paragraph (d) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  352.308  Effecting employment by transfer.

* * * * *
    (d) Recording requirement. The agency must furnish the employee 
with a leave statement, showing the annual and sick leave balances at 
the time of transfer. In addition, the notification of personnel action 
effecting the employee's separation for transfer, must include:
    (1) Identification of the international organization to which the 
employee is transferring,
    (2) A clear statement of the period of consent, during which the 
employee has reemployment rights in the agency under section 3582 of 
title 5, United States Code, and this subpart, and
    (3) The legal and regulatory conditions for reemployment.
    7. Section 352.309 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  352.309  Retirement, health benefits, and group life insurance.

    (a) Agency action. An employee who is transferred to an 
international organization is entitled to retain coverage for 
retirement, health benefits, and group life insurance purposes if he or 
she so chooses. The period during which coverage, rights, and benefits 
are retained under this paragraph, during employment with the 
international organization, is deemed employment by the United States. 
At the time an employing Federal agency consents to the transfer of an 
employee, the agency must advise the employee in writing of the 
employee's right to continue retirement, health benefits, and group 
life insurance coverage, as applicable, for the duration of the 
assignment or transfer. The notice must explain the conditions for 
continued coverage and the employee's obligations and responsibilities 
with regard to continued coverage. The notice must also explain that, 
if the employee elects to retain coverage, the agency will continue to 
make the agency contributions to the funds, and the employee's coverage 
will continue as long as employee payments are currently deposited in 
the respective funds.
    (b) Employee Action. The employee must acknowledge, in writing, 
receipt of the notice and state whether or not he or she wishes to 
retain coverage under the retirement, health benefits, and group life 
insurance systems or any of them by continuing the required employee 
payments. The employee must make a written election to retain benefits, 
as applicable, and make arrangements for the required employee 
payments. An employee who transfers to an international organization is 
not eligible to participate in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) while 
employed by the international organization even if he or she elects to 
retain Federal retirement coverage. However, upon reemployment, an 
employee who elected to retain Federal retirement coverage while 
employed by the international organization and has made all deposits 
required for such coverage may make contributions to the TSP which he 
or she missed as a result of the service with an international 
organization, and receive make-up agency contributions and lost 
earnings on the agency contributions, as provided under Sec.  
352.311(e).
    (c) Agency responsibility. For retirement and group life insurance 
purposes, the employing agency is responsible for determining the 
applicable rate of pay in accordance with the provisions of section 
3583 of title 5, United States Code. The agency is also responsible for 
collecting, accounting for, and depositing in the respective funds all 
retirement, health benefits, and group life insurance employee payments 
required to be made for the purpose of protecting the rights of the 
employee so transferred; and for accounting for and depositing in the 
respective funds all agency contributions. The agency must furnish the 
employee with specific information as to how, when, and where the 
payments are to be submitted.
    (d) Coverage. Employee payments are considered to be currently 
deposited if received by the agency before, during, or within 3 months 
after the end of the pay period covered by the deposit. If the 
contributions are not currently deposited, coverage terminates on the 
last day of the pay period for which the required contributions were 
currently deposited, subject to a 31-day extension of group life 
insurance and health benefits coverage as provided in parts 870 and 890 
of this chapter and to the conversion benefits provided in parts 870 
and 890 of this chapter. Coverage so terminated may not be re-
established before the employee actually enters on duty, on the first 
day in a pay status in an agency. However, terminated retirement, 
health benefits, and group life insurance coverage must be reinstated 
retroactively when, in the judgment of OPM, the failure to make the 
required current deposit was due to circumstances beyond the employee's 
control and the required payments were deposited at the first 
opportunity. Coverage under a system other than the civil service 
retirement system must be reinstated retroactively if the agency which 
administers the retirement system determines that the failure to make 
the required current deposit was due to circumstances beyond the 
control of the employee and the required payments were deposited at the 
first opportunity.


Sec.  352.310  [Removed and reserved]

    8. Section 352.310 is removed and reserved.
    9. Sections 352.311 through 352.314 are revised to read as follows:


Sec.  352.311  Reemployment.

    (a) An employee who transferred to an international organization 
with the consent of the employing agency is entitled to be reemployed 
in his or her former position, or one of like seniority, status, and 
pay within 30 days of applying for reemployment if the employee:
    (1) Is separated, either voluntarily or involuntarily, without 
cause, within the term of employment with an international 
organization; and
    (2) Applies for reemployment with the employing agency or its 
successor no later than 90 days after separation from the international 
organization.
    (b) Pay upon reemployment will be set at that to which the employee 
would have been entitled had the employee remained with the employing 
agency.
    (c) When an employee's reemployment right is to a position in the 
SES, reemployment may be to any position in the SES for which the 
employee is qualified. The employee must be returned at not less than 
the SES rate of basic pay as determined under 5 CFR part 534, subpart 
D, at

[[Page 56021]]

which the employee was being paid immediately before transfer to the 
international organization, or if pay has been adjusted under Sec.  
352.314(c), at not less than the adjusted pay level.
    (d) The period of separation caused by the employment of the 
employee with the international organization and the period necessary 
to effect reemployment are creditable service for all appropriate civil 
service employment purposes.
    (e) An employee who elected to retain Federal retirement coverage 
while employed by the international organization and has made all 
deposits required for such coverage may make contributions to the TSP 
which he or she missed as a result of the service with the 
international organization, and receive make-up agency contributions 
and lost earnings on the agency contributions, consistent with 
applicable TSP requirements.


Sec.  352.312  When to apply.

    An employee may apply for reemployment, in writing, either before 
or after separation from the international organization. If the 
employee applies before separation, the 30-day period prescribed in 
Sec.  352.311 begins either with the date of the application or 30 days 
before the employee's date of separation from the international 
organization, whichever is later. If the employee applies for 
reemployment after separation, the application must be received by the 
employing agency no later than 90 days after separation from the 
international organization.


Sec.  352.313  Failure to reemploy and right of appeal.

    (a) When an agency fails to reemploy an employee within 30 days of 
receiving the employee's application, it must notify the employee, in 
writing, of the reasons and of the employee's right to appeal to the 
Merit Systems Protection Board under the provisions of the Board's 
regulations. The agency must comply with the provisions of Sec.  
1201.21 of this title.
    (b) If the agency fails to reach and issue a decision to the 
employee within 30 days from the date of the application for 
reemployment, the employee is entitled to appeal the agency's failure 
to issue a decision to the Merit Systems Protection Board under the 
provisions of the Board's regulations.
    (c) An employee may submit an appeal, alleging that the agency has 
failed to comply with any of the other provisions of sections 3343 and 
3581-3584 of title 5, United States Code, or of this part, to the Merit 
Systems Protection Board under the provisions of the Board's 
regulations.


Sec.  352.314  Consideration for promotion and pay increases.

    (a) The employing agency must consider an employee who is detailed 
or transferred to an international organization for all promotions for 
which the employee would be considered if not absent. A promotion based 
on this consideration is effective on the date it would have been 
effective if the employee were not absent.
    (b) When the position of an employee who is absent on detail or 
transfer to an international organization is upgraded during the 
employee's absence, the employing agency must place the employee in the 
upgraded position.
    (c) The employing agency must consider an employee who is detailed 
or transferred to an international organization from an ungraded pay 
system for all pay increases for which the employee would be considered 
if not absent. An increase is effective on the date it would have been 
effective if the employee were not absent.

 [FR Doc. E7-19447 Filed 10-1-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6325-39-P