[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 219 (Monday, November 14, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 70365-70366]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-29350]


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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. 76, No. 219 / Monday, November 14, 2011 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 70365]]



OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT

5 CFR Part 532

RIN 3206-AM50


Prevailing Rate Systems; Redefinition of the Austin, TX and Waco, 
TX, Appropriated Fund Federal Wage System Wage Areas

AGENCY: U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION: Proposed rule with request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Office of Personnel Management is issuing a proposed 
rule that would redefine the geographic boundaries of the Austin, TX, 
and Waco, TX, appropriated fund Federal Wage System (FWS) wage areas. 
The proposed rule would redefine Burleson and Lampasas Counties, TX, 
from the Austin wage area to the Waco wage area. These changes are 
based on recent consensus recommendations of the Federal Prevailing 
Rate Advisory Committee to best match the counties proposed for 
redefinition to a nearby FWS survey area. No other changes are proposed 
for the Austin and Waco FWS wage areas.

DATES: We must receive comments on or before December 14, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Send or deliver comments to Jerome D. Mikowicz, Deputy 
Associate Director for Pay and Leave, Employee Services, U.S. Office of 
Personnel Management, Room 7H31, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 
20415-8200; email pay-leave-policy@opm.gov; or Fax: (202) 606-4264.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Madeline Gonzalez, (202) 606-2838; 
email pay-leave-policy@opm.gov; or FAX: (202) 606-4264.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The U.S. Office of Personnel Management 
(OPM) is issuing a proposed rule that would redefine the geographic 
boundaries of the Austin, TX, and Waco, TX, appropriated fund Federal 
Wage System (FWS) wage areas. This proposed rule would redefine 
Burleson and Lampasas Counties, TX, from the Austin wage area to the 
Waco wage area.
    OPM considers the following regulatory criteria under 5 CFR 532.211 
when defining FWS wage area boundaries:
    (i) Distance, transportation facilities, and geographic features;
    (ii) Commuting patterns; and
    (iii) Similarities in overall population, employment, and the kinds 
and sizes of private industrial establishments.
    In addition, OPM regulations at 5 CFR 532.211 do not permit 
splitting Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) for the purpose of 
defining a wage area, except in very unusual circumstances (e.g., 
organizational relationships among closely located Federal activities).
    OPM recently completed reviews of the definitions of the College 
Station-Bryan, TX and Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, TX MSAs and, based on 
analyses of the regulatory criteria for defining wage areas, is 
proposing the changes described below. The Federal Prevailing Rate 
Advisory Committee (FPRAC), the national labor-management committee 
responsible for advising OPM on matters concerning the pay of FWS 
employees, recommended these changes by consensus. These changes would 
be effective on the first day of the first applicable pay period 
beginning on or after 30 days following publication of the final 
regulations. FPRAC recommended no other changes in the geographic 
definitions of the Austin and Waco wage areas.

College Station-Bryan, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area

    Brazos, Burleson, and Robertson Counties, TX, comprise the College 
Station-Bryan, TX MSA. The College Station-Bryan MSA is split between 
the Austin, TX, and Waco, TX, wage areas. Burleson County is part of 
the area of application of the Austin wage area and Brazos and 
Robertson Counties are part of the area of application of the Waco wage 
area.
    Based on an analysis of the regulatory criteria for Brazos County, 
the core county in the College Station-Bryan MSA, we recommend that the 
entire College Station-Bryan MSA be defined to the Waco wage area. When 
measuring to cities, the distance criterion favors the Waco wage area. 
When measuring to host installations, the distance criterion does not 
favor one wage area more than another. The commuting patterns criterion 
does not favor one wage area more than another. Brazos County resembles 
the Waco survey area more than the Austin survey area in terms of the 
overall population and employment and the kinds and sizes of private 
industrial establishments criteria. Based on this analysis, we believe 
Brazos County is appropriately defined to the Waco wage area. Since 
there appear to be no unusual circumstances that would permit splitting 
the College Station-Bryan MSA, OPM proposes to redefine Burleson County 
to the Waco wage area so that the entire College Station-Bryan MSA is 
in one wage area. The remaining county in the College Station-Bryan 
MSA, Robertson County, is already defined to the Waco wage area. There 
are currently no FWS employees working in Burleson County.

Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area

    Bell, Coryell, and Lampasas Counties, TX, comprise the Killeen-
Temple-Fort Hood, TX MSA. The Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood MSA is split 
between the Austin, TX, and Waco, TX, wage areas. Lampasas County is 
part of the area of application of the Austin wage area and Bell and 
Coryell Counties are part of the area of application of the Waco wage 
area.
    Based on an analysis of the regulatory criteria for Bell County, 
the core county in the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood MSA, we recommend that 
the entire Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood MSA be defined to the Waco wage 
area. When measuring to cities from Fort Hood, the largest FWS employer 
in Bell County, the distance criterion does not favor one wage area 
more than another. Since the host installation for the Waco wage area 
is Fort Hood, when measuring to host installations, the distance 
criterion greatly favors the Waco wage area over the Austin wage area. 
All other criteria are indeterminate. Based on this analysis, we 
believe Bell County is appropriately defined to the Waco wage area. 
Since there appear to be no unusual circumstances that would permit 
splitting the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood MSA, OPM proposes to redefine 
Lampasas County to the Waco wage area so that the entire Killeen-
Temple-Fort Hood MSA is in one wage area. The remaining county in the 
Killeen-

[[Page 70366]]

Temple-Fort Hood MSA, Coryell County, is already defined to the Waco 
wage area. There are currently no FWS employees working in Lampasas 
County.

CFR Correction

    In addition, this proposed rule adds the entire Syracuse-Utica-
Rome, NY, FWS wage area to Appendix C to subpart B of part 532--
Appropriated Fund Wage and Survey Areas. The Syracuse-Utica-Rome wage 
area was inadvertently deleted when the CFR was published in January 
2004. This correction does not affect the pay of any FWS employees.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    I certify that these regulations would not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because they 
would affect only Federal agencies and employees.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 532

    Administrative practice and procedure, Freedom of information, 
Government employees, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Wages.

    U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
John Berry,
Director.

    Accordingly, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is proposing 
to amend 5 CFR part 532 as follows:

PART 532--PREVAILING RATE SYSTEMS

    1. The authority citation for part 532 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 5343, 5346; Sec.  532.707 also issued under 
5 U.S.C. 552.

Appendix C to Subpart B of Part 532--Appropriated Fund Wage and Survey 
Areas

    2. Appendix C to subpart B is amended for the State of New York by 
adding ``Syracuse-Utica-Rome'' and its constituent counties after 
``Rochester'' and revising for the State of Texas the wage area 
listings of the Austin, TX, and Waco, TX, wage areas to read as 
follows:
* * * * *

NEW YORK

* * * * *

Syracuse-Utica-Rome

Survey Area

New York:
    Herkimer
    Madison
    Oneida
    Onondaga
    Oswego

Area of Application. Survey area plus:

New York:
    Broome
    Cayuga
    Chenango
    Cortland
    Hamilton
    Otsego
    Tioga
    Tompkins
* * * * *

TEXAS

* * * * *

Austin

Survey Area

Texas:
    Hays
    Milam
    Travis
    Williamson

Area of Application. Survey area plus:

Texas:
    Bastrop
    Blanco
    Burnet
    Caldwell
    Fayette
    Lee
    Llano
    Mason
    San Saba
* * * * *

Waco

Survey Area

Texas:
    Bell
    Coryell
    McLennan

Area of Application. Survey area plus:

Texas:
    Anderson
    Bosque
    Brazos
    Burleson
    Falls
    Freestone
    Hamilton
    Hill
    Lampasas
    Leon
    Limestone
    Mills
    Robertson
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2011-29350 Filed 11-10-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6325-39-P