[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 88 (Monday, May 7, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 26659-26660]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-10951]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

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Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 88 / Monday, May 7, 2012 / Rules and 
Regulations

[[Page 26659]]



OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT

RIN 3206-AM44

5 CFR Part 733


Political Activity--Federal Employees Residing in Designated 
Localities

AGENCY: Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: OPM is amending its regulations to grant Federal employees 
residing in King George County, Virginia, a partial exemption from the 
political activity restrictions in the Hatch Act, and to add King 
George County to its regulatory list of designated localities. The 
amendment reflects OPM's determination that King George County meets 
the criteria in the Hatch Act and OPM regulations for a partial 
exemption to issue.

DATES: This rule is effective June 6, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jo-Ann Chabot, Office of the General 
Counsel, United States Office of Personnel Management, (202) 606-1700.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Hatch Act, at 5 U.S.C. 7323(a)(2) and 
(3), prohibits Federal employees from becoming candidates for partisan 
political office and from soliciting, accepting, or receiving political 
contributions. However, 5 U.S.C. 7325, authorizes OPM to prescribe 
regulations permitting employees in certain communities to participate 
in local elections for partisan political office without regard to the 
prohibitions in 5 U.S.C. 7323(a)(2) and (3) only if the requirements 
described in section 7325 are met. The first requirement is that the 
community or political subdivision must be located in Maryland or 
Virginia, and in the immediate vicinity of the District of Columbia. 
Alternatively, the majority of the community's registered voters must 
be employed by the United States Government. The second requirement is 
that OPM must determine that it is in the domestic interest of the 
employees to permit that political participation because of special or 
unusual circumstances existing in the community or political 
subdivision. These statutory requirements are reflected in 5 CFR 
733.107(a). Under 5 CFR part 733, the exemption from the prohibitions 
in 5 U.S.C. 7323(a)(2) and (3) is a partial exemption because in 5 CFR 
733.103-733.106, OPM has established limitations on political 
participation by most Federal employees residing in these designated 
municipalities and subdivisions.
    On August 22, 2011, OPM issued a proposed rule at 72 FR 39582 to 
add King George County, Virginia, to this regulatory list of designated 
localities at 5 CFR 733.107(c). In its notice of proposed rulemaking, 
OPM noted that King George County, Virginia, had fulfilled the 
statutory requirements for a partial exemption to issue and proposed 
the addition of King George County to the regulatory list of designated 
localities. 76 FR 52287 (August 22, 2011). OPM also placed a legal 
notice in the print edition of The Free Lance Star on September 9, 
2011. OPM did not receive any comments on the proposed rule during the 
60-day notice and comment period.
    Therefore, OPM is adding King George County to its list of 
designated localities at 5 CFR 733.107(c). When this rule becomes 
effective, Federally employed residents of King George County will be 
permitted under 5 CFR 733.103 to participate in the following 
activities:

    (1) Run as independent candidates for election to partisan 
political office in elections for local county office in King George 
County;
    (2) Solicit, accept, or receive a political contribution as, or 
on behalf of, an independent candidate for partisan political office 
in elections for local office in King George County;
    (3) Accept or receive a political contribution on behalf of an 
individual who is a candidate for local partisan political office 
and who represents a political party;
    (4) Solicit, accept, or receive uncompensated volunteer services 
as an independent candidate, or on behalf of an independent 
candidate, for local partisan political office, in connection with 
the local elections of King George County; and
    (5) Solicit, accept, or receive uncompensated volunteer services 
on behalf of an individual who is a candidate for local partisan 
political office and who represents a political party.

Under 5 CFR 733.104 of title 5, however, Federally employed residents 
of King George County may not:

    (1) Run as the representative of a political party for local 
partisan political office;
    (2) Solicit a political contribution on behalf of an individual 
who is a candidate for local partisan political office and who 
represents a political party;
    (3) Knowingly solicit a political contribution from any Federal 
employee, except as permitted under 5 U.S.C. 7323(a)(2)(A)-(C).
    (4) Accept or receive a political contribution from a 
subordinate;
    (5) Solicit, accept, or receive uncompensated volunteer services 
from a subordinate for any political purpose;
    (6) Participate in political activities:
    [cir] While they are on duty:
    [cir] While they are wearing a uniform, badge, or insignia that 
identifies the employing agency or instrumentality or the position 
of the employee;
    [cir] While they are in any room or building occupied in the 
discharge of official duties by an individual employed or holding 
office in the Government of the United States or any agency or 
instrumentality thereof; or
    [cir] While using a Government-owned or leased vehicle or while 
using a privately owned vehicle in the discharge of official duties.

Moreover, candidacy for, and service in, a partisan political office 
shall not result in neglect of, or interference with, the performance 
of the duties of the employee or create a conflict, or apparent 
conflict, of interest.
    Sections 733.103 and 733.104 of Title 5, Code of Federal 
Regulations, do not apply to individuals, such as career senior 
executives and employees of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who 
are employed in the agencies or positions listed in 5 CFR 733.105(a). 
These individuals are subject to the more stringent limitations 
described in 5 CFR 733.105 and 733.106.
    Individuals who require advice concerning specific political 
activities, and whether an activity is permitted or prohibited under 5 
CFR 733.103-733.106, should contact the United States Office of Special 
Counsel at (800) 854-2824 or (202) 254-3650. Requests for Hatch Act 
advisory opinions may be made by email to: hatchact@osc.gov.
    King George County will be listed after Herndon, Virginia, and 
before

[[Page 26660]]

Loudoun County, Virginia, at 5 CFR 733.107(c).

E.O. 12866, Regulatory Review

    This regulation has been reviewed by the Office of Management and 
Budget in accordance with E.O. 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    I certify that this regulation will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities because the changes 
will affect only employees of the Federal Government.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 733

    Political activities (Government employees).

U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

John Berry,
Director.

    Accordingly, the Office of Personnel Management amends 5 CFR part 
733 as follows:

PART 733--POLITICAL ACTIVITY--FEDERAL EMPLOYEES RESIDING IN 
DESIGNATED LOCALITIES

0
1. The authority citation for part 733 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 7325; sec. 308 of Pub. L. 104-93, 109 Stat. 
961, 966 (Jan. 6, 1996)


0
2. Section 733.107(c) is amended by adding King George County, 
Virginia, alphabetically to the list of designated Virginia 
municipalities and political subdivisions as set forth below.


Sec.  733.107  Designated localities.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    In Virginia
* * * * *
    King George County June 6, 2012.
* * * * *

[FR Doc. 2012-10951 Filed 5-4-12; 8:45 am]
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