[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 227 (Monday, November 26, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 70381-70382]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-28555]


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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. 77, No. 227 / Monday, November 26, 2012 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 70381]]


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 OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT

5 CFR Part 531

RIN 3206-AM51


General Schedule Locality Pay Areas

AGENCY: U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION: Proposed rule with request for comments.

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SUMMARY: On behalf of the President's Pay Agent, the Office of 
Personnel Management is issuing proposed regulations to tie the 
metropolitan area portion of locality pay area boundaries to the 
geographic scope of Metropolitan Statistical Area and Combined 
Statistical Area definitions that are contained in the attachments to 
Office of Management and Budget Bulletin 10-02 of December 1, 2009.

DATES: We must receive comments on or before January 10, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by ``RIN 3206-AM51,'' by 
any of the following methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments.
    Email: pay-leave-policy@opm.gov. Include ``RIN 3206-AM51'' in the 
subject line of the message.
    Fax: (202) 606-4264.
    Mail, Hand Deliver/Courier comments: Jerome D. Mikowicz, Deputy 
Associate Director for Pay and Leave, Office of Personnel Management, 
Room 7H31, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415-8200.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 5304 of title 5, United States Code, 
authorizes locality pay for General Schedule (GS) employees with duty 
stations in the United States and its territories and possessions.
    Section 5304(f) of title 5, United States Code, authorizes the 
President's Pay Agent (the Secretary of Labor, the Director of the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Director of the Office 
of Personnel Management (OPM)) to determine locality pay areas. The 
boundaries of locality pay areas must be based on appropriate factors, 
which may include local labor market patterns, commuting patterns, and 
the practices of other employers. The Pay Agent must give thorough 
consideration to the views and recommendations of the Federal Salary 
Council, a body composed of experts in the fields of labor relations 
and pay policy and representatives of Federal employee organizations. 
The President appoints the members of the Council, which submits annual 
recommendations to the Pay Agent about the locality pay program. The 
establishment or modification of pay area boundaries must conform with 
the notice and comment provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act 
(5 U.S.C. 553).
    Based on recommendations of the Federal Salary Council, we have 
used Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSA) designated by the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) as the basis for locality pay areas since 
locality pay began in 1994. Under current regulations, locality pay 
areas change automatically the January following any changes in 
applicable CBSA definitions made by OMB.
    OMB typically makes substantial changes in the definitions of CBSAs 
after each census. When OMB redefined CBSAs in 2003, we temporarily 
delinked locality pay area boundaries from the revised definitions to 
allow the Federal Salary Council and the Pay Agent time to review the 
new definitions to determine if the new definitions were suitable for 
use in the locality pay program. Based on the Council's recommendations 
in 2003, the Pay Agent later approved using the new CBSA--Metropolitan 
Statistical Areas (MSA) and Combined Statistical Area (CSA)--
definitions for defining locality pay areas.
    OMB plans to once again update CBSA definitions in 2013, and the 
Federal Salary Council has recommended that we again temporarily delink 
locality pay area definitions from the new MSA and CSA definitions to 
provide time for review. Therefore, the Pay Agent is proposing amending 
5 CFR part 531 to link locality pay areas to existing MSAs and CSAs as 
defined in OMB Bulletin 10-02 of December 1, 2009. Under the proposed 
rule, pay areas would not change to conform to new CBSA definitions 
unless the Pay Agent decides later to adopt the new definitions. The 
Pay Agent will make its determination after receiving and considering 
the recommendations of the Federal Salary Council.
    The Pay Agent will publish for comment any proposed changes in 
locality pay areas based on the new definitions, if they are adopted. 
Under this proposed rule, locality pay areas will not change 
automatically when OMB changes metropolitan area definitions in 2013.

Impact and Implementation

    The proposed rule will have no effect on existing locality pay area 
definitions but will prevent any changes that would otherwise occur 
when OMB updates MSA and CSA definitions in 2013.

Executive Order 13563 and Executive Order 12866

    The Office of Management and Budget has reviewed this rule in 
accordance with E.O. 13563 and E.O. 12866.

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 apply only to Federal agencies and employees.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 531

    Government employees, Law enforcement officers, Wages.

Office of Personnel Management.
John Berry,
Director.
    Accordingly, OPM is proposing to amend 5 CFR part 531 as follows:

PART 531--PAY UNDER THE GENERAL SCHEDULE

    1. The authority citation for part 531 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 5115, 5307, and 5338; sec. 4 of Pub. L. 
103-89, 107 Stat. 981; and E.O. 12748, 56 FR 4521, 3 CFR, 1991 
Comp., p. 316; Subpart B also issued under 5 U.S.C. 5303(g), 5305, 
5333, 5334(a) and (b), and 7701(b)(2); Subpart D also issued under 5 
U.S.C. 5335 and 7701(b)(2); Subpart E also issued under 5 U.S.C. 
5336; Subpart F also issued under 5 U.S.C. 5304, 5305, and

[[Page 70382]]

5941(a), E.O. 12883, 58 FR 63281, 3 CFR, 1993 Comp., p. 682 and E.O. 
13106, 63 FR 68151, 3 CFR, 1998 Comp., p. 224.

Subpart F--Locality-Based Comparability Payments

    2. In Sec.  531.602, the definitions of CSA and MSA are revised to 
read as follows:


Sec.  531.602  Definitions.

* * * * *
    CSA means the geographic scope of a Combined Statistical Area as 
defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in OMB Bulletin 
10-02, December 1, 2009.
* * * * *
    MSA means the geographic scope of a Metropolitan Statistical Area 
as defined by OMB in OMB Bulletin 10-02, December 1, 2009.
* * * * *
    3. In Sec.  531.609, paragraph (d) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  531.609  Adjusting or terminating locality rates.

* * * * *
    (d) In the event of a change in the geographic coverage of a 
locality pay area, the effective date of any change in an employee's 
entitlement to a locality rate of pay under this subpart is the first 
day of the first pay period beginning on or after the effective date 
indicated in the applicable final rule published in the Federal 
Register.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2012-28555 Filed 11-23-12; 8:45 am]
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