[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 189 (Thursday, September 30, 2010)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 60285-60287]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-24495]

Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register

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Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 189 / Thursday, September 30, 2010 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 60285]]


5 CFR Part 531

RIN 3206-AM25

General Schedule Locality Pay Areas

AGENCY: U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION: Interim rule with request for comments.


SUMMARY: On behalf of the President's Pay Agent, the U.S. Office of 
Personnel Management is issuing interim regulations on the locality pay 
program for General Schedule employees. The interim regulations 
establish separate locality pay areas for the States of Alaska and 
Hawaii and extend coverage of the Rest of U.S. locality pay area to 
include American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the 
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Territory of Guam, 
the U.S. Virgin Islands, and all other U.S. possessions listed in 5 CFR 
591.205, applicable on the first day of the first pay period beginning 
on or after January 1, 2011.

DATES: Effective Date: The regulations are effective November 1, 2010.
    Applicability Date: The regulations apply on the first day of the 
first pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2011.
    Comment Date: We must receive comments on or before November 29, 

ADDRESSES: Send or deliver comments to Jerome D. Mikowicz, Deputy 
Associate Director for Pay and Leave, Office of Personnel Management, 
Room 7H31, 1900 E Street, NW., Washington, DC 20415-8200; FAX: (202) 
606-4264; or e-mail: [email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Allan Hearne, (202) 606-2838; FAX: 
(202) 606-4264; e-mail: [email protected].

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. The 
Non-Foreign Area Retirement Equity Assurance Act of 2009 (NAREA), 
Public Law 111-84, title XIX, subtitle B (October 28, 2009), extended 
locality pay to the States of Alaska and Hawaii and the U.S. 
territories and possessions effective in January 2010. While the 
statute included a sense of Congress that one locality pay area cover 
the entire State of Alaska and one cover the entire State of Hawaii, it 
did not actually establish any new locality pay areas.
    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, and the Director of the Office of 
Personnel Management) 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 (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 
    The Federal Salary Council has been unable to meet to consider what 
locality pay areas should be established for the States of Alaska and 
Hawaii and the U.S. territories and possessions. Since establishing 
locality pay areas by regulation takes a substantial amount of time, we 
are publishing this interim rule now, even though the Council has not 
yet met, to insure these new locality pay areas are established in time 
for the January 2011 pay adjustments. We are hopeful the Council will 
be able to meet during the comment period for these regulations to 
formulate and submit recommendations.
    In the absence of Council recommendations, the Pay Agent has 
concluded that separate locality pay areas should be established for 
the States of Alaska and Hawaii. We have non-Federal salary survey data 
collected under the National Compensation Survey (NCS) that can be used 
to set and adjust locality pay rates for these locations. This is the 
same survey source currently used in the other locality pay areas. In 
fact, the Council's recommendation letter of November 4, 2009, included 
a pay disparity for Alaska (based on a survey of Anchorage) of 54.98 
percent and a pay disparity for Hawaii (based on a survey of Honolulu) 
of 38.41 percent. These measures were generated using the methodology 
adopted by the Council and the Pay Agent and salary surveys conducted 
by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and both are well above the 
Rest of U.S. locality pay area pay disparity of 27.81 percent included 
in our 2009 annual report to the President. Establishing single pay 
areas for all of Alaska and all of Hawaii also coincides with a sense 
of Congress provision that these locations each be covered by a single 
separate locality pay area. Since it is not feasible for BLS to conduct 
salary surveys using the current survey methods at current budget 
levels in additional locations in Alaska, Hawaii, or the U.S. 
territories and possessions, the Pay Agent concludes Alaska and Hawaii 
should become whole-State locality pay areas and the other locations 
should be part of the Rest of U.S. (RUS) locality pay area. This 
decision may be revisited if the Federal Salary Council makes a 
different recommendation when it next convenes.

Impact and Implementation

    This rule will affect rates of pay for about 44,100 civilian white-
collar employees in the States of Alaska and Hawaii, the Commonwealths 
of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the U.S. Virgin 
Islands, and other U.S. possessions. Under the rule, approved locality 
pay rates would likely be higher than in the RUS locality pay area for 
employees in Alaska and Hawaii. Federal civilian white-collar employees 
in the U.S. territories and possessions will be covered by the RUS 
locality pay rate.

Waiver of Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), I find that good cause exists 
for waiving

[[Page 60286]]

the general notice of proposed rulemaking. Notice is being waived to 
comply with the intent of Congress that employees affected by the NAREA 
in Alaska and Hawaii have separate locality pay areas established for 
January 2011 pay adjustments. In addition, notice is being waived to 
ensure that employees in the U.S. territories and possessions who are 
affected by the NAREA are included in the RUS locality pay area in time 
for the January 2011 pay adjustments. I find that provision of the 
general notice of proposed regulations is both impracticable and 
unnecessary in this instance because Congress has indicated its intent 
that these changes be effected in time for the January 2011 pay 
adjustments, and because the process of promulgating proposed and final 
rules to establish these changes would introduce unnecessary delay 
resulting in effecting these changes beyond the date on which the 
January 2011 pay adjustments take effect. In addition, since the latest 
available data indicates that, for Alaska and Hawaii, the locality pay 
rates will be higher than that for the RUS locality pay area, the 
process of promulgating proposed and final rules would be contrary to 
the public interest in that it would cause unnecessary delay in 
applying the higher locality pay rates in these areas in time for the 
January 2011 pay adjustments.

E.O. 12866, Regulatory Review

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

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This document does not contain proposed information collection 
requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 

Regulatory Flexibility Act

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

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 531

    Government employees, Law enforcement officers, Wages.

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

Accordingly, OPM amends 5 CFR part 531 as follows:


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 and 5305; 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.  531.603, paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:

Sec.  531.603  Locality pay areas.

* * * * *
    (b) The following are locality pay areas for the purposes of this 
    (1) Alaska--consisting of the State of Alaska;
    (2) Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, GA-AL--consisting of the 
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, GA-AL CSA;
    (3) Boston-Worcester-Manchester, MA-NH-RI-ME--consisting of the 
Boston-Worcester-Manchester, MA-RI-NH CSA, plus Barnstable County, MA, 
and Berwick, Eliot, Kittery, South Berwick, and York towns in York 
County, ME;
    (4) Buffalo-Niagara-Cattaraugus, NY--consisting of the Buffalo-
Niagara-Cattaraugus, NY CSA;
    (5) Chicago-Naperville-Michigan City, IL-IN-WI--consisting of the 
Chicago-Naperville-Michigan City, IL-IN-WI CSA;
    (6) Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington, OH-KY-IN--consisting of the 
Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington, OH-KY-IN CSA;
    (7) Cleveland-Akron-Elyria, OH--consisting of the Cleveland-Akron-
Elyria, OH CSA;
    (8) Columbus-Marion-Chillicothe, OH--consisting of the Columbus-
Marion-Chillicothe, OH CSA;
    (9) Dallas-Fort Worth, TX--consisting of the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX 
    (10) Dayton-Springfield-Greenville, OH--consisting of the Dayton-
Springfield-Greenville, OH CSA;
    (11) Denver-Aurora-Boulder, CO--consisting of the Denver-Aurora-
Boulder, CO CSA, plus the Ft. Collins-Loveland, CO MSA;
    (12) Detroit-Warren-Flint, MI--consisting of the Detroit-Warren-
Flint, MI CSA, plus Lenawee County, MI;
    (13) Hartford-West Hartford-Willimantic, CT-MA--consisting of the 
Hartford-West Hartford-Willimantic, CT CSA, plus the Springfield, MA 
MSA and New London County, CT;
    (14) Hawaii--consisting of the State of Hawaii;
    (15) Houston-Baytown-Huntsville, TX--consisting of the Houston-
Baytown-Huntsville, TX CSA;
    (16) Huntsville-Decatur, AL--consisting of the Huntsville-Decatur, 
    (17) Indianapolis-Anderson-Columbus, IN--consisting of the 
Indianapolis-Anderson-Columbus, IN CSA, plus Grant County, IN;
    (18) Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA--consisting of the Los 
Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA CSA, plus the Santa Barbara-Santa 
Maria-Goleta, CA MSA and all of Edwards Air Force Base, CA;
    (19) Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL--consisting of the 
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL MSA, plus Monroe County, FL;
    (20) Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha, WI--consisting of the Milwaukee-
Racine-Waukesha, WI CSA;
    (21) Minneapolis-St. Paul-St. Cloud, MN-WI--consisting of the 
Minneapolis-St. Paul-St. Cloud, MN-WI CSA;
    (22) New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA--consisting of the New 
York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA CSA, plus Monroe County, PA, Warren 
County, NJ, and all of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst;
    (23) Philadelphia-Camden-Vineland, PA-NJ-DE-MD--consisting of the 
Philadelphia-Camden-Vineland, PA-NJ-DE-MD CSA excluding Joint Base 
McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, plus Kent County, DE, Atlantic County, NJ, and 
Cape May County, NJ;
    (24) Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ--consisting of the Phoenix-Mesa-
Scottsdale, AZ MSA;
    (25) Pittsburgh-New Castle, PA--consisting of the Pittsburgh-New 
Castle, PA CSA;
    (26) Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA--consisting of the 
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA MSA, plus Marion County, OR, and 
Polk County, OR;
    (27) Raleigh-Durham-Cary, NC--consisting of the Raleigh-Durham-
Cary, NC CSA, plus the Fayetteville, NC MSA, the Goldsboro, NC MSA, and 
the Federal Correctional Complex Butner, NC;
    (28) Richmond, VA--consisting of the Richmond, VA MSA;
    (29) Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Yuba City, CA-NV--consisting of the 
Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Yuba City, CA-NV CSA, plus Carson City, NV;

[[Page 60287]]

    (30) San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA--consisting of the San 
Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA MSA;
    (31) San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA--consisting of the San 
Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA CSA, plus the Salinas, CA MSA and San 
Joaquin County, CA;
    (32) Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia, WA--consisting of the Seattle-Tacoma-
Olympia, WA CSA, plus Whatcom County, WA;
    (33) Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA--
consisting of the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV 
CSA, plus the Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV MSA, the York-Hanover-
Gettysburg, PA CSA, and King George County, VA; and
    (34) Rest of U.S.--consisting of those portions of the United 
States and its territories and possessions as listed in 5 CFR 591.205 
not located within another locality pay area.

[FR Doc. 2010-24495 Filed 9-29-10; 8:45 am]