[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 16 (Thursday, January 24, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 5115-5116]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-01399]

Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register

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Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 16 / Thursday, January 24, 2013 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 5115]]


5 CFR Part 531

RIN 3206-AM51

General Schedule Locality Pay Areas

AGENCY: U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: On behalf of the President's Pay Agent, the Office of 
Personnel Management is issuing final regulations tying 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: Effective Date: February 25, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Allan Hearne, (202) 606-2838; FAX: 
(202) 606-0824; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On November 26, 2012, the Office of 
Personnel Management (OPM) published proposed regulations (77 FR 70381) 
on General Schedule locality pay areas. 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 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 Council, we use 
Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and Combined Statistical Areas 
(CSAs) as the basis for locality pay areas.
    OMB periodically updates metropolitan area definitions and may make 
significant changes in 2013. Under the current regulations, locality 
pay areas change automatically to follow minor revisions in MSAs and 
CSAs. Since OMB plans a significant update of MSA and CSA definitions 
in 2013, we are revising the regulations so that locality pay areas 
will not change automatically when OMB revises metropolitan area 
definitions. This action provides time for the Pay Agent and the 
Federal Salary Council to review the new metropolitan area definitions 
for suitability for use in the locality pay program. After appropriate 
review, the Pay Agent will publish for comment any proposed changes in 
locality pay areas based on the new definitions, if they are adopted.
    The 45-day comment period for the proposed regulations ended on 
January 10, 2013. We received one comment on the proposed regulations 
that was not related to the subject of tying locality pay areas to the 
2009 definitions of metropolitan areas. Therefore, we are adopting the 
proposed rule as final without any changes.


    The rule has no effect on existing locality pay area definitions 
but prevents 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.

John Berry,
Director, Office of Personnel Management.

    Accordingly, OPM is amending 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, 5305, and 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

[[Page 5116]]

day of the first pay period beginning on or after the effective date 
indicated in the applicable final rule published in the Federal 
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2013-01399 Filed 1-23-13; 8:45 am]