[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 147 (Friday, July 31, 2015)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 45616-45617]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-18746]


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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. 80, No. 147 / Friday, July 31, 2015 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 45616]]



OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT

5 CFR Part 532

RIN 3206-AN18


Prevailing Rate Systems; Redefinition of the Harrisburg, PA and 
Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, PA, Appropriated Fund Federal Wage System Wage 
Areas

AGENCY: U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION: Proposed rule with request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing a 
proposed rule that would redefine the geographic boundaries of the 
Harrisburg, PA, and Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, PA, appropriated fund 
Federal Wage System (FWS) wage areas. The proposed rule would redefine 
Montour County, PA, from the Harrisburg wage area to the Scranton-
Wilkes-Barre wage area. This change is based on a recent consensus 
recommendation of the Federal Prevailing Rate Advisory Committee 
(FPRAC) to best match the county proposed for redefinition to a nearby 
FWS survey area.

DATES: We must receive comments on or before August 31, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by ``RIN 3206-AN18,'' 
using any of the following methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments.
    Mail: Brenda L. Roberts, 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: [email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Madeline Gonzalez, (202) 606-2858; 
email [email protected]; or FAX: (202) 606-4264.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: OPM is issuing a proposed rule that would 
redefine the geographic boundaries of the Harrisburg, PA, and Scranton-
Wilkes-Barre, PA, appropriated fund FWS wage areas. The proposed rule 
would redefine Montour County, PA, from the Harrisburg wage area to the 
Scranton-Wilkes-Barre 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.
    Columbia and Montour Counties, PA, comprise the Bloomsburg-Berwick, 
PA MSA. The Bloomsburg-Berwick MSA is split between the Harrisburg and 
Scranton-Wilkes-Barre wage areas. Columbia County is part of the area 
of application of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre wage area, and Montour 
County is part of the area of application of the Harrisburg wage area.
    Based on an analysis of the regulatory criteria for Columbia 
County, the core county in the Bloomsburg-Berwick MSA, the entire 
Bloomsburg-Berwick MSA would be defined to the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre 
wage area. When measuring to cities and host installations, the 
distance criterion favors the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre wage area more than 
the Harrisburg wage area. The commuting patterns criterion also favors 
the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre wage area. Columbia County does not resemble 
one survey area more than another survey area in terms of the overall 
population, employment, and the kinds and sizes of private industrial 
establishments criteria.
    Based on this analysis, we believe Columbia County is appropriately 
defined to the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre wage area. OPM regulations at 5 
CFR 532.211 permit splitting MSAs only in very unusual circumstances. 
There appear to be no unusual circumstances that would permit splitting 
the Bloomsburg-Berwick MSA. To comply with OPM regulations not to split 
MSAs, Montour County would be redefined to the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre 
wage area. There are currently no FWS employees working in Montour 
County.
    FPRAC, the national labor-management committee responsible for 
advising OPM on matters concerning the pay of FWS employees, 
recommended this change by consensus. This change 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.

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.
Beth F. Cobert,
Acting Director.

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

PART 532--PREVAILING RATE SYSTEMS

0
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

0
2. Appendix C to subpart B is amended by revising the wage area 
listings for the Harrisburg, PA, and Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, PA, wage 
areas to read as follows:
* * * * *

 
 
 
                              PENNSYLVANIA
                               Harrisburg
 
                               Survey Area
 
Pennsylvania:
  Cumberland
  Dauphin
  Lebanon
  York
 
                 Area of Application. Survey area plus:
 
Pennsylvania:
  Adams
  Berks
  Juniata
  Lancaster

[[Page 45617]]

 
  Lycoming (Allenwood Federal Prison Camp portion only)
  Mifflin
  Northumberland
  Perry
  Schuylkill
  Snyder
  Union
 
                                * * * * *
                          Scranton-Wilkes-Barre
                               Survey Area
 
Pennsylvania:
  Lackawanna
  Luzerne
  Monroe
                 Area of Application. Survey area plus:
 
Pennsylvania:
  Bradford
  Columbia
  Lycoming (Excluding Allenwood Federal Prison Camp)
  Montour
  Sullivan
  Susquehanna
  Wayne
  Wyoming
 

* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2015-18746 Filed 7-30-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6325-39-P