2019-17413. Prevailing Rate Systems; Redefinition of Certain Appropriated Fund Federal Wage System Wage Areas  

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    AGENCY:

    Office of Personnel Management.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing a proposed rule that would redefine the geographic boundaries of several appropriated fund Federal Wage System (FWS) wage areas for pay-setting purposes. Based on recent reviews of Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) boundaries in a number of wage areas, OPM proposes redefinitions affecting the following wage areas: Washington, DC; Hagerstown-Martinsburg-Chambersburg, MD; Detroit, MI; Jackson, MS; Meridian, MS; and Cleveland, OH.

    DATES:

    Send comments on or before September 13, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and/or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) and title, by the following method:

    All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number or RIN for this document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    Start Further Info

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Madeline Gonzalez, by telephone at (202) 606-2838 or by email at pay-leave-policy@opm.gov.

    End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OPM is issuing a proposed rule to redefine the geographic boundaries of several appropriated fund FWS wage areas. These changes are based on recommendations of the Federal Prevailing Rate Advisory Committee (FPRAC), the statutory national labor-management committee responsible for advising OPM on matters affecting the pay of FWS employees. From time to time, FPRAC reviews the boundaries of wage areas and provides OPM with recommendations for changes if the Committee finds that changes are warranted.

    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 MSAs for the purpose of defining a wage area, except in very unusual circumstances.

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defines MSAs and maintains and periodically updates the definitions of MSA boundaries. MSAs are composed of counties and are defined on the basis of a central urbanized area—a contiguous area of relatively high population density. Additional surrounding counties are included in MSAs if they have strong social and economic ties to central counties.

    When the boundaries of wage areas were first established in the 1960s, there were fewer MSAs than there are today and the boundaries of the then existing MSAs were much smaller. Most MSAs were contained within the boundaries of a wage area. With each OMB update, MSAs have expanded and in some cases now extend beyond the boundaries of the wage area.

    FPRAC recently reviewed several wage areas where boundaries subdivide certain MSAs and has recommended by consensus that OPM implement the changes described in this proposed rule. These changes 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.

    Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV MSA

    Washington, DC; Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George's Counties, MD; Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Manassas Park Cities, VA; Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Madison, Prince William, Rappahannock, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Warren Counties, VA; and Jefferson County, WV, comprise the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-MD-VA-WV MSA.

    The Washington-Arlington-Alexandria MSA is split between the Washington, DC, wage area and the Hagerstown-Martinsburg-Chambersburg, MD, wage area. Washington, DC; Charles, Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George's Counties, MD; Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park Cities, VA; and Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties, VA, are part of the Washington, DC, survey area. Calvert County, MD; Fredericksburg City, VA; Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Rappahannock, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Warren Counties, VA; and Jefferson County, WV, are part of the Washington, DC, area of application. Madison County, VA, is part of the Hagerstown-Martinsburg-Chambersburg area of application.

    OPM proposes to redefine Madison County to the Washington, DC, area of application so that the entire Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV MSA is in one wage area. There are currently 44 FWS employees working in Madison County.

    Toledo, OH MSA

    Fulton, Lucas, Ottawa, and Wood Counties, OH, comprise the Toledo, OH MSA.

    The Toledo MSA is split between the Cleveland, OH, wage area and the Detroit, MI, wage area. Ottawa County is part of the Cleveland area of application while Fulton, Lucas, and Wood Counties are part of the Detroit area of application.

    OPM proposes to redefine Ottawa County to the Detroit area of application so that the entire Toledo, OH MSA is in one wage area. There are currently 38 FWS employees working in Ottawa County.Start Printed Page 40298

    Hattiesburg, MS MSA

    Covington, Forrest, Lamar, and Perry Counties, MS, comprise the Hattiesburg, MS MSA.

    The Hattiesburg MSA is split between the Jackson, MS, wage area and the Meridian, MS, wage area. Covington County is part of the Jackson area of application. Forrest and Lamar Counties are part of the Meridian survey area while Perry County is part of the Meridian area of application.

    OPM proposes to redefine Covington County to the Meridian area of application so that the entire Hattiesburg, MS MSA is in one wage area. There are currently no FWS employees working in Covington County.

    Regulatory Impact Analysis

    This action is not a “significant regulatory action” under the terms of Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and is therefore not subject to review under E.O. 12866 and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011).

    Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

    This rule is not an Executive Order 13771 regulatory action because this rule is not significant under E.O. 12866.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    OPM certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Federalism

    We have examined this rule in accordance with Executive Order 13132, Federalism, and have determined that this rule will not have any negative impact on the rights, roles and responsibilities of State, local, or tribal governments.

    Civil Justice Reform

    This regulation meets the applicable standard set forth in Executive Order 12988.

    Unfunded Mandates Act of 1995

    This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any year and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

    Congressional Review Act

    This action pertains to agency management, personnel, and organization and does not substantially affect the rights or obligations of nonagency parties and, accordingly, is not a “rule” as that term is used by the Congressional Review Act (Subtitle E of the Small Business “Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA)). Therefore, the reporting requirement of 5 U.S.C. 801 does not apply.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not impose any new reporting or record-keeping requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    Start List of Subjects

    List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 532

    • Administrative practice and procedure
    • Freedom of information
    • Government employees
    • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
    • Wages
    End List of Subjects Start Signature

    Office of Personnel Management.

    Stephen Hickman,

    Regulatory Affairs.

    End Signature

    Accordingly, OPM is proposing to amend 5 CFR part 532 as follows:

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    PART 532—PREVAILING RATE SYSTEMS

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    1. The authority citation for part 532 continues to read as follows:

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    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5343, 5346; § 532.707 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552.

    End Authority Start Amendment Part

    2. Appendix C to subpart B is amended by revising the wage area listings for the Washington, DC; Hagerstown-Martinsburg-Chambersburg, MD; Detroit, MI; Jackson, MS; Meridian, MS; and, Cleveland, OH, wage areas to read as follows:

    End Amendment Part

    Appendix C to Subpart B of Part 532—Appropriated Fund Wage and Survey Areas

    * * * * *

    DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

    Washington, DC

    Survey Area

    District of Columbia:

    Washington, DC

    Maryland:

    Charles

    Frederick

    Montgomery

    Prince George's

    Virginia (cities):

    Alexandria

    Fairfax

    Falls Church

    Manassas

    Manassas Park

    Virginia (counties):

    Arlington

    Fairfax

    Loudoun

    Prince William

    Area of Application. Survey area plus:

    Maryland:

    Calvert

    St. Mary's

    Virginia (city):

    Fredericksburg

    Virginia (counties):

    Clarke

    Culpeper

    Fauquier

    King George

    Madison

    Rappahannock

    Spotsylvania

    Stafford

    Warren

    West Virginia:

    Jefferson

    * * * * *

    MARYLAND

    * * * * *

    Hagerstown-Martinsburg-Chambersburg

    Survey Area

    Maryland:

    Washington

    Pennsylvania:

    Franklin

    West Virginia:

    Berkeley

    Area of Application. Survey area.

    Maryland:

    Allegany

    Garrett

    Pennsylvania:

    Fulton

    Virginia (cities):

    Harrisonburg

    Winchester

    Virginia (counties):

    Frederick

    Page

    Rockingham

    Shenandoah

    West Virginia:

    Hampshire

    Hardy

    Mineral

    Morgan

    * * * * *

    MICHIGAN

    Detroit

    Survey Area

    Michigan:

    Lapeer

    Livingston

    Macomb

    Oakland

    St. Clair

    Wayne

    Area of Application. Survey area.

    Michigan:

    Arenac

    Bay

    Clare

    Clinton

    Eaton

    Genesee

    Gladwin

    Gratiot

    HuronStart Printed Page 40299

    Ingham

    Isabella

    Lenawee

    Midland

    Monroe

    Saginaw

    Sanilac

    Shiawassee

    Tuscola

    Washtenaw

    Ohio:

    Fulton

    Lucas

    Ottawa

    Wood

    * * * * *

    MISSISSIPPI

    * * * * *

    Jackson

    Survey Area

    Mississippi:

    Hinds

    Rankin

    Warren

    Area of Application. Survey area.

    Mississippi:

    Adams

    Amite

    Attala

    Claiborne

    Copiah

    Franklin

    Holmes

    Humphreys

    Issaquena

    Jefferson

    Jefferson Davis

    Lawrence

    Lincoln

    Madison

    Marion

    Pike

    Scott

    Sharkey

    Simpson

    Smith

    Walthall

    Wilkinson

    Yazoo

    Meridian

    Survey Area

    Alabama:

    Choctaw

    Mississippi:

    Forrest

    Lamar

    Lauderdale

    Area of Application. Survey area plus:

    Alabama:

    Sumter

    Mississippi:

    Clarke

    Covington

    Greene

    Jasper

    Jones

    Kemper

    Leake

    Neshoba

    Newton

    Perry

    Wayne

    * * * * *

    OHIO

    * * * * *

    Cleveland

    Survey Area

    Ohio:

    Cuyahoga

    Geauga

    Lake

    Medina

    Area of Application. Survey area plus:

    Ohio:

    Ashland

    Ashtabula

    Carroll

    Columbiana

    Erie

    Huron

    Lorain

    Mahoning

    Portage

    Sandusky

    Seneca

    Stark

    Summit

    Trumbull

    Wayne

    Pennsylvania:

    Mercer

    * * * * *
    End Supplemental Information

    [FR Doc. 2019-17413 Filed 8-13-19; 8:45 am]

    BILLING CODE 6325-39-P

Document Information

Published:
08/14/2019
Department:
Personnel Management Office
EntryType:
Proposed Rule
Action:
Proposed rule.
Document Number:
2019-17413
Dates:
Send comments on or before September 13, 2019.
Pages:
40297-40299 (3 pages)
RIN:
3206-AN87
SectionNoes:
Topics:
Administrative practice and procedure, Freedom of information, Government employees, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Wages
PDF File:
2019-17413.pdf
CFR: (1)
5 CFR 532