[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 236 (Tuesday, December 9, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 72997-72998]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-28619]

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.


Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 236 / Tuesday, December 9, 2014 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 72997]]


5 CFR Part 532

RIN 3206-AN11

Prevailing Rate Systems; Abolishment of the Portland, ME, 
Appropriated Fund Federal Wage System Wage Area

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 abolish the Portland, ME, appropriated fund 
Federal Wage System (FWS) wage area and redefine Androscoggin, 
Cumberland, and Sagadahoc Counties, ME, to the Portsmouth, NH survey 
area and Franklin and Oxford Counties, ME, and Coos County, NH, to the 
Portsmouth area of application. These changes are necessary because the 
closure of the Naval Air Station (NAS) Brunswick left the Portland wage 
area without an activity having the capability to conduct a local wage 

DATES: We must receive comments on or before January 8, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by ``RIN 3206-AN11,'' 
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, by telephone at 
(202) 606-2838 or by email at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Portland, ME, FWS wage area's host 
installation, NAS Brunswick, closed in May 2011. This closure left the 
lead agency, the Department of Defense (DOD), without an installation 
capable of hosting annual local wage surveys. Because of the closure of 
NAS Brunswick, DOD has requested that OPM abolish the Portland wage 
area and redefine its constituent counties to a neighboring wage area.
    The Portland wage area is presently composed of three survey 
counties (Androscoggin, Cumberland, and Sagadahoc Counties, ME) and 
three area of application counties (Franklin and Oxford Counties, ME, 
and Coos County, NH). The next full-scale wage schedule is scheduled to 
begin in the Portland wage area in May 2015.
    Under section 5343 of title 5, United States Code, OPM is 
responsible for defining wage areas following the regulatory criteria 
under section 532.211 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations. Under 
the regulatory criteria, OPM considers the following factors 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.
    Cumberland, Sagadahoc, and York Counties, ME, comprise the 
Portland-South Portland, ME MSA. The Portland-South Portland MSA is 
split between the Portland and Portsmouth wage areas. Cumberland and 
Sagadahoc Counties are part of the Portland survey area and York County 
is part of the Portsmouth survey area.
    Based on an analysis of the regulatory criteria for York County, 
the core county in the Portland-South Portland MSA, the entire 
Portland-South Portland MSA would be defined to the Portsmouth wage 
area. When measuring to cities and host installations, the distance 
criterion favors the Portsmouth wage area. The commuting patterns 
criterion favors the Portsmouth wage area. The overall population and 
employment and the kinds and sizes of private industrial establishments 
criterion does not favor one wage area more than another.
    Based on this analysis, we believe York County is appropriately 
defined to the Portsmouth 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 
Portland-South Portland MSA. To comply with OPM regulations not to 
split MSAs, Cumberland and Sagadahoc Counties would be redefined to the 
Portsmouth wage area.
    In selecting a wage area to which the remaining counties should be 
redefined, 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, made a majority 
recommendation to define the entire wage area to the Portsmouth wage 
    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.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    I certify that these proposed 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.
Katherine Archuleta,
    Accordingly, OPM is proposing to amend 5 CFR part 532 as follows:


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 

2. Appendix A to subpart B of part 532 is amended for the State of 
Maine by removing the entry for Portland.
3. Appendix C to subpart B is amended by removing the wage area

[[Page 72998]]

listing for Portland, ME, and revising the wage area listings for 
Portsmouth, NH, wage areas to read as follows:
* * * * *



Survey Area

    The following cities and towns in:
    Essex County
    North Andover
    South Byfield
    West Newbury
New Hampshire:
    Rockingham (except the following cities and towns: Newton, 
Plaistow, Salem, and Westville)

Area of Application. Survey area plus:

New Hampshire:
    The following cities and towns in:
    Rockingham County
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2014-28619 Filed 12-8-14; 8:45 am]