[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 229 (Monday, November 30, 2015)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 74715-74717]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-30310]


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OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT

5 CFR Part 532

RIN 3206-AN26


Prevailing Rate Systems; Abolishment of the Newburgh, NY, 
Appropriated Fund Federal Wage System Wage Area

AGENCY: U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION: Proposed rule with request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing a 
proposed rule that would abolish the Newburgh, New York, appropriated 
fund Federal Wage System (FWS) wage area and redefine Orange County, 
NY, to the New York, NY, survey area; Dutchess County, NY, to the New 
York area of application; Delaware and Ulster Counties, NY, to the 
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY, area of application; and Sullivan County, 
NY, to the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, area of application. 
These changes are based on a recent consensus recommendation of the 
Federal Prevailing Rate Advisory Committee (FPRAC) to best match the 
counties proposed for redefinition to nearby FWS survey areas.

DATES: We must receive comments on or before December 30, 2015.

[[Page 74716]]


ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by ``RIN 3206-AN26,'' 
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: pay-leave-policy@opm.gov.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: OPM is issuing a proposed rule that would 
abolish the Newburgh, NY, appropriated fund FWS wage area and redefine 
the geographic boundaries of the New York, NY; Albany-Schenectady-Troy, 
NY; and Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, PA, appropriated fund FWS wage areas. 
The proposed rule would redefine Orange County, NY, to the New York 
survey area; Dutchess County, NY, to the New York area of application; 
Delaware and Ulster Counties, NY, to the Albany-Schenectady-Troy area 
of application; and Sullivan County, NY, to the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre 
area of application.
    The Newburgh wage area is presently composed of three survey 
counties (Dutchess, Orange, and Ulster Counties) and two area of 
application counties (Delaware and Sullivan Counties).
    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.
    The Office of Management and Budget defines Metropolitan 
Statistical Areas (MSAs) and maintains and updates the definitions of 
MSA boundaries following each decennial census. OMB's 2013 definitions 
of MSAs added Dutchess and Orange Counties to the New York-Newark-
Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA MSA. The New York-Newark-Jersey City is now split 
between the Newburgh and New York wage areas. 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.

Dutchess and Orange Counties, NY

    Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, 
Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, and Union Counties, NJ; Bronx, 
Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, 
Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties, NY; and Pike County, PA, 
comprise the New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA MSA. The New York-
Newark-Jersey City MSA contains parts of the Newburgh and New York FWS 
wage areas. Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, 
Somerset, and Union Counties, NJ, and Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, 
Queens, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties, NY, are part of the New York 
survey area. Hunterdon, Monmouth, Ocean (excluding the Fort Dix 
Military Reservation), and Sussex Counties, NJ; Putnam, Richmond, and 
Rockland Counties, NY; and Pike County, PA, are part of the New York 
area of application. Dutchess and Orange Counties, NY, are part of the 
Newburgh survey area.
    There now appear to be no unusual circumstances for Dutchess and 
Orange Counties to be split from the majority of the counties of the 
New York-Newark-Jersey City MSA. Therefore, OPM proposes to redefine 
Dutchess and Orange Counties to the New York wage area. Because Orange 
County has a large FWS workforce of 800 employees, it would be 
redefined to the New York survey area. With only 39 FWS employees, 
Dutchess County would be redefined to the New York area of application.

Delaware, Sullivan, and Ulster Counties, NY

    With the redefinition of Dutchess and Orange Counties to the New 
York wage area, the Newburgh wage area would no longer be a viable wage 
area and would be abolished. Its remaining constituent counties would 
be redefined to a neighboring wage area.
    In selecting a wage area to which Delaware County should be 
redefined, the distance criterion favors the Albany-Schenectady-Troy 
wage area. The commuting patterns criterion slightly favors the New 
York 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 these findings, OPM is proposing 
to redefine Delaware County as an area of application county to the 
Albany-Schenectady-Troy wage area.
    In selecting a wage area to which Sullivan County would be 
redefined, the distance criterion favors the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre wage 
area. The commuting patterns criterion favors the New York 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 these findings, OPM is proposing to 
redefine Sullivan County as an area of application to the Scranton-
Wilkes-Barre area of application.
    In selecting a wage area to which Ulster County would be redefined, 
the distance criterion favors the Albany-Schenectady-Troy wage area. 
The commuting patterns criterion favors the New York 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 these findings, OPM is proposing to redefine 
Ulster County as an area of application county to the Albany-
Schenectady-Troy wage area.
    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, recommended these 
changes by consensus. 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 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, OPM 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--[Amended]

0
2. Appendix A to subpart B of part 532 is amended for the State of New 
York by removing the entry for Newburg.

[[Page 74717]]

0
3. Appendix C to subpart B is amended by removing the wage area listing 
for Newburgh, NY, and revising the wage area listing for the Albany-
Schenectady-Troy, NY; New York, NY; and Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, PA, wage 
areas to read as follows:

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

* * * * *

NEW YORK

Albany-Schenectady-Troy

Survey Area

New York:
Albany
Montgomery
Rensselaer
Saratoga
Schenectady

Area of Application. Survey area plus:

New York:
Columbia
Delaware
Fulton
Greene
Schoharie
Ulster
Warren
Washington
* * * * *

New York

Survey Area

New Jersey:
Bergen
Essex
Hudson
Middlesex
Morris
Passaic
Somerset
Union
New York:
Bronx
Kings
Nassau
New York
Orange
Queens
Suffolk
Westchester

Area of Application. Survey area plus:

New Jersey:
Hunterdon
Monmouth
Ocean (Excluding the Fort Dix Military Reservation)
Sussex
New York:
Dutchess
Putnam
Richmond
Rockland
Pennsylvania:
Pike
* * * * *

PENNSYLVANIA

* * * * *

Scranton-Wilkes-Barre

Survey Area

Pennsylvania:
Lackawanna
Luzerne
Monroe

Area of Application. Survey area plus:

New York:
Sullivan
Pennsylvania:
Bradford
Columbia
Lycoming (Excluding Allenwood Federal Prison Camp)
Montour
Sullivan
Susquehanna
Wayne
Wyoming
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2015-30310 Filed 11-27-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6325-39-P