[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 81 (Wednesday, April 27, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 24737-24738]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-09701]


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OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT

5 CFR Part 532

RIN 3206-AN37


Prevailing Rate Systems; Redefinition of the Asheville, NC, and 
Charlotte, NC, Appropriated Fund Federal Wage System Wage Areas

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 redefine the geographic boundaries of the 
Asheville, NC, and Charlotte, NC, appropriated fund Federal Wage System 
(FWS) wage areas. The proposed rule would redefine Alexander and 
Catawba Counties, NC, from the Charlotte wage area to the Asheville 
wage area. 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 a nearby FWS survey area. 
There are no FWS employees stationed in Alexander or Catawba Counties.

DATES: We must receive comments on or before May 27, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by ``RIN 3206-AN37,'' 
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, (202) 606-2858; 
email pay-leave-policy@opm.gov; or FAX: (202) 606-4264.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: OPM is issuing a proposed rule that would 
redefine the geographic boundaries of the Asheville, NC, and Charlotte, 
NC, appropriated fund FWS wage areas. The proposed rule would redefine 
Alexander and Catawba Counties, NC, from the Charlotte wage area to the 
Asheville 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.
    Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba Counties, NC, comprise the 
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC, MSA. The Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton MSA is 
split between the Asheville, NC, and Charlotte, NC, wage areas. Burke 
and Caldwell Counties are part of the area of application of the 
Asheville wage area and Alexander and Catawba Counties are part of the 
area of application of the Charlotte wage area.
    Based on an analysis of the regulatory criteria for Caldwell 
County, the core county in the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton MSA, the entire 
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton MSA would be defined to the Asheville wage 
area. When measuring to cities, the distance criterion does not favor 
one wage area more than another. When measuring to host installations, 
the distance criterion favors the Asheville wage area more than the 
Charlotte wage area. The commuting patterns criterion does not favor 
one wage area more than another. Caldwell County resembles the 
Asheville survey area more than the Charlotte survey area in terms of 
the overall population and employment and the kinds and sizes of 
private industrial establishments criteria.
    Based on this analysis, we believe Caldwell County is appropriately 
defined to the Asheville 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, Alexander and Catawba Counties would be redefined to the 
Asheville wage area. The remaining county in the Hickory-Lenoir-
Morganton MSA, Burke County, is already defined to the Asheville wage 
area. There are currently no FWS employees working in Alexander and 
Catawba Counties.
    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 proposed rule that would redefine the geographic 
boundaries of the wage areas to read as follows:

[[Page 24738]]



 
                                * * * * *
                             NORTH CAROLINA
 
                                Asheville
 
                               Survey Area
North Carolina:
  Buscombe
  Haywood
  Henderson
  Madison
  Transylvania
 
                 Area of Application. Survey area plus:
 
North Carolina:
  Alexander
  Avery
  Burke
  Caldwell
  Catawba
  Cherokee
  Clay
  Graham
  Jackson
  McDowell
  Macon
  Mitchell
  Polk
  Rutherford
  Swain
  Yancey
 
                                * * * * *
                                Charlotte
 
                               Survey Area
North Carolina:
  Cabarrus
  Gaston
  Mecklenburg
  Rowan
  Union
 
                 Area of Application. Survey area plus:
 
North Carolina:
  Anson
  Cleveland
  Iredell
  Lincoln
  Stanly
  Wilkes
South Carolina:
  Chester
  Chesterfield
  Lancaster
  York
 
                                * * * * *
 

[FR Doc. 2016-09701 Filed 4-26-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6325-39-P