[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 230 (Wednesday, November 30, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 86249-86250]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-28769]



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Rules and Regulations
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Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 230 / Wednesday, November 30, 2016 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 86249]]



OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT

5 CFR Part 532

RIN 3206-AN29


Prevailing Rate Systems; Redefinition of the New York, NY, and 
Philadelphia, PA, Appropriated Fund Federal Wage System Wage Areas

AGENCY: U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing a 
final rule to redefine the geographic boundaries of the New York, NY, 
and Philadelphia, PA, appropriated fund Federal Wage System (FWS) wage 
areas. The final rule will address an anomalous situation affecting 
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. Portions of the Joint Base are 
currently defined to the Philadelphia wage area and to the New York 
wage area. OPM has developed a new criterion for defining wage areas to 
address this unique situation so that the entire Joint Base is covered 
by a single wage schedule.

DATES: Effective date: This regulation is effective on November 30, 
2016.
    Applicability date: This change applies on the first day of the 
first applicable pay period beginning on or after December 30, 2016.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On July 20, 2016, OPM issued a proposed rule 
(81 FR 47049) to redefine the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst portions 
of Burlington County, NJ, and Ocean County, NJ, that are currently 
defined to the Philadelphia, PA, wage area to the New York, NY, wage 
area so that the entire Joint Base is covered by a single FWS wage 
schedule. This change is based on a majority recommendation of the 
Federal Prevailing Rate Advisory Committee (FPRAC), the national labor-
management committee responsible for advising OPM on the administration 
of the FWS.
    The 30-day comment period ended on August 19, 2016. OPM received 
comments from several hundred Federal employees, several Members of 
Congress, and one agency. Public comments supported defining the Joint 
Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst portions of Burlington County and Ocean 
County currently defined to the Philadelphia wage area to the New York 
wage area.
    Employees stationed at Tobyhanna Army Depot in northeastern 
Pennsylvania asked that OPM also consider redefining Monroe County, PA, 
from the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, PA, wage area to the New York wage 
area. FPRAC made a separate recommendation by majority vote in January 
2016 that OPM redefine Monroe County to the New York wage area. FPRAC's 
recommendation, and the public comments regarding Tobyhanna Army Depot, 
is beyond the scope of this rule. The intent of this rule is to address 
an anomalous situation created when a contiguous Joint Base overlaps 
two metropolitan areas and two FWS wage areas. The proposed rule's new 
criterion for defining FWS wage area boundaries has limited 
applicability and was not intended to address any other situation.
    An agency suggested that instead of defining a single contiguous 
Joint Base that overlaps two wage areas to the wage area with the most 
favorable payline, OPM should in the future consider basing the wage 
area definition for a Joint Base on the part of the Joint Base with the 
largest FWS employment count. The agency expressed concerns that Joint 
Bases were established in part to save costs and the proposed new 
criterion would result in higher wage costs. Although OPM considered 
this option when developing the proposed rule, it was not adopted 
because the new proposed criterion follows a protocol already 
established in similar FWS special wage schedule regulations as an 
equitable method for compensating employees stationed at a small 
contiguous installation.
    In addition, several commenters questioned the effective date of 
the proposed change recommending retroactive applicability. OPM defines 
wage areas through regulations in 5 CFR part 532. Changes in OPM's 
regulations are prospective, not retroactive, following an appropriate 
period for public comment. This change will apply 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 will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because they 
will affect only Federal agencies and employees.

Executive Order 13563 and Executive Order 12866

    This final rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and 
Budget in accordance with Executive Order 13563 and Executive Order 
12866.

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 amends 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.

Subpart B--Prevailing Rate Determinations

0
2. Section 532.211 is amended by adding a new paragraph (f) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  532.211  Criteria for establishing appropriated fund wage areas.

* * * * *
    (f) A single contiguous military installation defined as a Joint 
Base that would otherwise overlap two separate wage areas shall be 
included in only a single wage area. The wage area of such a Joint Base 
shall be defined to be the wage area with the most favorable payline 
based on an analysis of the simple average of the 15 nonsupervisory

[[Page 86250]]

second step rates on each one of the regular wage schedules applicable 
in the otherwise overlapped wage areas.

0
3. Appendix C to subpart B is amended by revising the wage area listing 
for the New York, NY, and Philadelphia, PA, wage areas to read as 
follows:

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

 
 
 
 
                                * * * * *
                                NEW YORK
 
                                * * * * *
                                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:
  Burlington (Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst portion only)
  Hunterdon
  Monmouth
  Ocean
  Sussex
New York:
  Dutchess
  Putnam
  Richmond
  Rockland
Pennsylvania:
  Pike
 
                                * * * * *
                              PENNSYLVANIA
 
                                * * * * *
                              Philadelphia
 
                               Survey Area
 
New Jersey:
  Burlington (Excluding the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst portion)
  Camden
  Gloucester
Pennsylvania:
  Bucks
  Chester
  Delaware
  Montgomery
  Philadelphia
 
                 Area of Application. Survey area plus:
 
New Jersey:
  Atlantic
  Cape May
  Cumberland
  Mercer
  Warren
Pennsylvania:
  Carbon
  Lehigh
  Northampton
 
                                * * * * *
 

[FR Doc. 2016-28769 Filed 11-29-16; 8:45 am]
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