Nonforeign Area Cost-of-Living Allowance Rates; Puerto Rico and Hawaii County, HI, 51200-51201 [E7-17638]

Download as PDF 51200 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 72, No. 172 Thursday, September 6, 2007 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. OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT 5 CFR Part 591 RIN 3206–AL28 Nonforeign Area Cost-of-Living Allowance Rates; Puerto Rico and Hawaii County, HI Office of Personnel Management. ACTION: Proposed rule. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is proposing to change the cost-of-living allowance (COLA) rates received by certain whitecollar Federal and U.S. Postal Service employees in Puerto Rico and Hawaii County, HI. The proposed rate changes are the result of interim adjustments OPM calculated based on relative Consumer Price Index differences between the cost-of-living allowance areas and the Washington, DC, area. OPM is also proposing an additional one-time adjustment to the Puerto Rico COLA rate based on the impact of the new sales tax in Puerto Rico. DATES: We will consider comments received on or before November 5, 2007. ADDRESSES: Send or deliver comments to Charles D. Grimes III, Deputy Associate Director for Performance Management and Pay Systems, Strategic Human Resources Policy Division, Office of Personnel Management, Room 7300B, 1900 E Street, NW., Washington, DC 20415–8200; fax: (202) 606–4264; or e-mail: COLA@opm.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: J. Stanley Austin, (202) 606–2838; fax: (202) 606–4264; or e-mail: COLA@opm.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 5941 of title 5, United States Code, authorizes Federal agencies to pay costof-living allowances (COLAs) to whitecollar Federal and U.S. Postal Service employees stationed in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). Executive Order 10000, VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:24 Sep 05, 2007 Jkt 211001 as amended, delegates to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) the authority to administer nonforeign area COLAs and prescribes certain operational features of the program. OPM conducts living-cost surveys in each allowance area and in the Washington, DC, area to determine whether, and to what degree, COLA area living costs are higher than those in the DC area. OPM sets the COLA rate for each area based on the results of these surveys. As required by section 591.223 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, OPM conducts COLA surveys once every 3 years on a rotating basis. For areas not surveyed during a particular year, OPM adjusts COLA rates by the relative change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the COLA area compared with the Washington, DC, area. (See 5 CFR 591.224–591.226.) OPM adopted these regulations pursuant to the stipulation for settlement in Caraballo et al. v. United States, No. 1997–0027 (D.V.I.), August 17, 2000. Caraballo was a classaction lawsuit which resulted in many changes in the COLA methodology and regulations. OPM computed interim adjustments based on the relative change in the CPI for the Pacific and Caribbean COLA areas. A separate notice on the calculation of these interim adjustments accompanies this proposed rule. The interim adjustments indicate that, except for Hawaii County and Puerto Rico, the COLA rates for the Pacific and Caribbean COLA areas are currently set at the appropriate levels. For Hawaii County, the adjustments indicate that the COLA rate should be increased from 17 percent to 18 percent. For Puerto Rico, the adjustments indicate the COLA rate should be increased from 10.5 percent to 11 percent. This increase in Puerto Rico supersedes the 1-percent reduction proposed by OPM on October 27, 2006, at 71 FR 63176, based on the 2005 survey results. applied the sales tax to covered items priced in OPM’s 2005 Puerto Rico COLA survey. (The law exempted many items from coverage; e.g., most grocery items, cars, rent, prescription drugs, many professional services, health insurance, and school tuition.) We then recalculated the Puerto Rico price index incorporating the sales tax. The index increased by 1.9 points to 112.94, which translates to a COLA rate of 13 percent. Therefore, to account for this additional cost to Federal employees in Puerto Rico, we are proposing to increase the Puerto Rico COLA rate to 13 percent. Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Review This rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget in accordance with Executive Order 12866. Regulatory Flexibility Act I certify that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the regulation will affect only Federal agencies and employees. List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 591 Government employees, Travel and transportation expenses, Wages. Office Of Personnel Management. Linda M. Springer, Director. Accordingly, OPM proposes to amend subpart B of 5 CFR part 591 as follows: PART 591—ALLOWANCES AND DIFFERENTIALS Subpart B—Cost-of-Living Allowance and Post Differential—Nonforeign Areas 1. The authority citation for subpart B of 5 CFR part 591 continues to read as follows: Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5941; E.O. 10000, 3 CFR, 1943–1948 Comp., p. 792; and E.O. 12510, 3 CFR, 1985 Comp., p. 338. Puerto Rico Sales Tax Adjustment 2. Revise appendix A of subpart B to read as follows: On July 4, 2006, the Puerto Rico government enacted the Tax Justice Act of 2006 (Act No. 117, HB 2193), which established a new Commonwealth sales and use tax of 5.5 percent and authorized an additional municipal sales and use tax of up to 1.5 percent. To measure the impact of the new sales tax on living costs in Puerto Rico, we Appendix A to Subpart B of Part 591— Places and Rates at Which Allowances Are Paid This appendix lists the places approved for a cost-of-living allowance and shows the authorized allowance rate for each area. The allowance rate shown is paid as a percentage of an employee’s rate of basic pay. The rates are subject to change based on the results of future surveys. PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\06SEP1.SGM 06SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 172 / Thursday, September 6, 2007 / Proposed Rules Allowance rate (percent) Geographic coverage State of Alaska: City of Anchorage and 80-kilometer (50-mile) radius by road ............................................................................................... City of Fairbanks and 80-kilometer (50-mile) radius by road ................................................................................................ City of Juneau and 80-kilometer (50-mile) radius by road .................................................................................................... Rest of the State .................................................................................................................................................................... State of Hawaii: City and County of Honolulu .................................................................................................................................................. Hawaii County, Hawaii ........................................................................................................................................................... County of Kauai ...................................................................................................................................................................... County of Maui and County of Kalawao ................................................................................................................................ Territory of Guam and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands ..................................................................................... Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ...................................................................................................................................................... U.S. Virgin Islands ......................................................................................................................................................................... BILLING CODE 6325–39–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2007–29116; Directorate Identifier 2007–NM–064–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 737–600, –700, –700C, –800, and –900 Series Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS AGENCY: SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Boeing Model 737–600, –700, –700C, –800, and –900 series airplanes. This proposed AD would require a one-time inspection to determine the material of the forward and aft gray water drain masts. For airplanes having composite gray water drain masts, this proposed AD would also require installation of a copper bonding jumper between a ground and the clamp on the tube of the forward and aft gray water composite drain masts. This proposed AD results from a report of charred insulation blankets and burned wires around the forward gray water composite drain mast found during an inspection of the forward cargo compartment on a Model 767–300F airplane. We are proposing this AD to prevent a fire near a composite drain mast and possible disruption of the electrical power system caused by a lightning strike on a composite drain mast, which could result in the loss of several functions essential for safe flight. VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:24 Sep 05, 2007 Jkt 211001 We must receive comments on this proposed AD by October 22, 2007. ADDRESSES: Use one of the following addresses to submit comments on this proposed AD. • DOT Docket Web site: Go to http://dms.dot.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Government-wide rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically. • U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590. • Fax: (202) 493–2251. • Hand Delivery: Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, Washington 98124–2207, for the service information identified in this proposed AD. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marcia Smith, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM–150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356; telephone (425) 917–6484; fax (425) 917–6590. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: [FR Doc. E7–17638 Filed 9–5–07; 8:45 am] Comments Invited We invite you to submit any relevant written data, views, or arguments regarding this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed in the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number ‘‘FAA–2007–29116; Directorate Identifier 2007–NM–064–AD’’ at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 51201 Sfmt 4702 24 24 24 25 25 18 25 25 25 13 25 environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend the proposed AD in light of those comments. We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http:// dms.dot.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed AD. Using the search function of that Web site, anyone can find and read the comments in any of our dockets, including the name of the individual who sent the comment (or signed the comment on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477–78), or you may visit http:// dms.dot.gov. Examining the Docket You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov, or in person at the Docket Operations office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Operations office (telephone (800) 647–5527) is located on the ground floor of the West Building at the DOT street address stated in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after the Docket Management System receives them. Discussion We have received a report indicating that, during an inspection of the forward cargo compartment on a Model 767– 300F airplane, an operator found charred insulation blankets and burned wires around the forward gray water composite drain mast. Additional charring on the insulation blankets was noticed several feet away along the routing of the drain mast’s ground wire and power wires. Analysis of the E:\FR\FM\06SEP1.SGM 06SEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 172 (Thursday, September 6, 2007)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 51200-51201]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-17638]


========================================================================
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. 72, No. 172 / Thursday, September 6, 2007 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 51200]]



OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT

5 CFR Part 591

RIN 3206-AL28


Nonforeign Area Cost-of-Living Allowance Rates; Puerto Rico and 
Hawaii County, HI

AGENCY: Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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

SUMMARY: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is proposing to 
change the cost-of-living allowance (COLA) rates received by certain 
white-collar Federal and U.S. Postal Service employees in Puerto Rico 
and Hawaii County, HI. The proposed rate changes are the result of 
interim adjustments OPM calculated based on relative Consumer Price 
Index differences between the cost-of-living allowance areas and the 
Washington, DC, area. OPM is also proposing an additional one-time 
adjustment to the Puerto Rico COLA rate based on the impact of the new 
sales tax in Puerto Rico.

DATES: We will consider comments received on or before November 5, 
2007.

ADDRESSES: Send or deliver comments to Charles D. Grimes III, Deputy 
Associate Director for Performance Management and Pay Systems, 
Strategic Human Resources Policy Division, Office of Personnel 
Management, Room 7300B, 1900 E Street, NW., Washington, DC 20415-8200; 
fax: (202) 606-4264; or e-mail: COLA@opm.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: J. Stanley Austin, (202) 606-2838; 
fax: (202) 606-4264; or e-mail: COLA@opm.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 5941 of title 5, United States Code, 
authorizes Federal agencies to pay cost-of-living allowances (COLAs) to 
white-collar Federal and U.S. Postal Service employees stationed in 
Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and 
the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). Executive Order 10000, as amended, 
delegates to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) the authority to 
administer nonforeign area COLAs and prescribes certain operational 
features of the program. OPM conducts living-cost surveys in each 
allowance area and in the Washington, DC, area to determine whether, 
and to what degree, COLA area living costs are higher than those in the 
DC area. OPM sets the COLA rate for each area based on the results of 
these surveys.
    As required by section 591.223 of title 5, Code of Federal 
Regulations, OPM conducts COLA surveys once every 3 years on a rotating 
basis. For areas not surveyed during a particular year, OPM adjusts 
COLA rates by the relative change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for 
the COLA area compared with the Washington, DC, area. (See 5 CFR 
591.224-591.226.) OPM adopted these regulations pursuant to the 
stipulation for settlement in Caraballo et al. v. United States, No. 
1997-0027 (D.V.I.), August 17, 2000. Caraballo was a class-action 
lawsuit which resulted in many changes in the COLA methodology and 
regulations.
    OPM computed interim adjustments based on the relative change in 
the CPI for the Pacific and Caribbean COLA areas. A separate notice on 
the calculation of these interim adjustments accompanies this proposed 
rule. The interim adjustments indicate that, except for Hawaii County 
and Puerto Rico, the COLA rates for the Pacific and Caribbean COLA 
areas are currently set at the appropriate levels. For Hawaii County, 
the adjustments indicate that the COLA rate should be increased from 17 
percent to 18 percent. For Puerto Rico, the adjustments indicate the 
COLA rate should be increased from 10.5 percent to 11 percent. This 
increase in Puerto Rico supersedes the 1-percent reduction proposed by 
OPM on October 27, 2006, at 71 FR 63176, based on the 2005 survey 
results.

Puerto Rico Sales Tax Adjustment

    On July 4, 2006, the Puerto Rico government enacted the Tax Justice 
Act of 2006 (Act No. 117, HB 2193), which established a new 
Commonwealth sales and use tax of 5.5 percent and authorized an 
additional municipal sales and use tax of up to 1.5 percent. To measure 
the impact of the new sales tax on living costs in Puerto Rico, we 
applied the sales tax to covered items priced in OPM's 2005 Puerto Rico 
COLA survey. (The law exempted many items from coverage; e.g., most 
grocery items, cars, rent, prescription drugs, many professional 
services, health insurance, and school tuition.) We then recalculated 
the Puerto Rico price index incorporating the sales tax. The index 
increased by 1.9 points to 112.94, which translates to a COLA rate of 
13 percent. Therefore, to account for this additional cost to Federal 
employees in Puerto Rico, we are proposing to increase the Puerto Rico 
COLA rate to 13 percent.

Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Review

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

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    I certify that this regulation will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities because the regulation 
will affect only Federal agencies and employees.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 591

    Government employees, Travel and transportation expenses, Wages.

Office Of Personnel Management.
Linda M. Springer,
Director.
    Accordingly, OPM proposes to amend subpart B of 5 CFR part 591 as 
follows:

PART 591--ALLOWANCES AND DIFFERENTIALS

Subpart B--Cost-of-Living Allowance and Post Differential--
Nonforeign Areas

    1. The authority citation for subpart B of 5 CFR part 591 continues 
to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5941; E.O. 10000, 3 CFR, 1943-1948 Comp., p. 
792; and E.O. 12510, 3 CFR, 1985 Comp., p. 338.

    2. Revise appendix A of subpart B to read as follows:

Appendix A to Subpart B of Part 591--Places and Rates at Which 
Allowances Are Paid

    This appendix lists the places approved for a cost-of-living 
allowance and shows the authorized allowance rate for each area. The 
allowance rate shown is paid as a percentage of an employee's rate 
of basic pay. The rates are subject to change based on the results 
of future surveys.

[[Page 51201]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         Allowance rate
                 Geographic coverage                       (percent)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
State of Alaska:
    City of Anchorage and 80-kilometer (50-mile)                      24
     radius by road..................................
    City of Fairbanks and 80-kilometer (50-mile)                      24
     radius by road..................................
    City of Juneau and 80-kilometer (50-mile) radius                  24
     by road.........................................
    Rest of the State................................                 25
State of Hawaii:
    City and County of Honolulu......................                 25
    Hawaii County, Hawaii............................                 18
    County of Kauai..................................                 25
    County of Maui and County of Kalawao.............                 25
Territory of Guam and Commonwealth of the Northern                    25
 Mariana Islands.....................................
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico..........................                 13
U.S. Virgin Islands..................................                 25
------------------------------------------------------------------------

 [FR Doc. E7-17638 Filed 9-5-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6325-39-P