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December 5, 2002

The President's Pay Agent

Washington, D.C. 20415-0001


SUBJECT: Extension of Locality Payments to Non-General Schedule Employees

The President's Pay Agent has decided to extend locality-based comparability payments again in calendar year 2003 to the same Governmentwide and single-agency categories that are receiving these payments in calendar year 2002. Because the President's alternative plan for General Schedule (GS) locality payments in 2003 holds locality rates at the same percentages of basic pay authorized for 2002, the locality pay percentages for the Governmentwide and single-agency categories to which locality payments were extended on December 6, 2001, will be the same as those authorized for these categories of employees in calendar year 2002. As required by current law, these locality payments will remain in effect through the last day of the last pay period commencing during calendar year 2003. Even though the President has decided not to increase the locality pay percentages authorized for 2003, this action is necessary in order to prevent a reduction in the total pay of affected employees.

Locality payments will be extended to the Governmentwide categories with no further action required by any agency. Locality payments will be extended to the single-agency categories without any further action required by any agency unless the head of an Executive agency requests otherwise. This is because the law (5 U.S.C. 5304(h)(2)(A)) provides that locality payments may be extended to single-agency categories of employees only at the request of the head of an Executive agency.

Please notify the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) at the address shown below by December 16, 2002, if you do not want locality payments extended in 2003 to a single-agency employee category in your agency for which such payments were previously authorized by the Pay Agent. Please note that a decision not to extend comparability payments in 2003 to a category of employees means that those employees would no longer be entitled to any locality payment. All employees in a given locality pay area who receive locality payments in 2003 must receive the same percentage as received by GS employees in that area. (For your convenience, a list of the Governmentwide and single-agency categories that are now receiving locality payments under the Pay Agent's authority is provided in the attachments to this memorandum.)

New requests for extending locality-based comparability payments to single-agency categories of non-GS employees should be submitted by the agency head or his or her designee to the following address by December 16, 2002, to ensure that the extension takes effect on the first day of the first pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2003:


The Honorable Kay Coles James
Office of Personnel Management
1900 E Street NW.
Washington, DC 20415-0001


In your request, please include information on--

(1) the legal authority under which the employees are paid,

(2) the types of employees to be paid, and

(3) the number of employees to be paid.

Also, please fax a copy of your request to (202) 606-0824. Please direct questions about the extension of locality-based comparability payments to Brenda Roberts, of OPM's Workforce Compensation and Performance Service, at (202) 606-2858 or email to

For the President's Pay Agent:

Kay Coles James, Director
Office of Personnel Management