5 CFR 530.306 - Evaluating agency requests for new or increased special rates.
(a) In evaluating agency requests for new or increased special rates, OPM may consider the following factors:
(1) The number of existing vacant positions and the length of time they have been vacant;
(2) The number of employees who have quit (i.e., voluntarily left Federal service), including, when available, a subcount of the number of employees who quit to take a comparable position offering higher pay;
(3) Evidence to support a conclusion that recruitment or retention problems likely will develop (if such problems do not already exist) or will worsen;
(4) The number of vacancies an agency tried to fill, compared to the number of hires and offers made;
(5) The nature of the existing labor market;
(6) The degree to which an agency has considered and used other available pay flexibilities to alleviate staffing problems, including the superior qualifications and special needs pay-setting authority in 5 CFR 531.212 and recruitment, relocation, and retention incentives under 5 CFR part 575;
(7) The degree to which an agency has considered relevant non-pay solutions to staffing problems, such as conducting an aggressive recruiting program, using appropriate appointment authorities, redesigning jobs, establishing training programs, and improving working conditions;
(8) The effect of the staffing problem on the agency's mission;
(9) The level of non-Federal rates paid for comparable positions. Data on non-Federal salary rates may be supplemented, if appropriate, by data on Federal salary rates for comparable positions established under a non-GS pay system; and
(b) In determining the level at which to set special rates, OPM may consider the following factors:
(1) The pay levels that, in OPM's judgment, are necessary to recruit or retain an adequate number of qualified employees based on OPM's findings with respect to the factors set forth in paragraph (a) of this section;
(2) The dollar costs that will be incurred if special rates are not authorized;
(3) The level of pay for comparable positions; and
(4) The need to provide for a reasonable progression in pay from lower grade levels to higher grade levels to avoid pay alignment problems (e.g., such as might result from applying the two-step promotion rule in 5 U.S.C. 5334(b)).
(c) No one factor or combination of factors specified in paragraph (a) or (b) of this section requires OPM to establish or increase special rates or to set special rates at any given level.