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In addition to reporting on the official pay gap numbers, the Federal Salary Council also recommends creation of new localities or expanding existing ones, subject to approval by a higher-level body called the President’s Pay Agent, which consists of the heads of OPM, OMB and Labor. The council repeated its recommendation of last year to create new localities in the Burlington, Vt., and Norfolk, Va., areas, which would benefit tens of thousands of employees, the large majority in the latter, by moving them from the “rest of the U.S.” locality to a new and higher paying zone. The council also repeated its recommendation of last year to loosen the policies on how boundary lines are drawn, potentially moving more than 13,000 more employees from the “rest of the U.S.” locality into existing city area localities. However, administration officials have not issued rules needed to carry out those changes, and it’s now almost certainly too late to make them effective for the 2017 raise. The Salary Council last week further recommended creating—again, effective no sooner than 2018—new localities for the Birmingham, Ala., and San Antonio areas.