[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 244 (Thursday, December 20, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 65337-65339]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [http://www.gpo.gov/]
[FR Doc No: 2018-27521]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket Number FSIS-2018-0051]


2019 Rate Changes for the Basetime, Overtime, Holiday, and 
Laboratory Services Rates

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing 
the 2019 rates it will charge meat and poultry establishments, egg 
products plants, and importers and exporters for providing voluntary, 
overtime, and holiday inspection and identification, certification, and 
laboratory services. The 2019 basetime, overtime, holiday, and 
laboratory services rates will be applied on the first FSIS pay period 
approximately 30 days after the publication of this notice, which 
begins on January 20, 2019.

DATES: FSIS will charge the rates announced in this notice beginning 
January 20, 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information contact 
Michael Toner, Director, Budget Division, Office of the Chief Financial 
Officer, FSIS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 2159, South 
Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-3700; 
Telephone: (202) 690-8398, Fax: (202) 690-4155.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    On April 12, 2011, FSIS published a final rule amending its 
regulations to establish formulas for calculating the rates it charges 
meat and poultry establishments, egg products plants, and importers and 
exporters for providing voluntary, overtime, and holiday inspection and 
identification, certification, and laboratory services (76 FR 20220).
    In the final rule, FSIS stated that it would use the formulas to 
calculate the annual rates, publish the rates in Federal Register 
notices prior to the start of each calendar year, and apply the rates 
on the first FSIS pay period at the beginning of the calendar year.
    This notice provides the 2019 rates, which will be applied starting 
on January 20, 2019.

2019 Rates and Calculations

    The following table lists the 2019 Rates per hour, per employee, by 
type of service:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             2019 Rate
                                                            (estimates
                                                            rounded to
                         Service                              reflect
                                                             billable
                                                             quarters)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Basetime................................................          $59.96
Overtime................................................           74.76
Holiday.................................................           89.56
Laboratory..............................................           75.56
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The regulations state that FSIS will calculate the rates using 
formulas that include the Office of Field Operations (OFO) inspection 
program personnel's previous fiscal year's regular direct pay and 
regular hours (9 CFR 391.2, 391.3, 391.4, 590.126, 590.128, 592.510, 
592.520, and 592.530). In 2013, an Agency reorganization eliminated the 
OIA program office and transferred all of its inspection program 
personnel to OFO. Therefore, inspection program personnel's pay and 
hours are identified in the calculations as ``OFO inspection program 
personnel's'' pay and hours.
    FSIS determined the 2019 rates using the following calculations:
    Basetime Rate = The quotient of dividing the Office of Field 
Operations (OFO) inspection program personnel's previous fiscal year's 
regular direct pay by the previous fiscal year's regular hours, plus 
the quotient multiplied by the calendar year's percentage of cost of 
living increase, plus the benefits rate, plus the travel and operating 
rate, plus the overhead rate, plus the allowance for bad debt rate.
    The calculation for the 2019 basetime rate per hour per program 
employee is:
    [FY 2018 OFO Regular Direct Pay divided by the previous fiscal 
year's Regular Hours ($461,873,361/15,909,552)] = $29.03 + ($29.03 * 
1.9% (calendar year 2019 Cost of Living Increase)) = $29.58 + $10.36 
(benefits rate) + $2.10 (travel and operating rate) + $17.92 (overhead 
rate) + $0.00 (bad debt allowance rate) = $59.96, which is already 
divisible by 4.
    Overtime Rate = The quotient of dividing the Office of Field 
Operations (OFO) inspection program personnel's previous fiscal year's 
regular direct pay by the previous fiscal year's regular hours, plus 
that quotient multiplied by the calendar year's percentage of cost of

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living increase, multiplied by 1.5 (for overtime), plus the benefits 
rate, plus the travel and operating rate, plus the overhead rate, plus 
the allowance for bad debt rate.
    The calculation for the 2019 overtime rate per hour per program 
employee is:
    [FY 2018 OFO Regular Direct Pay divided by previous fiscal year's 
Regular Hours ($461,873,361/15,909,552)] = $29.03 + ($29.03 * 1.9% 
(calendar year 2019 Cost of Living Increase)) = $29.58 * 1.5 = $44.37 + 
$10.36 (benefits rate) + $2.10 (travel and operating rate) + $17.92 
(overhead rate) + $0.00 (bad debt allowance rate) = $74.75 rounded up 
to $74.76, so that it is divisible by 4.
    Holiday Rate = The quotient of dividing the Office of Field 
Operations (OFO) inspection program personnel's previous fiscal year's 
regular direct pay by the previous fiscal year's regular hours, plus 
that quotient multiplied by the calendar year's percentage of cost of 
living increase, multiplied by 2 (for holiday pay), plus the benefits 
rate, plus the travel and operating rate, plus the overhead rate, plus 
the allowance for bad debt rate.
    The calculation for the 2019 holiday rate per hour per program 
employee calculation is:
    [FY 2018 OFO Regular Direct Pay divided by Regular Hours 
($461,873,361/15,909,552)] = $29.03 + ($29.03 * 1.9% (calendar year 
2019 Cost of Living Increase)) = $29.58 * 2 = $59.17 + $10.36 (benefits 
rate) + $2.10 (travel and operating rate) + $17.92 (overhead rate) + 
$0.00 (bad debt allowance rate) = $89.54, rounded up to $89.56, so that 
it is divisible by 4.
    Laboratory Services Rate = The quotient of dividing the Office of 
Public Health Science (OPHS) previous fiscal year's regular direct pay 
by the OPHS previous fiscal year's regular hours, plus the quotient 
multiplied by the calendar year's percentage cost of living increase, 
plus the benefits rate, plus the travel and operating rate, plus the 
overhead rate, plus the allowance for bad debt rate.
    The calculation for the 2019 laboratory services rate per hour per 
program employee is:
    [FY 2018 OPHS Regular Direct Pay/OPHS Regular hours ($24,480,845/
552,168)] = $44.34 + ($44.34 * 1.9% (calendar year 2019 Cost of Living 
Increase)) = $45.18 + $10.36 (benefits rate) + $2.10 (travel and 
operating rate) + $17.92 (overhead rate) + $0.00 (bad debt allowance 
rate) = $75.56, which is already divisible by 4.

Calculations for the Benefits, Travel and Operating, Overhead, and 
Allowance for Bad Debt Rates

    These rates are components of the basetime, overtime, holiday, and 
laboratory services rates formulas.
    Benefits Rate: The quotient of dividing the previous fiscal year's 
direct benefits costs by the previous fiscal year's total hours 
(regular, overtime, and holiday), plus that quotient multiplied by the 
calendar year's percentage cost of living increase. Some examples of 
direct benefits are health insurance, retirement, life insurance, and 
Thrift Savings Plan basic and matching contributions.
    The calculation for the 2019 benefits rate per hour per program 
employee is:
    [FY 2018 Direct Benefits/(Total Regular hours + Total Overtime 
hours + Total Holiday hours) ($195,953,150/19,267,813)] = $10.17 + 
($10.17* 1.9% (calendar year 2019 Cost of Living Increase)) = $10.36.
    Travel and Operating Rate: The quotient of dividing the previous 
fiscal year's total direct travel and operating costs by the previous 
fiscal year's total hours (regular, overtime, and holiday), plus that 
quotient multiplied by the calendar year's percentage of inflation.
    The calculation for the 2019 travel and operating rate per hour per 
program employee is:
    [FY 2018 Total Direct Travel and Operating Costs/(Total Regular 
hours + Total Overtime hours + Total Holiday hours) ($39,709,179/
19,267,813)] = $2.06 + ($2.06 * 1.9% (2019 Inflation) = $2.10.
    Overhead Rate: The quotient of dividing the previous fiscal year's 
indirect costs plus the previous fiscal year's information technology 
(IT) costs in the Public Health Data Communication Infrastructure 
System Fund plus the provision for the operating balance less any 
Greenbook costs (i.e., costs of USDA support services prorated to the 
service component for which fees are charged) that are not related to 
food inspection by the previous fiscal year's total hours (regular, 
overtime, and holiday) worked across all funds, plus the quotient 
multiplied by the calendar year's percentage of inflation.
    The calculation for the 2019 overhead rate per hour per program 
employee is:
    [FY 2018 Total Overhead/(Total Regular hours + Total Overtime hours 
+ Total Holiday hours) ($ 338,760,688/19,267,813)] = $17.58 + ($17.58 * 
1.9% (2019 Inflation) = $17.92.
    Allowance for Bad Debt Rate = Previous fiscal year's total 
allowance for bad debt (for example, debt owed that is not paid in full 
by plants and establishments that declare bankruptcy) divided by 
previous fiscal year's total hours (regular, overtime, and holiday) 
worked.
    The 2019 calculation for bad debt rate per hour per program 
employee is:
    [FY 2018 Total Bad Debt/(Total Regular hours + Total Overtime hours 
+ Total Holiday hours) = ($73,050/19,267,813)] = $0.00.

Additional Public Notification

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy 
development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal 
Register publication on-line through the FSIS web page located at: 
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register.
    FSIS also will make copies of this publication available through 
the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information 
regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register 
notices, FSIS public meetings, and other types of information that 
could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and 
stakeholders. The Update is available on the FSIS web page. Through the 
web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, more 
diverse audience. In addition, FSIS offers an email subscription 
service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food 
safety news and information. This service is available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe. Options range from recalls to export 
information, regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or 
delete subscriptions themselves, and have the option to password 
protect their accounts.

USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds 
of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual 
orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, 
income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs, 
exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to 
discrimination any person in the United States under any program or 
activity conducted by the USDA.

How to File a Complaint of Discrimination

    To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program 
Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you

[[Page 65339]]

or your authorized representative.
    Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, 
or email:
    Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Director, Office of 
Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410, 
Fax: (202) 690-7442, Email: program.intake@usda.gov
    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for 
communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact 
USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Done at Washington, DC.
Paul Kiecker,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2018-27521 Filed 12-19-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P