OPM Form 1397 "Special Salary Rate Request Form"

OPM form EIB-SBA1397 is a U.S. Office of Personnel Management form also known as the "Special Salary Rate Request Form". The latest edition of the form was released in May 1, 2003 and is available for digital filing.

Download a fillable PDF version of the OPM Form EIB-SBA1397 down below or find it on U.S. Office of Personnel Management Forms website.

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Download OPM Form 1397 "Special Salary Rate Request Form"

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Special Salary Rate Request Form
OPM Form 1397
Instructions
General
The Special Salary Rate Request Form (Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Form 1397) is an optional
1.
form that agencies may use to request that OPM establish, adjust, terminate, or modify coverage of special
salary rates under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 5305 and 5 CFR part 530, subpart C. Special salary rates are
higher rates of basic pay that are established for a group or category of General Schedule (GS) positions in
one or more geographic areas to address existing or likely significant handicaps in recruiting or retaining well-
qualified employees.
You may use an alternative format to submit data and information required in a special salary rate request.
However, you must ensure that all of the available data and information requested by OPM Form 1397 are
included in the alternative format.
An agency initiating a request to establish or adjust a special salary rate may be required to coordinate the
2.
request with all other affected agencies and aggregate the required staffing data from each agency. Contact
OPM before submitting any special salary rate request to determine if your agency is required to coordinate
the request with other agencies.
3.
If you are requesting more than one special rate table for a category of positions (each covering a different
geographic area, for example) fill out a separate Form 1397 (or alternative) for each table requested. As part
of the analysis, OPM may request that you break down data even further.
4.
For each type of special salary rate request covered by this form, you must provide a narrative justification
and/or explanation on the reason for the request. See the specific instructions, below, on the type of narrative
information needed.
5.
When applicable, include the proposed special rate schedule with your request.
Section I - Type of Special Salary Rate Request and Agency Contact Information
Use OPM Form 1398 if you are requesting an increase equal to the General Schedule increase as part of
1.
OPM's annual review of special salary rates. Do not use this form for such requests.
For all other types of special rate requests, in this section you must indicate the type of special salary rate
2.
request, follow the italicized instructions provided for each type of request, and provide agency contact
information.
Section II - Coverage
Follow the instructions provided on the form for this section. If the request involves an existing special salary rate
authorization and no change in occupation, agency, or geographic coverage is involved, do not complete this
section. Please ensure that the existing special rate table number is provided in section I.
Section III - Staffing Status
Follow the instructions provided on the form for this section. If data is unavailable, explain the reason in the
1.
narrative justification of your request.
When aggregating data from more than one organization, geographic location, or agency, each
2.
organization/location should provide data for the same period of time, i.e., use the same beginning and ending
dates, if possible.
Form authorized for local reproduction
OPM Form 1397 Instructions
Office of Personnel Management
Revised May 2003
Special Salary Rate Request Form
OPM Form 1397
Instructions
General
The Special Salary Rate Request Form (Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Form 1397) is an optional
1.
form that agencies may use to request that OPM establish, adjust, terminate, or modify coverage of special
salary rates under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 5305 and 5 CFR part 530, subpart C. Special salary rates are
higher rates of basic pay that are established for a group or category of General Schedule (GS) positions in
one or more geographic areas to address existing or likely significant handicaps in recruiting or retaining well-
qualified employees.
You may use an alternative format to submit data and information required in a special salary rate request.
However, you must ensure that all of the available data and information requested by OPM Form 1397 are
included in the alternative format.
An agency initiating a request to establish or adjust a special salary rate may be required to coordinate the
2.
request with all other affected agencies and aggregate the required staffing data from each agency. Contact
OPM before submitting any special salary rate request to determine if your agency is required to coordinate
the request with other agencies.
3.
If you are requesting more than one special rate table for a category of positions (each covering a different
geographic area, for example) fill out a separate Form 1397 (or alternative) for each table requested. As part
of the analysis, OPM may request that you break down data even further.
4.
For each type of special salary rate request covered by this form, you must provide a narrative justification
and/or explanation on the reason for the request. See the specific instructions, below, on the type of narrative
information needed.
5.
When applicable, include the proposed special rate schedule with your request.
Section I - Type of Special Salary Rate Request and Agency Contact Information
Use OPM Form 1398 if you are requesting an increase equal to the General Schedule increase as part of
1.
OPM's annual review of special salary rates. Do not use this form for such requests.
For all other types of special rate requests, in this section you must indicate the type of special salary rate
2.
request, follow the italicized instructions provided for each type of request, and provide agency contact
information.
Section II - Coverage
Follow the instructions provided on the form for this section. If the request involves an existing special salary rate
authorization and no change in occupation, agency, or geographic coverage is involved, do not complete this
section. Please ensure that the existing special rate table number is provided in section I.
Section III - Staffing Status
Follow the instructions provided on the form for this section. If data is unavailable, explain the reason in the
1.
narrative justification of your request.
When aggregating data from more than one organization, geographic location, or agency, each
2.
organization/location should provide data for the same period of time, i.e., use the same beginning and ending
dates, if possible.
Form authorized for local reproduction
OPM Form 1397 Instructions
Office of Personnel Management
Revised May 2003
Section IV - Recruitment and Turnover
1. Follow the instructions provided on the form for this section. If data is unavailable, explain the reason in the
narrative justification of your request.
2.
"Transfer Data" is needed only for those special salary rate requests in which a significant portion of the
staffing problems are attributable to employees leaving for positions in other Federal pay systems.
3.
Because the "Number Hired" data is a subset of the "Offers Made" data, the amount of "Number Hired" should
not exceed the number of "Offers Made" at each grade level.
4.
Because the "Quits for Pay" data is subset of the "Quits" data, the number of "Quits for Pay" should not
exceed the number of "Quits" at each grade level.
Section V - Proposed Special Rate Schedule
Attach a copy of the proposed special salary rate schedule. Explain the basis for the recommended salaries and
how they were derived. Provide copies of any salary survey data and information that were used in developing
the recommended rates. If you conduct your own salary surveys, you may use the salary comparison worksheet
provided as an appendix to this form to document the salary data collected and include a copy of this worksheet
with your request. For all salary survey data and information, equate the positions surveyed to General Schedule
grade levels so that we can accurately compare salary differences. Note: OPM may have certain off-the-shelf
salary surveys and other resources available for pay comparisons. Contact OPM before researching salary
survey information.
Section VI - Cost Estimate
1.
The costs for each grade must be determined as follows:
a. Determine the number of employees at each grade and step based on the latest available data (but not
earlier than as of the ending data specified in section III of this form). Place all employees with step 00 at
step 10.
b. Subtract the current annual payable rate for each grade and step (the higher of the applicable General
Schedule rate of basic pay, locality-adjusted rate of pay, or existing special salary rate) from the
recommended annual special salary rate for that grade and step. (Note: If the special rates will cover
positions in non foreign areas, the additional costs for non foreign area cost-of-living allowances must be
included in the cost estimate.) For each step, multiply the difference derived in step b. by the total
number of employees at that step.
c.
Total the dollar cost derived in step c. for all steps in each grade.
d.
For each grade, document the total dollar cost determined under step 4 in the "Cost" column of section VI
of this form. Total the cost for each grade and document in the "Total" block. Attach any worksheets used
to derive the cost estimate to this request.
Note: This cost estimate covers direct salary costs only and excludes additional costs attributable to
retirement, overtime pay, and other benefits that are calculated on the basis of an employee's rate of
basic pay. This cost estimate does not cover the costs associated with filling positions that are currently
vacant.
2. If you expect to significantly increase (i.e., by more than 10 percent) the number of on-board employees in
the group covered by the proposed special rate schedule over the coming year (by filling vacancies or by
increasing authorized positions), you must also provide projected employee counts by grade. OPM may use
this data to produce a second cost estimate based on projected employment levels. Document this projection
in the narrative information.
OPM Form 1397 Instructions
Revised May 2003
Page 2
Section VII - Narrative Information
1. For each special rate request covered by this form, provide a narrative justification of the reason for the
request consistent with the criteria and requirements in 5 CFR part 530, subpart C.
2. Provide the following narrative information for initial special rate requests, requests to increase or change the
coverage (occupation, grade, agency, or geographic) of an existing special rate, and requests to increase
existing special rates by greater than the General Schedule increase as part of the special rate annual review:
a.
Explain the cause of the significant recruitment or retention problems.
b.
Explain whether special rates are needed to address an (1) existing recruitment or retention problem or
(2) a recruitment or retention problem that is likely to exist in the future if special rates are not approved. If
your agency determines that special rates are needed to address a likely recruitment or retention
problem, explain the basis and provide evidence to support this determination, including estimates of the
number of vacant positions and/or quits for comparable positions that are likely to occur if the special rate
request is not approved.
c.
Explain how the nature of the existing labor market is affecting your agency's ability to recruit or retain
employees covered by the request.
d.
Explain the degree to which your agency has considered and used other pay flexibilities to alleviate the
staffing problems, including recruitment and relocation bonuses, retention allowances, superior
qualifications appointment authority, student loan repayments, and performance awards.
e.
Explain the degree to which your agency has considered and used other non-pay solutions to the staffing
problems, such as conducting aggressive recruiting programs, using appropriate appointing authorities,
redesigning jobs, establishing or enhancing training programs, authorizing flexible work schedules and/or
telework arrangements, and improving working conditions.
f.
Explain how the staffing problem is affecting accomplishment of your agency's mission.
g.
Explain and provide estimates of the costs attributable to the staffing situation which would be offset if this
special salary rate is approved, such as overtime, contracting, training, recruiting, or other costs.
Section VIII - Agency Certification
For each type of special rate request, provide a certification from the appropriate authorized agency official.
Appendix - Salary Comparisons
Follow the instructions in the Appendix for documenting and analyzing salary survey data.
OPM Form 1397 Instructions
Revised May 2003
Page 3
U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Special Salary Rate Request Form
Section I - Types of Special Salary Rate Request and Agency Contact
Please indicate the type of special salary rate request by checking the appropriate box(es) below and following the
italicized instructions for each type of request.
Initial request / Review other than annual review / Termination
Initial request for special salary rates.
Complete sections II through VIII-A.
Out-of-cycle request for increase in an existing special salary rate authorization.
Complete sections III through VIII-A.
Reduce or terminate an existing special salary rate authorization.
Complete sections VII through VIII-B.
Request to modify coverage of an existing special salary rate authorization.
Complete sections II through VIII-A, as applicable.
Request to be excluded from an initial special rate request or from an existing special salary rate
authorization.
Complete sections VII and VIII-B.
Annual review of existing authorizations where increase requested is:
Less than the General Schedule increase, including a zero increase.
Complete sections VII, VIII-A, and fill in Total Positions in section III, Ending Snapshot.
Greater than the General Schedule increase.
Complete sections III through VIII-A.
Reduction of current schedule.
Complete sections V, VII, VIII-B, and fill in Total Positions in section III, Ending Snapshot.
(Note: If you are requesting an increase equal to the General Schedule increase, use OPM form 1398.)
For existing authorizations, please enter the special salary rate table number:
Has your agency contacted other agencies that may be affected by this request?
Yes
No
Please explain in narrative information, section VII.
Name of submitting agency:
E-mail address:
Name of preparer:
Telephone:
Date prepared:
Form authorized for local reproduction
Office of Personnel Management
OPM Form 1397
Revised May 2003
Section II - Coverage
For existing authorizations, if there is no change in occupation, agency, or geographic coverage, it is not necessary
to complete this section. Please be sure that the existing special salary rate table number is entered on the front
page of this form.
A. Occupation(s):
Enter the occupation series code and job title for each occupation covered by this request. If all jobs within an
occupation series are covered, enter "All" under job title.
Occupation
Occupation
Job Title
Job Title
Series Code
Series Code
B. Agencies/Geographic Locations:
Please enter the name and code of each agency and sub-element with positions covered by this request. Specify
geographic location codes for all but nationwide or worldwide authorizations.
Agency/
Agency/
Duty Station Code(s), State, City,
Sub-element
Sub-element
County, Locality Pay Area, etc.,
Duty Station Name(s)
Code
Name
as applicable
As a guide for specifying the exact locations to be covered by the proposed special salary rate authorization, use
the duty station code and its narrative description contained in items 38 and 39 on the SF-50 of the employees for
whom special salary rates are being requested. List the duty station codes for all locations to be covered. For
agency/sub-elements, use the four-digit agency code found in item 47 on the SF-50. Also, you may access this
information at http://www.opm.gov/feddata/guidance.asp.
OPM Form 1397
Revised May 2003
Page 2
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