The Act retained the three-party President's Pay Agent function, making it responsible for interpreting FEPCA, selecting and defining the pay localities, determining the occupational and industrial scope of the area surveys, designating the minimum size of the establishments to be surveyed, establishing appropriate pay lines based on BLS data, and preparing and submitting annual reports to the President.
A Federal Salary Council, consisting of nine members appointed by the President, also was established by FEPCA to provide views and recommendations on a variety of related topics to the Pay Agent, including the establishment or modification of pay localities, the coverage of annual surveys conducted by the BLS, the process of comparing Federal and non-Federal pay, and the level of comparability payments needed to eliminate or reduce pay disparities.
Under FEPCA, the Pay Agent is required to "give thorough consideration to the views and recommendations of the [Federal Salary] Council and ...
Under FEPCA, the President has the authority to fix an alternative level of comparability payments in situations where there is a "national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare." The first pay adjustment under FEPCA was effective in January 1994.
Pay equity did not exist when the FEPCA was enacted; in fact, the inequity of pay was one of the primary motivators behind passage of the law.
One indicator of the success (or failure) of this FEPCA provision is the national average pay disparity between federal government workers and their non-federal counterparts.
Barbara Schwemle wrote in 1998, "FEPCA has never been implemented as originally enacted.
Under FEPCA, differences between average federal and nonfederal pay for comparable positions will be aggregated across occupations and grade levels to generate a single percentage pay disparity between typical federal and nonfederal pay in each locality pay area.
FEPCA calls for all federal white-collar employees to receive annual pay increases one-half percent below increases in the employment cost index (ECI).
FEPCA suggests short- and long-run definitions of the competitiveness of local labor markets.