This is a Request for Proposals from organizations and individuals to assist the Postal Regulatory Commission staff in developing a Report on Universal Postal Service and the Postal Monopoly to be submitted to the President and Congress in late 2008.
Section 702 of the Postal Enhancement and Accountability Act (PAEA) requires the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC or the Commission) to submit a report to the President and Congress on universal postal service and the postal monopoly in the United States, including the monopoly on the delivery of mail and on access to mail boxes. Universal postal service, also referred to as universal service obligation (USO), is mandated by law and defines the minimum mail service to which each citizen is entitled. Generally, the USO incorporates five features: (1) access to retail services and delivery, (2) frequency of delivery, (3) quality of service, (4) affordability, and (5) range of mail products offered. Because providing a minimum level service to every citizen may not be profitable under certain conditions, a USO is generally financed by granting exclusive rights to the postal administration to provide selected services, i.e., a postal monopoly. Over the last ten years, many countries, mostly in Europe, have begun to reduce the postal monopoly while at the same time ensuring some minimum level of service for each citizen. It is within this context that Congress has mandated this study.
The PAEA lists a series of items Congress expects to be included in the Report. Each of these items actually represents tasks to be performed, some of which might be considered descriptive in nature and some of which might be considered analytic in nature. The Commission has decided to outsource some of the work. Although there are discrete tasks, each task represents a part of the ultimate report, and so prospective providers should recognize how each task relates to the other tasks so as to provide a meaningful comprehensive report. It would not be an understatement to characterize this report as critical to the future of the Postal Service and stakeholders since Congress may act on any recommendations included in the report. For this reason, care and due diligence must be exercised in carrying out the tasks. See Notice and RFP for Universal Service Report