“Among key questions to be answered are: “Will the savings the Postal Service anticipates be as significant as they estimate? Will mail volume decline more than the Postal Service anticipates? Will businesses and citizens have service that remains adequate to meet their needs? And will the national economic impact of service reductions offset or add to the savings that are proposed?”
The PRC issued the following press release:
Washington, DC – The Postal Regulatory Commission today established Docket N2010-1 to thoroughly review whether the U.S. Postal Service plan to eliminate Saturday delivery should be implemented. The Postal Service is required to ask the Commission for an Advisory Opinion on any change in nationwide service it proposes. This is one of the most significant changes the Postal Service has ever presented to the Commission. www.prc.gov, by clicking the “contact PRC” tab to access a convenient online customer service form. To participate more formally in the process and to file documents to be included in the online public record, interested parties should click the “Filing Online” tab and follow the appropriate instructions.
“The Commission is the watchdog agency that determines if the Postal Service meets its Universal Service Obligation to the nation. Our process will provide multiple opportunities for the public to be heard and for all the facts to be considered before the Commission issues its Advisory Opinion,” said Chairman Ruth Y. Goldway. “The ball is in our court now. There will be no final decision until the record is complete.”
The Postal Service has advised the Commission that due to falling mail volumes and revenues it is considering eliminating Saturday mail collection and delivery except for Express Mail and existing post office box service. It submitted 11 pieces of testimony in support of its Request.
Commission procedures provide for public, on-the-record hearings to analyze and cross-examine the Postal Service’s “five-day” proposal and supporting evidence. During the process, mail users and interested members of the public may offer supporting or opposing views, both informally and as part of more formal, technical presentations. The Commission will also conduct as many as six field hearings and solicit public comments through its website. Dallas, Sacramento and Chicago are among the cities the Commission is considering for possible field hearing locations.
Chairman Goldway identified four areas that will be scrutinized. “Will the savings the Postal Service anticipates be as significant as they estimate? Will mail volume decline more than the Postal Service anticipates? Will businesses and citizens have service that remains adequate to meet their needs? And will the national economic impact of service reductions offset or add to the savings that are proposed?”
The elimination of one mail delivery day is not a new concept. It has been proposed many times and was the subject of extensive congressional review in 1977 and 1980. In 1983, the Congress adopted specific language requiring the Postal Service to maintain six-day delivery. The Commission’s Advisory Opinion will be considered by Congress as it reviews the Postal Service’s request to change the law.
The public is invited to share their views via the Commission web site,
The Postal Service proposal was electronically filed with the Commission at 3:34 p.m. today.