The following is USPS Proposed Rule To Amend Regulations for Closing/Consolidating Post Offices scheduled to be published in Federal Register March 31, 2011.
A few highlights:
This proposed rule would amend postal regulations to improve the administration of the Post Office closing and consolidation process. In addition, certain procedures employed for the discontinuance of Post Offices would be applied to the discontinuance of other types of retail facilities operated by Postal Service employees.
In keeping with the policy change concerning the scope of discontinuance procedures, the proposed rule would replace all references to “post office” in 39 CFR 241.3 with “USPS-operated retail facility” (or a similar term). A new subparagraph (a)(1)(ii) would be added to define “USPS-operated retail facility” as any Post Office, station, or branch that is operated by Postal Service employees, rather than by contractor personnel. Subparagraph (a)(1)(ii) would also define “contractor-operated retail facility” as any community post office, station, branch, or other facility offering retail postal services that is operated by a contractor, rather than by Postal Service employees.
§ 241.3 Discontinuance of USPS-operated retail facilities.
(a) Introduction —(1) Coverage. (i) This section establishes the rules governing the Postal Service’s consideration of whether an existing retail Post Office, station, or branch should be discontinued. The rules cover any proposal to:
(A) Replace a USPS-operated post office, station, or branch with a contractor-operated retail facility;
(B) Combine a USPS-operated post office, station, or branch with another USPS-operated retail facility, or
(C) Discontinue a USPS-operated post office, station, or branch without providing a replacement facility.
(ii) As used in this section, “USPS-operated retail facility” includes any Postal Service employee-operated post office, station, or branch, but does not
include any station, branch, community post office, or other retail facility operated by a contractor. “Contractor-operated retail facility” includes any station, branch,
community post office, or other facility, including a private business, offering retail postal services that is operated by a contractor, and does not include any USPS-operated retail facility.
(iii) The conversion of a post office into, or the replacement of a post office with, another type of USPS-operated retail facility is not a discontinuance action
subject to this section. A change in the management of a post office such that it is staffed only part-time by a postmaster, or not staffed at all by a postmaster, but
rather by another type of USPS employee, is not a discontinuance action subject to this section.
(4) Circumstances prompting decision to study —(i) Permissible circumstances. A District Manager, the responsible Vice President, or a designee of either may initiate a study of a USPS-operated retail facility’s potential discontinuance based upon circumstances including, but not limited to, the following:
(A) A postmaster vacancy;
(B) Emergency suspension of the USPS-operated retail facility due to cancellation of a lease or rental agreement when no suitable alternate quarters are available in the community, a fire or other natural disaster, severe health or safety hazards, challenge to the sanctity of the mail, or similar reasons;
(C) Earned workload below the minimum established level for the lowest non-bargaining (EAS) employee grade;
(D) Insufficient customer demand, evidenced by declining or low volume, revenue, revenue units, local business activity, or local population trends;
(E) The availability of reasonable alternate access to postal services for the community served by the USPS-operated retail facility; or
(F) The incorporation of two communities into one or other special circumstances.
(iv) Within the first 30 days after the written determination is made available, any person regularly served by a Post Office subject to discontinuance may appeal the decision to the Postal Regulatory Commission. Where persons regularly served by another type of USPS-operated retail facility subject to discontinuance file an appeal with the Postal Regulatory Commission, the General Counsel reserves the right to assert defenses, including the Commission’s lack of jurisdiction over such appeals.
Read the full document below: