The Postal Regulatory Commission has set the procedural schedule on USPS request for discontinuance of approximately 3,650 post offices, stations and branches.
On July 27, 2011, the United States Postal Service (Postal Service) filed a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission (Commission) for an advisory opinion under 39 U.S.C. 3661 regarding use of a centrally directed Retail Access Optimization (RAO) initiative for examining the continuation of service at approximately 3,650 postal retail locations.
The Postal Service contends that in its present form, the RAO initiative “could be at least ‘substantially nationwide,’ within the meaning of 39 U.S.C. § 3661(b).” Id. at 2. The Postal Service states that if it determines any facilities should be closed, postal patrons would have to obtain services at a different postal facility or alternate access channel. Id. The Postal Service asks the Commission to consider whether it has jurisdiction to offer an advisory opinion on the RAO initiative, and if so, to render it.
The RAO initiative applies to postal retail facilities across the country, without limit to geography or population, and is driven by Headquarters. The Commission finds that because the Postal Service’s RAO initiative appears to encompass a Headquarters’ mandated, systemwide review of postal retail facilities, similar to the review of station and branch discontinuation in Docket No. N2009-1, a Commission advisory opinion pursuant to 39 U.S.C. § 3661 is appropriate.
All interested persons are hereby notified that notices of intervention in this proceeding shall be due on or before August 19, 2011. Responses to discovery shall be due within 7 days.
The full procedural schedule is as follows:
- Notices of intervention due August 19, 2011
- Close of discovery on Postal Service direct case August 30, 2011
- Notice of intent to conduct oral cross-examination September 2, 2011
- Hearing on the Postal Service’s direct case(9:30 AM in the Commission’s hearing room) September 8, 2011
- Close of discovery for developing intervenors’ direct case September 9, 2011
- Filing of rebuttal testimony September 16, 2011
- Conclusion of discovery directed towards rebuttal testimony September 23, 2011
- Notice of intent to conduct oral cross-examination (rebuttal) September 30, 2011
- Hearing to enter rebuttal testimony into the record October 3, 2011 (9:30 AM in the Commission’s hearing room)
- Notice of intent to file surrebuttal testimony October 5, 2011
- Filing of surrebuttal testimony (if requested) October 11, 2011
- Hearing to enter surrebuttal testimony into the record October 17, 2011 (9:30 AM in the Commission’s hearing room, if necessary)
Filing of briefs
- If no surrebuttal testimony filed October 14, 2011
- If surrebuttal testimony filed October 26, 2011
Filing of reply briefs
- If no surrebuttal testimony filed October 21, 2011
- If surrebuttal testimony filed November 2, 2011