Washington, DC (August 19, 2011) – The Postal Regulatory Commission yesterday published proposed rules designed to simplify the procedures for people wishing to appeal a post office closing or consolidation, and allow for a speedier decision. Although the law gives the Commission up to 120 days to issue its decision in appeal cases, the proposed rules would streamline the process and allow the Commission to issue its decisions within 75 days. The proposed rules are available for review on the Commission’s website, www.prc.gov, Docket RM2011-13, and will be published shortly in the Federal Register. Comments are due by October 3, 2011.
“The Commission is responding to the Postal Service’s efforts to close large numbers of post offices”, said Chairman Ruth Y. Goldway. “These rules are being considered to provide an improved review process for the expanding number of post office closure appeals that is simpler, fairer and easier to understand.”
These proposed rules would also suspend a closure until an appeal has been decided. Existing rules require postal customers to file an application for suspension and allow 10 days for the Postal Service to respond.
The proposed rules would also clarify the scope of the Commission’s appeal authority and eliminate any public uncertainty as to when anyone served by a particular office may appeal a determination to close or consolidate that office. The Commission proposes a definition of the term “post office” to mean “a Postal Service operated retail facility”. The rules would ensure that people or businesses served by stations and branches have the right to appeal decisions to close their postal retail facilities.
The Commission looks forward to receiving comments from the public on the proposed rules. Comments and suggestions received will be available for review on the Commission’s website at www.prc.gov .