PRC Extends Deadline for Comments on Ratesetting Reforms to Sept. 24; DMA to Host Teleconference Calls
August 29, 2007 — The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) today extended the dates for comments on the agency’s proposed regulations to implement a modern ratemaking and classification system for market dominant and competitive mail products. The comment period has been extended from September 14 to September 24, 2007, and the date for reply comments is extended from September 28 to October 9, 2007.
According to the PRC, “publication of the proposed regulations in the Federal Register has been delayed for an unusual and unanticipated length of time, and the extension of the comment period assures that the public has an adequate opportunity to provide views.” The PRC added that it remains “committed to expediting the development of these important rules.”
On Monday, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) announced it will host two teleconference calls to provide DMA members with an opportunity to discuss their views relating to the PRC’s proposed ratesetting rules in accordance with the provisions of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA). Open to all interested members, DMA will conduct the teleconference calls on:
· Thursday, August 30 at 3:00 p.m. (ET)
· Wednesday, September 5 at 3:00 p.m. (ET)
To participate in either of the two calls, DMA members should contact Tom Foulkes, DMA vice president for government affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While the PRC’s proposals have not yet been published in the Federal Register, which is still expected soon, they are accessible on the agency’s Web site by clicking August 15 on the PRC calendar at http://www.prc.gov/main.asp?Left=calendarL.asp&Right=calendar_detail.asp?CalendarShow=Listings.
In addition to encouraging members to submit individual comments to the PRC, DMA this week met with Commission staff. DMA also continues to work with other mailing community groups and is developing its own formal comments for submission to the PRC.
In unveiling the proposals earlier this month, PRC Chairman Dan G. Blair said, “Early implementation benefits all customers of the US Postal Service. In three separate appearances before Congress this year, I said the Commission would meet its goal of issuing final regulations by the end of October. The regulations will reflect the input we received through our two Notices of Advanced Rulemaking issued this year, as well as the three field hearings we held this summer. The parties’ contributions are appreciated. We’re on track, and I thank my fellow Commissioners and Commission staff for moving forward so quickly.”
Blair noted that there was a general consensus that avoiding a final omnibus rate case under existing procedures would allow the Postal Service and the Commission to dedicate more resources to implementing other aspects of the PAEA. “Having this new framework in place, will allow the Postal Service to operate with the flexibility envisioned by the Act,” he said.
The PRC’s proposed rulemaking consists of three parts:
· Regulations related to competitive products;
· Regulations related to rate adjustments for market dominant products, including the formula for calculation of the rate cap under which annual adjustments may be made; and
· Establishment of a Mail Classification Schedule, which categorizes products as either market dominant or competitive.
“The proposed regulations provide a broad framework that will evolve over time, and we will issue proposals shortly amending the Commission rules concerning complaints and reporting requirements to provide additional transparency,” Blair said.
The Commission’s proposed regulation seeks to make the new rate system workable for all stakeholders by:
· Enabling the Postal Service to price its own products;
· Ensuring competitive products pay their own way;
· Improving accountability; and
· Maintaining universal service at affordable rates.
To access the PRC’s August 15 press release, click here.
To access DMA’s August 15 statement regarding the Commission’s proposals, click here.
# # #
back to top