PRC Proposes New USPS Reporting on Flats
March 5, 2019
The Alliance on February 14 provided comments to the Postal Regulatory Commission on the need for stronger oversight of the long-term downtrend in USPS flats productivity. Partnering with MPA-The Association of Magazine Media, we voiced the concerns of the many nonprofits that mail magazines and other Periodicals. We urged the PRC to move beyond more data on the problem to actual enforcement of cost control.
A sampling of our comments:
On March 1, the PRC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking with specific USPS flats data reporting requirements. It is inviting comments by the end of March.
A summary of the PRC proposal:
The Commission agrees that developing a performance plan is necessary to improve cost and service performance issues. Prior to developing such a plan, the Commission must gather information about cost and service performance issues and analyze this information over time to identify trends and measurable goals. Based on the information received in prior ACD proceedings and in this proceeding, the Commission proposes specific reporting requirements to facilitate measuring and tracking cost and service performance issues related to flats. The Postal Service will be required to annually file data at the national and facility level (when specified). These reporting requirements are designed to provide sufficient information to improve transparency into the cost and service performance issues associated with flats. In addition, the proposed requirements will increase the accountability of the Postal Service related to operational initiatives related to flats.
The Alliance plans to file comments with MPA in support of stronger data reporting on flats by USPS. We will continue to urge that the PRC focus on the long-term trend of continuously declining USPS flats productivity, and that the regulator take action to reverse the trend significantly, before allowing above-inflation rate increases. In other words, do not make customers pay for USPS inefficiency.