First Shots Fired In PRC Review Of Postage Rates & Mail Classes


Stephen Kearney, right, with then-PMG Jack Potter and then-Deputy PMG Pat Donahoe in 2010. Kearney retired from the USPS and now heads up the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers.

Two trade groups have filed requests with the Postal Regulatory Commission regarding the PRC’s current review of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA).

The PRC is required by PAEA to review the system for regulating rates and classes for Market Dominant products established in 2006. The PRC must determine whether it’s achieving the objectives established by Congress. If it finds the objectives are not being met, it has the authority to propose rules that modify the system or adopt an alternative system to achieve the objectives.

Bottomline: the PRC has the authority to change rates and classes.

In January 17 filings with the PRC, The Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers (ANM) and Association of Magazine Media (AMM) are asking for a wide range of information on postal assets, liabilities, labor rates, and operations. “The requested information is necessary to an informed analysis of whether the current regulatory system has achieved” PAEA’s objectives, according to the filing.

Both groups represent mailers who use mail classifications in the current system — nonprofit mail and periodicals — that could be affected by the PRC’s review … click for a copy of the filing.

The trade groups also requested procedures for PAEA review be changed.

“First, the Commission should authorize a round of reply comments for responses to the comments due on March 20, with the period for reply comments sufficient to provide a reasonable opportunity to respond to the March 20 comments in light of their scope, detail, and complexity,” the filing states.

“Second, the Commission should modify Order No. 3673 by deferring comments on specific proposed changes to the current regulatory system until the second phase of this rulemaking, after the Commission has determined whether (and in what respects) the existing system of regulation is failing to satisfy the objectives and factors” of PAEA, according to the filing … click for a copy of this filing.

PAEA input from the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers will be something to keep an eye on, because the group is headed by veteran postal executive Stephen Kearney.

Kearney’s 35 years of federal government experience included serving as an economist in the U.S. Treasury Department. But nearly 34 years of his career was as a senior postal executive involved with pricing and classification, customer relations, and finance — the very issues before the PRC today.

Besides leading six USPS rate cases before the PRC, Kearney oversaw the implementation of PAEA’s price cap regulation. He also established the national pricing and classification service center in New York and was involved in the development of Negotiated Service Agrrements and the Forever Stamp.


PRC Seeks Mailer Input on Rate & Regulation Review