Latest News and Highlights  

USPS Files Price Change with the PRC. Today, the Postal Service filed a notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission that they will be changing rates for its market dominant products. As expected, prices increased by 1.9 percent with slight variation across the market dominant products. Tomorrow's bulletin will include a brief summary and next week we plan to publish a special edition of the PostCom bulletin to provide more detail. 

PRC Selects Jennifer Alvarez Warburton to Lead its Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations. On October 8, the Postal Regulatory Commission announced that it had appointed Jennifer Alvarez Warburton as the agency’s director of public affairs and government relations, effective October 15, 2019. Ms. Warburton brings more than two decades of postal and legislative expertise to the Commission. In addition to serving as the chief of staff to a member of Congress, Ms. Warburton has extensive experience working at the U.S. Postal Service and subsequently its largest employee organizations, representing their interests before the Congress and collaborating with all postal stakeholders.

PostCom Board Elections. PostCom is proud to announce our newest Board of Directors Charles Crutchfield of SimpleCertifiedMail.com and Wayne Sipe of Siemens Logistics. Welcome!  Congratulations to our newly elected Officers: Chairman: Rose Flanagan, Data-Mail; Vice Chair: Bob Rosser, IWCO; Secretary: Dana Fields, Bank of America and Treasurer: Todd Black, Intellisent. 

UPU Extraordinary Congress Passed Option V The member countries of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) have passed Option V - which combines features of proposals favored by the United States.  “Option V” – is a reform package that merged elements of various amendments around what was Option C, the convergence proposal. Option V includes the “carve out” for the United States to move to self-declared rates for inbound packets and bulky letters on July 1, 2020, with self-declared rates applied on reciprocal basis (countries can charge self-declared on U.S. packets and bulky letters).

Ruling in Carlson v. PRC.  On September 13, the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued a ruling in the case of Douglas Carlson vs the Postal Regulatory Commission. Mr. Carlson challenged the Commission's ruling that the five cent increase in the First-Class Single Piece postage rate was lawful. Finding in favor of Mr. Carlson, the Court stated, "We conclude that this stamp price hike violated the APA because the Commission failed to consider the relevant policies of the PAEA, particularly those raised in the public comments. We therefore grant Carlson’s petition for review, vacating the part of Order 4875 that includes the stamp price hike and the rate adjustments to the category of first-class mail." This decision will have no immediate impact. The Department of Justice has 45 days to request reconsideration and we fully expect them to do so. 

Commissioner Michael M. Kubayanda Named PRC Vice Chairman The Postal Regulatory Commission (Commission) voted to designate Commissioner Michael M. Kubayanda Vice Chairman of the Commission for the remainder of the 2019 calendar year and the full 2020 calendar year. 

U.S. Postal Service Reports Third Quarter 2019 Fiscal Results The U.S. Postal Service reported total revenue of $17.1 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2019 (April 1, 2019 - June 30, 2019), a decrease of $16 million, which is essentially flat compared to the same quarter last year. Total operating expenses were $19.3 billion for the quarter, an increase of $797 million, or 4.3 percent, compared to the same quarter last year. Excluding costs resulting from actuarial revaluation, discount rate changes, and amortization of unfunded liabilities, which are outside of management's control, expenses increased by $218 million, or 1.2 percent, compared to the same quarter last year.

Ann Fisher and Ashley Poling Sworn in as Commissioners Ann C. Fisher (R) and Ashley E. Poling (D) were confirmed by the Senate and begin their first term as commissioners of the Postal Regulatory Commission (Commission). President Donald J. Trump nominated Fisher and Poling for terms that extend through 2024. Ms. Fisher and Ms. Poling assume their roles at a critical time, as the Commission is currently involved in a major review of the system for setting Market Dominant rates.

Senate Confirms Postal Nominees The Senate has confirmed the nominations of three additional Postal Governors: Ron A. Bloom, term expiring Dec 8, 2020, Roman Martinez IV, exp Dec 8, 2024 and John McLeod Barger, of California, exp Dec 8, 2021. Upon their being sworn in, which could happen in time for the August 9th Board of Governors meeting, the Postal Service's Board will have sufficient Governors to maintain a quorum. The Senate also confirmed two nominees to be Postal Regulatory Commissioners, Ann C. Fisher, for a term expiring on Oct 14, 2024, and Ashley Jay Elizabeth Poling, term expiring Nov 22, 2024. The two new Commissioners will take the places of outgoing Commissioners Langley and Hammond.