Latest News and Highlights  

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. 

UPU to hold 3rd Extraordinary Congress The Universal Postal Union (UPU) has received enough "yes" votes from member countries that it will now hold it's third extraordinary congress to review the current terminal dues system. The congress, which will take place September 24-25 in Berne Switzerland, arguably increases the likelihood that the US will remain a member country of the UPU. The vote has no immediate effect on the self-declared inbound rates that are pending at the Postal Regulatory Commission.

Ashley Jay Elizabeth Poling Nominated to be PRC Commissioner As expected, the President has nominated Ashley Jay Elizabeth Poling of North Carolina, to be a Commissioner of the Postal Regulatory Commission for the remainder of a six-year term expiring November 22, 2024.  Ms. Poling serves as the Director of Governmental Affairs and Senior Counsel for Senator Gary C. Peters, where she advises on policy issues, negotiates with stakeholders to advance bipartisan legislation, and crafts initiatives to advance governmental affairs priorities.  Ms. Poling has experience working on postal policy in the United States Senate and has strong bipartisan relationships with postal stakeholders both on and off Capitol Hill.

USPS Initiates Process of Self-Declaring Inbound International Rates. On May 21, the Postal Service filed documents with the Postal Regulatory Commission initiating the process of self-declaring inbound international rates; a necessary precursor to eventual withdrawal of the US from the Universal Postal Union.  The Postal Service's filings do not contain actual prices, but do present domestic rate benchmarks that will be used to determine the inbound rates and the rate ranges that result therefrom. The Postal Service will be presenting actual rates in a subsequent filing.

USPS Reports Q2 2019 Financial Results. On May 10, the U.S. Postal Service reported total revenue of $17.5 billion for the second quarter of fiscal 2019 (January 1, 2019 - March 31, 2019), a decrease of $8 million, or essentially flat, compared to the same quarter last year. The net loss for the quarter totaled nearly $2.1 billion, an increase of $747 million, compared to a net loss of $1.3 billion for the same quarter last year, however, the controllable loss for the quarter was $806 million, compared to a controllable loss of $656 million for the same quarter last year.

Legislation Introduced to Repeal USPS Retirement Pre-Funding.  On April 28, Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Tom Reed (R-NY), Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the USPS Fairness Act (H.R. 2382) which would repeal the mandate that USPS “pre-fund” decades’ worth of health benefits for its future retirees, enacted through the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) of 2006.

House Committee Examines USPS Financial Condition  On Tuesday, April 30, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing on the financial condition of the Postal Service. The hearing that was expected to be a precursor to the introduction of legislation featured some heated exchanges between Committee members and the Postmaster General and a call for the Postal Service to supply a written plan for solvency to the Committee.

PRC Releases Report on USPS Financial Condition. On April 19, the Postal Regulatory Commission released a report on the Postal Service's issued its Financial Analysis report, an examination of the U.S. Postal Service’s (Postal Service) financial results and 10-K Statements for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The Postal Service reported a net loss from operations of $2.1 billion in FY 2018. The Commission’s analysis found that when non-operating expenses are included, the Postal Service’s total net loss was $3.9 billion—a decline of $1.2 billion when compared to the previous year. Reportedly, this decline resulted from a $1.8 billion increase in operating expenses and an $823 million increase in the non-cash change to the workers’ compensation expense, offset by a $1 billion increase in operating revenue and a combined $400 million decrease in expenses related to retirement.

PRC Issues 2018 Annual Compliance Determination.  On April 11, Postal Regulatory Commission issued its Annual Compliance Determination (ACD) assessing the pricing and service performance standards of the U.S. Postal Service (Postal Service) in fiscal year 2018.

Universal Postal Union Explores Options  On April 10, the Second Committee (Universal Service Obligation, Regulatory Affairs, and Postal Regulation) of the UPU’s Council of Administration, the body responsible for ensuring the continuity of the UPU’s work between Congresses, reviewed options for revising the present postal remuneration system. After discussion, the Second Committee agreed to put all three options forward for voting and will ballot member countries on whether these options will be decided by an Extraordinary Congress to be held on 23-24 September, or by postal ballot.

HSGAC Holds Hearing for Two Governor Nominees. On April 2, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (HSGAC) held a hearing to consider the nominations of Ron A Bloom and Roman Martinez IV to be Governors of the United States Postal Service. Committee members emphasized the importance of having a quorum of the Postal Service’s Board of Governors, which would be fulfilled if the two nominees are confirmed. The hearing is a required step in the process for approving Postal Governors. The next step will be a vote by the entire Senate to confirm the nominees. 

John McLeod Barger Nominated to USPS Board of Governors. On March 22, President Trump has nominated John McLeod Barger to be a member of the USPS Board of Governors (BOG). Barger, a California resident, is nominated for the remainder of a seven-year term expiring Dec. 8, 2021.

GAO Report on USPS Innovation. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has completed its report on US Postal Service innovation. PostCom and some of our members were interviewed by the GAO during their work which focused on several recent USPS pilot efforts: Same-Day Delivery; Grocery Delivery; Informed Delivery; Keyless Parcel Lockers. The GAO has recommended that the Postmaster General should direct the Vice President of Product Innovation to develop policies that fully reflect leading practices for pilot design and evaluation in areas such as linking objectives and performance measures; documenting conclusions about scalability based on pilot results; and communicating with key external stakeholders, as appropriate. In addition, they advise the PMG to direct the VP of Product Innovation to develop tools, such as a template, or training to help ensure USPS consistently documents lessons learned at the conclusion of pilots, as required by USPS policies. 

White House 2020 Budget On March 11, the White House released its 2020 budget, which calls for $98 billion in savings from 2020-2029 by reforming the Postal Service. Annual savings from the unspecified reforms are projected to be just over $4 billion in 2020, and increasing to almost $13 billion in 2029.  The entire budget proposal can be found here starting on page 1216.

Ann Fisher Nominated to be Commissioner of the Postal Regulatory Commission.  On March 1, 2019 President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate Ann C. Fisher as a Commissioner of the Postal Regulatory Commission.  Mrs. Fisher currently serves as Public Affairs and Government Relations Director of the Postal Regulatory Commission. Fisher spent 12 years on Capitol Hill in roles including Deputy Staff Director of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. In this role she served as principal Senate Republican staff architect of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 which modernized postal laws.