39 U.S. Code § 501 - Establishment
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The Postal Regulatory Commission is an independent establishment of the executive branch of the Government of the United States.
Source(Added Pub. L. 109–435, title VI, § 601(a)(1),Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3238.)
Effective Date of 2006 Amendment
Pub. L. 109–435, title VI, § 601(b),Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3239, provided that: “The amendment made by subsection (a)(1) [enacting this section and section 502 of this title] shall not affect the appointment or tenure of any person serving as a Commissioner on the Postal Regulatory Commission (as so redesignated by section 604 [see Tables for classification]) under an appointment made before the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 20, 2006] or any nomination made before that date, but, when any such office becomes vacant, the appointment of any person to fill that office shall be made in accordance with such amendment.”
Assessments of Ratemaking, Classification, and Other Provisions
“(a) In General.—The Postal Regulatory Commission shall, at least every 5 years, submit a report to the President and Congress concerning—
“(1) the operation of the amendments made by this Act [see Tables for classification]; and
“(2) recommendations for any legislation or other measures necessary to improve the effectiveness or efficiency of the postal laws of the United States.
“(b) Postal Service Views.—A report under this section shall be submitted only after reasonable opportunity has been afforded to the Postal Service to review the report and to submit written comments on the report. Any comments timely received from the Postal Service under the preceding sentence shall be attached to the report submitted under subsection (a).”
Report on Universal Postal Service and the Postal Monopoly
“(a) Report by the Postal Regulatory Commission.—
“(1) In general.—Not later than 24 months after the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 20, 2006], the Postal Regulatory Commission shall submit a report to the President and Congress on universal postal service and the postal monopoly in the United States (in this section referred to as ‘universal service and the postal monopoly’), including the monopoly on the delivery of mail and on access to mailboxes.
“(2) Contents.—The report under this subsection shall include—
“(A) a comprehensive review of the history and development of universal service and the postal monopoly, including how the scope and standards of universal service and the postal monopoly have evolved over time for the Nation and its urban and rural areas;
“(B) the scope and standards of universal service and the postal monopoly provided under current law (including sections 101 and 403 of title 39, United States Code), and current rules, regulations, policy statements, and practices of the Postal Service;
“(C) a description of any geographic areas, populations, communities (including both urban and rural communities), organizations, or other groups or entities not currently covered by universal service or that are covered but that are receiving services deficient in scope or quality or both; and
“(D) the scope and standards of universal service and the postal monopoly likely to be required in the future in order to meet the needs and expectations of the United States public, including all types of mail users, based on discussion of such assumptions, alternative sets of assumptions, and analyses as the Postal Service considers plausible.
“(b) Recommended Changes to Universal Service and the Monopoly.—The Postal Regulatory Commission shall include in the report under subsection (a), and in all reports submitted under section 701 of this Act [set out as a note above]—
“(1) any recommended changes to universal service and the postal monopoly as the Commission considers appropriate, including changes that the Commission may implement under current law and changes that would require changes to current law, with estimated effects of the recommendations on the service, financial condition, rates, and security of mail provided by the Postal Service;
“(2) with respect to each recommended change described under paragraph (1)—
“(A) an estimate of the costs of the Postal Service attributable to the obligation to provide universal service under current law; and
“(B) an analysis of the likely benefit of the current postal monopoly to the ability of the Postal Service to sustain the current scope and standards of universal service, including estimates of the financial benefit of the postal monopoly to the extent practicable, under current law; and
“(3) such additional topics and recommendations as the Commission considers appropriate, with estimated effects of the recommendations on the service, financial condition, rates, and the security of mail provided by the Postal Service.
“(c) Consultation.—In preparing the report required by this section, the Postal Regulatory Commission—
“(1) shall solicit written comments from the Postal Service and consult with the Postal Service and other Federal agencies, users of the mails, enterprises in the private sector engaged in the delivery of the mail, and the general public; and
“(2) shall address in the report any written comments received under this section.
“(d) Clarifying Provision.—Nothing in this section shall be considered to relate to any services that are not postal services within the meaning of section 102 of title 39, United States Code, as amended by section 101 of this Act.”
Provisions Relating to Cooperative Mailings
“(1) In general.—The Postal Regulatory Commission shall examine section E670.5.3 of the Domestic Mail Manual to determine whether it contains adequate safeguards to protect against—
“(A) abuses of rates for nonprofit mail; and
“(B) deception of consumers.
“(2) Report.—The Commission shall report the results of its examination to the Postal Service, along with any recommendations that the Commission determines appropriate.
“(b) Failure to Act.—If the Postal Service fails to act on the recommendations of the Commission, the Commission may take such action as it determines necessary to prevent abuse of rates or deception of consumers.”