Now the USPS is asking the Postal Rate Commission
(PRC) to scrap the law's pricing system and give the USPS unchecked power to set its own rates, with little or no oversight by the PRC.
A 2012 decision by the Postal Rate Commission
(PRC) gave Valassis a negotiated service agreement (NSA) that guaranteed it escalating discounts as it increased the number of pieces mailed on Saturdays, which effectively offers advertisers an alternative for distributing inserts in Sunday newspapers.
Rather, the marginalization reflects the successful efforts of private telecommunications companies--aided by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Postal Rate Commission
(PRC), and commercial mailers--to block the expansion of USPS into new and lucrative communications markets during the 1970s and early 1980s.
Under the old law, the Postal Service was required to submit proposed rate changes to the Postal Rate Commission
, often waiting many months for a decision.
Postal Service and the Postal Rate Commission
, from discriminating against qualified employees with disabilities.
"Since the CPI for 2009 is going to be zero there is only the option of going to the Postal Rate Commission
and asking for exigent or emergency relief," said Jerry Hempstead, president of Orlando-based parcel consultancy Hempstead Consulting.
If the USPS does not listen to the newspaper industry's sound reasoning, the Postal Rate Commission
must intervene -- and Congress should reconsider whether the Postal Service deserves the pricing "flexibility" it is clearly abusing.
Van Seagraves, longtime publisher of Business Mailers Review, commented that, in the bad old days, major mailing groups made contributions to key members of Congress and got more value for their bucks than they do today hiring economists, consultants, etc., for proceedings at the Postal Rate Commission
Neither the Postal Service nor the Postal Rate Commission
ever sought to assess statutory penalties against electronic mailers, undoubtedly fearing the economic dislocation and political backlash that would result.
The Postal Service and its governors maintain that the regulatory model established by the Postal Rate Commission
is based on control rather than market-based principles.
Under the reform bill, a new Postal Regulatory Commission, with more power than the existing Postal Rate Commission
, has 18 months to establish a new rate-setting process, which nonprofits expect will bring much more stability to postal hikes.
Without sufficient transparency, it is difficult for USPS and its customers to identify and address delivery problems, and for Congress, the Postal Rate Commission
, and others to hold management accountable for results and conduct independent oversight.