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Price check

Explaining the PRC’s review

The PRC is reviewing the system used to regulate Postal Service rates and classes.
The PRC is reviewing the system used to regulate Postal Service rates and classes.

When PMG Megan J. Brennan testified this month about postal reform legislation, she discussed the importance of a 10-year pricing review being conducted by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).

Want to know more about this process? Here’s an overview:

• The PRC regulates postal matters. The PRC is an independent agency that oversees key USPS activities. This includes price changes, service performance, financial accounting and more.

• The pricing review is required by law. Under a 2006 law, the PRC must review the system used for regulating rates and classes for market-dominant products, which include First-Class Mail and USPS Marketing Mail.

The goal is to determine if the current system is meeting its objectives, which include enabling USPS to be financially stable and ensuring the organization has adequate resources to offer high-quality services.

• The review is now underway. The PRC began the review last December by seeking feedback from the public, including consumers and business mailers. This feedback is due March 20.

• The PRC can make changes. Through the review, if the PRC determines that the current pricing system isn’t meeting its objectives, the agency can propose new rules that modify the system. The PRC also could adopt an alternative system to achieve the objectives.

So why does all this matter?

As the PMG stated this month, USPS needs more than enactment of postal reform legislation to achieve financial stability.

Favorable resolution of the PRC’s pricing system review — along with continued aggressive management actions — also are essential, she said.

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