Today, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) initiated its long-awaited review of the postal rate system for regulating rates and classes of mail. This review was ordered by the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, enacted in 2006, establishing the rate cap system we have experienced over the last ten years. Pursuant to that legislation, the PRC is required to review the current system to determine whether the current system is achieving the objectives established by Congress. If the PRC finds that the objectives, taking into account various factors, are not being met, it has the authority to either propose rules that modify the system or adopt an alternative system to achieve the objectives.
Yesterday, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) handed down what will—hopefully—be the final word on the 4.3 percent exigent rate hike (or surcharge) that was granted in late 2013 and the subject of litigation for the last 18+months. That is, the PRC, through an expedited process, made a decision to address issues presented in the exigent rate case that was recently remanded to the Commission by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers v. Postal Regulatory Commission, 2015 WL 3513394 (D.C. Cir. June 5, 2015).
Today, the US Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit released its long-awaited decision on the United States Postal Service (USPS) exigency case. In general, the decision provides very good news for the mailing community by agreeing with our assessment that the 4.3 percent exigent –emergency—rate increase adopted in 2013 should not be made permanent. Shortly after the case was filed, SIIA-ABM joined in filing a legal brief urging the court to rule against a permanent application of the rate increase. In summary, the Court upheld the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) decision in part, and remanded the decision in part for further consideration by the PRC. The Court’s key findings are as follows: