Oversight body to make decision on Postal Service rate changes by October 4

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The Postal Regulatory Commission, the group that oversees the US Postal Service, said July 6 that it will review and make a decision on the USPS' proposed rate changes by October 4.

The PRC can choose to accept, reject or modify the USPS' proposals, which call for an average rate increase of about 5.6% on market dominant products. The review will include a public comment period and the naming of a public representative.

The PRC expects “quite a bit of feedback from the mailers” during the period, said Norm Scherstrom, PRC media relations specialist.

The rate changes mark the first time the USPS has claimed extraordinary circumstances warrant a rate increase larger than the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 allows. Under the PAEA cap, the USPS would only be able to increase rates by less than 1%.

Ruth Goldway, chairman of the PRC, said in a statement that “developing a balanced record for decision will pose serious challenges. ... We hope to hear from as broad a cross section of the public as possible.”

Joanne Veto, senior manager of PR and promotional communications at the Postal Service, said the USPS scheduled the rate change announcement so that it could implement the changes by January 2, 2011, after the PRC's review.

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