PRC wants more comments on postal law

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The Postal Regulatory Commission has issued a second Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act.

The PRC issued its first Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in late February asking for written comments by April 6 and responses to those opinions by May 6. Thirty sets of initial comments were filed in response to the first order, which offered an opportunity to comment on how the PRC can best fulfill its responsibilities under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, signed into law Dec. 20, 2006, regarding establishing rate regulation for market dominant products and competitive products. Twenty one sets of reply comments were also filed.

"It's critical that interested parties continue to participate in our rulemaking process," said Dan G. Blair, chairman of the PRC. "This second advance notice provides an important opportunity to weigh in on the development of the new ratemaking process."

The PRC said it appreciates the thoughtful and comprehensive comments and has found them very useful. But the regulatory agency said that for the most part the comments were general in nature, taking a more global view of the type of regulations to be implemented, such as endorsing a light-handed approach or advocating that competitive products make the maximum possible contribution to institutional costs rather than suggesting specific proposals to implement the PAEA.

"Considering the regulations to be issued … the commission concludes that the record would be enhanced by affording interested persons an opportunity to comment more specifically on potential ways to implement the statutory language prior to issuing proposed regulations," the PRC said in its May 17 filing. "Therefore the commission is issuing this second advance notice of proposed rulemaking inviting interested persons to comment on specific issues central to implementing the necessary regulations."

The PRC said those interested are invited to comment on all or any of the issues explained in the filing available at www.prc.gov/docs/56/56613/OrderNo.15.pdf.

Parties are encouraged to explain the basis for their position, and the PRC said the explanation does not have to be lengthy but should include whatever support the commenter believes to be relevant.

Comments are due June 18, and reply comments are due July 3.

Following this round of comments, the PRC intends to issue a formal notice of proposed rulemaking setting forth specific rules applicable to rate changes for market dominant and competitive products. Those interested will have an opportunity to comment on those proposed rules. The commission expects that the final rules on these topics will be issued by the end of October 2007.

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