US Postal Service files appeal of 'exigent' rate increase decision

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The US Postal Service filed a brief with a federal court on November 23, appealing the Postal Regulatory Commission's September decision to block the USPS from enacting an “exigent” rate increase in 2011.

The PRC unanimously rejected the Postal Service's petition to enact rate increases larger than the rate of inflation two months ago. Marketers largely praised the PRC's decision to deny the rate increase.

The USPS contends that the PRC misread the statute on exigent rate increases and that the oversight body “acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner by establishing new requirements that were not shared with or explained to the Postal Service.”

“As a result of recession-related volume losses and other factors, the Postal Service has suffered multi-billion-dollar losses and will not be able to pay its final fiscal year 2011 obligations on September 30, 2011 – a date that is now barely 10 months away,” the USPS said in the brief. “Moreover, these volume losses will have a negative impact on revenue for years to come.”

The PRC has until January 14, 2011, to reply to the brief. The USPS must then respond to that document by January 28, according to Gerald McKiernan, spokesperson for the USPS.

The set of rate increases was one part of the Postal Service's 10-year plan to restore financial stability at the organization. The USPS lost $8.5 billion in its 2010 fiscal year, which ended September 30.

Ann Fisher, director of public affairs and government relations at the PRC, said the oversight body is declining comment on the appeal process.

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