Chairman Goldway, in response to a question from Senator Durbin, noted that the PRC's opinion on the Postal Service's 5-day delivery proposal was advisory. The PRC could not stop the Postal Service from implementing a service change that it advised against. However she indicated that the Commission had the power to compel the Postal Service to reinstate service if it finds as part of the annual compliance review that the change results in the Postal Service no longer providing the universal service required by the law.
Her exact quote was:
The PRC will issue its review of the Postal Service's 2009 Annual Compliance Report in the next few weeks. This quote suggests that the Commission will assert that it has the power to compel the Postal Service to change any aspect of its rates or service in order to comply with the law.
The Public Representative and others presented testimony in the annual compliance proceeding stating that Postal Service rates put it out of compliance with the law. Given Chairman Goldway's understanding of the Commission's powers, the possibility exists that the Commission could concur with these assessments and require the Postal Service to adjust its rates upward to comply with the law.
Mailers and the Postal Service appear likely to find an outcome in the PRC's review of the Annual Compliance Report to their liking only if the Commission does not find that the testimony arguing non-compliance was convincing or identifies a way to defer its power to compel Postal Service action.
Earlier Posts on this topic: