- SJ Consulting will quantify the benefit of the Postal Service’s rural services by measuring the percent of population affected by Delivery Area Surcharges and determine if there is a cost basis for the Delivery Area Surcharges by the two major parcel carriers and the benefits from the Postal Service having a more frequent delivery network in rural areas.
- Urban Institute will measure the Economic Effects of Post Offices by researching available data and providing an impact analysis of the presence of post offices on real estate values, business activity, and employment through sampling the impact of about 125 closed post offices.
- Urban Institute will research the role and benefits of Price Leadership of the Postal Service from lower priced postal products such as parcels or expedited services, money orders and post office boxes to determine the competitive advantages the Postal Service offers with these products compared to its competitors.
- Urban Institute will quantify the benefits of the Postal Service to Community Security and Public Safety by researching Postal Service and NALC data, and Metropolitan Police Department crime data to measure the impact on crime in the District of Columbia by changing retail service hours and postal carrier routes, considering neighborhood characteristics, and Postal Service personnel training regarding community security and public safety reporting.
- Leong Consulting will quantify the benefits of the Postal Service’s Disaster Response, Emergency Preparedness, and Safety including its role in neighborhood safety, as a first responder and as a communications network in an area devastated by natural disaster by estimating the “savings” to government agencies from Postal Service performance of these duties and assess the Postal Service’s role in the Nation’s preparation for bioterrorism, including neighborhood safety, and the Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI), the Bio-Detection System, and the Custom-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT).
- Leong Consulting will also quantify the Essential Services for the Unbanked Population provided by the Postal Service using publicly available data from banking industry organizations and consumer advocacy groups and assess the value of Postal Service products provided to the unbanked population and identify other areas where the Postal Service could offer useful financial-type services, particularly to those receiving hard-copy checks.
The studies that the Postal Regulatory Commission funded are examples of studies that are necessary in order to fully develop a postal market policy and the business model that the Postal Service should follow and the regulatory structure under which the Postal Service should operate. Many of these studies could help clarify questions about whether the Postal Service could continue to provide the benefits that it provides the nation if it operated as a private sector corporation, a government corporation operating under standard business law, the current model, or as government department. Similar questions need to be asked about the impact of regulatory policy on the social benefits and economic impact of the Postal Service and private sector participants in the postal market.
Beyond the broad questions of business models and regulatory frameworks, these studies can help Congress understand more fully the impact of changes in the operating model, including changes in how retiree obligations are calculated, the network of sortation facilities and sortation plans for single piece and bulk-tendered mail, and the retail strategy including the types of products and services that a Postal Service retail outlet can offer, and the mix of contracted and corporate facilities used to provide service that will be necessary to ensure that the Postal Service finally becomes financially self sufficient and the risks to the economy and the nation's communities if it does not.