International Product and Pricing Initiatives
The Postal Service \TM\ is proposing a major redesign of its international products including changes in prices and mail classifications. There are two main features of this redesign. First, we propose to more closely align our international products with their domestic counterparts for ease of use and added value to customers. This will be accomplished by merging eight current options into four alternatives by combining products with overlapping service standards and prices. We propose to rename the international products to mirror comparable domestic product names. Proposed enhancements to our international products would include increasing customer convenience through the use of domestic packaging supplies, offering the popular flat-rate envelope option in Express Mail International and adding the flat-rate box option to Priority Mail International. We would also offer more specific delivery time and tracking information to major destinations. The second main feature of the redesign includes a proposal to increase international product prices an average of 13 percent necessitated by cost increases that occurred during a price freeze from January 2001 through January 2006. The price increase also addresses changes in market dynamics while remaining below the cumulative change in the Consumer Price Index. If adopted, the product redesign and prices that we propose in this notice would become effective when we change our domestic prices (that proposal is currently before the Postal Rate Commission in Docket No. R2006-1).
Requirements for Authority To Manufacture and Distribute Postage Evidencing Systems
This final rule revises the requirements for authority to manufacture and distribute postage evidencing systems. This final rule includes updating the regulations, removing obsolete text, and incorporating pertinent portions of the rules for postage meters (Postage Evidencing Systems) formerly contained in section P030 of the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) (Issue 58). This rule integrates the requirements that apply to the distribution and manufacture of PC Postage[supreg] products, a type of Postage Evidencing System. In addition, obsolete references to requirements for manually reset and mechanical meters are eliminated.
Amendment to Bylaws of the Board of Governors
On September 11, 2006, the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service adopted a revision to its bylaws. The purpose of this revision was to enable Postal Service management to submit relatively minor Negotiated Service Agreements (NSAs) to the Postal Rate Commission for consideration without first submitting those minor NSAs to the Postal Service Board of Governors. Consequently, the Postal Service hereby publishes this final rule.
New Standards for Mailing Sharps and Other Regulated Medical Waste Containers
The Postal Service revises the standards for mailing sharps and other regulated medical waste containers. The new standards include improvements to the packaging, the package testing, and the process for authorizing and suspending authorization.
New Mailing Standards for Division 6.2 Infectious Substances
The Postal Service is revising its mailing standards and packaging requirements for Division 6.2 infectious substances based on the criteria published by the World Health Organization. Our revised standards adopt many of the changes the Department of Transportation made to its regulations for the shipment and packaging of hazardous materials. We also harmonize our standards with the World Health Organization Guidance on Regulations for the Transport of Infectious Substances and the International Civil Aviation Organization Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air. In addition, we prohibit Category A infectious substances in the mail.
Privacy Act of 1974, Computer Matching Program-Postal Service and State Agencies
The Postal Service plans to conduct an ongoing matching program to identify any current Postal Service employees who are required by state law to register on a state's public registry of sex offenders. State registries contain information about individuals who are statutorily required to register, having committed sexually-violent offenses against adults or children, certain other crimes against victims who are minors, or other comparable offenses. The Postal Service is undertaking this initiative to ascertain the suitability of individuals for certain positions or employment. The Postal Service will compare its payroll database for employees working in participating states against public records contained in the state sex offender registries.
Privacy Act of 1974, Computer Matching Program
The Postal Service \TM\ plans to conduct an ongoing matching program to identify any current Postal Service employees, who are required by state law to register on a state's public registry of sex offenders. State registries contain information about individuals who are statutorily required to register, having committed sexually-violent offenses against adults or children, certain other crimes against victims who are minors, or other comparable offenses. The Postal Service is undertaking this initiative to ascertain the suitability of individuals for certain positions or employment. The Postal Service will compare its payroll database for employees working in designated states against public records contained in the state sex offender registries.
New Standards for Domestic Mailing Services
On May 3, 2006, the Postal Service filed a request with the Postal Rate Commission to change prices for virtually all domestic mailing services. The Commission designated the filing as Docket No. R2006-1. This proposed rule provides the mailing standards that would accompany the new prices if the R2006-1 price change proposal is adopted.
Changes in Domestic Mail Classifications
This notice sets forth the changes to the Domestic Mail Classification Schedule to be implemented as a result of the Decision of the Governors of the United States Postal Service on the Opinion and Recommended Decision of the Postal Rate Commission on Extension of Capital One NSA, Docket No. MC2006-6.
Post Office Box and Caller Service
This final rule transfers responsibility for final agency decisions in connection with Post OfficeTM box termination, caller service termination, and denial of service appeals from the Judicial Officer Department to the vice president and Consumer Advocate.
Rules of Practice in Proceedings Relative to False Representation and Lottery Cases, Determinations of Nonmailability and Disposition of Mail Withheld From Delivery: Changes in Responsibility for Litigation
The Postal ServiceTM is transferring responsibility for representation of the Postal Service in certain consumer protection administrative actions before the Judicial Officer Department from the Office of the General Counsel to the Inspection Service Office of Counsel.
Customs Forms for Priority Mail To or From “969” ZIP Codes
The Postal Service TM proposes to require customs declarations on certain Priority Mail [supreg] mailpieces to or from ZIP Codes TM beginning with the prefix 969.
New Polywrap Standards for Automation-Rate Flat-Size Mail
The Postal Service proposes to require mailers to use polywrap film meeting one set of specifications when using polywrap on automation-rate flat-size mailpieces.
Electronic Verification System (eVS) for Parcel Select Mailings
This final rule sets forth the standards that will be adopted by the Postal ServiceTM to implement the electronic data and automated processes of the Electronic Verification System (eVS) for permit imprint Parcel Select[supreg] manifest mailings and eliminate current paper-driven and manual processes used for such mailings. This required change will also extend to Standard Mail[supreg] machinable parcels and parcels from other Package Services subclasses (Bound Printed Matter, Library Mail, or Media Mail[supreg]) that are authorized to be commingled with permit imprint Parcel Select parcels.
Temporary Mail Forwarding Policy
This document amends the standards in the Domestic Mail Manual concerning the duration and submission of temporary change-of-address orders.
Revisions to the Requirements for Authority To Manufacture and Distribute Postage Evidencing Systems
In this proposed rule, the Postal ServiceTM proposes to revise the content of Title 39, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 501 (39 CFR 501), Authorization to Manufacture and Distribute Postage Meters. This proposed revision includes updating the regulations, removing obsolete text, and incorporating pertinent portions of the rules for postage meters (Postage Evidencing Systems) formerly contained in section P030 of the Domestic Mail Manual (Issue 58). The proposed text for 39 CFR 501 would also rename Part 501 as ``Authorization to Manufacture and Distribute Postage Evidencing Systems'' and integrate the requirements that apply to the distribution and manufacture of PC Postage[supreg] products, a type of Postage Evidencing System. In addition, obsolete references to requirements for manually reset and mechanical meters are proposed to be eliminated.
Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records
The Postal ServiceTM proposes to revise the existing system of records titled, ``Inspector General Investigative Records 700.300.'' It is being revised to enable the Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) to meet its responsibilities under the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended by the Inspector General Act Amendments of 1988, 5 U.S.C. App. 3 Sec. 8G. The modifications amend an existing routine use to further clarify how OIG operations can be subject to integrity and efficiency peer reviews by other offices of Inspectors General or councils comprised of officials from other Federal offices of Inspectors General. It also permits other offices or councils to properly and expeditiously investigate allegations of misconduct by senior OIG officials as authorized by a council, the President, or Congress and to report to the council, the President, or Congress on the investigation.
New Preparation for Periodicals Flats in Mixed Area Distribution Center Bundles and Sacks
To improve service for Periodicals mail, the Postal Service provided mailers the option to prepare origin mixed area distribution center (ADC) bundles and sacks beginning October 27, 2005. This final rule adopts our proposal to make the preparation of origin mixed ADC bundles and sacks required beginning July 6, 2006.
New Standards for Mailing Sharps and Other Regulated Medical Waste
The Postal Service is proposing new standards for mailing sharps and other regulated medical waste containers. Our proposal includes changes to the packaging, the package testing, and the process for authorizing and suspending authorization.
Parcel Return Service
This final rule adopts new mailing standards to make Parcel Return Service a permanent classification. Parcel Return Service replaces the former Parcel Return Services experiment and is now open to all postal customers who meet the participation requirements.
New Marking Requirement for Bound Printed Matter Machinable Parcels
This final rule adopts a new marking requirement for Bound Printed Matter (BPM) machinable parcels consisting of multiple pieces secured with transparent shrinkwrap. The new marking will enable our automated equipment to recognize that these BPM machinable parcels are intended for a single address. Under the new standards, mailers must use a firm optional endorsement line or apply a pressure-sensitive firm Label F. The new standards do not apply to BPM flats or irregular parcels.
The Postal ServiceTM provides notice of its intention to expand testing of the concept of Customized Postage for a period of up to 2 years, commencing no sooner than March 20, 2006.
Office of Inspector General; Arrest and Investigative Powers of Criminal Investigators
This rule describes the procedures for service of administrative subpoenas by criminal investigators employed by the Office of Inspector General.
New Preparation for Periodicals Flats in Mixed Area Distribution Center Bundles and Sacks
The Postal Service currently allows Periodicals mailers to prepare two types of mixed area distribution center (ADC) bundles and sacks, including a new type of optional mixed ADC bundle and sack that improves service for Periodicals without adding processing costs. We are proposing to make this optional separation a requirement beginning July 6, 2006.
Office of Inspector General; Technical Amendments
This rule makes editorial corrections to the Office of Inspector General regulations pertaining to subpoenas served on employees of the Office of Inspector General.
Conduct on Postal Property
This rule amends the enforcement provisions of the rules for conduct on Postal Service property to restate the statutory basis for the powers of members of the Postal Service security force, and the authority of postal installation heads to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies for the enforcement of those rules. Repeal and replacement of the law formerly cited as defining these powers and authority necessitates this amendment. The Postal Service intends no substantive change to the referenced powers and authority.
Bundling Flat-Size and Irregular Parcel Mail
This final rule requires mailers to use two bands to secure all bundles of presorted flat-size mail and irregular parcels when those bundles are not shrinkwrapped.
Sack Preparation Changes for Periodicals Mail
This final rule adopts new mailing standards for Periodicals mail prepared in sacks. The standards include two new types of sacksa 3-digit carrier routes sack and a merged 3-digit sackand a new minimum of 24 pieces for most other sacks.