Even the Postal Service had to use e-mail in delivering proposal

By Ed O'Keefe
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 1, 2010

The U.S. Postal Service this week had to use e-mail to inform regulators of its proposal to cut Saturday mail delivery.

Postmaster General John E. Potter told reporters Monday that the Postal Regulatory Commission requires him to submit his plans electronically. A Postal Service spokesman said privately that officials considered having Potter deliver his plans in person but figured reporters would criticize it as a staged photo op.

Submitting the plans online provides for transparency and accountability, and sending hard copies would require scanning the documents and posting them online, a PRC spokesman said.

By law, the Postal Service must seek a nonbinding opinion from the PRC before it acts.

"The ball is in our court now," said PRC Chairman Ruth Goldway.

Goldway said the commission plans to consider whether cutting Saturday delivery would save as much money as estimated, whether mail volume would drop more than expected, whether customers still would have adequate mail service, and what the potential economic effect would be of ending weekend deliveries. The panel plans to hold at least six hearings for customer reaction; some may occur in Chicago, Dallas and Sacramento. Concerned customers can also submit comments online on the commission's Web site, http://www.prc.gov.

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