United States Code/Title 39/Chapter 1

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United States Code, Title 31
the United States Government
Chapter 1. Postal Policy and Definitions

§ 101. Postal policy[edit]

(a) The United States Postal Service shall be operated as a basic and fundamental service provided to the people by the Government of the United States, authorized by the Constitution, created by Act of Congress, and supported by the people. The Postal Service shall have as its basic function the obligation to provide postal services to bind the Nation together through the personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence of the people. It shall provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to all communities. The costs of establishing and maintaining the Postal Service shall not be apportioned to impair the overall value of such service to the people.

(b) The Postal Service shall provide a maximum degree of effective and regular postal services to rural areas, communities, and small towns where post offices are not self-sustaining. No small post office shall be closed solely for operating at a deficit, it being the specific intent of the Congress that effective postal services be insured to residents of both urban and rural communities.

(c) As an employer, the Postal Service shall achieve and maintain compensation for its officers and employees comparable to the rates and types of compensation paid in the private sector of the economy of the United States. It shall place particular emphasis upon opportunities for career advancements of all officers and employees and the achievement of worthwhile and satisfying careers in the service of the United States.

(d) Postal rates shall be established to apportion the costs of all postal operations to all users of the mail on a fair and equitable basis.

(e) In determining all policies for postal services, the Postal Service shall give the highest consideration to the requirement for the most expeditious collection, transportation, and delivery of important letter mail.

(f) In selecting modes of transportation, the Postal Service shall give highest consideration to the prompt and economical delivery of all mail. Modern methods of transporting mail by containerization and programs designed to achieve overnight transportation to the destination of important letter mail to all parts of the Nation shall be a primary goal of postal operations.

(g) In planning and building new postal facilities, the Postal Service shall emphasize the need for facilities and equipment designed to create desirable working conditions for its officers and employees, a maximum degree of convenience for efficient postal services, proper access to existing and future air and surface transportation facilities, and control of costs to the Postal Service.

§ 102. Definitions[edit]

As used in this title—

(1) "Postal Service" means the United States Postal Service established by section 201 of this title;

(2) "Board of Governors", and "Board", unless the context otherwise requires, mean the Board of Governors established under section 202 of this title;

(3) "Governors" means the 9 members of the Board of Governors appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, under section 202(a) of this title;

(4) "Inspector General" means the Inspector General appointed under section 202(e) of this title;

(5) "postal service" refers to the delivery of letters, printed matter, or mailable packages, including acceptance, collection, sorting, transportation, or other functions ancillary thereto;

(6) "product" means a postal service with a distinct cost or market characteristic for which a rate or rates are, or may reasonably be, applied;

(7) "rates", as used with respect to products, includes fees for postal services;

(8) "market-dominant product" or "product in the market-dominant category of mail" means a product subject to subchapter I of chapter 36;

(9) "competitive product" or "product in the competitive category of mail" means a product subject to subchapter II of chapter 36; and

(10) "year", as used in chapter 36 (other than subchapters I and VI thereof), means a fiscal year.