United States Code/Title 39/Chapter 5

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United States Code, Title 39
the United States Government
Chapter 5. Postal Regulatory Commission

§501. Establishment[edit]

The Postal Regulatory Commission is an independent establishment of the executive branch of the Government of the United States.

§502. Commissioners[edit]

(a) The Postal Regulatory Commission is composed of 5 Commissioners, appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Commissioners shall be chosen solely on the basis of their technical qualifications, professional standing, and demonstrated expertise in economics, accounting, law, or public administration, and may be removed by the President only for cause. Each individual appointed to the Commission shall have the qualifications and expertise necessary to carry out the enhanced responsibilities accorded Commissioners under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. Not more than 3 of the Commissioners may be adherents of the same political party.

(b) No Commissioner shall be financially interested in any enterprise in the private sector of the economy engaged in the delivery of mail matter.

(c) A Commissioner may continue to serve after the expiration of his term until his successor has qualified, except that a Commissioner may not so continue to serve for more than 1 year after the date upon which his term otherwise would expire under subsection (f).

(d) One of the Commissioners shall be designated as Chairman by, and shall serve in the position of Chairman at the pleasure of, the President.

(e) The Commissioners shall by majority vote designate a Vice Chairman of the Commission. The Vice Chairman shall act as Chairman of the Commission in the absence of the Chairman.

(f) The Commissioners shall serve for terms of 6 years.

§503. Rules; regulations; procedures[edit]

The Postal Regulatory Commission shall promulgate rules and regulations and establish procedures, subject to chapters 5 and 7 of title 5, and take any other action they deem necessary and proper to carry out their functions and obligations to the Government of the United States and the people as prescribed under this title. Such rules, regulations, procedures, and actions shall not be subject to any change or supervision by the Postal Service.

§504. Administration[edit]

(a) The Chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission shall be the principal executive officer of the Commission. The Chairman shall exercise or direct the exercise of all the executive and administrative functions of the Commission, including functions of the Commission with respect to (1) the appointment of personnel employed under the Commission, except that the appointment of heads of major administrative units under the Commission shall require the approval of a majority of the members of the Commission, (2) the supervision of the personnel employed under the Commission and the distribution of business among them and among the Commissioners, and (3) the use and expenditure of funds.

(b) In carrying out any of his functions under this section, the Chairman shall be governed by the general policies of the Commission.

(c) The Chairman may obtain such facilities and supplies as may be necessary to permit the Commission to carry out its functions. Any officer or employee appointed under this section shall be paid at rates of compensation and shall be entitled to programs offering employee benefits established under chapter 10 or chapter 12 of this title, as appropriate.

(d) There are authorized to be appropriated, out of the Postal Service Fund, such sums as may be necessary for the Postal Regulatory Commission. In requesting an appropriation under this subsection for a fiscal year, the Commission shall prepare and submit to the Congress under section 2009 a budget of the Commission's expenses, including expenses for facilities, supplies, compensation, and employee benefits.

(e) The provisions of section 410 and chapter 10 of this title shall apply to the Commission, as appropriate.

(f)(1) Any Commissioner of the Postal Regulatory Commission, any administrative law judge appointed by the Commission under section 3105 of title 5, and any employee of the Commission designated by the Commission may administer oaths, examine witnesses, take depositions, and receive evidence.

(2) The Chairman of the Commission, any Commissioner designated by the Chairman, and any administrative law judge appointed by the Commission under section 3105 of title 5 may, with respect to any proceeding conducted by the Commission under this title or to obtain information to be used to prepare a report under this title—

(A) issue subpoenas requiring the attendance and presentation of testimony by, or the production of documentary or other evidence in the possession of, any covered person; and

(B) order the taking of depositions and responses to written interrogatories by a covered person.

The written concurrence of a majority of the Commissioners then holding office shall, with respect to each subpoena under subparagraph (A), be required in advance of its issuance.

(3) In the case of contumacy or failure to obey a subpoena issued under this subsection, upon application by the Commission, the district court of the United States for the district in which the person to whom the subpoena is addressed resides or is served may issue an order requiring such person to appear at any designated place to testify or produce documentary or other evidence. Any failure to obey the order of the court may be punished by the court as a contempt thereof.

(4) For purposes of this subsection, the term "covered person" means an officer, employee, agent, or contractor of the Postal Service.

(g)(1) If the Postal Service determines that any document or other matter it provides to the Postal Regulatory Commission under a subpoena issued under subsection (f), or otherwise at the request of the Commission in connection with any proceeding or other purpose under this title, contains information which is described in section 410(c) of this title, or exempt from public disclosure under section 552(b) of title 5, the Postal Service shall, at the time of providing such matter to the Commission, notify the Commission, in writing, of its determination (and the reasons therefor).

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), no officer or employee of the Commission may, with respect to any information as to which the Commission has been notified under paragraph (1)—

(A) use such information for purposes other than the purposes for which it is supplied; or

(B) permit anyone who is not an officer or employee of the Commission to have access to any such information.

(3)(A) Paragraph (2) shall not prohibit the Commission from publicly disclosing relevant information in furtherance of its duties under this title, provided that the Commission has adopted regulations under section 553 of title 5, that establish a procedure for according appropriate confidentiality to information identified by the Postal Service under paragraph (1). In determining the appropriate degree of confidentiality to be accorded information identified by the Postal Service under paragraph (1), the Commission shall balance the nature and extent of the likely commercial injury to the Postal Service against the public interest in maintaining the financial transparency of a government establishment competing in commercial markets.

(B) Paragraph (2) shall not prevent the Commission from requiring production of information in the course of any discovery procedure established in connection with a proceeding under this title. The Commission shall, by regulations based on rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, establish procedures for ensuring appropriate confidentiality for information furnished to any party.

(h)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title or of the Inspector General Act of 1978, the authority to select, appoint, and employ officers and employees of the Office of Inspector General of the Postal Regulatory Commission, and to obtain any temporary or intermittent services of experts or consultants (or an organization of experts or consultants) for such Office, shall reside with the Inspector General of the Postal Regulatory Commission.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (1), any exercise of authority under this subsection shall, to the extent practicable, be in conformance with the applicable laws and regulations that govern selections, appointments, and employment, and the obtaining of any such temporary or intermittent services, within the Postal Regulatory Commission.

§505. Officer of the Postal Regulatory Commission representing the general public[edit]

The Postal Regulatory Commission shall designate an officer of the Postal Regulatory Commission in all public proceedings (such as developing rules, regulations, and procedures) who shall represent the interests of the general public.