Periodic Reporting

Citation86 FR 15449
CourtPostal Regulatory Commission
Publication Date23 Mar 2021
Record Number2021-05831
Federal Register, Volume 86 Issue 54 (Tuesday, March 23, 2021)
[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 54 (Tuesday, March 23, 2021)]
                [Proposed Rules]
                [Pages 15449-15450]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
                [FR Doc No: 2021-05831]
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                POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION
                39 CFR Part 3050
                [Docket No. RM2021-3; Order No. 5847]
                Periodic Reporting
                AGENCY: Postal Regulatory Commission.
                ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.
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                SUMMARY: The Commission is acknowledging a recent filing requesting the
                Commission initiate a rulemaking proceeding to consider changes to
                analytical principles relating to periodic reports (Proposal One). This
                document informs the public of the filing, invites public comment, and
                takes other administrative steps.
                DATES: Comments are due: May 3, 2021.
                ADDRESSES: Submit comments electronically via the Commission's Filing
                Online system at http://www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments
                electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER
                INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing
                alternatives.
                [[Page 15450]]
                FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at
                202-789-6820.
                SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
                Table of Contents
                I. Introduction
                II. Proposal One
                III. Notice and Comment
                IV. Ordering Paragraphs
                I. Introduction
                 On March 11, 2021, the Postal Service filed a petition pursuant to
                39 CFR 3050.11 requesting that the Commission initiate a rulemaking
                proceeding to consider changes to analytical principles relating to
                periodic reports.\1\ The Petition identifies the proposed analytical
                changes filed in this docket as Proposal One.
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                 \1\ Petition of the United States Postal Service for the
                Initiation of a Proceeding to Consider Proposed Changes in
                Analytical Principles (Proposal One), March 11, 2021 (Petition). The
                Postal Service also filed a notice of non-public materials relating
                to Proposal One. Notice of Filing of USPS-RM2021-3-NP1 and
                Application for Nonpublic Treatment, March 11, 2021.
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                II. Proposal One
                 Background. Proposal One is a request to change the methodology for
                estimating revenue, pieces, and weight for domestic products reported
                into the Revenue, Pieces, and Weight (RPW) Report. Petition at 2. The
                Postal Service cites the introduction of numerous census system sources
                over the last 10 years as reducing the need to rely on Origin-
                Destination Information System--Revenue, Pieces, and Weight (ODIS-RPW)
                sampling estimates. Id. The Postal Service states that its proposed
                methodology would enable significant reductions in manual data
                collection and the accompanying costs, while maintaining statistical
                reliability. Id. The Postal Service additionally filed under-seal
                materials related to RPW data for competitive products.\2\
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                 \2\ See Library Reference USPS-RM2021-3-NP1, March 11, 2021.
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                 Proposal. The Postal Service's proposal seeks to update its current
                RPW system used to generate the RPW report filed quarterly with the
                Commission in conformance with 39 CFR 3050.25. Petition at 2. The
                current system relies on a variety of source systems, including the
                ODIS-RPW probability sampling system.\3\ The Postal Service's proposed
                methodology redesigns the non-digital sampling portion of ODIS-RPW and
                makes minor changes to the digital portion, along with a two-thirds
                (for non-digital) and one-third (for digital) reduction in sampling
                size. Id at 12.
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                 \3\ Id. at 2-3. The Postal Service references Library References
                USPS-LR-L-16 and USPS-LR-L-17 in Docket No. R2006-1 as the most
                recent full documentation for the ODIS-RPW system. Id.
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                 The Postal Service notes that past reliance on ODIS-RPW for
                business decisions has been replaced by the alternative disaggregated
                data source Informed Visibility (IV), addressing the Commission's
                previous concern that alternative disaggregated data sources be
                developed prior to reducing the sampling size of ODIS-RPW. Id. at 11.
                Similarly, the current Service Performance Measurement (SPM) system
                does not rely on ODIS-RPW volumes, so service measurement would be
                unaffected by the proposed changes to ODIS-RPW. See id. at 11-12.
                 The proposed updates to ODIS-RPW include consolidation of non-
                digital sample areas from 189 to 10 to reduce the chance of the smaller
                sampling size creating strata with no usable tests. Id. at 13. Mail
                characteristic stratification are defined uniformly at the national
                level, and sample data would be pooled across sample areas to ensure a
                sufficient sample size for each of the twenty strata. Id. The Postal
                Service additionally proposes using a ratio estimator for the non-
                digital sample using total reference volume across letters, flats, and
                parcels as the auxiliary variable to obtain national estimates from the
                sampled data. See id. Updates to the digital sample areas are limited
                to the same consolidation of sample areas, and an increase in the
                number of stratum from five to six. Id. at 16.
                 Overall, the Postal Service proposes to reduce ODIS-RPW sample
                sizes from approximately 31,000 to 18,000 tests per quarter. Id. at 17.
                The Postal Service justifies this reduction by the proposed methodology
                changes and the fact that much of the Postal Service's mail product
                information, including RPW reporting, now comes from census source
                systems. Id. The Postal Service would prefer to begin the reduced
                sampling starting July 1, 2021. Id.
                 Rationale and impact. The Postal Service justifies the proposed
                changes to ODIS-RPW as a comprehensive design that would ``reduce
                sampling without compromising the integrity of the RPW program.'' Id.
                at 18. The Postal Service states that estimates from ODIS-RPW, when
                combined with census source RPW information, would provide reliable and
                consistent information. Id. The Postal Service conducted simulation
                studies of the impact of the proposed changes and compared the results
                to census source data, and provides a table that shows the affected
                lines of the RPW report. Id. at 18-20. The Postal Service states that
                coefficients of variability impacted by the proposed change would grow
                from 2.3 percent to 2.9 percent quarterly, and 1.2 percent to 1.4
                percent annually, noting that there is no universal standard for
                acceptable levels of variation. Id. at 20. The Postal Services states
                that it does not view the potential minor increases in variability for
                RPW reporting as a cause for concern, and further states that it sees
                little or no practical impact of its proposal on the accuracy or
                reliability of estimates generated for the RPW report. Id.
                III. Notice and Comment
                 The Commission establishes Docket No. RM2021-3 for consideration of
                matters raised by the Petition. More information on the Petition may be
                accessed via the Commission's website at http://www.prc.gov. Interested
                persons may submit comments on the Petition and Proposal One no later
                than May 3, 2021. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505, Manon Boudreault is
                designated as an officer of the Commission (Public Representative) to
                represent the interests of the general public in this proceeding.
                IV. Ordering Paragraphs
                 It is ordered:
                 1. The Commission establishes Docket No. RM2021-3 for consideration
                of the matters raised by the Petition of the United States Postal
                Service for the Initiation of a Proceeding to Consider Proposed Changes
                in Analytical Principles (Proposal One), filed March 11, 2021.
                 2. Comments by interested persons in this proceeding are due no
                later than May 3, 2021.\4\
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                 \4\ The Commission reminds interested persons that its revised
                and reorganized Rules of Practice and Procedure became effective
                April 20, 2020, and should be used in filings with the Commission
                after April 20, 2020. The new rules are available on the
                Commission's website and can be found in Order No. 5407. Docket No.
                RM2019-13, Order Reorganizing Commission Regulations and Amending
                Rules of Practice, January 16, 2020 (Order No. 5407).
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                 3. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505, the Commission appoints Manon
                Boudreault to serve as an officer of the Commission (Public
                Representative) to represent the interests of the general public in
                this docket.
                 4. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this order in the
                Federal Register.
                 By the Commission.
                Erica A. Barker,
                Secretary.
                [FR Doc. 2021-05831 Filed 3-22-21; 8:45 am]
                BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P