[Title 39 CFR ]
[Code of Federal Regulations (annual edition) - July 1, 2006 Edition]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



[[Page i]]



          39

                         Revised as of July 1, 2006


          Postal Service
          



________________________

          Containing a codification of documents of general 
          applicability and future effect

          As of July 1, 2006
          With Ancillaries
                    Published by
                    Office of the Federal Register
                    National Archives and Records
                    Administration
                    A Special Edition of the Federal Register

[[Page ii]]

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                            Table of Contents



                                                                    Page
  Explanation.................................................       v

  Title 39:
          Chapter I--United States Postal Service                    3
          Chapter III--Postal Rate Commission                      339
  Finding Aids:
      Material Approved for Incorporation by Reference........     487
      Table of CFR Titles and Chapters........................     489
      Alphabetical List of Agencies Appearing in the CFR......     507
      List of CFR Sections Affected...........................     517

[[Page iv]]





                     ----------------------------

                     Cite this Code: CFR
                     To cite the regulations in 
                       this volume use title, 
                       part and section number. 
                       Thus, 39 CFR 1.1 refers to 
                       title 39, part 1, section 
                       1.

                     ----------------------------

[[Page v]]



                               EXPLANATION

    The Code of Federal Regulations is a codification of the general and 
permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the Executive 
departments and agencies of the Federal Government. The Code is divided 
into 50 titles which represent broad areas subject to Federal 
regulation. Each title is divided into chapters which usually bear the 
name of the issuing agency. Each chapter is further subdivided into 
parts covering specific regulatory areas.
    Each volume of the Code is revised at least once each calendar year 
and issued on a quarterly basis approximately as follows:

Title 1 through Title 16.................................as of January 1
Title 17 through Title 27..................................as of April 1
Title 28 through Title 41...................................as of July 1
Title 42 through Title 50................................as of October 1

    The appropriate revision date is printed on the cover of each 
volume.

LEGAL STATUS

    The contents of the Federal Register are required to be judicially 
noticed (44 U.S.C. 1507). The Code of Federal Regulations is prima facie 
evidence of the text of the original documents (44 U.S.C. 1510).

HOW TO USE THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS

    The Code of Federal Regulations is kept up to date by the individual 
issues of the Federal Register. These two publications must be used 
together to determine the latest version of any given rule.
    To determine whether a Code volume has been amended since its 
revision date (in this case, July 1, 2006), consult the ``List of CFR 
Sections Affected (LSA),'' which is issued monthly, and the ``Cumulative 
List of Parts Affected,'' which appears in the Reader Aids section of 
the daily Federal Register. These two lists will identify the Federal 
Register page number of the latest amendment of any given rule.

EFFECTIVE AND EXPIRATION DATES

    Each volume of the Code contains amendments published in the Federal 
Register since the last revision of that volume of the Code. Source 
citations for the regulations are referred to by volume number and page 
number of the Federal Register and date of publication. Publication 
dates and effective dates are usually not the same and care must be 
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instances where the effective date is beyond the cut-off date for the 
Code a note has been inserted to reflect the future effective date. In 
those instances where a regulation published in the Federal Register 
states a date certain for expiration, an appropriate note will be 
inserted following the text.

OMB CONTROL NUMBERS

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-511) requires 
Federal agencies to display an OMB control number with their information 
collection request.

[[Page vi]]

Many agencies have begun publishing numerous OMB control numbers as 
amendments to existing regulations in the CFR. These OMB numbers are 
placed as close as possible to the applicable recordkeeping or reporting 
requirements.

OBSOLETE PROVISIONS

    Provisions that become obsolete before the revision date stated on 
the cover of each volume are not carried. Code users may find the text 
of provisions in effect on a given date in the past by using the 
appropriate numerical list of sections affected. For the period before 
January 1, 2001, consult either the List of CFR Sections Affected, 1949-
1963, 1964-1972, 1973-1985, or 1986-2000, published in 11 separate 
volumes. For the period beginning January 1, 2001, a ``List of CFR 
Sections Affected'' is published at the end of each CFR volume.

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

    What is incorporation by reference? Incorporation by reference was 
established by statute and allows Federal agencies to meet the 
requirement to publish regulations in the Federal Register by referring 
to materials already published elsewhere. For an incorporation to be 
valid, the Director of the Federal Register must approve it. The legal 
effect of incorporation by reference is that the material is treated as 
if it were published in full in the Federal Register (5 U.S.C. 552(a)). 
This material, like any other properly issued regulation, has the force 
of law.
    What is a proper incorporation by reference? The Director of the 
Federal Register will approve an incorporation by reference only when 
the requirements of 1 CFR part 51 are met. Some of the elements on which 
approval is based are:
    (a) The incorporation will substantially reduce the volume of 
material published in the Federal Register.
    (b) The matter incorporated is in fact available to the extent 
necessary to afford fairness and uniformity in the administrative 
process.
    (c) The incorporating document is drafted and submitted for 
publication in accordance with 1 CFR part 51.
    Properly approved incorporations by reference in this volume are 
listed in the Finding Aids at the end of this volume.
    What if the material incorporated by reference cannot be found? If 
you have any problem locating or obtaining a copy of material listed in 
the Finding Aids of this volume as an approved incorporation by 
reference, please contact the agency that issued the regulation 
containing that incorporation. If, after contacting the agency, you find 
the material is not available, please notify the Director of the Federal 
Register, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington DC 
20408, or call 202-741-6010.

CFR INDEXES AND TABULAR GUIDES

    A subject index to the Code of Federal Regulations is contained in a 
separate volume, revised annually as of January 1, entitled CFR Index 
and Finding Aids. This volume contains the Parallel Table of Statutory 
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also included in this volume.
    An index to the text of ``Title 3--The President'' is carried within 
that volume.
    The Federal Register Index is issued monthly in cumulative form. 
This index is based on a consolidation of the ``Contents'' entries in 
the daily Federal Register.
    A List of CFR Sections Affected (LSA) is published monthly, keyed to 
the revision dates of the 50 CFR titles.

[[Page vii]]


REPUBLICATION OF MATERIAL

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                              Raymond A. Mosley,
                                    Director,
                          Office of the Federal Register.

July 1, 2006.

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                               THIS TITLE

    Title 39--Postal Service is composed of one volume. The contents of 
this volume represent all current regulations codified under this title 
of the CFR as of July 1, 2006.

    For Chapter I--United States Postal Service, the ``Domestic Mail 
Manual'', the ``Postal Service Publication 42, International Mail'' and 
the ``Postal Contracting Manual, U.S. Postal Service Publication 41'' 
are incorporated by reference. For Federal Register documentation, see 
the Material Approved for Incorporation by Reference in the Finding Aids 
section of this volume.

    For this volume, Carol A. Conroy was Chief Editor. The Code of 
Federal Regulations publication program is under the direction of 
Frances D. McDonald, assisted by Alomha S. Morris.

[[Page 1]]



                        TITLE 39--POSTAL SERVICE




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                                                                    Part

chapter i--United States Postal Service.....................           1

chapter iii--Postal Rate Commission.........................        3000

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                 CHAPTER I--UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE




  --------------------------------------------------------------------

     SUBCHAPTER A--THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE
                    BYLAWS OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS
Part                                                                Page
1               Postal policy [Article I]...................           9
2               General and technical provisions [Article 
                    II].....................................           9
3               Board of Governors [Article III]............          10
4               Officers [Article IV].......................          14
5               Committees [Article V]......................          15
6               Meetings [Article VI].......................          16
7               Public observation [Article VII]............          17
8               [Reserved]
9               Policy on communications with Governors of 
                    the Postal Service during pendency of 
                    rate and classification proceedings 
                    [Appendix]..............................          21
10              Rules of conduct for Postal Service 
                    Governors [Appendix]....................          22
11              Advisory boards [Article XI]................          23
                    SUBCHAPTER B--INTERNATIONAL MAIL
20              International Postal Service................          24
           SUBCHAPTER C--POST OFFICE SERVICES [DOMESTIC MAIL]
                  GENERAL INFORMATION ON POSTAL SERVICE
111             General information on Postal Service.......          26
              SUBCHAPTER D--ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION
211             Application of regulations..................          29
221             General organization........................          30
222             Delegations of authority....................          33
223             Relationships and communication channels....          34
                     INSPECTION SERVICE REQUIREMENTS
230             Office of Inspector General.................          35
231             Protection of post offices..................          41
232             Conduct on postal property..................          42

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233             Inspection Service authority................          46
235             Defense Department liaison..................          69
               POST OFFICE ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION
241             Establishment classification, and 
                    discontinuance..........................          70
242             Change of site..............................          79
243             Conduct of offices..........................          79
                      GENERAL POSTAL ADMINISTRATION
254             Postal Service Standards for facility 
                    accessibility pursuant to the 
                    Architectural Barriers Act..............          80
255             Access of persons with disabilities to 
                    postal service programs, activities, 
                    facilities, and electronic and 
                    information technology..................          82
259             Services performed for other agencies.......          86
                         RECORDS AND INFORMATION
261             Records and information management..........          88
262             Records and information management 
                    definitions.............................          89
263             Records retention and disposition...........          92
264             Vital records...............................          92
265             Release of information......................          93
266             Privacy of information......................         120
267             Protection of information...................         131
268             Privacy of information--employee rules of 
                    conduct.................................         134
273             Administration of Program Fraud Civil 
                    Remedies Act............................         135
                DAMAGE TO OR DESTRUCTION OF FIRM MAILINGS
281             Firm mailings damaged or destroyed through 
                    transportation accidents or catastrophes         140
        SUBCHAPTER E--RESTRICTIONS ON PRIVATE CARRIAGE OF LETTERS
310             Enforcement of the private express statutes.         141
320             Suspension of the private express statutes..         145
                         SUBCHAPTER F--PERSONNEL
447             Rules of conduct for postal employees.......         153
491             Garnishment of salaries of employees of the 
                    Postal Service and the Postal Rate 
                    Commission..............................         157
                     SUBCHAPTER G--POSTAGE PROGRAMS
501             Authorization to Manufacture and Distribute 
                    Postage Meters..........................         161

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551             Semipostal stamp program....................         181
     SUBCHAPTER H--PROCUREMENT SYSTEM FOR THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE: 
             INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS OTHER THAN PATENTS
601             Purchasing of property and services.........         186
602             Intellectual property rights other than 
                    patents.................................         195
                         SUBCHAPTER I [RESERVED]
SUBCHAPTER J--POSTAL SERVICE DEBT OBLIGATIONS; DISBURSEMENT POSTAL MONEY 
                                 ORDERS
760             Applicability of Treasury Department 
                    regulations.............................         197
761             Book-entry procedures.......................         197
762             Disbursement postal money orders............         200
                 SUBCHAPTER K--ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS
775             National Environmental Policy Act procedures         205
776             Floodplain and wetland procedures...........         215
                    SUBCHAPTER L--SPECIAL REGULATIONS
777             Relocation assistance and real property 
                    acquisition policies....................         220
778             Intergovernmental review of Postal Service 
                    facility actions........................         239
                         SUBCHAPTER M [RESERVED]
                        SUBCHAPTER N--PROCEDURES
         RULES OF PROCEDURE BEFORE THE OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL
912             Procedures to adjudicate claims for personal 
                    injury or property damage arising out of 
                    the operation of the U.S. Postal Service         243
913             Procedures for the issuance of 
                    administrative subpoenas under 39 U.S.C. 
                    3016....................................         246
916             [Reserved]

        RULES OF PROCEDURE BEFORE THE MAIL PROCESSING DEPARTMENT
927             Rules of procedure relating to fines, 
                    deductions, and damages.................         248

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931             Rules of procedure governing the compromise 
                    of obligations..........................         249
         RULES OF PROCEDURE BEFORE THE POSTAL INSPECTION SERVICE
946             Rules of procedure relating to the 
                    disposition of stolen mail matter and 
                    property acquired by the postal 
                    inspection service for use as evidence..         250
             RULES OF PROCEDURE BEFORE THE JUDICIAL OFFICER
951             Procedure governing the eligibility of 
                    persons to practice before the Postal 
                    Service.................................         252
952             Rules of practice in proceedings relative to 
                    false representation and lottery orders.         254
953             Rules of practice in proceedings relative to 
                    mailability.............................         265
954             Rules of practice in proceedings relative to 
                    the denial, suspension, or revocation of 
                    periodicals mail privileges.............         268
955             Rules of practice before the Board of 
                    Contract Appeals........................         273
956             Rules of practice in proceedings relative to 
                    disciplinary action for violation of 
                    restrictions on post-employment activity         284
957             Rules of practice in proceedings relative to 
                    debarment and suspension from 
                    contracting.............................         290
958             Rules of practice in proceedings relative to 
                    the refusal to provide Post Office box 
                    or caller service and the termination of 
                    Post Office box or caller service.......         297
959             Rules of practice in proceedings relative to 
                    the private express statutes............         299
960             Rules relative to implementation of the 
                    Equal Access to Justice Act in Postal 
                    Service proceedings.....................         306
961             Rules of practice in proceedings relative to 
                    employee hearing petitions under section 
                    5 of the Debt Collection Act............         313
962             Rules of practice in proceedings relative to 
                    the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act....         316
963             Rules of practice in proceedings relative to 
                    violations of the pandering 
                    advertisements statute, 39 U.S.C. 3008..         325
964             Rules of practice governing disposition of 
                    mail withheld from delivery pursuant to 
                    39 U.S.C. 3003, 3004....................         328
965             Rules of practice in proceedings relative to 
                    mail disputes...........................         333

[[Page 7]]

966             Rules of practice in proceedings relative to 
                    administrative offsets initiated against 
                    former employees of the Postal Service..         335

[[Page 9]]



     SUBCHAPTER A_THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE





Bylaws of the Board of Governors--Table of Contents






PART 1_POSTAL POLICY (ARTICLE I)--Table of Contents




Sec.
1.1 Establishment of the U.S. Postal Service.
1.2 Delegation of authority.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 101, 202, 205, 401(2), 402, 403, 3621, as 
enacted by Public Law 91-375.

    Source: 59 FR 18447, Apr. 18, 1994, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 1.1  Establishment of the U.S. Postal Service.

    The U.S. Postal Service is established under the provisions of the 
Postal Reorganization Act (the Reorganization Act) of August 12, 1970, 
Public Law 91-375, 84 Stat. 719, as an independent establishment of the 
executive branch of the Government of the United States, under the 
direction of a Board of Governors, with the Postmaster General as its 
chief executive officer. The Board of Governors of the Postal Service 
(the Board) directs the exercise of its powers through management that 
is expected to be honest, efficient, economical, and mindful of the 
competitive business environment in which the Postal Service operates. 
The Board consists of nine Governors appointed by the President, by and 
with the advice and consent of the Senate, to represent the public 
interest generally, together with the Postmaster General and Deputy 
Postmaster General.



Sec. 1.2  Delegation of authority.

    Except for powers, duties, or obligations specifically vested in the 
Governors by law, the Board may delegate its authority to the Postmaster 
General under such terms, conditions, and limitations, including the 
power of redelegation, as it finds desirable. The bylaws of the Board 
are the framework of the system through which the Board monitors the 
exercise of the authority it has delegated, measures progress toward the 
goals it has set, and shapes the policies to guide the future 
development of the Postal Service. Delegations of authority do not 
relieve the Board of full responsibility for carrying out its duties and 
functions, and are revocable by the Governors in their exclusive 
judgment.



PART 2_GENERAL AND TECHNICAL PROVISIONS (ARTICLE II)--Table of Contents




Sec.
2.1 Office of the Board of Governors.
2.2 Agent for receipt of process.
2.3 Offices.
2.4 Seal.
2.5 Authority.
2.6 Severability, amendment, repeal, and waiver of bylaws.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 202, 203, 205(c), 207, 401(2), as enacted by 
Pub. L. 91-375, and 5 U.S.C. 552b(f), (g), as enacted by Pub. L. 94-409.

    Source: 59 FR 18447, Apr. 18, 1994, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 2.1  Office of the Board of Governors.

    There shall be located in Washington, DC an Office of the Board of 
Governors of the United States Postal Service. It shall be the function 
of this Office to provide staff support for the Board, as directed by 
the Chairman of the Board, to enable the Board to carry out effectively 
its duties under the Reorganization Act.



Sec. 2.2  Agent for receipt of process.

    The General Counsel of the Postal Service shall act as agent for the 
receipt of legal process against the Postal Service, and as agent for 
the receipt of legal process against the Board of Governors or a member 
of the Board, in his or her official capacity, and all other officers 
and employees of the Postal Service to the extent that the process 
arises out of the official functions of those officers and employees. 
The General Counsel shall also issue public certifications concerning 
closed meetings of the Board as appropriate under 5 U.S.C. 552b(f).

[[Page 10]]



Sec. 2.3  Offices.

    The principal office of the Postal Service is located in Washington, 
DC, with such regional and other offices and places of business as the 
Postmaster General establishes from time to time, or the business of the 
Postal Service requires.



Sec. 2.4  Seal.

    (a) The Seal of the Postal Service is filed by the Board in the 
Office of the Secretary of State, and is required by 39 U.S.C. 207 to be 
judicially noticed. The Seal shall be in the custody of the General 
Counsel, who shall affix it to all commissions of officers of the Postal 
Service, and use it to authenticate records of the Postal Service and 
for other official purposes. The following describes the Seal adopted 
for the Postal Service:
    (1) A stylized bald eagle is poised for flight, facing to the 
viewer's right, above two horizontal bars between which are the words 
``U.S. MAIL'', surrounded by a square border with rounded corners 
consisting of the words ``UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE'' on the left, 
top, and right, and consisting of nine five-pointed stars on the base.
    (2) The color representation of the Seal shows, a white field on 
which the bald eagle appears in dark blue, the words ``U.S. MAIL'' in 
black, the bar above the words in red, the bar below in blue, and the 
entire border consisting of the words ``UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE'' 
and stars in ochre.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR18AP94.000

    (b) The location and description of the Postal Service emblem is 
described at 39 CFR 221.9.



Sec. 2.5  Authority.

    These bylaws are adopted by the Board under the authority conferred 
upon the Postal Service by 39 U.S.C. 401(2) and 5 U.S.C. 552b(g).



Sec. 2.6  Severability, amendment, repeal, and waiver of bylaws.

    The invalidity of any provision of these bylaws does not affect the 
validity of the remaining provisions, and for this purpose these bylaws 
are severable. The Board may amend or repeal these bylaws at any special 
or regular meeting, provided that each member of the Board has received 
a written notice containing a statement of the proposed amendment or 
repeal at least 5 days before the meeting. The members of the Board may 
waive the 5 days' notice or the operation of any other provision of 
these bylaws by unanimous consent, if that action is not prohibited by 
law. The Secretary shall submit the text of any amendment to these 
bylaws for publication in the Federal Register as soon as practicable 
after the amendment is adopted by the Board.



PART 3_BOARD OF GOVERNORS (ARTICLE III)--Table of Contents




Sec.
3.1 Responsibilities of Board.
3.2 Compensation of Board.

[[Page 11]]

3.3 Matters reserved for decision by the Board.
3.4 Matters reserved for decision by the Governors.
3.5 Delegation of authority by Board.
3.6 Information furnished to Board--financial and operating reports.
3.7 Information furnished to Board--program review.
3.8 Information furnished to Board--special reports.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 202, 203, 205, 401 (2), (10), 402, 414, 416, 
1003, 2802-2804, 3013; 5 U.S.C. 552b (g), (j); Inspector General Act, 5 
U.S.C. app.; Pub. L. 107-67, 115 Stat. 514 (2001).

    Source: 59 FR 18448, Apr. 18, 1994, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 3.1  Responsibilities of Board.

    The composition of the Board is described in 39 U.S.C. 202. The 
Board directs the exercise of the powers of the Postal Service, reviews 
the practices and policies of the Postal Service, and directs and 
controls the expenditures of the Postal Service. Consistent with the 
broad delegation of authority to the Postmaster General in Sec. 3.5 of 
these bylaws, and except for those powers, duties, or obligations which 
the Reorganization Act specifically vests in the Governors, as 
distinguished from the Board of Governors, the Board accomplishes its 
purposes by monitoring the operations and performance of the Postal 
Service, and by establishing basic objectives, broad policies, and long-
range goals for the Postal Service.



Sec. 3.2  Compensation of Board.

    Section 202(a) of title 39 provides for the compensation of the 
Governors and for reimbursement for travel and reasonable expenses 
incurred in attending Board meetings. Compensation is provided for not 
more than 42 days of meetings per year.



Sec. 3.3  Matters reserved for decision by the Board.

    The following matters are reserved for decision by the Board of 
Governors:
    (a) [Reserved]
    (b) Adoption of, and amendments to, the bylaws of the Board.
    (c) (1) Approval of the annual Postal Service budget program in both 
tentative and final form, including requests for appropriations;
    (2) Approval of the annual Postal Service operating budget.
    (d) Approval of the annual financial statements of the Postal 
Service following receipt of the annual report of the Postal Service's 
independent, certified public accounting firm.
    (e) Approval of the Postal Service Five-Year Capital Investment 
Plans, including specific approval of each capital investment project, 
each new lease/rental agreement, and each research and development 
project exceeding such amount specified by resolution at the annual 
Board meeting in January. In the case of any project or agreement 
subject to the requirement of Board approval under this provision, the 
expenditure of any funds in excess of the amount previously authorized 
by the Board must be specifically approved by the Board. For the purpose 
of determining the cost of a capital investment project, lease/rental 
agreement, or research and development project,
    (1) All such projects and agreements undertaken as part of a unitary 
plan (either for contemporaneous or sequential development in one of 
several locations) shall be considered one project or agreement, and
    (2) The cost of a lease/rental agreement shall be the present value 
of all lease payments over the term of the lease, including all periods 
covered by renewal options or all periods for which failure to renew 
imposes a penalty or a hardship such that renewal appears to be 
reasonably assured, plus the cost of any leasehold improvements planned 
in connection with the lease/rental agreement. The present value will be 
determined using the cost of capital of the Postal Service.
    (3) The cost of a developmental real estate project shall be the sum 
of:
    (i) The as-is value of the postal assets contributed to the project;
    (ii) Cash contributed by the Postal Service; and
    (iii) Debt that impacts the Postal Service's investment.
    (f) Authorization of the Postal Service to request the Postal Rate 
Commission to submit a recommended decision on changes in postal rates.

[[Page 12]]

    (g) Authorization of the Postal Service to request the Postal Rate 
Commission to submit a recommended decision on changes in the mail 
classification schedule.
    (h) Determination of an effective date for changes in postal rates 
or mail classification.
    (i) Authorization of the Postal Service to request the Postal Rate 
Commission to submit an advisory opinion on a proposed change in the 
nature of postal services which will generally affect service on a 
nationwide or substantially nationwide basis.
    (j) Approval of any use of the authority of the Postal Service to 
borrow money under 39 U.S.C. 2005, except for short-term borrowings, 
having maturities of one year or less, assumed in the normal course of 
business.
    (k) Approval of the terms and conditions of each series of 
obligations issued by the Postal Service under 39 U.S.C. 2005, including 
the time and manner of sale and the underwriting arrangements, except 
for short-term borrowings, having maturities of one year or less, 
assumed in the normal course of business.
    (l) Approval of any use of the authority of the Postal Service to 
require the Secretary of the Treasury to purchase Postal Service 
obligations under 39 U.S.C. 2006(b), or to request the Secretary of the 
Treasury to pledge the full faith and credit of the Government of the 
United States for the payment of principal and interest on Postal 
Service obligations under 39 U.S.C. 2006(c).
    (m) Determination of the number of officers, described in 39 U.S.C. 
204 as Assistant Postmasters General, whether so denominated or not, as 
the Board authorizes by resolution.
    (n) Compensation of officers of the Postal Service whose positions 
are included in Level II of the Postal Career Executive Service.
    (o) [Reserved]
    (p) Approval of official statements adopting major policy positions 
or departing from established major policy positions, and of official 
positions on legislative proposals having a major impact on the Postal 
Service.
    (q) Approval of all major policy positions taken with the Department 
of Justice on petitioning the Supreme Court of the United States for 
writs of certiorari.
    (r) Approval and transmittal to the President and the Congress of 
the annual report of the Postmaster General under 39 U.S.C. 2402.
    (s) Approval and transmittal to the Congress of the annual report of 
the Board under 5 U.S.C. 552b(j).
    (t) Approval of the annual comprehensive statement of the Postal 
Service to Congress under 39 U.S.C. 2401(g).
    (u) Approval and transmittal to the Congress of the semi-annual 
report of the Postmaster General under 39 U.S.C. 3013, summarizing the 
investigative activities of the Postal Service.
    (v) Approval and transmittal to the President and the Congress of 
the Postal Service's strategic plan pursuant to the Government 
Performance and Results Act of 1993, 39 U.S.C. 2802; approval of the 
Postal Service annual performance plan under 39 U.S.C. 2803 and the 
Postal Service program performance report under 39 U.S.C. 2804, which 
are included in the comprehensive statement under 39 U.S.C. 2401.
    (w) All other matters that the Board may consider appropriate to 
reserve for its decision.

[59 FR 18448, Apr. 18, 1994, as amended at 62 FR 41853, Aug. 4, 1997; 62 
FR 43642, Aug. 15, 1997; 69 FR 42340, July 15, 2004; 69 FR 58057, Sept. 
29, 2004]



Sec. 3.4  Matters reserved for decision by the Governors.

    The following matters are reserved for decision by the Governors:
    (a) Appointment, pay, term of service, and removal of the Postmaster 
General, 39 U.S.C. 202(c).
    (b) Appointment, term of service, and removal of the Deputy 
Postmaster General (by the Governors and the Postmaster General, 39 
U.S.C. 202(d)); pay of the Deputy Postmaster General, 39 U.S.C. 202(d).
    (c) Election of the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board of 
Governors, 39 U.S.C. 202(a).
    (d) Approval of the budget of the Postal Rate Commission, or 
adjustment of the total amount of the budget (by unanimous written vote 
of the Governors in office, 39 U.S.C. 3604(d)).

[[Page 13]]

    (e) Action upon a recommended decision of the Postal Rate 
Commission, including action to approve, allow under protest, reject, or 
modify that decision, 39 U.S.C. 3625.
    (f) Concurrence of the Governors with the Postmaster General in the 
removal or transfer of the Chief Postal Inspector under 5 U.S.C. App. 
8E(f).
    (g) The Governors shall meet annually in closed session to discuss 
compensation, term of service, and appointment/removal of the Secretary 
and other necessary staff.
    (h) Transmittal to the Congress of the semi-annual report of the 
Inspector General under section 5 of the Inspector General Act.
    (i) Establishment of the price of the breast cancer research 
semipostal stamp under 39 U.S.C. 414.
    (j) Establishment of the price of semipostal stamps under 39 U.S.C. 
416.
    (k) Selection of an independent, certified public accounting firm to 
certify the accuracy of Postal Service financial statements as required 
by 39 U.S.C. 2008(e).

[59 FR 18448, Apr. 18, 1994, as amended at 62 FR 41853, Aug. 4, 1997; 63 
FR 28485, May 26, 1998; 67 FR 2135, Jan. 16, 2002; 69 FR 42340, July 15, 
2004; 69 FR 58057, Sept. 29, 2004]



Sec. 3.5  Delegation of authority by Board.

    As authorized by 39 U.S.C. 402, these bylaws delegate to the 
Postmaster General the authority to exercise the powers of the Postal 
Service to the extent that this delegation of authority does not 
conflict with powers reserved to the Governors or to the Board by law, 
these bylaws, or resolutions adopted by the Board. Any of the powers 
delegated to the Postmaster General by these bylaws may be redelegated 
by the Postmaster General to any officer, employee, or agency of the 
Postal Service.



Sec. 3.6  Information furnished to Board--financial and operating 
reports.

    To enable the Board to monitor the performance of the Postal Service 
during the most recent accounting periods for which data are available, 
postal management shall furnish the Board (on a monthly basis) financial 
and operating statements for the fiscal year to date, addressing the 
following categories: (a) Mail volume by class; (b) income and expense 
by principal categories; (c) balance sheet information; (d) service 
quality measurements; (e) productivity measurements (reflecting workload 
and resource utilization); and (f) changes in postal costs. These 
statements shall include, where applicable, comparable figures for the 
previous year and the current year's plan.



Sec. 3.7  Information furnished to Board--program review.

    (a) To enable the Board to review the Postal Service operating 
program, postal management shall furnish the Board information on all 
aspects of the Postal Service budget plan, including:
    (1) The tentative and final annual budgets submitted to the Office 
of Management and Budget and the Congress, and amendments to the budget;
    (2) Five-year plans, annual operating and investment plans, and 
significant departures from estimates upon which the plans were based;
    (3) The need for rate increases or decreases and the progress of any 
pending rate cases and related litigation; and
    (4) Debt financing needs, including a review of all borrowings of 
the Postal Service from the U.S. Treasury and private sources.
    (b) To enable the Board to review the effectiveness of the Postal 
Service's equal employment opportunity program, performance data 
relating to this program shall be furnished to the Board at least 
quarterly. This data shall be categorized in such manner as the Board, 
from time to time, specifies.
    (c) Postal management shall also regularly furnish the Board 
information regarding major programs for improving postal service or 
reducing the cost of postal operations.
    (d) Management shall furnish to the Board:
    (1) Information regarding any significant, new program, policy, 
major modification or initiative; any plan to offer a significant, new 
or unique product or system implementation; or any significant, new 
project not related directly to the core business function of the Postal 
Service. This information shall be provided to the Board in advance of 
entering into any agreement in furtherance of such project. For the 
purposes of this paragraph, ``significant''

[[Page 14]]

means a project anticipated to have a notable or conspicuous impact on 
(i) corporate visibility or (ii) the operating budget (including 
increases in expense amounts) or the capital investment budget. The 
notification requirement of this paragraph governs applicable projects 
regardless of the level of expenditure involved.
    (2) Information regarding any project, in advance of entering into 
any agreement in furtherance of such project, where the potential 
liability due to termination, breach, or other reason would equal or 
exceed the amount specified by resolution for approval of capital 
investment projects pursuant to section 3.3(e) hereof.

[59 FR 18448, Apr. 18, 1994, as amended 62 FR 18519, Apr. 16, 1997]



Sec. 3.8  Information furnished to Board--special reports.

    To insure that the Board receives significant information of 
developments meriting its attention, postal management shall bring to 
the Board's attention the following matters:
    (a) Major developments in personnel areas, including but not limited 
to equal employment opportunity, career development and training, and 
grade and salary structures.
    (b) Major litigation activities. Postal management shall also notify 
the Board in a timely manner whenever it proposes to seek review by any 
United States Court of Appeals of an adverse judicial decision.
    (c) Any significant changes proposed in the Postal Service's system 
of accounts or methods of accounting.
    (d) Matters of special importance, including but not limited to 
important research and development initiatives, major changes in Postal 
Service organization or structure, major law enforcement activities, and 
other matters having a significant impact upon the relationship of the 
Postal Service with its employees, with any major branch of Government, 
or with the general public.
    (e) Information concerning any proposed grant of unique or exclusive 
licenses to use Postal Service intellectual properties (other than 
patents and technical data rights), or any proposed joint venture 
involving the use of such property.
    (f) Other matters having important policy implications.



PART 4_OFFICERS (ARTICLE IV)--Table of Contents




Sec.
4.1 Chairman.
4.2 Vice Chairman.
4.3 Postmaster General.
4.4 Deputy Postmaster General.
4.5 Assistant Postmasters General, General Counsel, Judicial Officer, 
          Chief Postal Inspector.
4.6 Secretary of the Board.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 202-205, 401(2), (10), 402, 1003, 3013.

    Source: 59 FR 18450, Apr. 18, 1994, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 4.1  Chairman.

    (a) The Chairman of the Board of Governors is elected by the 
Governors from among the members of the Board. The Chairman:
    (1) Shall preside at all regular and special meetings of the Board, 
and shall set the agenda for such meetings;
    (2) Shall select and appoint the Chairman and members of any 
committee properly established by the Board;
    (3) Serves a term that commences upon election and expires at the 
end of the first annual meeting following the meeting at which he or she 
was elected.
    (b) If the Postmaster General is elected Chairman of the Board, the 
Governors shall also elect one of their number to preside during 
proceedings dealing with matters upon which only the Governors may vote.



Sec. 4.2  Vice Chairman.

    The Vice Chairman is elected by the Governors from among the members 
of the Board and shall perform the duties and exercise the powers of the 
Chairman during the Chairman's absence or disability. The Vice Chairman 
serves a term that commences upon election and expires at the end of the 
first annual meeting following the meeting at which he or she was 
elected.

[59 FR 18450, Apr. 18, 1994, as amended at 69 FR 58058, Sept. 29, 2004]

[[Page 15]]



Sec. 4.3  Postmaster General.

    The appointment and role of the Postmaster General are described at 
39 U.S.C. 202(c), 203. The Governors set the salary of the Postmaster 
General by resolution, subject to the limitations of 39 U.S.C. 1003(a).



Sec. 4.4  Deputy Postmaster General.

    The appointment and role of the Deputy Postmaster General are 
described at 39 U.S.C. 202(d), 203. The Deputy Postmaster General shall 
act as Postmaster General during the Postmaster General's absence or 
disability, and when a vacancy exists in the office of Postmaster 
General. The Governors set the salary of the Deputy Postmaster General 
by resolution, subject to the limitations of 39 U.S.C. 1003(a).



Sec. 4.5  Assistant Postmasters General, General Counsel, Judicial 
Officer, Chief Postal Inspector.

    There are within the Postal Service a General Counsel, a Judicial 
Officer, a Chief Postal Inspector, and such number of officers, 
described in 39 U.S.C. 204 as Assistant Postmasters General, whether so 
denominated or not, as the Board authorizes by resolution. These 
officers are appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the Postmaster 
General. The Chief Postal Inspector shall report to, and be under the 
general supervision of, the Postmaster General. The Postmaster General 
shall promptly notify the Governors and both Houses of Congress in 
writing if he or she removes the Chief Postal Inspector or transfers the 
Chief Postal Inspector to another position or location within the Postal 
Service, and shall include in any such notification the reasons for such 
removal or transfer.

[62 FR 61914, Nov. 20, 1997]



Sec. 4.6  Secretary of the Board.

    The Secretary of the Board of Governors is appointed by the 
Governors and serves at the pleasure of the Governors. The Secretary 
shall be responsible for carrying out the functions of the Office of the 
Board of Governors, under the direction of the Chairman of the Board. 
The Secretary shall also issue notices of meetings of the Board and its 
committees, keep minutes of these meetings, and take steps necessary for 
compliance with all statutes and regulations dealing with public 
observation of meetings. The Secretary shall perform all those duties 
incident to this office, including those duties assigned by the Board or 
by the Chairman of the Board. The Chairman may designate such assistant 
secretaries as may be necessary to perform any of the duties of the 
Secretary.

[59 FR 18450, Apr. 18, 1994. Redesignated at 62 FR 61914, Nov. 20, 1997]



PART 5_COMMITTEES (ARTICLE V)--Table of Contents




Sec.
5.1 Establishment and appointment.
5.2 Committee procedure.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 202, 203, 204, 205, 401(2), (10), 1003, 3013.

    Source: 59 FR 18450, Apr. 18, 1994, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 5.1  Establishment and appointment.

    From time to time the Board may establish by resolution special and 
standing committees of one or more members of the Board. The Board shall 
specify, in the resolution establishing any committee, whether the 
committee is authorized to submit recommendations or preliminary 
decisions to the Board, to conduct hearings for the Board, or otherwise 
to take action on behalf of the Board. Each committee may exercise only 
those duties, functions, and powers prescribed from time to time by the 
Board, and the Board may affirm, alter, or revoke any action of any 
committee. Each member of the Board may have access to all of the 
information and records of any committee at any time. The Chairman of 
the Board shall appoint the chairman and members of each committee, who 
serve terms which expire at the end of each annual meeting. Each 
committee chairman may assign responsibilities to members of the 
committee that are considered appropriate. The committee chairman, or 
the chairman's designee, shall preside at all meetings of the committee.



Sec. 5.2  Committee procedure.

    Each committee establishes its own rules of procedure, consistent 
with

[[Page 16]]

these bylaws, and meets as provided in its rules. A majority of the 
members of a committee constitute a quorum.

[61 FR 36499, July 11, 1996]



PART 6_MEETINGS (ARTICLE VI)--Table of Contents




Sec.
6.1 Regular meetings, annual meeting.
6.2 Special meetings.
6.3 Notice of meetings.
6.4 Attendance by conference telephone call.
6.5 Minutes of meetings.
6.6 Quorum and voting.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 202, 205, 401(2), (10), 1003, 3013; 5 U.S.C 
552b (e), (g).

    Source: 59 FR 18451, Apr. 18, 1994, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 6.1  Regular meetings, annual meeting.

    The Board shall meet regularly on a schedule established annually by 
the Board. The first regular meeting of each calendar year is designated 
as the annual meeting. Consistent with the provisions of Sec. 7.5 of 
these bylaws, the time or place of a regular or annual meeting may be 
varied by recorded vote, with the earliest practicable notice to the 
Secretary. The Secretary shall distribute to the members an agenda 
setting forth the proposed subject matter for any regular or annual 
meeting in advance of the meeting.

[68 FR 28773, May 27, 2003, as amended at 69 FR 58058, Sept. 29, 2004]



Sec. 6.2  Special meetings.

    Consistent with the provisions of Sec. 7.5 of these bylaws, the 
Chairman may call a special meeting of the Board at any place in the 
United States, with not less than 8 days' notice to the other members of 
the Board and to the Secretary, specifying the time, date, place, and 
subject matter of the meeting. By recorded vote a majority of the 
members of the Board may call a special meeting of the Board at any 
place in the United States, with the earliest practicable notice to the 
other members of the Board and to the Secretary, specifying the time, 
date, place and subject matter of the meeting.



Sec. 6.3  Notice of meetings.

    The Chairman or the members of the Board may give the notice 
required under Sec. 6.1 or Sec.  6.2 of these bylaws in oral or written 
form. Oral notice to a member may be delivered by telephone and is 
sufficient if made to the member personally or to a responsible person 
in the member's home or office. Any oral notice to a member must be 
subsequently confirmed by written notice. Written notice to a member may 
be delivered by telegram or by mail sent by the fastest regular delivery 
method addressed to the member's address of record filed with the 
Secretary, and except for written notice confirming a previous oral 
notice, must be sent in sufficient time to reach that address at least 2 
days before the meeting date under normal delivery conditions. A member 
waives notice of any meeting by attending the meeting, and may otherwise 
waive notice of any meeting at any time. Neither oral nor written notice 
to the Secretary is sufficient until actually received by the Secretary. 
The Secretary may not waive notice of any meeting.



Sec. 6.4  Attendance by conference telephone call.

    Unless prohibited by law or by these bylaws, a member of the Board 
may participate in a meeting of the Board by conference telephone or 
similar communications equipment which enables all persons participating 
in the meeting to hear each other and which permits full compliance with 
the provisions of these bylaws concerning public observation of 
meetings. Attendance at a meeting by this method constitutes presence at 
the meeting; and no Governor attending by telephone may receive 
compensation, except for a special meeting by conference telephone that 
is more than one hour in duration, or a special committee meeting 
between Board meetings called under Sec. 6.2 of these bylaws.

[63 FR 57912, Oct. 29, 1998]



Sec. 6.5  Minutes of meetings.

    The Secretary shall preserve the minutes of Board meetings prepared 
under Sec. 4.7 of these bylaws. After the minutes of any meeting are 
approved

[[Page 17]]

by the Board, the Secretary shall promptly make available to the public, 
in the Communications Department at Postal Service Headquarters, or in 
another place easily accessible to the public, copies of the minutes, 
except for those portions which contain information inappropriate for 
public disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552(b) or 39 U.S.C. 410(c).



Sec. 6.6  Quorum and voting.

    As provided by 39 U.S.C. 205(c), the Board acts by resolution upon a 
majority vote of those members who are present. No proxies are allowed 
in any vote of the members of the Board. Any 6 members constitute a 
quorum for the transaction of business by the Board, except:
    (a) In the appointment or removal of the Postmaster General, and in 
setting the compensation of the Postmaster General and Deputy Postmaster 
General, 39 U.S.C. 205(c)(1) requires a favorable vote of an absolute 
majority of the Governors in office;
    (b) In the appointment or removal of the Deputy Postmaster General, 
39 U.S.C. 205(c)(2) requires a favorable vote of an absolute majority of 
the Governors in office and the Postmaster General;
    (c) In the appointment, removal, or in the setting of the 
compensation of the Secretary, Assistant Secretary, or other necessary 
staff, a favorable vote of an absolute majority of the Governors in 
office is required;
    (d) In the adjustment of the total budget of the Postal Rate 
Commission, 39 U.S.C. 3604(c) requires a unanimous written vote of the 
Governors in office;
    (e) In the modification of a recommended decision of the Postal Rate 
Commission, 39 U.S.C. 3625 requires a unanimous written vote of the 
Governors in office; and
    (f) In the approval, allowance under protest, or rejection of a 
recommended decision of the Postal Rate Commission, the Governors act 
upon a majority vote of the Governors present, and the required quorum 
of 6 members must include at least 4 Governors;
    (g) In the determination to close a portion of a meeting or to 
withhold information concerning a meeting, 5 U.S.C. 552b(d)(1) requires 
a vote of a majority of the entire membership of the Board; and
    (h) In the decision to call a meeting with less than a week's 
notice, 5 U.S.C. 552b(e)(1) requires a vote of a majority of the members 
of the Board. In the decision to change the subject matter of a meeting, 
or the determination to open or close a meeting, 5 U.S.C. 552b(e)(2) 
requires a vote of a majority of the entire membership of the Board.

[59 FR 18451, Apr. 18, 1994, as amended at 69 FR 58058, Sept. 29, 2004]



PART 7_PUBLIC OBSERVATION (ARTICLE VII)--Table of Contents




Sec.
7.1 Definitions.
7.2 Open meetings.
7.3 Exceptions.
7.4 Procedure for closing a meeting.
7.5 Public notice of meetings, subsequent changes.
7.6 Certification and transcripts of closed meetings.
7.7 Enforcement.
7.8 Open meetings, Freedom of Information, and Privacy of Information.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 401(a), as enacted by Pub. L. 91-375, and 5 
U.S.C. 552b(a)-(m) as enacted by Pub. L. 94-409.

    Source: 59 FR 18451, Apr. 18, 1994, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 7.1  Definitions.

    For purposes of Sec. Sec. 7.2 through 7.8 of these bylaws:
    (a) The term Board means the Board of Governors, and any subdivision 
or committee of the Board authorized to take action on behalf of the 
Board.
    (b) The term meeting means the deliberations of at least the number 
of individual members required to take action on behalf of the Board 
under Sec. 5.2 or Sec.  6.5 of these bylaws, where such deliberations 
determine or result in the joint conduct or disposition of the official 
business of the Board. The term ``meeting'' does not include any 
procedural deliberations required or permitted by Sec. Sec. 6.1, 6.2, 
7.4, or Sec. 7.5 of these bylaws.

[59 FR 18451, Apr. 18, 1994, as amended at 61 FR 36499, July 11, 1996]

[[Page 18]]



Sec. 7.2  Open meetings.

    (a) It is the policy of the United States, established in section 2 
of the Government in the Sunshine Act, Public Law 94-409, 90 Stat. 1241, 
that the public is entitled to the fullest practicable information 
regarding the decisionmaking processes of the Federal Government. The 
Postal Service is charged to provide the public with this information 
while protecting the rights of individuals and the ability of the 
Government to carry out its responsibilities. Accordingly, except as 
specifically permitted by statute, every portion of every meeting of the 
Board of Governors is open to public observation.
    (b) Except as provided in Sec. 7.3 of these bylaws, every portion 
of every meeting of the Board is open to public observation. Members of 
the Board may not jointly conduct or dispose of business of the Board 
without complying with Sec. Sec. 7.2 through 7.8 of these bylaws. 
Members of the public may obtain access to documents considered at 
meetings to the extent provided in the regulations of the Postal Service 
concerning the release of information.
    (c) Without the permission of a majority of the Board, no person may 
participate in, film, televise, or broadcast any portion of any meeting 
of the Board. Any person may electronically record or photograph a 
meeting, as long as that action does not tend to impede or disturb the 
members of the Board in the performance of their duties, or members of 
the public while attempting to attend or observe a meeting of the Board. 
The rules and penalties of 39 CFR 232.6, concerning conduct on postal 
property, apply with regard to meetings of the Board.



Sec. 7.3  Exceptions.

    Section 7.2 of these bylaws does not apply to a portion of a 
meeting, and Sec. Sec. 7.4 and 7.5 do not apply to information 
concerning the meeting which otherwise would be required to be disclosed 
to the public, if the Board properly determines that the public interest 
does not require otherwise, and that such portion of the meeting or the 
disclosure of such information is likely to:
    (a) Disclose matters that are (1) specifically authorized under 
criteria established by an Executive order to be kept secret in the 
interests of national defense or foreign policy, and (2) in fact 
properly classified under that Executive order;
    (b) Relate solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of 
the Postal Service, including the Postal Service position in 
negotiations or consultations with employee organizations.
    (c) Disclose matters specifically exempted from disclosure by 
statute (other than the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552), 
provided that the statute (1) requires that the matters be withheld from 
the public in such a manner as to leave no discretion on the issue, or 
(2) establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers to 
particular types of matters to be withheld;
    (d) Disclose trade secrets and commercial or financial information 
obtained from a person and privileged or confidential, such as market 
information pertinent to Postal Service borrowing or investments, 
technical or patent information related to postal mechanization, or 
commercial information related to purchases of real estate;
    (e) Involve accusing any person of a crime, or formally censuring 
any person;
    (f) Disclose information of a personal nature, such as personal or 
medical data regarding any individual if disclosure would constitute a 
clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
    (g) Disclose investigatory records compiled for law enforcement 
purposes, or information which if written would be contained in those 
records, but only to the extent that the production of those records or 
information would (1) interfere with enforcement proceedings, (2) 
deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial 
adjudication, (3) constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal 
privacy, (4) disclose the identity of a confidential source and, in the 
case of a record compiled by a criminal law enforcement authority in the 
course of a criminal investigation, or by an agency conducting a lawful 
national security intelligence investigation, confidential information

[[Page 19]]

furnished only by the confidential source, (5) disclose investigative 
techniques and procedures, or (6) endanger the life or physical safety 
of law enforcement personnel;
    (h) Disclose information contained in or related to examination, 
operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the 
use of an agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of 
financial institutions;
    (i) Disclose information the premature disclosure of which would be 
likely significantly to frustrate implementation of a proposed action of 
the Board, such as information relating to the negotiation of a labor 
contract or proposed Postal Service procurement activity, except that 
this provision does not apply in any instance where (1) the Postal 
Service has already disclosed to the public the content or nature of the 
proposed action, or (2) the Postal Service is required by law to make 
such disclosure on its own initiative before taking final action on the 
proposal; or
    (j) Specifically concern the issuance of a subpoena by the Postal 
Service, or the participation of the Postal Service in a civil action or 
proceeding, such as a postal rate or classification proceeding, an 
action in a foreign court or international tribunal, or an arbitration, 
or the initiation, conduct, or disposition by the Postal Service of a 
particular case of formal adjudication under the procedures of 5 U.S.C. 
554 or otherwise involving a determination on the record after 
opportunity for a hearing.



Sec. 7.4  Procedure for closing a meeting.

    (a) A majority of the entire membership of the Board may vote to 
close a portion of a meeting or to withhold information concerning a 
meeting under the provisions of Sec. 7.3 of these bylaws. The members 
shall take a separate vote with respect to each meeting a portion of 
which is proposed to be closed to the public, or with respect to any 
information which is proposed to be withheld, and shall make every 
reasonable effort to take any such vote at least 8 days before the date 
of the meeting involved. The members may take a single vote with respect 
to a series of meetings, portions of which are proposed to be closed to 
the public, or with respect to information concerning the series, so 
long as each portion of a meeting in the series involves the same 
particular matters, and no portion of any meeting is scheduled to be 
held more than 30 days after the initial portion of the first meeting in 
the series.
    (b) Whenever any person whose interest may be directly affected by a 
portion of a meeting requests that the Board close that portion to the 
public for any of the reasons referred to in Sec. 7.3 (e), (f), or (g) 
of these bylaws, upon request of any one of its members the Board shall 
vote by recorded vote whether to close that portion of the meeting.
    (c) The Secretary shall record the vote of each member participating 
in a vote under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section. Within 1 day of 
any vote under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section, the Secretary shall 
make publicly available a written copy of the vote showing the vote of 
each member on the question. If a portion of a meeting is to be closed 
to the public, the Secretary shall, within 1 day of the vote, make 
publicly available a full written explanation of the action closing the 
portion, together with a list of all persons expected to attend the 
meeting and their affiliation.

[59 FR 18451, Apr. 18, 1994, as amended at 62 FR 4459, Jan. 30, 1997]



Sec. 7.5  Public notice of meetings, subsequent changes.

    (a) At least one week before any meeting of the Board, the Secretary 
shall publicly announce the time, date, place, and subject matter of the 
meeting, whether it is to be open or closed to the public, and the name 
and phone number of the official designated by the Board to respond to 
requests for information about the meeting.
    (b) By a recorded vote, a majority of the members of the Board may 
determine that the business of the Board requires a meeting to be called 
with less than a week's notice. At the earliest practicable time, the 
Secretary shall publicly announce the time, date, place, and subject 
matter of the meeting, and whether it is to be open or closed to the 
public.

[[Page 20]]

    (c) Following the public announcement required by paragraphs (a) or 
(b) of this section:
    (1) As provided in Sec. 6.1 of these bylaws, the Board may change 
the time or place of a meeting. At the earliest practicable time, the 
Secretary shall publicly announce the change.
    (2) A majority of the entire membership of the Board may change the 
subject matter of a meeting, or the determination to open or close a 
meeting to the public, if it determines by a recorded vote that the 
change is required by the business of the Board and that no earlier 
announcement of the change was possible. At the earliest practicable 
time, the Secretary shall publicly announce the change, and the vote of 
each member upon the change.
    (d) Immediately following each public announcement required under 
paragraphs (a), (b), or (c) of this section, the Secretary shall submit 
for publication in the Federal Register a notice of the time, date, 
place, and subject matter of the meeting, whether the meeting is open or 
closed, any change in the preceding, and the name and phone number of 
the official designated by the Board to respond to requests for 
information about the meeting. The Secretary shall also submit the 
announcement and information to the Postal Service Public and Employee 
Communications Department for dissemination to the public.



Sec. 7.6  Certification and transcripts of closed meetings.

    (a) At the beginning of every meeting or portion of a meeting closed 
under Sec. 7.3 (a) through (j) of these bylaws, the General Counsel 
shall publicly certify that, in his or her opinion, the meeting or 
portion of the meeting may be closed to the public, stating each 
relevant exemptive provision. The Secretary shall retain this 
certification, together with a statement from the officer presiding at 
the meeting which sets forth the time and place of the meeting, and the 
persons present.
    (b) The Secretary shall arrange for a complete transcript or 
electronic recording adequate to record fully the proceedings to be made 
of each meeting or portion of a meeting of the Board which is closed to 
the public. The Secretary shall maintain a complete verbatim copy of the 
transcript, or a complete electronic recording of each meeting or 
portion of a meeting closed to the public for at least 2 years after the 
meeting, or for 1 year after the conclusion of any Postal Service 
proceeding with respect to which the meeting was held, whichever occurs 
later.
    (c) Except for those items of discussion or testimony which the 
Board, by a majority vote of those members who are present, determines 
to contain information which may be withheld under Sec. 7.3 of these 
bylaws, the Secretary shall promptly make available to the public, in 
the Public and Employee Communications Department at Postal Service 
Headquarters, or in another place easily accessible to the public, the 
transcript or electronic recording of a closed meeting, including the 
testimony of any witnesses received at the meeting. The Secretary shall 
furnish a copy of this transcript, or a transcription of this electronic 
recording disclosing the identity of each speaker, to any person at the 
actual cost of duplication or transcription.



Sec. 7.7  Enforcement.

    (a) Under 5 U.S.C. 552b(g), any person may bring a proceeding in the 
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to set aside 
any provisions of these bylaws which are not in accord with the 
requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552b (a)-(f) and to require the promulgation of 
provisions that are in accord with those requirements.
    (b) Under 5 U.S.C. 552b(h) any person may bring a civil action 
against the Board in an appropriate U.S. District Court to obtain 
judicial review of the alleged failure of the Board to comply with 5 
U.S.C. 552b (a)-(f). The burden is on the Board to sustain its action. 
The court may grant appropriate equitable relief, including enjoining 
future violations, or ordering the Board to make public information 
improperly withheld from the public.
    (c) Under 5 U.S.C. 552b(i) the court may assess against any party 
reasonable attorney fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred 
by any other party who substantially prevails, except that the court may 
assess costs

[[Page 21]]

against the plaintiff only if the court finds that he initiated the suit 
primarily for frivolous or dilatory purposes.



Sec. 7.8  Open meetings, Freedom of Information, and Privacy of 
Information.

    The provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552b(c) (1)-(10), enacted by Public Law 
94-409, the Government in the Sunshine Act, govern in the case of any 
request under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, to copy or 
to inspect the transcripts or electronic recordings described in Sec. 
7.6 of these bylaws. Nothing in 5 U.S.C. 552b authorizes the Board to 
withhold from any individual any record, including the transcripts or 
electronic recordings described in Sec. 7.6 of these bylaws, to which 
the individual may otherwise have access under 5 U.S.C. 552a, enacted by 
the Privacy Act of 1974, Public Law 93-579.

                            PART 8 [RESERVED]



PART 9_POLICY ON COMMUNICATIONS WITH GOVERNORS OF THE POSTAL SERVICE 
DURING PENDENCY OF RATE AND CLASSIFICATION PROCEEDINGS [APPENDIX]
--Table of Contents




Sec.
9.1 General policy.
9.2 Communications with the Governors during the restricted period.
9.3 Public availability of communications.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 202, 203, 205, 401 (2), (10), 3621, 3625.

    Source: 49 FR 2888, Jan. 24, 1984, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 9.1  General policy.

    (a) To represent the public interest generally and to insure that 
the Postal Service meets the needs of the mailing public, the Governors 
must be free to hold uninhibited discussions on broad postal issues with 
mailers and the general public. Nevertheless, the Governors believe that 
certain restrictions on communications with the public are appropriate 
when the Governors act in their capacity as final administrative 
decisionmakers on recommended decisions of the Postal Rate Commission 
concerning postal rates and classifications. These restrictions should 
reflect a balance between, on the one hand, the need to safeguard the 
integrity of the administrative process for setting rates and 
classifications and insure meaningful judicial review of decisions of 
the Governors on these subjects, and on the other hand, the need for 
open access to the Board to permit the members to meet their statutory 
responsibilities. To strike an appropriate balance, the Board has 
adopted the following general guidelines: From the time the Postal Rate 
Commission issues a recommended decision until the Governors have acted 
on the recommended decision, any communication from an interested person 
to the Governors that is relevant to the merits of the proceeding should 
be on the public record and available for public inspection.
    (b) In reviewing recommended decisions of the Commission, the 
Governors act on the record before them. They are under no obligation to 
take communications from the public into account in reaching their 
decision.



Sec. 9.2  Communications with the Governors during the restricted period.

    Once the Commission issues a recommended decision, and until the 
Governors have acted on that recommended decision by approving, 
rejecting, allowing under protest or modifying it, the following 
guidelines apply to communications with the Governors that are relevant 
to the merits of the proceeding.
    (a) Oral communications. During the restricted period, it is the 
policy of the Governors not to receive oral communications relevant to 
the merits of the proceeding from any interested person. In the event 
such a conversation does inadvertently take place, the Governor involved 
shall prepare a memorandum of the conversation and submit it to the 
Secretary of the Board for inclusion in the public record, where it 
shall be available for public inspection.
    (b) Written communications. (1) During the restricted period any 
communication relevant to the merits of the proceeding that an 
interested person may wish to submit to the Governors must be in writing 
and should not exceed fifteen pages in length. Such comments

[[Page 22]]

should be based on the record and addressed to the Governors through the 
Secretary of the Board. If the commenter has been a party to the 
Commission proceeding, copies should be sent to all other parties to 
that proceeding. The Secretary shall make all such communications 
available for public inspection.
    (2) Because the Governors are often required to act promptly on a 
recommended decision from the Commission, interested persons seeking to 
communicate with the Governors should submit their comments no later 
than ten (10) days after the Commission has issued its recommended 
decision. This period may be extended at the discretion of the 
Governors.
    (c) Scope of the guidelines. These guidelines apply to 
communications from interested persons to the Governors, their staff, 
personal assistants (if any), the Secretary of the Board and any 
official of the Office of the Board. Since the Act assigns final 
decisionmaking authority on Commission recommended decisions to the 
Governors and not the Board, these guidelines do not apply to the 
Postmaster General or the Deputy Postmaster General, nor do they apply 
to other officers or officials of the Postal Service. Moreover, in order 
to carry out their statutory responsibility to direct ``the exercise of 
the power of the Postal Service,'' 39 U.S.C. 202(a), the Governors must 
be free to discuss all matters of postal policy with officers and 
employees of the Postal Service. Accordingly, no restrictions apply to 
communications between the Governors and Postal Service employees.



Sec. 9.3  Public availability of communications.

    All communications placed on the public record pursuant to these 
guidelines shall be available for public inspection at the Office of the 
Board of Governors, United States Postal Service, Room 10-300, 475 
L'Enfant Plaza West, SW., Washington, DC 20260-1000, between 8:30 a.m. 
and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday except Federal holidays.



PART 10_RULES OF CONDUCT FOR POSTAL SERVICE GOVERNORS [APPENDIX]--Table 
of Contents




Sec.
10.1 Applicability.
10.2 Advisory service.
10.3 Post-employment activities.
10.4 Financial disclosure reports.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 401.

    Source: 52 FR 29697, Aug. 11, 1987, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 10.1  Applicability.

    This part contains rules of conduct for the members of the Board of 
Governors of the United States Postal Service. As special employees 
within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. 202(a), the members of the Board are 
also subject to the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the 
Executive Branch, 5 CFR part 2635, and Postal Service regulations 
supplemental thereto, 5 CFR part 7001.

[61 FR 36499, July 11, 1996]



Sec. 10.2  Advisory service.

    (a) The General Counsel is the Ethical Conduct Officer of the Postal 
Service and the Designated Agency Ethics Official for purposes of the 
Ethics in Government Act, as amended, and the implementing regulations 
of the Office of Government Ethics, including 5 CFR part 2638.
    (b) A Governor may obtain advice and guidance on questions of 
conflicts of interest, and may request any ruling provided for by either 
the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, 
or the Postal Service regulations supplemental thereto, from the General 
Counsel or a designated assistant.
    (c) If the General Counsel determines that a Governor is engaged in 
activity which involves a violation of federal statute or regulation, 
including the ethical conduct regulations contained in 5 CFR parts 2635 
and 7001, or conduct which creates the appearance of such a violation, 
he or she shall bring this to the attention of the Governor or shall 
notify the Chairman of the Board of Governors, or the Vice Chairman, as 
appropriate.

[61 FR 36499, July 11, 1996]

[[Page 23]]



Sec. 10.3  Post-employment activities.

    Governors are subject to the restrictions on the post-employment 
activities of special Government employees imposed by 18 U.S.C. 207. 
Guidance concerning post-employment restrictions applicable to Governors 
may be obtained in accordance with Sec. 10.2(b).

[61 FR 36500, July 11, 1996]



Sec. 10.4  Financial disclosure reports.

    (a) Requirement of submission of reports. At the time of their 
nomination, Governors complete a financial disclosure report which, 
under the practice of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, is kept 
confidential. Because the Director of the Office of Government Ethics 
has ruled that Governors who do not perform the duties of their office 
for more than 60 days in any calendar year are not required to file 
financial disclosure reports that are open to the public, Governors file 
non-public reports annually, in accordance with this section. A Governor 
who performs the duties of his or her office for more than 60 days in a 
particular calendar year is required to file a public report in 
accordance with 5 CFR 2634.204(c).
    (b) Person with whom reports should be filed and time for filing. 
(1) A Governor shall file a financial disclosure report with the General 
Counsel on or before May 15 of each year when the Governor has been in 
office for more than 60 consecutive calendar days during the previous 
year.
    (2) The General Counsel may, for good cause shown, grant to a 
Governor an extension of up to 45 days. An additional extension of up to 
45 days may be granted by the Director of the Office of Government 
Ethics for good cause shown.
    (c) Information required to be reported. Each report shall be a full 
and complete statement, on the form prescribed by the General Counsel 
and the Office of Government Ethics and in accordance with instructions 
issued by him or her. The form currently in use is Standard Form 278.
    (d) Reviewing reports. (1) Financial disclosure reports filed in 
accordance with the provisions of this section shall, within 60 days 
after the date of filing, be reviewed by the General Counsel who shall 
either approve the report, or make an initial determination that a 
conflict or appearance thereof exists. If the General Counsel determines 
initially that a conflict or the appearance of a conflict exists, he or 
she shall inform the Governor of his determination.
    (2) If the General Counsel considers that additional information is 
needed to complete the report or to allow an adequate review to be 
conducted, he or she shall request the reporting Governor to furnish 
that information by a specified date.
    (3) The General Counsel shall refer to the Chairman of the Board of 
Governors or the Vice Chairman the name of any Governor he or she has 
reasonable cause to believe has wrongfully failed to file a report or 
has falsified or wrongfully failed to report required information.
    (e) Custody of and public access to reports--(1) Retention of 
reports. Each report filed with the General Counsel shall be retained by 
him or her for a period of six years. After the six-year period, the 
report shall be destroyed unless needed in connection with an 
investigation then pending.
    (2) Confidentiality of reports. Unless a public report is required 
by this section, the financial disclosure reports filed by Governors 
shall not be made public.

[52 FR 29697, Aug. 11, 1987. Redesignated and amended at 61 FR 36500, 
July 11, 1996]



PART 11_ADVISORY BOARDS [ARTICLE XI]--Table of Contents




    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 202, 203, 204, 205, 401(2), (10), 402, 403, 
1003, 3013, 5 U.S.C. 552b(a), (b) (g).



Sec. 11.1  Establishment.

    The Board of Governors may create such advisory boards as it may 
deem appropriate and may appoint persons to serve thereon or may 
delegate such latter authority to the Postmaster General.

[59 FR 18454, Apr. 18, 1994]

[[Page 24]]



                     SUBCHAPTER B_INTERNATIONAL MAIL





PART 20_INTERNATIONAL POSTAL SERVICE--Table of Contents




Sec.
20.1 International Mail Manual; incorporation by reference.
20.2 Effective date of the International Mail Manual.
20.3 Availability of the International Mail Manual.
20.4 Amendments to the International Mail Manual.
20.5 [Reserved]

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a); 39 U.S.C. 401, 404, 407, 408.

    Source: 69 FR 59546, Oct. 5, 2004, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 20.1  International Mail Manual; incorporation by reference.

    (a) Section 552(a) of Title 5, U.S.C., relating to the public 
information requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, provides 
in pertinent part that ``* * * matter reasonably available to the class 
of persons affected thereby is deemed published in the Federal Register 
when incorporated by reference therein with the approval of the Director 
of the Federal Register.'' In conformity with that provision, with 39 
U.S.C. section 410(b)(1), and as provided in this part, the U.S. Postal 
Service hereby incorporates by reference its International Mail Manual 
(IMM), Issue 31, dated May 31, 2005. The Director of the Federal 
Register approves this incorporation by reference in accordance with 5 
U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (b) The current Issue of the IMM is incorporated by reference in 
paragraph (a) of this section. Successive Issues of the IMM are listed 
in the following table:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
        International Mail Manual                 Date of issuance
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Issue 1..................................  November 13, 1981.
Issue 2..................................  March 1, 1983.
Issue 3..................................  July 4, 1985.
Issue 4..................................  September 18, 1986.
Issue 5..................................  April 21, 1988.
Issue 6..................................  October 5, 1988.
Issue 7..................................  July 20, 1989.
Issue 8..................................  June 28, 1990.
Issue 9..................................  February 3, 1991.
Issue 10.................................  June 25, 1992.
Issue 11.................................  December 24, 1992.
Issue 12.................................  July 8, 1993.
Issue 13.................................  February 3, 1994.
Issue 14.................................  August 4, 1994.
Issue 15.................................  July 9, 1995.
Issue 16.................................  January 4, 1996.
Issue 17.................................  September 12, 1996.
Issue 18.................................  June 9, 1997.
Issue 19.................................  October 9, 1997.
Issue 20.................................  July 2, 1998.
Issue 21.................................  May 3, 1999.
Issue 22.................................  January 1, 2000.
Issue 23.................................  July 1, 2000.
Issue 24.................................  January 1, 2001.
Issue 25.................................  July 1, 2001.
Issue 26.................................  January 1, 2002.
Issue 27.................................  June 30, 2002.
Issue 28.................................  January 1, 2003.
Issue 29.................................  July 1, 2003.
Issue 30.................................  August 1, 2004.
Issue 31.................................  May 31, 2005.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[70 FR 70964, Nov. 23, 2005]



Sec. 20.2  Effective date of the International Mail Manual.

    The provisions of the International Mail Manual Issue 31, effective 
May 31, 2005 are applicable with respect to the international mail 
services of the Postal Service.

[70 FR 70964, Nov. 23, 2005]



Sec. 20.3  Availability of the International Mail Manual.

    Copies of the International Mail Manual may be purchased from the 
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, 
Washington, DC 20402-9371. The IMM is available for examination on the 
Internet at http://pe.usps.gov. Copies are available for public 
inspection during regular business hours at area and district offices of 
the Postal Service and at all post offices, classified stations, and 
classified branches. You may also inspect a copy at the U.S. Postal 
Service Library, 475 L'Enfant Plaza West SW., Washington, DC 20260-1641, 
or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For 
information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-
6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal--register/code--of--
federal--regulations/ibr--locations.html.

[[Page 25]]



Sec. 20.4  Amendments to the International Mail Manual.

    New issues of the International Mail Manual will be incorporated by 
reference into this part and will be available at http://pe.usps.gov. 
The text of amendments to the International Mail Manual will be 
published in the Federal Register and will be available in the Postal 
Bulletin, copies of which may be accessed at http://www.usps.com/cpim/
ftp/bulletin/pb.htm.



Sec. 20.5  [Reserved]

[[Page 26]]



            SUBCHAPTER C_POST OFFICE SERVICES [DOMESTIC MAIL]





General Information on Postal Service--Table of Contents






PART 111_GENERAL INFORMATION ON POSTAL SERVICE--Table of Contents




Sec.
111.1 Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic 
          Mail Manual; incorporation by reference of regulations 
          governing domestic mail services.
111.2 Availability of the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal 
          Service, Domestic Mail Manual.
111.3 Amendments to the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal 
          Service, Domestic Mail Manual.
111.4 Approval of the Director of the Federal Register.
111.5 [Reserved]

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a); 39 U.S.C. 101, 401, 403, 414, 416, 3001-
3011, 3201-3219, 3403-3406, 3621, 3626, 5001.

    Source: 44 FR 39852, July 6, 1979, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 111.1  Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, 
Domestic Mail Manual; incorporated by reference of regulations governing 
domestic mail services.

    Section 552(a) of title 5, U.S.C., relating to the public 
information requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, provides 
in pertinent part that ``* * * matter reasonably available to the class 
of persons affected thereby is deemed published in the Federal Register 
when incorporated by reference therein with the approval of the Director 
of the Federal Register.'' In conformity with that provision, and with 
39 U.S.C. section 410(b)(1), and as provided in this part, the U.S. 
Postal Service hereby incorporates by reference in this part, the 
Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail 
Manual, a looseleaf document published and maintained by the Postal 
Service.

[62 FR 14827, Mar. 28, 1997, as amended at 69 FR 59139, Oct. 4, 2004; 70 
FR 14535, Mar. 23, 2005]



Sec. 111.2  Availability of the Mailing Standards of the United States 
Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual.

    (a) Copies of the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal 
Service, Domestic Mail Manual, both current and previous issues, are 
available during regular business hours for reference and public 
inspection at the U.S. Postal Service Library, National Headquarters in 
Washington, DC. Copies of only the current issue are available during 
regular business hours for public inspection at area and district 
offices of the Postal Service and at all post offices, classified 
stations, and classified branches. The Mailing Standards of the United 
States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual is available for examination 
on the Internet at http://pe.usps.gov.
    (b) A copy of the current Mailing Standards of the United States 
Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual is on file at the National Archives 
and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability 
of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://
www.archives.gov/federal--register/code--of--federal--regulations/ibr--
locations.html.
    (c) Subscriptions to the Mailing Standards of the United States 
Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual can be purchased by the public from 
the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, DC 20402-9375.

[62 FR 14827, Mar. 28, 1997, as amended at 69 FR 18803, Apr. 9, 2004; 69 
FR 59139, Oct. 4, 2004; 70 FR 14535, Mar. 23, 2005]



Sec. 111.3  Amendments to the Mailing Standards of the United States 
Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual.

    (a) Except for interim or final regulations published as provided in 
paragraph (b) of this section, only notices rather than complete text of 
changes made to the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal 
Service, Domestic Mail Manual are published in the Federal Register. 
These notices are published in the form of one summary

[[Page 27]]

transmittal letter for each issue of the Mailing Standards of the United 
States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual. A complete issue of the 
Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail 
Manual, including the text of all changes published to date, will be 
filed with the Director, Office of the Federal Register. Subscribers to 
the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail 
Manual receive the latest issue of the Mailing Standards of the United 
States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual from the Government Printing 
Office.
    (b) When the Postal Service invites comments from the public on a 
proposed change to the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal 
Service, Domestic Mail Manual, the proposed change and, if adopted, the 
full text of the interim or the final regulation is published in the 
Federal Register.
    (c) The Postal Bulletin contains the full text of all interim and 
final regulations published as provided in paragraph (b) of this 
section, and the full text of all other changes to the Mailing Standards 
of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual that are 
summarized in the notices published under paragraph (a) of this section, 
except for nonsubstantive changes and corrections of typographical 
errors. The Postal Bulletin is a biweekly document issued by the Postal 
Service to amend and revise policies and procedures. A 1-year 
subscription to the Postal Bulletin and certain back copies can be 
purchased by the public from the Superintendent of Documents, 
Washington, DC 20402-9371.
    (d) Interim regulations published in full text or referenced as 
provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, are published, as 
appropriate, in the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal 
Service, Domestic Mail Manual in full text or referenced at the place 
where they would appear if they become final regulations.
    (e) Announcements of changes to the Mailing Standards of the United 
States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual not published in the Federal 
Register as provided in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section and not 
published in the Postal Bulletin as provided in paragraph (c) are not 
deemed final under the provisions of this part 111.
    (f) For references to amendments to the Mailing Standards of the 
United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual adopted under 
paragraph (b) of this section after issuance of the most recent 
transmittal letter (termed Summary of Changes in the Mailing Standards 
of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual) listed below, 
see Sec. 111.3 in the List of CFR Sections affected at the end of this 
volume.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       Federal Register
  Transmittal letter for issue           Dated            publication
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1...............................  July 30, 1979.....  44 FR 39742.
2...............................  May 15, 1980......  45 FR 42616.
3...............................  July 30, 1980.....  45 FR 73925.
4...............................  Oct. 1, 1980......  46 FR 10154.
5...............................  Mar. 1, 1981......  46 FR 25446.
6...............................  July 7, 1981......  46 FR 58079.
7...............................  Nov. 1, 1981......  47 FR 8179.
8...............................  Jan. 21, 1982.....  47 FR 8358.
9...............................  May 1, 1982.......  47 FR 27266.
10..............................  Aug. 1, 1982......  47 FR 43952.
11..............................  Jan. 20, 1983.....  48 FR 10649.
13..............................  Dec. 29, 1983.....  49 FR 18304.
14..............................  Apr. 12, 1984.....  49 FR 26228.
15..............................  July 12, 1984.....  49 FR 33248.
16..............................  Sept. 27, 1984....  49 FR 47232.
17..............................  Dec. 20, 1984.....  50 FR 5580.
18..............................  Feb. 21, 1985.....  50 FR 12019.
19..............................  June 7, 1985......  50 FR 30834.
20..............................  Nov. 14, 1985.....  51 FR 8495.
21..............................  Sept. 4, 1986.....  51 FR 43910.
22..............................  Jan.22, 1987......  52 FR 10750.
23..............................  May 1, 1987.......  52 FR 23981.
24..............................  Sept. 20, 1987....  52 FR 34778.
25..............................  Dec. 20, 1987.....  52 FR 48437.
26..............................  April 3, 1988.....  53 FR 18557.
27..............................  June 19, 1988.....  53 FR 21821.
28..............................  Sept. 18, 1988....  53 FR 35315.
29..............................  Dec.18, 1988......  53 FR 49658.
30..............................  Mar. 19, 1989.....  54 FR 9212.
31..............................  June 18, 1989.....  54 FR 27880.
32..............................  Sept. 17, 1989....  54 FR 37795.
33..............................  Dec. 17, 1989.....  54 FR 50619.
34..............................  Mar. 18, 1990.....  55 FR 10061.
35..............................  June 17, 1990.....  55 FR 24561.
36..............................  Sept. 16, 1990....  55 FR 40658.
37..............................  Dec. 16, 1990.....  56 FR 1112.
38..............................  Feb. 24, 1991.....  56 FR 11513.
39..............................  June 16, 1991.....  56 FR 56015
40..............................  September 15, 1991  56 FR 56013
41..............................  December 15, 1991.  57 FR 21611
42..............................  March 15, 1992....  57 FR 21613
43..............................  June 21, 1992.....  57 FR 37884
44..............................  September 20, 1992  61 FR 67218
45..............................  December 20, 1992.  61 FR 67218
46..............................  July 1, 1993......  61 FR 67218
47..............................  April 10, 1994....  61 FR 67218
48..............................  January 1, 1995...  61 FR 67218
49..............................  September 1, 1995.  61 FR 67218

[[Page 28]]

 
50..............................  July 1, 1996......  61 FR 60190
51..............................  January 1, 1997...  61 FR 64618
52..............................  July 1, 1997......  62 FR 30457
53..............................  January 1, 1998...  62 FR 63851
54..............................  January 10, 1999..  64 FR 39
55..............................  January 10, 2000..  65 FR 1321
56..............................  January 7, 2001...  66 FR 8370
57..............................  June 30, 2002.....  67 FR 46875
58..............................  August 10, 2003...  68 FR 66018
Premier Edition.................  January 6, 2005...  70 FR 14535
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[45 FR 40115, June 13, 1980]

    Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting Sec. 
111.3, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the 
Finding Aids section of the printed volume and on GPO Access.



Sec. 111.4  Approval of the Director of the Federal Register.

    Incorporation by reference of the publication now titled the Mailing 
Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual was 
approved by the Director of the Federal Register under 5 U.S.C 552(a) 
and 1 CFR part 51 on March 23, 2005.

(5 U.S.C. 552(a); 39 U.S.C. 401, 404, 407, 408, 3001-3011, 3201-3218, 
3403-3405, 3601, 3621; 42 U.S.C. 1973cc-13, 1973cc-14)

[49 FR 47389, Dec. 4, 1984, as amended at 70 FR 14535, Mar. 23, 2005]



Sec. 111.5  [Reserved]

[[Page 29]]



              SUBCHAPTER D_ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION





PART 211_APPLICATION OF REGULATIONS--Table of Contents




Sec.
211.1 Disposition of former title 39, U.S.C.
211.2 Regulations of the Postal Service.
211.3 Executive orders and other executive pronouncements; circulars, 
          bulletins, and other issuances of the Office of Management and 
          Budget.
211.4 Interim personnel regulations.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 201, 202, 401(2), 402, 403, 404, 410, 1001, 
1005, 1209; Pub. L. 91-375, Secs. 3-5, 84 Stat. 773-75.

    Source: 38 FR 20402, July 31, 1973, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 211.1  Disposition of former title 39, U.S.C.

    Except as otherwise continued in effect as postal regulations, all 
provisions of former title 39, U.S.C., which were continued in effect as 
regulations of the Postal Service by section 5(f) of the Postal 
Reorganization Act, are revoked. This revocation does not apply to 
postal regulations which embody or are derived from provisions of former 
title 39.



Sec. 211.2  Regulations of the Postal Service.

    (a) The regulations of the Postal Service consist of:
    (1) The resolutions of the Governors and the Board of Governors of 
the U.S. Postal Service and the bylaws of the Board of Governors;
    (2) The Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, 
Domestic Mail Manual; the Postal Operations Manual; the Administrative 
Support Manual; the Employee and Labor Relations Manual; the Financial 
Management Manual; the International Mail Manual; and those portions of 
Chapter 2 of the former Postal Service Manual and chapter 7 of the 
former Postal Manual retained in force.
    (3) Headquarters Circulars, Management Instructions, Regional 
Instructions, handbooks, delegations of authority, and other regulatory 
issuances and directives of the Postal Service or the former Post Office 
Department. Any of the foregoing may be published in the Federal 
Register and the Code of Federal Regulations.
    (b) Except as otherwise provided by law, the resolutions of the 
Governors and the Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service and the 
bylaws of the Board of Governors take precedence over all regulations 
issued by other authority.
    (c) The adoption, by reference or otherwise, of any rule of law or 
regulation in this or any other regulation of the Postal Service shall 
not be interpreted as any expression on the issue of whether such rule 
of law or regulation would apply to the Postal Service if it were not 
adopted as a regulation, nor shall it restrict the authority of the 
Postal Service to amend or revoke the rule so adopted at a subsequent 
time.
    (d) All regulations of the Post Office Department in effect at the 
time the U.S. Postal Service commenced operations, continue in effect, 
except as subsequently modified or repealed by the Postal Service. 
Except as otherwise continued in effect as postal regulations, all 
regulations of other agencies of the United States continued in effect 
as postal regulations by section 5(a) of the Postal Reorganization Act 
are repealed.

[38 FR 20402, July 31, 1973, as amended at 46 FR 34329, July 1, 1981; 69 
FR 36022, June 28, 2004; 69 FR 59545, Oct. 5, 2004; 70 FR 20293, Apr. 
19, 2005]



Sec. 211.3  Executive orders and other executive pronouncements; 
circulars, bulletins, and other issuances of the Office of Management 
and Budget.

    (a) By virtue of the Postal Reorganization Act, certain executive 
orders, and other executive pronouncements and certain circulars, 
bulletins, and other issuances of the Office of Management and Budget or 
particular provisions thereof, or requirements therein, apply to the 
Postal Service and certain others do not apply.
    (b) It is the policy of the Postal Service to continue to comply 
with issuances of the kind mentioned in paragraph (a) of this section 
with

[[Page 30]]

which it has previously complied, unless a management decision by an 
appropriate department head is made to terminate compliance, in whole or 
in part, following advice from the General Counsel that the issuance is 
not binding, in whole or in part, on the Postal Service. This policy is 
not enforceable by any party outside the Postal Service. No party 
outside the Postal Service is authorized to use the mere non-compliance 
with this policy against the Postal Service in any way.



Sec. 211.4  Interim personnel regulations.

    (a) Continuation of Personnel Regulations of the Post Office 
Department. All regulations of the former Post Office Department dealing 
with officers and employees, in effect at the time the U.S. Postal 
Service commenced operations, continue in effect according to their 
terms until modified or repealed by the Postal Service or pursuant to a 
collective bargaining agreement under the Postal Reorganization Act.
    (b) Continuation of Personnel Provisions of Former title 39, U.S.C. 
Except as they may be inconsistent with other regulations adopted by the 
Postal Service or with a collective bargaining agreement under the 
Postal Reorganization Act, all provisions of former title 39, U.S.C., 
dealing with and applicable to postal officers and employees immediately 
prior to the commencement of operations of the Postal Service continue 
in effect as regulations of the Postal Service.
    (c) Continuation of Other Laws and Regulations as Postal 
Regulations. Except as they may be inconsistent with the provisions of 
the Postal Reorganization Act, with other regulations adopted by the 
Postal Service, or with a collective bargaining agreement under the 
Postal Reorganization Act, all regulations of Federal agencies other 
than the Postal Service or Post Office Department and all laws other 
than provisions of revised title 39, U.S.C., or provisions of other laws 
made applicable to the Postal Service by revised title 39, U.S.C., 
dealing with officers and employees applicable to postal officers and 
employees immediately prior to the commencement of operations of the 
Postal Service, continue in effect as regulations of the Postal Service. 
Any regulation or law the applicability of which is continued by 
paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section which requires any action by 
any agency other than the Postal Service or Post Office Department shall 
be deemed to require such action by the Postal Service, unless by 
agreement with the Postal Service the other agency involved consents to 
the continuation of its action.
    (d) Effect of Collective Bargaining on Certain Regulations. All 
rules and regulations continued or established by paragraphs (a) through 
(c) of this section which establish fringe benefits as defined in title 
39, U.S.C. 1005(f) of employees for whom there is a collective 
bargaining representative continue to apply until modified by a 
collective bargaining agreement concluded pursuant to the Postal 
Reorganization Act. Those rules and regulations affecting other terms 
and conditions of employment encompassed by section 8(d) of the National 
Labor Relations Act, as amended, shall continue to apply to such 
employees until such collective bargaining agreement has been concluded, 
and, unless specifically continued by such agreement, shall apply 
thereafter until modified or repealed by the Postal Service pursuant to 
its authority under title 39, U.S.C. 1001(e) and other pertinent 
provisions of the Postal Reorganization Act. In the event a condition 
occurs which shall excuse the Postal Service from continuing 
negotiations prior to the parties thereto concluding an agreement in 
accordance with the Postal Reorganization Act, the Postal Service 
reserves the right in accordance with the reorganization measures 
mandated by the Congress and consistent with the provisions of the Act, 
and any collective bargaining agreements in existence at that time, 
insofar as they do not unduly impede such reorganization measures, to 
continue, discontinue, or revise all compensation, benefits, and terms 
and conditions of employment of such employees of the Postal Service.



PART 221_GENERAL ORGANIZATION--Table of Contents




Sec.
221.1 The United States Postal Service.

[[Page 31]]

221.2 Board of Governors.
221.3 Office of Inspector General.
221.4 Corporate officers.
221.5 Headquarters organization.
221.6 Field organization.
221.7 Postal Service emblem.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 201, 202, 203, 204, 207, 401(2), 402, 403, 404, 
409, 1001; Inspector General Act of 1978 (Pub. L. 95-452), 5 U.S.C. App. 
3.

    Source: 69 FR 53000, Aug. 31, 2004, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 221.1  The United States Postal Service.

    The United States Postal Service was established as an independent 
establishment within the executive branch of the government of the 
United States under the Postal Reorganization Act of August 12, 1970 
(Pub. L. 91-375, 84 Stat. 719).



Sec. 221.2  Board of Governors.

    (a) Composition. The Board of Governors consists of 11 members. Nine 
governors are appointed by the President of the United States, by and 
with the advice and consent of the Senate. Not more than five governors 
may be adherents of the same political party. The governors are chosen 
to represent the public interest generally, and they may not be 
representatives of specific interests using the Postal Service. The 
governors may be removed only for cause. The postmaster general and the 
deputy postmaster general are also voting members of the Board of 
Governors.
    (b) Responsibilities. The Board of Governors directs the exercise of 
the powers of the Postal Service, reviews the practices and policies of 
the Postal Service, and directs and controls its expenditures.



Sec. 221.3  Office of Inspector General.

    (a) Establishment. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) was 
established as an independent law enforcement and oversight agency for 
the United States Postal Service under the Inspector General Act of 1978 
(5 U.S.C. App. 3), as amended in 1988 (Pub. L. 100-504, 102 Stat. 2515) 
and 1996 (Pub. L. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009).
    (b) Responsibilities. The OIG was established to:
    (1) Provide an independent and objective unit to conduct and 
supervise audits and investigations relating to programs and operations 
of the Postal Service.
    (2) Provide leadership and coordination and recommend policies for 
activities designed to:
    (i) Promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the 
administration of postal programs and operations.
    (ii) Prevent and detect fraud and abuse in postal programs and 
operations.
    (3) Provide a means of keeping the governors and Congress fully and 
currently informed about:
    (i) Problems and deficiencies relating to the administration of 
postal programs and operations.
    (ii) The necessity for corrective action.
    (iii) The progress of corrective action.
    (4) Provide oversight of all activities of the Postal Inspection 
Service.
    (c) Inspector General--(1) Appointment. The inspector general is 
appointed for a 7-year term by the nine governors.
    (2) Responsibilities. The inspector general is responsible for the 
operations of the OIG: ensuring independent and objective audits and 
investigations of postal operations and programs; overseeing the Postal 
Inspection Service; and apprising the governors and Congress of 
significant observations. The inspector general has no direct 
responsibility for designing, installing, and/or operating postal 
operations or programs.
    (3) Extent of powers. In addition to the authority otherwise 
provided by the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, the inspector 
general is authorized to:
    (i) Have unrestricted access to all Postal Service operations, 
programs, records, and documents, whether in custody of the Postal 
Service or available by law, contract, or regulation.
    (ii) Have direct and prompt access to the governors when necessary 
for any purpose pertaining to the performance of the functions and 
responsibilities of the OIG.
    (iii) Administer oaths when necessary in performance of the 
functions assigned to the OIG.

[[Page 32]]

    (iv) Require by subpoena the production of all information, 
documents, reports, answers, records, accounts, papers, and other data 
and documentary evidence necessary in the performance of the functions 
of the OIG.
    (v) Select, appoint, and employ such officers and employees as may 
be necessary for carrying out the functions, powers, and duties of the 
OIG.
    (vi) Obtain the temporary or intermittent services of experts or 
consultants in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.



Sec. 221.4  Corporate officers.

    The Board of Governors determines the number of corporate officers 
and appoints the postmaster general. The governors and the postmaster 
general appoint the deputy postmaster general. The postmaster general 
appoints the remaining corporate officers. The corporate officers of the 
Postal Service are the following:
    (a) The postmaster general and chief executive officer.
    (b) The deputy postmaster general.
    (c) The chief operating officer and executive vice president.
    (d) The chief financial officer and executive vice president.
    (e) The senior vice presidents.
    (f) The general counsel and senior vice president.
    (g) The vice presidents.
    (h) The chief inspector.
    (i) The consumer advocate and vice president.
    (j) The judicial officer.
    (k) Such other officers as the Board may designate from time to 
time.



Sec. 221.5  Headquarters organization.

    (a) Postmaster General--(1) Appointment. The postmaster general 
(PMG), the chief executive officer of the Postal Service, is appointed 
by and can be removed by a majority of the governors in office.
    (2) Responsibilities. The postmaster general is responsible for the 
overall operation of the Postal Service. The postmaster general 
determines appeals from the actions of staff and corporate officers, 
except in cases where he or she has delegated authority to make a 
decision to a subordinate; such subordinate may also determine appeals 
within the authority delegated.
    (3) Extent of powers. The postmaster general, as directed by the 
Board of Governors, exercises the powers of the Postal Service to the 
extent that such exercise does not conflict with power reserved to the 
Board by law. The postmaster general is authorized to direct any 
officer, employee, or agent of the Postal Service to exercise such of 
the postmaster general's powers as the postmaster general deems 
appropriate.
    (b) Deputy Postmaster General. The deputy postmaster general is 
appointed and can be removed by the postmaster general and the governors 
in office. The deputy postmaster general reports directly to the 
postmaster general.
    (c) Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President. The chief 
operating officer and executive vice president is appointed by the 
postmaster general and directs all processing, distribution, and 
customer service functions.
    (d) Officers in charge of Headquarters organizational units. The 
officers in charge of Headquarters organizational units are appointed by 
the postmaster general. They report directly to the postmaster general, 
the deputy postmaster general, an executive vice president, a senior 
vice president, or another officer, as the postmaster general may 
direct.
    (e) Responsibilities. The corporate officers head the organizational 
units into which Headquarters and the field are divided. They are 
responsible for the following:
    (1) Program planning, direction, and review.
    (2) Establishment of policies, procedures, and standards.
    (3) Operational determinations not delegated to district officials.



Sec. 221.6  Field organization.

    (a) General. There are 8 areas, each with a vice president.
    (b) Area locations.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Area name                            Location
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Eastern...............................  Pittsburgh PA.
Great Lakes...........................  Chicago IL.
New York Metro........................  New York NY.
Northeast.............................  Windsor CT.
Pacific...............................  San Francisco CA.
Southeast.............................  Memphis TN.
Southwest.............................  Dallas TX.

[[Page 33]]

 
Western...............................  Denver CO.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (c) Area functions. Functional units and reporting units are as 
follows:
    (1) Functional units. Each area is divided into functional units 
responsible for finance, human resources, marketing, and operations 
support.
    (2) Reporting units. Areas are responsible for:
    (i) Customer service districts (CSDs).
    (ii) Post offices (POs).
    (iii) Vehicle maintenance facilities (VMFs).
    (iv) Processing and distribution centers (P&DCs).
    (v) Processing and distribution facilities (P&DFs).
    (vi) Air mail centers (AMCs).
    (vii) Air mail facilities (AMFs).
    (viii) Bulk mail centers (BMCs).
    (ix) Bulk mail facilities (BMFs).
    (x) Remote encoding centers (RECs).
    (d) Customer Service District Offices. Functional units and 
reporting relationships are as follows:
    (1) Functional units. The 80 district offices coordinate the day-to-
day management of post offices and customer service activities other 
than processing and distribution within a geographical area. EAS-26 and 
above postmasters report to their district manager. Each district office 
is organized into functional units responsible for post office 
operations, operations programs support, customer service support, 
finance, human resources, information technology, administrative 
support, and marketing.
    (2) Reporting relationships. Independent delivery distribution 
centers and post offices level EAS-24 and below report to the functional 
unit responsible for post office operations.
    (e) Support--(1) General. Headquarters field units and service 
centers provide support for area offices.
    (2) Headquarters field units. As assigned, Headquarters field units 
are responsible for legal services, corporate relations, human 
resources, facility services, finance, information technology, and 
supply management.



Sec. 221.7  Postal Service emblem.

    The Postal Service emblem, which is identical with the seal, is 
registered as a trademark and service mark by the U.S. Patent Office. 
Except for the emblem on official stationery, the emblem must bear one 
of the following notations: ``Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.'', ``Registered in 
U.S. Patent Office'', or the letter R enclosed within a circle.



PART 222_DELEGATIONS OF AUTHORITY--Table of Contents




Sec.
222.1 Authority to administer postal affairs.
222.2 Authority to administer oaths or function as notaries public.
222.3 Other delegation.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 201, 202, 203, 204, 207, 401(2), 402, 403, 404, 
409, 1001, 1011; Inspector General Act of 1978 (Pub. L. 95-452), 5 
U.S.C. App. 3.

    Source: 69 FR 53000, Aug. 31, 2004, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 222.1  Authority to administer postal affairs.

    (a) The Postmaster General. The postmaster general has been 
authorized by the Board of Governors to exercise the powers of the 
Postal Service to the full extent that such exercise is lawful. The 
postmaster general is empowered to authorize any employee or agent of 
the Service to exercise any function vested in the Postal Service, in 
the postmaster general, or in any other Postal Service employee.
    (b) Corporate officers. Corporate officers are authorized to 
exercise the powers and functions of the Postal Service under the Postal 
Reorganization Act with respect to matters within their areas of 
responsibility, except as limited by law or by the specific terms of 
their assignment.
    (c) General counsel. The general counsel is authorized to settle 
federal tort claims under section 2672 of title 28, United States Code, 
up to $100,000.



Sec. 222.2  Authority to administer oaths or function as notaries public.

    (a) Authority to approve personnel actions and administer oaths of 
office for employment. The postmaster general, corporate officers, and 
their delegatees are authorized to effect appointments, administer oaths 
of office for employment, and take other personnel actions.

[[Page 34]]

    (b) Authority to administer oaths other than for employment. The 
following are authorized to administer oaths concerning matters other 
than employment:
    (1) Postal inspectors, with regard to any matter coming before them 
in the performance of their official duties;
    (2) Any member of a board who is assigned to conduct hearings or 
investigations in which sworn testimony, affidavits, or depositions are 
required, and each officer or employee assigned to conduct such hearings 
or investigations;
    (3) Postmasters, where required in the performance of their official 
duties.
    (c) Authority to function as notaries public. (1) Postmasters in 
Alaska have the authority to administer oaths and affirmations, take 
acknowledgments and make and execute certificates thereof, and perform 
all other functions of a notary public within Alaska when a 
certification is necessary to meet any Act of Congress or the 
Legislature of Alaska. No fees may be charged for notarial services.
    (2) An officer or employee who is a notary public shall not charge 
or receive compensation for notarial services for another officer or 
employee regarding Government business; nor for notarial services for 
any person during the hours of the notary's services to the Government, 
including the lunch period.



Sec. 222.3  Other delegation.

    (a) Documentation. All delegations of authority must be officially 
documented.
    (b) Position title. Delegations of authority must ordinarily be made 
by position title rather than by name of the individual involved. An 
officer or executive acting for a principal has the principal's full 
authority.
    (c) Level. When authority is delegated to an officer, the officers 
above that officer shall have the same authority. Delegated authority 
does not extend to aides unless an aide is acting for the supervisor 
(see paragraph (b) of this section) or is specifically authorized by the 
superior to exercise such authority.
    (d) Agreement with law. A delegation must agree with the law and 
regulations under which it is made and contain such specific limiting 
conditions as may be appropriate.
    (e) Further delegation. Authority may be further delegated unless 
prohibited by law, a regulation that expressly prohibits further 
delegation, or terms of the delegation.



PART 223_RELATIONSHIPS AND COMMUNICATION CHANNELS--Table of Contents




Sec.
223.1 Headquarters and areas.
223.2 Channels of communication, headquarters with area offices.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 201, 202, 203, 204, 207, 401(2), 402, 403, 404.

    Source: 69 FR 53000, Aug. 31, 2004, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 223.1  Headquarters and areas.

    Headquarters provides policy guidance, procedures, and 
interpretation to area officials.



Sec. 223.2  Channels of communication, headquarters with area offices.

    (a) General. Headquarters organizational units formulate the 
directives to provide guidance to area officials.
    (b) Policies. Policies are issued over the signatures of the vice 
presidents of the functional organizations (unless the postmaster 
general or deputy postmaster general issues these directives 
personally). Whether published on paper or online, such policies must be 
coordinated with other appropriate organizations before issuance, and 
reviewed, published, and managed by Public Affairs and Communications. 
If within the authority of the issuer, these policies have the same 
effect as though sent by the postmaster general or deputy postmaster 
general.
    (c) Procedures. Regulations, instructions, and implementation 
guidelines are issued over the signatures of vice presidents of 
functional organizations or their accountable functional unit managers 
and used to implement programs and business activities. Whether 
published on paper or online, such procedures must be coordinated with 
other appropriate organizations before issuance and reviewed, published, 
and managed by Public Affairs and Communications.

[[Page 35]]



Inspection Service Requirements--Table of Contents






PART 230_OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL--Table of Contents




                 Subpart A_General Policy and Authority

Sec.
230.1 Establishment and authority.
230.2 Access to information and other responsibilities.
230.3 Cooperation with the Office of Inspector General.
230.4 Arrest and investigative powers of criminal investigators.
230.5 Release of information.

  Subpart B_Rules Governing Compliance with Subpoenas, Summonses, and 
Court Orders by Postal Employees Within the Office of Inspector General 
   Where Neither the Postal Service, the United States, Nor Any Other 
                        Federal Agency Is a Party

230.10 What do these rules govern?
230.11 What special definitions apply to these rules?
230.12 Can Office of Inspector General employees testify or produce 
          documents that would assist me in my civil proceeding?
230.13 Why are restrictions on Office of Inspector General employees in 
          civil proceedings necessary?
230.14 Who owns the written or recorded notes, memoranda, reports, and 
          transcriptions made pursuant to an official investigation, 
          audit, or review conducted by an employee of the Office of 
          Inspector General?
230.15 What must an Office of Inspector General employee do if served 
          with a demand requiring the production of documents or an 
          appearance in court?
230.16 Is there a prohibition on presenting Office of Inspector General 
          reports or records during an employee's testimony?
230.17 If an attempt is made to compel production of reports and records 
          during the employee's testimony, what is an Office of 
          Inspector General employee directed to do?
230.18 If authorization to testify or produce documents is not obtained 
          by the employee, what is the employee directed to do?
230.19 What criteria will the authorizing official use to determine 
          whether to authorize testimony or production of documents?
230.20 What records will not be released?
230.21 May the General Counsel to the Inspector General and/or a U.S. 
          Department of Justice attorney represent the employee in any 
          appearance?
230.22 May another employee be substituted for the employee requested to 
          appear?.
230.23 May an Office of Inspector General employee testify as an expert 
          or opinion witness?
230.24 How is a demand for employee documents or testimony made to the 
          Office of Inspector General?
230.25 Who pays the costs incurred when the Office of Inspector General 
          responds to a demand for documents or testimony?
230.26 Do these rules affect the service of process requirements of the 
          Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (28 U.S.C. Appendix)?
230.27 Do these rules create any right or benefit enforceable by a party 
          against the Postal Service?

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. App.3; 39 U.S.C. 401(2) and 1001.

    Source: 67 FR 16025, Apr. 4, 2002, unless otherwise noted.



                 Subpart A_General Policy and Authority



Sec. 230.1  Establishment and authority.

    (a) There is established, pursuant to the Inspector General Act of 
1978, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.3), and 39 U.S.C. 410, an independent 
Office of Inspector General.
    (b) The Inspector General reports directly to the nine 
presidentially appointed Governors and shall not be supervised by, nor 
report to, the Postmaster General and/or any designee appointed by the 
Postmaster General.
    (c) The Office of Inspector General includes an Inspector General, 
an Assistant Inspector General for Audit, and an Assistant Inspector 
General for Investigations. The Office of Inspector General maintains 
its own legal counsel independent of the Postal Service Law Department 
for matters that are within the jurisdiction of the Office.
    (d) The Office of Inspector General is responsible for detecting and 
preventing fraud, waste, and abuse in the programs and operations of the 
Postal Service, and for reviewing existing and proposed legislation and 
regulations relating to the programs and operations of the Postal 
Service.
    (e) The Inspector General has oversight responsibilities for all 
activities of the Postal Inspection Service. The Chief Postal Inspector 
must promptly

[[Page 36]]

report to the Inspector General significant activities and other 
information related to the Inspection Service as required by law.
    (f) The Inspector General has sole responsibility for directing the 
Office of Inspector General, including the authority to select, appoint, 
and employ such officers and employees that the Inspector General deems 
necessary and appropriate to fulfill the mission of the Office. In 
addition, the Inspector General may delegate to such officers and 
employees of the Inspector General such powers, duties, and 
responsibilities, as the Inspector General deems necessary and 
appropriate for the proper functioning of the Office.
    (g) All employees in the Office of Inspector General shall take and 
subscribe to the oath of office required of all Postal Service employees 
under 39 U.S.C. 1011, and the Inspector General, or designee, is 
authorized to administer such oath and affirmation.
    (h) The Inspector General has the authority to enter into contracts 
or other arrangements with public agencies and with private entities, 
and to make such payments as may be necessary to carry out the duties 
and responsibilities of the Office of Inspector General.
    (i) The Inspector General may hire and retain the services of expert 
consultants and other personnel as necessary to fulfill the duties and 
responsibilities of the Office.
    (j) Except as required by law, the Governors may not transfer to the 
Inspector General responsibility for performing any of the program 
activities of the Postal Service.



Sec. 230.2  Access to information and other responsibilities.

    (a) The Inspector General has authority to have access to all postal 
records, reports, audits, reviews, documents, papers, information, and 
other material relating to any matter related to the responsibilities of 
the Inspector General;
    (b) The Inspector General shall be the Investigating Official for 
purposes of the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act.



Sec. 230.3  Cooperation with the Office of Inspector General.

    (a) All Postal Service employees shall cooperate with all audits, 
reviews, and investigations conducted by the Office of Inspector 
General. Deliberately submitting information known to be false or 
misleading to the Office of Inspector General or failing to cooperate 
with all audits, reviews, and investigations conducted by the Office of 
Inspector General may be grounds for disciplinary or other legal action.
    (b) Any employee who has authority to take, direct another to take, 
recommend or approve any personnel action shall not retaliate against 
any employee as a reprisal for cooperating and assisting with any Office 
of Inspector General audit, review, or investigation (including 
reporting facts or information to the Office of Inspector General that 
leads to any audit, review, or investigation).



Sec. 230.4  Arrest and investigative powers of criminal investigators.

    (a) Under the authority of 18 U.S.C. 3061, criminal investigators 
employed by the Office of Inspector General are authorized to perform 
the following functions in connection with their official duties:
    (1) Serve warrants and subpoenas issued under the authority of the 
United States;
    (2) Make arrests without warrant for offenses against the United 
States committed in their presence;
    (3) Make arrests without warrant for felonies cognizable under the 
laws of the United States if they have reasonable grounds to believe 
that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such a 
felony;
    (4) Carry firearms; and
    (5) Make seizures of property as provided by law.
    (b) Administrative subpoenas may be served by delivering a copy to a 
person or by mailing a copy to the person's last known address. For the 
purposes of this provision, delivery of a copy includes handing it to 
the party or leaving it at the party's office or residence with a person 
of suitable age and discretion employed or residing therein.

[[Page 37]]

Service by mail is complete upon mailing.

[67 FR 16025, Apr. 4, 2002, as amended at 71 FR 12285, Mar. 10, 2006]



Sec. 230.5  Release of information.

    (a) The Office of Inspector General is responsible for maintaining 
and storing its own records and for assuring compliance with applicable 
records management, retention, and disclosure requirements.
    (b) The Inspector General or a designee serves as the official 
custodian of the records and documents of the Office of Inspector 
General and is responsible for administering the rules and regulations 
relating to public availability of Postal Service Office of Inspector 
General records insofar as the information is subject to the provisions 
of the Freedom of Information Act, contained in Section 552 of Title 5 
of the U.S. Code and 39 U.S.C. 410 (c), and/or the Privacy Act, Section 
552a of Title 5 of the U.S. Code.
    (c) Requests for records and information under the Freedom of 
Information Act or Privacy Act should be submitted in writing to the 
Office of Inspector General, Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Officer, 
located at 1735 N. Lynn Street, Arlington, Virginia, 22209-2020.
    (d) The Office of Inspector General shall comply with and adhere to 
the procedures governing the release of information maintained by the 
U.S. Postal Service as set forth in Part 265 and related provisions of 
these regulations to the extent such procedures do not conflict with any 
provision in this part.
    (e) Appeals from the denial of any request for information should be 
directed to the General Counsel for the Office of Inspector General, who 
is responsible for deciding any timely appeals authorized under this 
section.
    (f) Postal Service records in the custody of the Office of Inspector 
General that contain proprietary information will not be released by the 
Inspector General without consultation with the appropriate Postal 
Service official responsible for the record.



  Subpart B_Rules Governing Compliance With Subpoenas, Summonses, and 

Court Orders by Postal Employees Within the Office of Inspector General 
   Where Neither the Postal Service, the United States, Nor Any Other 
                        Federal Agency Is a Party

    Source: 68 FR 57372, Oct. 3, 2003, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 230.10  What do these rules govern?

    (a) Subpart B governs those situations where an employee of the 
Office of Inspector General has been summoned, subpoenaed, or given a 
court order in connection with any federal, state, local court, 
administrative, or legislative proceeding.
    (b) The rules in Subpart B do not apply to:
    (1) Proceedings where the United States, the Postal Service, or any 
other federal agency is named as a party;
    (2) Congressional requests or subpoenas for testimony or documents;
    (3) Employees serving as expert witnesses in connection with 
professional and consultative services under Title 5, Code of Federal 
Regulations, Part 7001, provided they state for the record that their 
testimony reflects their personal opinions and should not be viewed as 
the official position of the Postal Service;
    (4) Employees making appearances in their private capacities in 
proceedings that do not relate to their Postal Service employment, such 
as traffic accidents or domestic relations matters; and do not involve 
professional or consultative services;
    (5) Situations where the Inspector General or an official designated 
by the Inspector General determines that the best interests of the 
public or the Office of Inspector General would be served by an 
exemption from the regulations.
    (c) These rules should be read together with the Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA), which provides additional information about 
access to records.

[[Page 38]]



Sec. 230.11  What special definitions apply to these rules?

    The following definitions apply to Subpart B:
    (a) Authorizing official means the Inspector General or an official 
designated by the Inspector General to authorize release of documents or 
permission to testify.
    (b) Case or matter means any civil proceeding before a court of law, 
administrative board, hearing officer, or other body conducting a 
judicial or administrative proceeding in which the United States, the 
Postal Service, or another federal agency is not a named party.
    (c) Demand includes any request, order, or subpoena for testimony or 
the production of documents.
    (d) Document means all records, papers, or official files, 
including, but not limited to, official letters, telegrams, memoranda, 
reports, studies, calendar and diary entries, graphs, notes, charts, 
tabulations, data analyses, statistical or information accumulations, 
records of meetings and conversations, film impressions, magnetic tapes, 
computer discs, and sound or mechanical reproductions.
    (e) Employee or Office of Inspector General employee, for the 
purpose of this subpart only, means a Postal Service employee currently 
or formerly assigned to the Postal Service Office of Inspector General, 
student interns, contractors, and employees of contractors who have 
access to Office of Inspector General information and records.
    (f) General Counsel to the Inspector General means the General 
Counsel of the Office of Inspector General, or a person authorized by 
the Inspector General to give legal advice to Office of Inspector 
General employees. General Counsel to the Inspector General does not 
mean the General Counsel of the Postal Service.
    (g) Nonpublic includes any material or information not subject to 
mandatory public disclosure under Sec. 265.6(b) or which must be kept 
confidential under the Inspector General Act, 5 U.S.C. App. 3.
    (h) Office of Inspector General means the organizational unit within 
the Postal Service as outlined in part 221 of this chapter.
    (i) Office of Inspector General Manual is the document containing 
the standard operating procedures for criminal investigators, 
evaluators, and other employees of the Office of Inspector General.
    (j) Reports include all written reports, letters, recordings, or 
other memoralizations made in conjunction with the duties of an Office 
of Inspector General employee.
    (k) Testify or testimony includes both in-person oral statements 
before any body conducting a judicial or administrative proceeding and 
statements made in depositions, answers to interrogatories, 
declarations, affidavits, or other similar documents.



Sec. 230.12  Can Office of Inspector General employees testify or 
produce documents that would assist me in my civil proceeding?

    No current or former employee within the Office of Inspector General 
may testify or produce documents concerning information acquired in the 
course of employment or as a result of his or her relationship with the 
Postal Service in any proceeding to which this subpart applies (see 
Sec. 230.10), unless authorized to do so by an authorizing official.



Sec. 230.13  Why are restrictions on Office of Inspector General 
employees in civil proceedings necessary?

    The restrictions are intended to reduce the risk of inappropriate 
disclosures that might affect the operations of the Office of Inspector 
General; prevent the expenditure of Office of Inspector General or 
Postal Service resources for private purposes; and ensure that employee 
time is serving the best interests of the public.



Sec. 230.14  Who owns the written or recorded notes, memoranda, reports, 
and transcriptions made pursuant to an official investigation, audit, or 
review conducted by an employee of the Office of Inspector General?

    Notes, memoranda, reports, and transcriptions, whether written or 
recorded and made pursuant to an official investigation, audit, or 
review conducted by an employee of the Office of Inspector

[[Page 39]]

General, are the property of the Office of Inspector General.



Sec. 230.15  What must an Office of Inspector General employee do if 
served with a demand requiring the production of documents or an 
appearance in court?

    If an Office of Inspector General employee is served with a demand 
requiring the production of documents or an appearance in court, the 
employee must promptly inform the authorizing official of the nature of 
the documents or testimony sought and all relevant facts and 
circumstances. Office of Inspector General employees are directed to 
appear as the subpoena or summons may require, but may not testify or 
produce documents unless authorized.



Sec. 230.16  Is there a prohibition on presenting Office of Inspector 
General reports or records during an employee's testimony?

    Yes, Office of Inspector General reports or records will not be 
presented during an employee's testimony, unless authorized by an 
authorizing official.



Sec. 230.17  If an attempt is made to compel production of reports and 
records during the employee's testimony, what is an Office of Inspector 
General employee directed to do?

    If an attempt is made to compel production of reports and records 
during the employee's testimony, the employee is directed to decline to 
produce the item or information and to state that the material cannot be 
disclosed or produced without the approval of the authorizing official. 
All such requests, and any other requests for documents in judicial or 
administrative proceedings in which the United States is not a party, 
shall be deemed to be a request for records under the Freedom of 
Information Act and shall be handled pursuant to 39 CFR 230.5.



Sec. 230.18  If authorization to testify or produce documents is not 
obtained by the employee, what is the employee directed to do?

    Absent written authorization from the authorizing official, the 
employee must respectfully decline to produce the requested documents, 
testify, or otherwise disclose the requested information. If the 
authorization is denied or not received by the return date, the 
employee, together with counsel, where appropriate, shall appear at the 
stated time and place, produce a copy of this section, and respectfully 
decline to testify or produce any document on the basis of the 
regulations in this section.



Sec. 230.19  What criteria will the authorizing official use to 
determine whether to authorize testimony or production of documents?

    (a) The authorizing official will determine whether testimony or the 
production of documents will be authorized according to the following 
criteria:
    (1) Statutory restrictions, as well as any legal objection, 
exemption, or privilege that may apply;
    (2) Relevant legal standards for disclosure of nonpublic information 
and documents;
    (3) Office of Inspector General rules and regulations;
    (4) The public interest;
    (5) Minimizing or preventing expenditures of Office of Inspector 
General and Postal Service time and resources solely for private 
purposes.
    (6) Minimizing the appearance of improperly favoring one litigant 
over another;
    (7) Minimizing the possibility that the public will misconstrue 
variances between personal opinions of Office of Inspector General 
employees and agency policy; and
    (8) Preserving the integrity of the administrative process.
    (b) Permission to testify or to release documents in all cases will 
be limited to matters outlined in the affidavit or declaration described 
in section 230.24 of this part or to such matters as deemed appropriate 
by the authorizing official. If the authorizing official allows the 
release of documents or testimony to be given by an employee, 
arrangements shall be made for the taking of testimony or receipt of 
documents by the method least disruptive to the employee's official 
duties. Testimony may, for example, be provided by affidavits, answers 
to interrogatories, written depositions, or depositions transcribed, 
recorded, or preserved by any other means allowable by law.

[[Page 40]]

    (c) Upon issuance of an unfavorable final determination by the 
authorizing official, the party or the party's counsel seeking testimony 
or documents may consult or negotiate with the authorizing official to 
refine and limit the demand.
    (d) The Office of Inspector General will offer all possible 
assistance to the courts, but the question of disclosing information for 
which an exemption may be claimed is a matter of discretion that rests 
with the authorizing official. If in the opinion of the authorizing 
official the documents should not be released or testimony should not be 
furnished, that determination will be final.



Sec. 230.20  What records will not be released?

    Generally, any record demanded by a subpoena duces tecum or 
appropriate court order can be released by a properly authorized Office 
of Inspector General employee, except for the following:
    (a) Records required to remain confidential by the Freedom of 
Information Act, the Privacy Act, and parts 230 and 262 of this chapter,
    (b) Records containing information relating to an employee's 
security or loyalty;
    (c) Original records;
    (d) Office of Inspector General criminal investigative reports, 
unless there is specific authorization by an authorizing official, after 
consulting with General Counsel to the Inspector General; and
    (e) The Office of Inspector General Manual and other operating 
instructions issued to Office of Inspector General employees, unless 
there is specific authorization by an authorizing official, after 
consultation with the General Counsel to the Inspector General. If the 
requested information relates to confidential investigative techniques, 
confidential sources of information, or information that must be kept 
confidential under the Inspector General Act, 5 U.S.C. app. 3, because 
release of the information would adversely affect the duties and 
obligations or law enforcement mission of the Office of Inspector 
General, the subpoenaed official, through the Inspector General, or an 
authorizing official, may request an in camera, ex parte conference to 
determine the necessity for the release of the information.



Sec. 230.21  May the General Counsel to the Inspector General and/or a 
U.S. Department of Justice attorney represent the employee in any appearance?

    At the option of the Attorney General, or an authorizing official, 
an Office of Inspector General legal counsel may represent and assist 
the employee. The authorizing official designated by the Inspector 
General may also request assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice 
in representing and assisting the employee in any appearance.



Sec. 230.22  May another employee be substituted for the employee 
requested to appear?

    The Inspector General or designee may, where appropriate, designate 
another Office of Inspector General employee to respond to a request for 
an appearance.



Sec. 230.23  May an Office of Inspector General employee testify as an 
expert or opinion witness?

    No, an Office of Inspector General employee may not testify as an 
expert or opinion witness with regard to any matter arising out of the 
employee's duties or functions at the Office of Inspector General for 
any party other than the United States, except that in extraordinary 
circumstances, and where the anticipated testimony will not be adverse 
to the interest of the United States, the authorizing official may 
approve such testimony in private litigation. A litigant must first 
obtain the permission of an authorizing official designated by the 
Inspector General before designating an Office of Inspector General 
employee as an expert or opinion witness.



Sec. 230.24  How is a demand for employee documents or testimony made 
to the Office of Inspector General?

    (a) All demands for the production of nonpublic documents or 
testimony of Office of Inspector General employees concerning matters 
relating to their official duties and subject to the conditions set 
forth in Sec. 230.10(b) shall be

[[Page 41]]

made in writing and conform to the requirements outlined in paragraph 
(b) of this section.
    (b) Before or simultaneously with service of a demand, the 
requesting party shall serve on the General Counsel to the Inspector 
General at the Office of Inspector General, 1735 North Lynn Street, 
Arlington, VA 22209-2020, a summons or subpoena issued in accordance 
with the appropriate rules of civil procedure along with an affidavit or 
sworn declaration containing the following information:
    (1) The title of the case and the forum where it will be heard;
    (2) The party's interest in the case;
    (3) The reasons for the demand;
    (4) A showing that the requested information is available, by law, 
to a party outside the Postal Service;
    (5) If testimony is sought, a detailed summary of the anticipated 
testimony;
    (6) If testimony is sought, a showing that Office of Inspector 
General records could not be provided and used in place of the requested 
testimony;
    (7) The intended use of the documents or testimony; and
    (8) An affirmative statement that the documents or testimony is 
necessary for defending or prosecuting the case at issue.

[68 FR 57372, Oct. 3, 2003, as amended at 71 FR 11161, Mar. 6, 2006]



Sec. 230.25  Who pays the costs incurred when the Office of Inspector 
General responds to a demand for documents or testimony?

    (a) Unless determined by 28 U.S.C. 1821 or other applicable statute, 
the costs of providing testimony, including the cost of transcripts, 
shall be borne by the requesting party. Furthermore, unless limited by 
statute, such costs shall also include reimbursement to the Office of 
Inspector General for the usual and ordinary expenses attendant upon the 
employee's absence from his or her official duties in connection with 
the case or matter, including the employee's salary and applicable 
overhead charges, and any necessary travel expenses as follows:
    (1) The Office of Inspector General is authorized to charge 
reasonable fees to parties demanding documents or information. Such 
fees, calculated to reimburse the Office of Inspector General for the 
cost of responding to a demand, may include the costs of time expended 
by Office of Inspector General employees, including attorneys, to 
process and respond to the demand; attorney time for reviewing the 
demand and for legal work in connection with the demand; expenses 
generated by equipment used to search for, produce, and copy the 
requested information; and travel costs of the employee and the agency 
attorney or other representative, including lodging and per diem. Such 
fees shall be assessed at the rates and in the manner specified in 39 
CFR 265.9.
    (2) At the discretion of the Office of Inspector General where 
appropriate, fees and costs may be estimated and collected before 
testimony is given.
    (b) The provisions of Subpart B do not affect rights and procedures 
governing public access to official documents pursuant to the Freedom of 
Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a.



Sec. 230.26  Do these rules affect the service of process requirements 
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (28 U.S.C. Appendix)?

    No, the rules in subpart B in no way modify the requirements of the 
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure regarding service of process.



Sec. 230.27  Do these rules create any right or benefit enforceable by 
a party against the Postal Service?

    No, subpart B is intended to provide instructions to Office of 
Inspector General employees and members of the public. It does not 
create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by 
any party against the Office of Inspector General or the Postal Service.



PART 231_PROTECTION OF POST OFFICES--Table of Contents




Sec.
231.1 Responsibility.
231.2 Security Control Officer.



Sec. 231.1  Responsibility.

    (a) The protection of mail, postal funds, and property is a 
responsibility of every postal employee.

[[Page 42]]

    (b) The Chief Postal Inspector is designated as the Security Officer 
for the U.S. Postal Service. That official is responsible for the 
issuance of instructions and regulations pertaining to security 
requirements within the Postal Service.

(39 U.S.C. 401)

[36 FR 4762, Mar. 12, 1971]



Sec. 231.2  Security Control Officer.

    The postmaster or a supervisor designated by the postmaster shall 
act as Security Control Officer for each post office. The Security 
Control Officer shall be responsible for the general security of the 
post office, its stations and branches, in accordance with rules and 
regulations issued by the Chief Postal Inspector.

(39 U.S.C. 401)

[36 FR 4762, Mar. 12, 1971]



PART 232_CONDUCT ON POSTAL PROPERTY--Table of Contents




    Authority: 18 U.S.C. 13, 3061; 21 U.S.C. 802, 844; 39 U.S.C. 401, 
403(b)(3), 404(a)(7); 40 U.S.C. 1315; Sec. 811, Pub. L. 109-115, 119 
Stat. 2396.



Sec. 232.1  Conduct on postal property.

    (a) Applicability. This section applies to all real property under 
the charge and control of the Postal Service, to all tenant agencies, 
and to all persons entering in or on such property. This section shall 
be posted and kept posted at a conspicuous place on all such property. 
This section shall not apply to--
    (i) Any portions of real property, owned or leased by the Postal 
Service, that are leased or subleased by the Postal Service to private 
tenants for their exclusive use;
    (ii) With respect to sections 232.1(h)(1) and 232.1(o), sidewalks 
along the street frontage of postal property falling within the property 
lines of the Postal Service that are not physically distinguishable from 
adjacent municipal or other public sidewalks, and any paved areas 
adjacent to such sidewalks that are not physically distinguishable from 
such sidewalks.
    (b) Inspection, recording presence. (1) Purses, briefcases, and 
other containers brought into, while on, or being removed from the 
property are subject to inspection. However, items brought directly to a 
postal facility's customer mailing acceptance area and deposited in the 
mail are not subject to inspection, except as provided by section 274 of 
the Administrative Support Manual. A person arrested for violation of 
this section may be searched incident to that arrest.
    (2) Vehicles and their contents brought into, while on, or being 
removed from restricted nonpublic areas are subject to inspection. A 
prominently displayed sign shall advise in advance that vehicles and 
their contents are subject to inspection when entering the restricted 
nonpublic area, while in the confines of the area, or when leaving the 
area. Persons entering these areas who object and refuse to consent to 
the inspection of the vehicle, its contents, or both, may be denied 
entry; after entering the area without objection, consent shall be 
implied. A full search of a person and any vehicle driven or occupied by 
the person may accompany an arrest.
    (3) Except as otherwise ordered, properties must be closed to the 
public after normal business hours. Properties also may be closed to the 
public in emergency situations and at such other times as may be 
necessary for the orderly conduct of business. Admission to properties 
during periods when such properties are closed to the public may be 
limited to authorized individuals who may be required to sign the 
register and display identification documents when requested by security 
force personnel or other authorized individuals.
    (c) Preservation of property. Improperly disposing of rubbish, 
spitting, creating any hazard to persons or things, throwing articles of 
any kind from a building, climbing upon the roof or any part of a 
building, or willfully destroying, damaging, or removing any property or 
any part thereof, is prohibited.
    (d) Conformity with signs and directions. All persons in and on 
property shall comply with official signs of a prohibitory or directory 
nature, and with the directions of security force personnel or other 
authorized individuals.

[[Page 43]]

    (e) Disturbances. Disorderly conduct, or conduct which creates loud 
and unusual noise, or which impedes ingress to or egress from post 
offices, or otherwise obstructs the usual use of entrances, foyers, 
corridors, offices, elevators, stairways, and parking lots, or which 
otherwise tends to impede or disturb the public employees in the 
performance of their duties, or which otherwise impedes or disturbs the 
general public in transacting business or obtaining the services 
provided on property, is prohibited.
    (f) Gambling. Participating in games for money or other personal 
property, the operation of gambling devices, the conduct of a lottery or 
pool, or the selling or purchasing of lottery tickets, is prohibited on 
postal premises. This prohibition does not apply to the vending or 
exchange of State Lottery tickets at vending facilities operated by 
licensed blind persons where such lotteries are authorized by state law. 
(See Domestic Mail Manual 123.351 and 123.42; Administrative Support 
Manual 221.42; Regional Instructions, Part 782, section IV G 2c.)
    (g) Alcoholic beverages, drugs, and smoking. (1) A person under the 
influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug that has been defined as 
a ``controlled substance'' may not enter postal property or operate a 
motor vehicle on postal property. The possession, sale, or use of any 
``controlled substance'' (except when permitted by law) or the sale or 
use of any alcoholic beverage (except as authorized by the Postmaster 
General or designee) on postal premises is prohibited. The term 
``controlled substance'' is defined in section 802 of title 21 U.S.C.
    (2) Smoking (defined as having a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, or 
other smoking material) is prohibited in all postal buildings and office 
space, including public lobbies.
    (h) Soliciting, electioneering, collecting debts, vending, and 
advertising. (1) Soliciting alms and contributions, campaigning for 
election to any public office, collecting private debts, soliciting and 
vending for commercial purposes (including, but not limited to, the 
vending of newspapers and other publications), displaying or 
distributing commercial advertising, collecting signatures on petitions, 
polls, or surveys (except as otherwise authorized by Postal Service 
regulations), are prohibited. These prohibitions do not apply to:
    (i) Commercial or nonprofit activities performed under contract with 
the Postal Service or pursuant to the provisions of the Randolph-
Sheppard Act;
    (ii) Posting notices on bulletin boards as authorized in Sec. 
243.2(a) of this chapter;
    (iii) The solicitation of Postal Service and other Federal military 
and civilian personnel for contributions by recognized agencies as 
authorized by the Manual on Fund Raising Within the Federal Service, 
issued by the Chairman of the U.S. Civil Service Commission under 
Executive Order 10927 of March 13, 1961.
    (2) Solicitations and other actions which are prohibited by 
paragraph (h)(1) of this section when conducted on Postal Service 
property should not be directed by mail or telephone to postal employees 
on Postal Service property. The Postal Service will not accept or 
distribute mail or accept telephone calls directed to its employees 
which are believed to be contrary to paragraph (h)(1) of this section.
    (3) Leafleting, distributing literature, picketing, and 
demonstrating by members of the public are prohibited in lobbies and 
other interior areas of postal buildings open to the public. Public 
assembly and public address, except when conducted or sponsored by the 
Postal Service, are also prohibited in lobbies and other interior areas 
of postal building open to the public.
    (4) Voter registration. Voter registration may be conducted on 
postal premises only with the approval of the postmaster or installation 
head provided that all of the following conditions are met:
    (i) The registration must be conducted by government agencies or 
nonprofit civic leagues or organizations that operate for the promotion 
of social welfare but do not participate or intervene in any political 
campaign on behalf of any candidate or political party for any public 
office.
    (ii) Absolutely no partisan or political literature may be 
available, displayed, or distributed. This includes

[[Page 44]]

photographs, cartoons, and other likenesses of elected officials and 
candidates for public office.
    (iii) The registration is permitted only in those areas of the 
postal premises regularly open to the public.
    (iv) The registration must not interfere with the conduct of postal 
business, postal customers, or postal operations.
    (v) The organization conducting the voter registration must provide 
and be responsible for any equipment and supplies.
    (vi) Contributions may not be solicited.
    (vii) Access to the workroom floor is prohibited.
    (viii) The registration activities are limited to an appropriate 
period before an election.
    (5) Except as part of postal activities or activities associated 
with those permitted under paragraph (h)(4) of this section, no tables, 
chairs, freestanding signs or posters, structures, or furniture of any 
type may be placed in postal lobbies or on postal walkways, steps, 
plazas, lawns or landscaped areas, driveways, parking lots, or other 
exterior spaces.
    (i) Photographs for news, advertising, or commercial purposes. 
Except as prohibited by official signs or the directions of security 
force personnel or other authorized personnel, or a Federal court order 
or rule, photographs for news purposes may be taken in entrances, 
lobbies, foyers, corridors, or auditoriums when used for public 
meetings. Other photographs may be taken only with the permission of the 
local postmaster or installation head.
    (j) Dogs and other animals. Dogs and other animals, except those 
used to assist persons with disabilities, must not be brought upon 
postal property for other than official purposes.
    (k) Vehicular and pedestrian traffic. (1) Drivers of all vehicles in 
or on property shall be in possession of a current and valid state or 
territory issued driver's license and vehicle registration, and the 
vehicle shall display all current and valid tags and licenses required 
by the jurisdiction in which it is registered.
    (2) Drivers who have had their privilege or license to drive 
suspended or revoked by any state or territory shall not drive any 
vehicle in or on property during such period of suspension or 
revocation.
    (3) Drivers of all vehicles in or on property shall drive in a 
careful and safe manner at all times and shall comply with the signals 
and directions of security force personnel, other authorized 
individuals, and all posted traffic signs.
    (4) The blocking of entrances, driveways, walks, loading platforms, 
or fire hydrants in or on property is prohibited.
    (5) Parking without authority, parking in unauthorized locations or 
in locations reserved for other persons, or continuously in excess of 18 
hours without permission, or contrary to the direction of posted signs 
is prohibited. This section may be supplemented by the postmaster or 
installation head from time to time by the issuance and posting of 
specific traffic directives as may be required. When so issued and 
posted such directives shall have the same force and effect as if made a 
part hereof.
    (l) Weapons and explosives. No person while on postal property may 
carry firearms, other dangerous or deadly weapons, or explosives, either 
openly or concealed, or store the same on postal property, except for 
official purposes.
    (m) Nondiscrimination. There must be no discrimination by 
segregation or otherwise against any person or persons because of race, 
color, religion, national origin, sex, age (persons 40 years of age or 
older are protected), reprisal (discrimination against a person for 
having filed or for having participated in the processing of an EEO 
complaint--29 CFR 1613.26l-262), or physical or mental handicap, in 
furnishing, or by refusing to furnish to such person or persons the use 
of any facility of a public nature, including all services, privileges, 
accommodations, and activities provided on postal property.
    (n) Conduct with regard to meetings of the Board of Governors. (1) 
Without the permission of the chairman no person may participate in, 
film, televise, or broadcast any portion of any meeting of the Board or 
any subdivision or committee of the Board. Any person may

[[Page 45]]

electronically record or photograph a meeting, as long as that action 
does not tend to impede or disturb the members of the Board in the 
performance of their duties, or members of the public while attempting 
to attend or observe a meeting.
    (2) Disorderly conduct, or conduct which creates loud or unusual 
noise, obstructs the ordinary use of entrances, foyers, corridors, 
offices, meeting rooms, elevators, stairways, or parking lots, or 
otherwise tends to impede or disturb the members of the Board in the 
performance of their duties, or members of the public while attempting 
to attend or observe a meeting of the Board or of any subdivision, or 
committee of the Board, is prohibited.
    (3) Any person who violates paragraph (n) (1) or (2) of this section 
may, in addition to being subject to the penalties prescribed in 
paragraph (p) of this section, be removed from and barred from 
reentering postal property during the meeting with respect to which the 
violation occurred.
    (4) A copy of the rules of this section governing conduct on postal 
property, including the rules of this paragraph appropriately 
highlighted, shall be posted in prominent locations at the public 
entrances to postal property and outside the meeting room at any meeting 
of the Board of Governors or of any subdivision or committee of the 
Board.
    (o) Depositing literature. Depositing or posting handbills, flyers, 
pamphlets, signs, poster, placards, or other literature, except official 
postal and other Governmental notices and announcements, on the grounds, 
walks, driveways, parking and maneuvering areas, exteriors of buildings 
and other structures, or on the floors, walls, stairs, racks, counters, 
desks, writing tables, window-ledges, or furnishings in interior public 
areas on postal premises, is prohibited. This prohibition does not apply 
to:
    (1) Posting notices on bulletin boards as authorized in Sec. 
243.2(a) of this chapter;
    (2) Interior space assigned to tenants for their exclusive use;
    (3) Posting of notices by U.S. Government-related organizations such 
as the Inaugural Committee as defined in 36 U.S.C. 721.
    (p) Penalties and other law. (1) Alleged violations of these rules 
and regulations are heard, and the penalties prescribed herein are 
imposed, either in a Federal district court or by a Federal magistrate 
in accordance with applicable court rules. Questions regarding such 
rules should be directed to the regional counsel for the region 
involved.
    (2) Whoever shall be found guilty of violating the rules and 
regulations in this section while on property under the charge and 
control of the Postal Service is subject to fine of not more than $50 or 
imprisonment of not more than 30 days, or both. Nothing contained in 
these rules and regulations shall be construed to abrogate any other 
Federal laws or regulations of any State and local laws and regulations 
applicable to any area in which the property is situated.
    (q) Enforcement. (1) Members of the U.S. Postal Service security 
force shall exercise such special police powers provided by 40 U.S.C. 
1315(b)(2) as have been given to the security force by the Postal 
Service and shall be responsible for enforcing the regulations in this 
section in a manner that will protect Postal Service property.
    (2) Local postmasters and installation heads may, pursuant to 40 
U.S.C. 1315(d)(3) and with the approval of the chief postal inspector or 
his designee, enter into agreements with State and local enforcement 
agencies to insure that these rules and regulations are enforced in a 
manner that will protect Postal Service property.
    (3) Postal Inspectors, Office of Inspector General Criminal 
Investigators, and other persons designated by the Chief Postal 
Inspector may likewise enforce regulations in this section.

[37 FR 24346, Nov. 16, 1972, as amended at 38 FR 27824, Oct. 9, 1973; 41 
FR 23955, June 14, 1976; 42 FR 17443, Apr. 1, 1977; 43 FR 38825, Aug. 
31, 1978; 46 FR 898, Jan. 5, 1981. Redesignated and amended at 46 FR 
34330, July 1, 1981; 47 FR 32113, July 26, 1982; 53 FR 29460, Aug. 5, 
1988; 54 FR 20527, May 12, 1989; 57 FR 36903, Aug. 17, 1993; 57 FR 
38443, Aug. 25, 1992; 63 FR 34600, June 25, 1998; 70 FR 72078, Dec. 1, 
2005; 71 FR 11161, Mar. 6, 2006]

[[Page 46]]



PART 233_INSPECTION SERVICE AUTHORITY--Table of Contents




Sec.
233.1 Arrest and investigative powers of Postal Inspectors.
233.2 Circulars and rewards.
233.3 Mail covers.
233.4 Withdrawal of mail privileges.
233.5 Requesting financial records from a financial institution.
233.6 Test purchases under 39 U.S.C. 3005(e).
233.7 Forfeiture authority and procedures.
233.8 Expedited forfeiture proceedings for property seized for 
          administrative forfeiture involving controlled substances in 
          personal use quantities.
233.9 Expedited release of conveyances being forfeited in a judicial 
          forfeiture proceeding for a drug-related offense.
233.10 Notice provisions.
233.11 Mail reasonably suspected of being dangerous to persons or 
          property.
233.12 Civil penalties.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 101, 102, 202, 204, 401, 402, 403, 404, 406, 
410, 411, 1003, 3005(e)(1); 12 U.S.C. 3401-3422; 18 U.S.C. 981, 1956, 
1957, 2254, 3061; 21 U.S.C. 881; Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 
1996, sec. 662 (Pub. L. No. 104-208).



Sec. 233.1  Arrest and investigative powers of Postal Inspectors.

    (a) Authorization. Postal Inspectors are authorized to perform the 
following functions in connection with their official duties:
    (1) Serve warrants and subpoenas issued under the authority of the 
United States;
    (2) Make arrests without warrant for offenses against the United 
States committed in their presence;
    (3) Make arrests without warrant for felonies cognizable under the 
laws of the United States if they have reasonable grounds to believe 
that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such a 
felony;
    (4) Carry firearms; and
    (5) Make seizures of property as provided by law.
    (b) Limitations. The powers granted by paragraph (a) of this section 
shall be exercised only--
    (1) In the enforcement of laws regarding property in the custody of 
the Postal Service, property of the Postal Service, the use of the 
mails, and other postal offenses; and
    (2) To the extent authorized by the Attorney General pursuant to 
agreement between the Attorney General and the Postal Service, in the 
enforcement of other laws of the United States, if the Attorney General 
determines that the violation of such laws will have a detrimental 
effect upon the operations of the Postal Service.
    (c) Administrative subpoenas may be served by delivering a copy to a 
person or by mailing a copy to his or her last known address. For the 
purposes of this provision, delivery of a copy includes handing it to 
the party or leaving it at the party's office or residence with a person 
of suitable age and discretion employed or residing therein. Service by 
mail is complete upon mailing.
    (d) In conducting any investigation, Postal Inspectors are 
authorized to accept, maintain custody of, and deliver mail.

[36 FR 4762, Mar. 12, 1971, as amended at 38 FR 19124, July 18, 1973. 
Redesignated at 46 FR 34330, July 1, 1981; 52 FR 12901, Apr. 20, 1987; 
56 FR 55823, Oct. 30, 1991; 60 FR 5581, Jan. 30, 1995; 67 FR 16024, Apr. 
4, 2002]



Sec. 233.2  Circulars and rewards.

    (a) Wanted circulars. The Inspection Service issues wanted circulars 
to assist in locating and arresting fugitive postal offenders. Post 
these circulars in the most conspicuous place in the post office lobby 
and in other prominent places. Post near the Notice of Reward sign. 
Telephone or telegraph immediately to the postal inspector in charge any 
information on the possible location of the person wanted. Remove and 
destroy circulars immediately when notified of their cancellation or 
when the circular is not listed in the periodic Postal Bulletin notices 
of current wanted circulars.
    (b) Rewards. (1) Rewards will be paid up to the amounts and under 
the conditions stated in Poster 296, Notice of Reward, for the arrest 
and conviction of persons for the following postal offenses:
    (i) Robbery or attempted robbery.
    (ii) Mailing or causing to be mailed bombs, explosives, poison, 
weapons of mass destruction, or controlled substances.
    (iii) Post office burglary.
    (iv) Stealing or unlawful possession of mail or money or property of 
the

[[Page 47]]

United States under the custody or control of the Postal Service, 
including property of the Postal Service.
    (v) Destroying, obstructing or retarding the passage of mail.
    (vi) Altering, counterfeiting, forging, unlawful uttering or passing 
of postal money orders; or the unlawful use, counterfeiting or forgery 
of postage stamps or other postage; or the use, sale or possession with 
intent to use or sell, any forged or counterfeited postage stamp or 
other postage.
    (vii) Assault on postal employee.
    (viii) Murder or manslaughter of a postal employee.
    (ix) Mailing or receiving through the mail any visual depiction 
involving the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, or 
the use of the mail to facilitate any crime relating to the sexual 
exploitation of children.
    (x) Mailing or causing to be mailed any money which has been 
obtained illegally, or the use of Postal Money Orders to launder illicit 
proceeds.
    (2) The postmaster or a designated employee should personally 
present reward notices to representatives of firms transporting mail, 
security or detective units of firms, police officers, sheriffs and 
their deputies, if practicable, and encourage their cooperation in 
protecting mail and Postal Service property. (See 273.14 of the 
Administrative Support Manual).

    Note: The text of Poster 296, referred to in paragraph (b)(1) of 
this section, reads as follows:
The United States Postal Service offers a reward up to the amounts shown 
for information and services leading to the arrest and conviction of any 
person for the following offenses:
    Murder or Manslaughter, $100,000. The unlawful killing of any 
officer or employee of the Postal Service while engaged in or on account 
of the performance of their official duties.
    Bombs or Explosives, $100,000. Mailing or causing to be mailed any 
bombs or explosives which may kill or harm another, or injure the mails 
or other property, or the placing of any bomb or explosive in a postal 
facility, vehicle, depository or receptacle established, approved or 
designated by the Postmaster General for the receipt of mail.
    Offenses Involving the Mailing of Threatening Communications, 
Weapons of Mass Destruction, Poisons, or Hazardous Materials, $100,000. 
Mailing or causing to be mailed any threatening communications, actual 
or simulated weapons of mass destruction, dangerous chemicals or 
biological materials, which may kill or injure another, or injure the 
mails or other property.
    Assault on Postal Employees, $50,000. Forcibly assaulting any 
officer or employee of the Postal Service while engaged in or on account 
of the performance of their official duties.
    Controlled Substances, Illegal Drugs, or Cash Proceeds from Illegal 
Drugs, $50,000. Mailing or causing to be mailed any controlled 
substances, illegal drugs, or proceeds from the sale of illegal drugs.
    Money Laundering, $50,000. Mailing or causing to be mailed any money 
which has been obtained illegally, or the use of postal money orders to 
launder illicit proceeds.
    Postage or Meter Tampering, $50,000. The unlawful use, reuse, or 
forgery of postage stamps, postage meter stamps, permit imprints or 
other postage; or the use, sale or possession with intent to use or 
sell, any used, forged or counterfeited postage stamp or other postage.
    Robbery, $50,000. Robbery or attempted robbery of any custodian of 
any mail, or money or other property of the United States under the 
control and jurisdiction of the United States Postal Service.
    Sexual Exploitation of Children, $50,000. The use of the mails to 
traffic in child pornography, or facilitate any other crime relating to 
the sexual exploitation of children.
    Burglary of Post Office, $10,000. Breaking into, or attempting to 
break into, a post office, station, branch, or building used wholly or 
partially as a post office, or any building or area in a building where 
the business of the Postal Service is conducted, with intent to commit a 
larceny or other depredation therein.
    Offenses Involving Postal Money Orders, $10,000. Theft or possession 
of stolen postal money orders or any Postal Service equipment used to 
imprint money orders; or altering, counterfeiting, forging, unlawful 
uttering, or passing of postal money orders.
    Theft, Possession, Destruction, or Obstruction of Mail, $10,000. 
Theft or attempted theft of any mail, or the contents thereof, or the 
theft of money or any other property of the United States under the 
custody and control of the United States Postal Service from any 
custodian, postal vehicle, railroad depot, airport, or other transfer 
point, post office or station or receptacle or depository established, 
approved, or designated by the Postmaster General for the receipt of 
mail; or destroying, obstructing, or retarding the passage of mail, or 
any carrier or conveyance carrying the mail.
    Workers' Compensation Fraud, $10,000. Defrauding the Workers' 
Compensation Program by any current or former postal employee.
    Related Offenses

[[Page 48]]

    The United States Postal Service also offers rewards as stated above 
for information and services leading to the arrest and conviction of any 
person: (1) For being an accessory to any of the above crimes; (2) for 
receiving or having unlawful possession of any mail, money or property 
secured through the above crimes; and (3) for conspiracy to commit any 
of the above crimes.
    General Provisions
    1. The Postal Inspection Service investigates the above described 
crimes. Information concerning the violations, requests for applications 
for rewards, and written claims for rewards should be furnished to the 
nearest Postal Inspector. The written claim for reward payment must be 
submitted within six months from the date of conviction of the offender, 
or the date of formally deferred prosecution or the date of the 
offender's death, if killed in committing a crime or resisting lawful 
arrest for one of the above offenses.
    2. The amount of any reward will be based on the significance of 
services rendered, character of the offender, risks and hazards 
involved, time spent, and expenses incurred. Amounts of rewards shown 
above are the maximum amounts which will be paid.
    3. The term ``custodian'' as used herein includes any person having 
lawful charge, control, or custody of any mail matter, or any money or 
other property of the United States under the control and jurisdiction 
of the United States Postal Service.
    4. The Postal Service reserves the right to reject a claim for 
reward where there has been collusion, criminal involvement, or improper 
methods have been used to effect an arrest or to secure a conviction. It 
has the right to allow only one reward when several persons were 
convicted of the same offense, or one person was convicted of several of 
the above offenses. Postal employees are not eligible to receive a 
reward for the offenses listed above, other than Workers' Compensation 
fraud. Employees assigned to the Postal Inspection Service, the General 
Counsel's office, and those who manage or administer the Injury 
Compensation Program are not eligible to receive rewards.
    5. Other rewards not specifically referred to in this notice may be 
offered upon the approval of the Chief Postal Inspector (39 U.S.C. 
404(a)(8)).

    (c) The Chief Postal Inspector or his delegate is authorized to pay 
a reward to any person who provides information leading to the detection 
of persons or firms who obtain, or seek to obtain, funds, property, or 
services from the Postal Service based upon false or fraudulent 
activities, statements or claims. The decision as to whether a reward 
shall be paid and the amount thereof shall be solely within the 
discretion of the Chief Postal Inspector or his delegate and the 
submission of information or a claim for a reward shall not establish a 
contractual right to receive any reward. The reward shall not exceed 
one-half of the amount collected by the Postal Service as a result of 
civil or criminal proceedings to recover losses or penalties as a result 
of false or fraudulent claims or statements submitted to the Postal 
Service. Postal employees assigned to the Postal Inspection Service or 
the Law Department are not eligible to receive a reward under this 
section for information obtained while so employed. The Chief Inspector 
may establish such procedures and forms as may be desirable to give 
effect to this section including procedures to protect the identity of 
persons claiming rewards under this section.

[36 FR 4673, Mar. 12, 1971, as amended at 42 FR 43836, Aug. 31, 1977. 
Redesignated at 46 FR 34330, July 1, 1981, and amended at 47 FR 26832, 
June 22, 1982; 47 FR 46498, Oct. 19, 1982; 49 FR 15191, Apr. 18, 1984; 
54 FR 37795, Sept. 13, 1989; 55 FR 32251, Aug. 8, 1990; 59 FR 5326, Feb. 
4, 1994; 60 FR 54305, Oct. 23, 1995; 63 FR 52160, Sept. 30, 1998; 69 FR 
16166, Mar. 29, 2004]



Sec. 233.3  Mail covers.

    (a) Policy. The U.S. Postal Service maintains rigid control and 
supervision with respect to the use of mail covers as an investigative 
technique for law enforcement or the protection of national security.
    (b) Scope. These regulations constitute the sole authority and 
procedure for initiating a mail cover, and for processing, using and 
disclosing information obtained from mail covers.
    (c) Definitions. For purpose of these regulations, the following 
terms are hereby defined.
    (1) Mail cover is the process by which a nonconsensual record is 
made of any data appearing on the outside cover of any sealed or 
unsealed class of mail matter, or by which a record is made of the 
contents of any unsealed class of mail matter as allowed by law, to 
obtain information in order to:
    (i) Protect national security,
    (ii) Locate a fugitive,
    (iii) Obtain evidence of commission or attempted commission of a 
crime,

[[Page 49]]

    (iv) Obtain evidence of a violation or attempted violation of a 
postal statute, or
    (v) Assist in the identification of property, proceeds or assets 
forfeitable under law.
    (2) For the purposes of Sec. 233.3 record is a transcription, 
photograph, photocopy or any other facsimile of the image of the outside 
cover, envelope, wrapper, or contents of any class of mail.
    (3) Sealed mail is mail on which appropriate postage is paid, and 
which under postal laws and regulations is included within a class of 
mail maintained by the Postal Service for the transmission of mail 
sealed against inspection, including First-Class Mail, Express Mail, 
international letter mail, and mailgram messages.
    (4) Unsealed mail is mail on which appropriate postage for sealed 
mail has not been paid and which under postal laws or regulations is not 
included within a class of mail maintained by the Postal Service for the 
transmission of mail sealed against inspection. Unsealed mail includes 
second-, third-, and fourth-class mail, and international parcel post 
mail.
    (5) Fugitive is any person who has fled from the United States or 
any State, the District of Columbia, territory or possession of the 
United States, to avoid prosecution for a crime, to avoid punishment for 
a crime, or to avoid giving testimony in a criminal proceeding.
    (6) Crime, for the purposes of this section, is any commission of an 
act or the attempted commission of an act that is punishable by law by 
imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.
    (7) Postal statute refers to a statute describing criminal activity, 
regardless of the term of imprisonment, for which the Postal Service has 
investigative authority, or which is directed against the Postal 
Service, its operations, programs, or revenues.
    (8) Law enforcement agency is any authority of the Federal 
Government or any authority of a State or local government, one of whose 
functions is to:
    (i) Investigate the commission or attempted commission of acts 
constituting a crime, or
    (ii) Protect the national security.
    (9) Protection of the national security means to protect the United 
States from any of the following actual or potential threats to its 
security by a foreign power or its agents:
    (i) An attack or other grave, hostile act;
    (ii) Sabotage, or international terrorism; or
    (iii) Clandestine intelligence activities, including commercial 
espionage.
    (10) Emergency situation refers to circumstances which require the 
immediate release of information to prevent the loss of evidence or in 
which there is a potential for immediate physical harm to persons or 
property.
    (d) Authorizations--Chief Postal Inspector. (1) The Chief Postal 
Inspector is the principal officer of the Postal Service in the 
administration of all matters governing mail covers. The Chief Postal 
Inspector may delegate any or all authority in this regard to not more 
than two designees at Inspection Service Headquarters.
    (2) Except for national security mail covers, the Chief Postal 
Inspector may also delegate any or all authority to the Manager, 
Inspector Service Operations Support Group, and, for emergency 
situations, to Inspectors in Charge. The Manager, Inspection Service 
Operations Support Group, may delegate this authority to no more than 
two designees at each Operations Support Group.
    (3) All such delegations of authority shall be issued through 
official, written directives. Except for delegations at Inspection 
Service Headquarters, such delegations shall only apply to the 
geographic areas served by the Manager, Inspection Service Operation 
Support Group, or designee.
    (e) The Chief Postal Inspector, or his designee, may order mail 
covers under the following circumstances:
    (1) When a written request is received from a postal inspector that 
states reason to believe a mail cover will produce evidence relating to 
the violation of a postal statute.
    (2) When a written request is received from any law enforcement 
agency in which the requesting authority specifies the reasonable 
grounds to demonstrate the mail cover is necessary to:
    (i) Protect the national security,

[[Page 50]]

    (ii) Locate a fugitive,
    (iii) Obtain information regarding the commission or attempted 
commission of a crime, or
    (iv) Assist in the identification of property, proceeds or assets 
forfeitable because of a violation of criminal law.
    (3) When time is of the essence, the Chief Postal Inspector, or 
designee, may act upon an oral request to be confirmed by the requesting 
authority in writing within three calendar days. Information may be 
released by the Chief Postal Inspector or designee, prior to receipt of 
the written request, only when the releasing official is satisfied that 
an emergency situation exists.
    (f)(1) Exceptions. A postal inspector, or a postal employee acting 
at the direction of a postal inspector, may record the information 
appearing on the envelope or outer wrapping, of mail without obtaining a 
mail cover order, only under the circumstances in paragraph (f)(2) of 
this section.
    (2) The mail must be:
    (i) Undelivered mail found abandoned or in the possession of a 
person reasonably believed to have stolen or embezzled such mail,
    (ii) Damaged or rifled, undelivered mail, or
    (iii) An immediate threat to persons or property.
    (g) Limitations. (1) No person in the Postal Service except those 
employed for that purpose in dead-mail offices, may open, or inspect the 
contents of, or permit the opening or inspection of sealed mail without 
a federal search warrant, even though it may contain criminal or 
otherwise nonmailable matter, or furnish evidence of the commission of a 
crime, or the violation of a postal statute.
    (2) No employee of the Postal Service shall open or inspect the 
contents of any unsealed mail, except for the purpose of determining:
    (i) Payment of proper postage, or
    (ii) Mailability.
    (3) No mail cover shall include matter mailed between the mail cover 
subject and the subject's known attorney.
    (4) No officer or employee of the Postal Service other than the 
Chief Postal Inspector, Manager, Inspection Service Operations Support 
Group, and their designees, are authorized to order mail covers. Under 
no circumstances may a postmaster or postal employee furnish information 
as defined in Sec. 233.3(c)(1) to any person, except as authorized by a 
mail cover order issued by the Chief Postal Inspector or designee, or as 
directed by a postal inspector under the circumstances described in 
Sec. 233.3(f).
    (5) Except for mail covers ordered upon fugitives or subjects 
engaged, or suspected to be engaged, in any activity against the 
national security, no mail cover order shall remain in effect for more 
than 30 days, unless adequate justification is provided by the 
requesting authority. At the expiration of the mail cover order period, 
or prior thereto, the requesting authority may be granted additional 30-
day periods under the same conditions and procedures applicable to the 
original request. The requesting authority must provide a statement of 
the investigative benefit of the mail cover and anticipated benefits to 
be derived from its extension.
    (6) No mail cover shall remain in force longer than 120 continuous 
days unless personally approved for further extension by the Chief 
Postal Inspector or designees at National Headquarters.
    (7) Except for fugitive cases, no mail cover shall remain in force 
when an information has been filed or the subject has been indicted for 
the matter for which the mail cover is requested. If the subject is 
under investigation for further criminal violations, or a mail cover is 
required to assist in the identification of property, proceeds or assets 
forfeitable because of a violation of criminal law, a new mail cover 
order must be requested consistent with these regulations.
    (8) Any national security mail cover request must be approved 
personally by the head of the law enforcement agency requesting the 
cover or one designee at the agency's headquarters level. The head of 
the agency shall notify the Chief Postal Inspector in writing of such 
designation.
    (h) Records. (1) All requests for mail covers, with records of 
action ordered thereon, and all reports issued pursuant thereto, shall 
be deemed within the custody of the Chief Postal Inspector. However, the 
physical storage of this

[[Page 51]]

data shall be at the discretion of the Chief Postal Inspector.
    (2) If the Chief Postal Inspector, or his designee, determines a 
mail cover was improperly ordered, all data acquired while the cover was 
in force shall be destroyed, and the requesting authority notified of 
the discontinuance of the mail cover and the reasons therefor.
    (3) Any data concerning mail covers shall be made available to any 
mail cover subject in any legal proceeding through appropriate discovery 
procedures.
    (4) The retention period for files and records pertaining to mail 
covers shall be 8 years.
    (i) Reporting to requesting authority. Once a mail cover has been 
duly ordered, authorization may be delegated to any employee in the 
Postal Inspection Service to transmit mail cover reports directly to the 
requesting authority.
    (j) Review. (1) The Chief Postal Inspector, or his designee at 
Inspection Service Headquarters shall periodically review mail cover 
orders issued by the Manager, Inspection Service Operations Support 
Group or their designees to ensure compliance with these regulations and 
procedures.
    (2) The Chief Postal Inspector shall select and appoint a designee 
to conduct a periodic review of national security mail cover orders.
    (3) The Chief Postal Inspector's determination in all matters 
concerning mail covers shall be final and conclusive and not subject to 
further administrative review.
    (k) Military postal system. Section 233.3 does not apply to the 
military postal system overseas or to persons performing military postal 
duties overseas. Information about regulations prescribed by the 
Department of Defense for the military postal system overseas may be 
obtained from the Department of Defense.

[58 FR 36599, July 8, 1993, as amended at 61 FR 42557, Aug. 16, 1996]



Sec. 233.4  Withdrawal of mail privileges.

    (a) False representation and lottery orders--(1) Issuance. Pursuant 
to 39 U.S.C. 3005, the Judicial Officer of the Postal Service, acting 
upon a satisfactory evidentiary basis, may issue a mail-stop order 
against anyone seeking mailed remittance of money or property by means 
of a false-representation or lottery scheme. Such orders provide for 
return of mail and refund of postal money orders to remitters.
    (2) Enforcement. Notice of these orders, including any necessary 
instructions on enforcement responsibilities and procedures, is 
published in the Postal Bulletin. Generally, an order against a domestic 
enterprise is enforced only by the post office designated in the order. 
All personnel processing mail for dispatch abroad assist in enforcing 
orders against foreign enterprises by forwarding mail addressed to such 
enterprises to designated post offices.
    (b) Fictitious name or address and not residents of the place of 
address orders--(1) Issuance. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3003, 3004, when 
there is satisfactory evidence that mail is addressed to a fictitious 
name, title, or address used for any unlawful business, and no one has 
established a right to have the mail delivered to him, or that mail is 
addressed to places not the residence or regular business address of the 
person for whom they are intended to enable the person to escape 
identification, the Judicial Officer may, pursuant to Part 964, order 
that the mail be returned to the sender.
    (2) Notice. (i) The Chief Postal Inspector or his delegate must give 
notice to the addressee of mail withheld from delivery pursuant to 39 
U.S.C. 3003, 3004 that such action has been taken and advise him that he 
may:
    (A) Obtain such mail upon presenting proof of his identity and right 
to receive such mail, or
    (B) Petition the Judicial Officer for the return of such mail. (ii) 
The notice must be in writing and served by personal service upon the 
addressee or by Certified Mail (Return Receipt Requested) and by First 
Class Mail.
    (3) Enforcement. Notice of any order issued pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 
3003, 3004, and any necessary implementing instructions, are published 
in the Postal Bulletin.

[45 FR 1613, Jan. 8, 1980. Redesignated at 46 FR 34330, July 1, 1981, 
and amended at 53 FR 1780, Jan. 22, 1988]

[[Page 52]]



Sec. 233.5  Requesting financial records from a financial institution.

    (a) Definitions. The terms used in this section have the same 
meaning as similar terms used in the Right to Financial Privacy Act of 
1978, Title XI of Pub. L. 95-630. Act means the Right to Financial 
Privacy Act of 1978.
    (b) Purpose. The purpose of these regulations is: (1) To authorize 
the Inspection Service Department of the U.S. Postal Service to request 
financial records from a financial institution pursuant to the formal 
written request procedure authorized by section 1108 of the Act and (2) 
to set forth the conditions under which such request may be made.
    (c) Authorization. The Inspection Service Department is authorized 
to request financial records of any customer from a financial 
institution pursuant to a formal written request under the Act only if:
    (1) No administrative summons or subpoena authority reasonably 
appears to be available to the Inspection Service Department to obtain 
financial records for the purpose for which the records are sought;
    (2) There is reason to believe that the records sought are relevant 
to a legitimate law enforcement inquiry and will further that inquiry;
    (3) The request is issued by a supervisory official of a rank 
designated by the Chief Postal Inspector. Officials so designated shall 
not delegate this authority to others;
    (4) The request adheres to the requirements set forth in paragraph 
(d) of this section; and
    (5) The notice requirements set forth in section 1108(4) of the Act, 
or the requirements pertaining to the delay of notice in section 1109 of 
the Act, are satisfied, except in situations (e.g., section 1113(g)) 
where no notice is required.
    (d) Written request. (1) The formal request must be in the form of a 
letter or memorandum to an appropriate official of the financial 
institution and must contain:
    (i) The signature of the issuing official and the official's name, 
title, business address, and business phone number;
    (ii) The identity of the customer or customers to whom the records 
pertain;
    (iii) A reasonable description of the records sought; and
    (iv) Any additional information which may be appropriate--e.g., the 
date when the opportunity for the customer to challenge the formal 
written request expires, the date when the Inspection Service Department 
expects to present a certificate of compliance with the applicable 
provisions of the Act, the name and title of the individual (if known) 
to whom disclosure is to be made.
    (2) In cases where customer notice is delayed by court order, a copy 
of the court order must be attached to the formal written request.
    (e) Certification. Before obtaining the requested records following 
a formal written request, a supervisory official authorized to issue a 
request must certify in writing to the financial institution that the 
Inspection Service Department has complied with the applicable 
provisions of the Act.

[44 FR 39161, July 5, 1979. Redesignated at 46 FR 34330, July 1, 1981]



Sec. 233.6  Test purchases under 39 U.S.C. 3005(e).

    (a) Scope. This section, which implements 39 U.S.C. 3005(e), 
supplements any postal regulations or instructions regarding test 
purchases or test purchase procedures. It is limited to test purchases 
conducted according to 39 U.S.C. 3005(e).
    (b) Definitions--(1) Test purchase. The acquisition of any article 
or service, for which money or property are sought through the mails, 
from the person or representative offering the article or service. The 
purpose is to investigate possible violations of postal laws.
    (2) Test Purchase Request. A written document requesting the sale of 
an article or service pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3005(e) and containing the 
following information:
    (i) The name and address of the person, firm, or corporation to whom 
the request is directed;
    (ii) The name, title, signature, office mailing address, and office 
telephone

[[Page 53]]

number of the person making the request;
    (iii) A description of the article or service requested which is 
sufficient to enable the person to whom the request is made to identify 
the article or service being sought;
    (iv) A statement of the nature of the conduct under investigation;
    (v) A statement that the article or service must be tendered at the 
time and place stated in the purchase request, unless the person making 
the request and the person to whom it is made agree otherwise in 
writing;
    (vi) A verbatim statement of 39 U.S.C. 3005, 3007; and
    (vii) A statement that failure to provide the requested article or 
service may be considered in a proceeding under 39 U.S.C. 3007 to 
determine whether probable cause exists to believe that 39 U.S.C. 3005 
is being violated.
    (c) Service of Test Purchase Request. (1) The original of the Test 
Purchase Request must be delivered to the person, firm, or corporation 
to whom the request is made or to his or its representative. It must be 
accompanied by a check or money order in the amount for which the 
article or service is offered for sale, made payable to the person, firm 
or corporation making the offer.
    (2) The person serving the Test Purchase Request must make and sign 
a record, stating the date and place of service and the name of the 
person served. The person making the request must retain a copy of the 
Test Purchase Request, the record of service, and the money order 
receipt or a photocopy of the issued check or the cancelled check. 
Alternatively, the request may be made by certified mail.
    (d) Authorizations. The Chief Postal Inspector is the principal 
officer of the Postal Service for the administration of all matters 
governing test purchases under this section. The Chief Inspector may 
delegate any or all authority in this regard to any or all postal 
inspectors.

[49 FR 7230, Feb. 28, 1984; 49 FR 8250, Mar. 6, 1984]



Sec. 233.7  Forfeiture authority and procedures.

    (a) Designation of officials having forfeiture authority. The Chief 
Postal Inspector is authorized to perform all duties and 
responsibilities necessary on behalf of the Postal Service to enforce 18 
U.S.C. 981, 2254, and 21 U.S.C. 881, to delegate all or any part of this 
authority to Deputy Chief Inspectors, Inspectors in Charge, and 
Inspectors of the Postal Inspection Service, and to issue such 
instructions as may be necessary to carry out this authority.
    (b) Administrative forfeiture authority. The Chief Postal Inspector 
is authorized to conduct administrative forfeitures under the statutes 
identified in paragraph (a) of this section, following, where 
applicable, the procedures provided by the customs laws of the United 
States (19 U.S.C. 1600 et seq.), and to pay valid liens and mortgages 
against property that has been so forfeited.
    (c) Inventory. An inventory of all property seized for forfeiture 
under the statutes identified in paragraph (a) of this section shall be 
prepared and maintained by the Postal Inspection Service. The inventory 
should occur within seven days of the seizure. The inventory must, at a 
minimum, identify all property seized, state the exact location of the 
property at the time of its seizure, and describe in detail the 
condition of the property. A written receipt containing such information 
and identifying the Postal Inspector who conducted the seizure must be 
provided to the party from whom the property was seized, or the party's 
agent or representative, at the time of the seizure or as soon 
thereafter as is practicable.
    (d) Custody. Custody of all property seized for forfeiture under the 
statutes identified in paragraph (a) of this section is maintained by 
the U.S. Marshals Service, except property held for evidentiary 
purposes; retained for official use upon forfeiture; subject to 
equitable transfer to federal, state or local law enforcement agencies; 
or subject to civil administrative forfeiture.
    (e) Appraisal. The Postal Inspection Service must promptly obtain or 
complete an appraisal of all seized property. The appraisal value is the 
fair market value of the property, which is

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the highest price, in terms of money, which a property will bring in a 
competitive and open market.
    (f) Quick-release. Property subject to administrative forfeiture 
may, prior to forfeiture, be released by the Postal Inspection Service 
to the owner of the property having an immediate right to possession of 
the property when the Postal Inspection Service concludes that release 
of the property is in the best interest of justice. An agreement to hold 
harmless the United States, the Postal Inspection Service, and all other 
involved entities should be obtained from the owner. A decision for 
quick release of the property should be made within five days of the 
seizure.
    (g) Judicial forfeiture. If the appraised value of property seized 
exceeds $500,000, with the exception of: (1) Monetary instruments within 
the meaning of 31 U.S.C. 5312(a)(3), or (2) any conveyance which was 
used to import, export, transport, or store any controlled substance or 
if a claim and satisfactory bond have been received for property 
appraised at $500,000 or less, or for any monetary instruments within 
the meaning of 31 U.S.C. 5312(a)(3) or any conveyance which was used to 
import, export, transport, or store any controlled substance the Postal 
Inspection Service must transmit the claim and bond to the U.S. Attorney 
for the judicial district in which the seizure was made and request that 
the U.S. Attorney promptly institute a judicial forfeiture proceeding 
against the property. The Postal Inspection Service must provide the 
U.S. Attorney a complete written description of the property, a 
statement of the facts and circumstances leading to the seizure of the 
property, including all facts and documentation leading to the 
conclusion that the seized property is subject to forfeiture, and such 
additional information as the U.S. Attorney may require for the purpose 
of instituting a judicial forfeiture action.
    (h) Notice of seizure for property having a value of $500,000 or 
less, or for monetary instruments or for conveyances which were used to 
transport or store any controlled substance; advertisement; declaration 
of forfeiture. (1) The Postal Inspection Service must cause written 
notice of the seizure of all property subject to civil administrative 
forfeiture to be sent to each known party that may have a possessory or 
ownership interest in the seized property. The notice must describe the 
property seized; state the date, place, and cause for seizure; and 
inform the party of the intent of the Postal Inspection Service to 
forfeit the property. In addition, the notice must state that any person 
desiring a judicial determination of forfeiture must file a claim and 
bond (see paragraph 2 of this subsection) with a designated official of 
the Postal Inspection Service, within twenty days from the date of the 
first publication of the notice of seizure (see paragraph (4) of this 
subsection), or of the date of the letter of personal notice required by 
this paragraph, whichever is later. Any claim submitted pursuant to this 
paragraph is invalid unless accompanied by a bond meeting the 
requirements of paragraph (2), or a completed PS Form 1518, Petition to 
Proceed in Forma Pauperis.
    (2) A bond in the amount of $5,000 or ten percent of the value of 
the claimed property, whichever is lower, but in no event less than 
$250, must accompany any claim submitted pursuant to paragraph (1). The 
bond may be in the form of a cashier's check, certified check, or money 
order made payable to the United States of America, or satisfactory 
sureties. If a claimant is financially unable to post the bond because 
of indigency, such a person may request a waiver of the bond by 
completion of PS Form 1518, Petition to Proceed in Forma Pauperis.
    (3) Upon receipt of the claim and bond, the Postal Inspection 
Service must, upon determining that the documents are in proper form and 
the sureties satisfactory, transmit the documents to the appropriate 
U.S. Attorney as provided in subsection (g). If the documents are not 
satisfactory, the Postal Inspection Service must notify the party making 
the claim and may allow a reasonable time for correction. If correction 
is not made within the time allowed for that purpose, the administrative 
forfeiture must proceed as though the claim and bond had not been 
tendered.
    (4) Notice of administrative forfeiture proceedings containing the 
information required by subsection (h)(1)

[[Page 55]]

must be published once each week for at least three successive weeks in 
a newspaper of general circulation in the judicial district in which the 
property was seized. If a claim and satisfactory bond is not filed 
within the time allowed, the Postal Inspection Service may declare the 
property forfeited.
    (i) Disposition of forfeited property. (1) Whenever property is 
forfeited administratively, the Postal Inspection Service may:
    (i) Retain the property for official use;
    (ii) Transfer ownership of the property to any federal, state or 
local law enforcement agency that participated in the investigation 
leading to the forfeiture;
    (iii) Sell any property which is not required to be destroyed by law 
and which is not harmful to the public;
    (iv) Destroy the property; or
    (v) Dispose of the property as otherwise permitted by law.
    (2) If the laws of a state in which an article of forfeited property 
is located prohibit the sale or possession of such property or if the 
Postal Service and the Marshals Service are of the opinion that it would 
be more advantageous to sell the forfeited property in another district, 
the property may be moved to and sold in such other district.
    (3) If, after an administrative forfeiture of property is completed, 
it appears that the proceeds of sale will not be sufficient to pay the 
costs of sale or the proceeds will be insignificant in relation to the 
expenses involved in the forfeiture, then the Postal Service or the 
Marshals Service may order destruction or other disposition of the 
property including alteration of the property into an article that is 
not prohibited.
    (j) Remission or mitigation of administrative, civil, and criminal 
forfeitures--(1) Authority, purpose, and scope--(i) Purpose. This 
section sets forth the procedures for Postal Inspection Service 
officials to follow when considering remission or mitigation of 
administrative forfeitures under the jurisdiction of the Postal Service. 
The purpose of these regulations is to provide a basis for ameliorating 
the effects of forfeiture through the partial or total remission of 
forfeiture for individuals who have an interest in the forfeited 
property but who did not participate in, or have knowledge of, the 
conduct that resulted in the property being subject to forfeiture and, 
where required, took all reasonable steps under the circumstances to 
ensure that such property would not be used, acquired, or disposed of 
contrary to law. Additionally, these regulations provide for partial or 
total mitigation of the forfeiture and imposition of alternative 
conditions in appropriate circumstances.
    (ii) Authority to grant remission and mitigation. (A) Remission and 
mitigation functions in administrative forfeitures are performed by the 
agency seizing the property. Within the Postal Inspection Service, 
authority to grant remission and mitigation is delegated to the 
Independent Counsel, Office of the Chief Inspector, Washington, DC.
    (B) Remission and mitigation functions in judicial cases are within 
the jurisdiction of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. 
Within the Criminal Division, authority to grant remission and 
mitigation has been delegated to the Chief, Asset Forfeiture and Money 
Laundering Section.
    (C) The powers and responsibilities within these regulations may be 
redelegated to attorneys or managers working under the supervision of 
the designated officials.
    (D) The time periods and internal requirements established in these 
regulations are designed to guide the orderly administration of the 
remission and mitigation process and are not intended to create rights 
or entitlements in favor of individuals seeking remission or mitigation. 
These regulations will apply to all decisions on petitions for remission 
or mitigation made on or after July 1, 1997. These regulations will 
apply to decisions on requests for reconsideration of a denial of a 
petition under paragraphs (j)(3)(x) and (3)(xi) of this section only if 
the initial decision on the petition was made under the provisions of 
this part effective July 1, 1997.
    (E) This section governs any petition for remission or mitigation 
filed with the Chief Postal Inspector and supersedes any Postal Service 
regulation governing petitions for remission or

[[Page 56]]

mitigation to the extent such regulation is inconsistent with this 
section.
    (2) Definitions. As used in this part:
    (i) The term administrative forfeiture means the process by which 
property may be forfeited by an investigative agency rather than through 
judicial proceedings.
    (ii) The term appraised value means the estimated market value of an 
asset at the time and place of seizure if such or similar property was 
freely offered for sale between a willing seller and a willing buyer.
    (iii) The term Attorney General means the Attorney General of the 
United States or his or her designee.
    (iv) The term beneficial owner means a person with actual use of, as 
well as an interest in, the property subject to forfeiture.
    (v) The term general creditor means one whose claim or debt is not 
secured by a specific right to obtain satisfaction against the 
particular property subject to forfeiture.
    (vi) The term judgment creditor means one who has obtained a 
judgment against the debtor but has not yet received full satisfaction 
of the judgment.
    (vii) The term judicial forfeiture means either a civil or criminal 
proceeding in a United States District Court that may result in a final 
judgment and order of forfeiture.
    (viii) The term lienholder means a creditor whose claim or debt is 
secured by a specific right to obtain satisfaction against the 
particular property subject to forfeiture. A lien creditor qualifies as 
a lienholder if the lien:
    (A) Was established by operation of law or contract;
    (B) Was created as a result of an exchange of money, goods, or 
services; and
    (C) Is perfected against the specific property forfeited for which 
remission or mitigation is sought (e.g., a real estate mortgage, a 
mechanic's lien).
    (ix) The term net equity means the amount of a lienholder's monetary 
interest in property subject to forfeiture. Net equity shall be computed 
by determining the amount of unpaid principal and unpaid interest at the 
time of seizure, and by adding to that sum unpaid interest calculated 
from the date of seizure through the last full month prior to the date 
of the decision on the petition. Where a rate of interest is set forth 
in a security agreement, the rate of interest to be used in this 
computation will be the annual percentage rate so specified in the 
security agreement that is the basis of the lienholder's interest. In 
this computation, however, there shall be no allowances for attorneys' 
fees, accelerated or enhanced interest charges, amounts set by contract 
as damages, unearned extended warranty fees, insurance, service contract 
charges incurred after the date of seizure, allowances for dealer's 
reserve, or any other similar charges.
    (x) The term owner means the person in whom primary title is vested 
or whose interest is manifested by the actual and beneficial use of the 
property, even though the title is vested in another. A victim of an 
offense as defined in paragraph (j) (2)(xxi) of this section may also be 
an owner if he or she has a present legally cognizable ownership 
interest in the property forfeited. A nominal owner of property will not 
be treated as its true owner if he or she is not its beneficial owner.
    (xi) The term person means an individual, partnership, corporation, 
joint business enterprise, estate, or other legal entity capable of 
owning property.
    (xii) The term petition means a petition for remission or mitigation 
of forfeiture under these regulations. This definition includes a 
petition for restoration of the proceeds of sale of forfeited property 
and a petition for the value of forfeited property placed into official 
use.
    (xiii) The term petitioner means the person applying for remission, 
mitigation, restoration of the proceeds of sale, or for the appraised 
value of forfeited property under these regulations. A petitioner may be 
an owner of forfeited property as defined in paragraph (j)(2)(x) of this 
section; a lienholder as defined in paragraph (j)(2)(viii) of this 
section; or a victim as defined in paragraph (j)(2)(xxi) of this section 
subject to the limitations of paragraph (j)(8) of this section.
    (xiv) The term Postal Service Fund means the United States Postal 
Fund established under 39 U.S.C. 2003.

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    (xv) The term property means real or personal property of any kind 
capable of being owned or possessed.
    (xvi) The term record means a series of arrests for related crimes, 
unless the arrestee was acquitted or the charges were dismissed for lack 
of evidence; a conviction for a related crime or completion of sentence 
within ten years of the acquisition of the property subject to 
forfeiture; or two convictions for a related crime at any time in the 
past.
    (xvii) The term related crime as used in paragraphs (j)(2)(xvi) and 
(6)(v) of this section means any crime similar in nature to that which 
gives rise to the seizure of property for forfeiture. For example, where 
property is seized for a violation of the federal laws dealing with 
drugs, a related crime would be any offense involving a violation of the 
federal laws relating to drugs or the laws of any state or political 
subdivision thereof relating to drugs.
    (xviii) The term related offense as used in paragraph (j)(8) of this 
section means:
    (A) Any predicate offense charged in a Federal Racketeer Influenced 
and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) count for which forfeiture was 
ordered; or
    (B) An offense committed as part of the same scheme or design, or 
pursuant to the same conspiracy, as was involved in the offense for 
which the forfeiture was ordered.
    (xix) The term Ruling Official means any official to whom decision 
making authority has been delegated pursuant to paragraph (j)(1)(ii) of 
this section.
    (xx) The term seizing agency means the federal agency that seized 
the property or adopted the seizure of another agency for federal 
forfeiture.
    (xxi) The term victim means a person who has incurred a pecuniary 
loss as a direct result of the commission of the offense underlying a 
forfeiture. A drug user is not considered a victim of a drug trafficking 
offense under this definition. A victim does not include one who 
acquires a right to sue the perpetrator of the criminal offense for any 
loss by assignment, subrogation, inheritance, or otherwise from the 
actual victim, unless that person has acquired an actual ownership 
interest in the forfeited property.
    (xxii) The term violator means the person whose use or acquisition 
of the property in violation of the law subjected such property to 
seizure for forfeiture.
    (3) Petitions in administrative forfeiture cases--(i) Notice of 
seizure. The notice of seizure and intent to forfeit the property shall 
advise any persons who may have a present ownership interest in the 
property to submit their petitions for remission or mitigation within 
thirty (30) days of the date they receive the notice in order to 
facilitate processing. Petitions shall be considered any time after 
notice until the forfeited property is placed into official use, sold, 
or otherwise disposed of according to law, except in cases involving 
petitions to restore the proceeds from the sale of forfeited property. A 
notice of seizure shall include the title of the seizing agency, the 
Ruling Official, the mailing and street address of the official to whom 
petitions should be sent, and an asset identifier number.
    (ii) Persons who may file. A petition for remission or mitigation 
must be filed by a petitioner as defined in paragraph (j)(2)(xiii) of 
this section or as prescribed in paragraphs (j)(9) (vii) and (viii) of 
this section.
    (iii) Contents of petition. (A) All petitions must include the 
following information in clear and concise terms:
    (1) The name, address, and social security or other taxpayer 
identification number of the person claiming an interest in the seized 
property who is seeking remission or mitigation;
    (2) The name of the seizing agency, the asset identifier number, and 
the date and place of seizure;
    (3) A complete description of the property including make, model, 
and serial numbers, if any; and
    (4) A description of the petitioner's interest in the property as 
owner, lienholder, or otherwise, supported by original or certified 
bills of sale, contracts, deeds, mortgages, or other documentary 
evidence.
    (B) Any factual recitation or documentation of any type in a 
petition must be supported by a sworn affidavit.
    (iv) Releases. In addition to the contents of the petition for 
remission or mitigation set forth in paragraph (j)(3)(iii) of this 
section, upon request,

[[Page 58]]

the petitioner shall also furnish the agency with an instrument executed 
by the titled or registered owner and any other known claimant of an 
interest in the property releasing interest in such property.
    (v) Filing petition with agency. (A) A petition for remission or 
mitigation of an administrative forfeiture by the Postal Inspection 
Service shall be sent to the Chief Postal Inspector, United States 
Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20260-2100.
    (B) The petition shall be sworn to by the petitioner or by the 
petitioner's attorney upon information and belief, supported by the 
client's sworn notice of representation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746, as 
set out in paragraph (j)(9)(vii) of this section.
    (vi) Agency investigation. Upon receipt of a petition, the Postal 
Inspection Service shall investigate the merits of the petition and 
prepare a written report containing the results of that investigation. 
This report shall be submitted to the Ruling Official for review and 
consideration.
    (vii) Ruling. Upon receipt of the petition and the agency report, 
the Ruling Official shall review the petition and the report, and shall 
rule on the merits of the petition. No hearing shall be held.
    (viii) Petitions granted. If the Ruling Official grants a remission 
or mitigation of the forfeiture, a copy of the decision shall be sent by 
certified mail to the petitioner, or, if represented by an attorney, to 
the petitioner's attorney. A copy of the decision shall also be sent to 
the U.S. Marshals Service or other property custodian. The written 
decision shall include the terms and conditions, if any, upon which the 
remission or mitigation is granted and the procedures the petitioner 
must follow to obtain release of the property or the monetary interest 
therein.
    (ix) Petitions denied. If the Ruling Official denies a petition, a 
copy of the decision shall be sent by certified mail to the petitioner, 
or, if represented by an attorney, to the petitioner's attorney of 
record. A copy of the decision shall also be sent to the U.S. Marshals 
Service or other property custodian. The written decision shall specify 
the reason that the petition was denied. The decision shall advise the 
petitioner that a request for reconsideration of the denial of the 
petition may be submitted to the Ruling Official in accordance with 
paragraph (j)(3)(x) of this section.
    (x) Request for reconsideration. (A) A request for reconsideration 
of the denial of the petition shall be considered if:
    (1) It is postmarked or received by the office of the Ruling 
Official within ten (10) days from the receipt of the notice of the 
denial of the petition by the petitioner; and
    (2) The request is based on information or evidence not previously 
considered that is material to the basis for the denial or presents a 
basis clearly demonstrating that the denial was erroneous.
    (B) In no event shall a request for reconsideration be decided by 
the same Ruling Official who ruled on the original petition.
    (C) Only one request for reconsideration of a denial of a petition 
shall be considered.
    (xi) Restoration of proceeds from sale. (A) A petition for 
restoration of the proceeds from the sale of forfeited property, or for 
the appraised value of forfeited property when the forfeited property 
has been retained by or delivered to a government agency for official 
use, may be submitted by an owner or lienholder in cases in which the 
petitioner:
    (1) Did not know of the seizure prior to the entry of a declaration 
of forfeiture; and
    (2) Could not reasonably have known of the seizure prior to the 
entry of a declaration of forfeiture.
    (B) Such a petition shall be submitted pursuant to paragraphs 
(j)(3)(ii) through (v) of this section within ninety (90) days from the 
date the property is sold or otherwise disposed of.
    (4) Petitions in judicial forfeiture cases--(i) Procedure for filing 
petition. If the forfeiture proceedings are judicial, a petition for 
remission or mitigation of a judicial forfeiture shall be addressed to 
the Attorney General; shall be sworn to by the petitioner or by the 
petitioner's attorney upon information and belief, supported by the 
client's

[[Page 59]]

sworn notice of representation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746; and shall be 
submitted to the United States Attorney for the district in which the 
judicial forfeiture proceedings are brought. A petitioner also shall 
submit a copy of the petition to the Chief Postal Inspector if the 
Postal Inspection Service was the seizing agency.
    (ii) Ruling. Department of Justice regulations on petitions for 
remission or mitigation in judicial forfeiture cases are stated in 29 
CFR 9.4.
    (5) Criteria governing administrative remission and mitigation--(i) 
Remission. (A) The Ruling Official shall not grant remission of a 
forfeiture unless the petitioner establishes that:
    (1) The petitioner has a valid, good faith and legally cognizable 
interest in the seized property as owner or lienholder as defined in 
these regulations; and
    (2) The petitioner is innocent within the meaning of the innocent 
owner provisions of the applicable civil forfeiture statute, is a bona 
fide purchaser for value without cause to believe that the property was 
subject to forfeiture at the time of the purchase, or is one who held a 
legally cognizable interest in the seized property at the time of the 
violation underlying the forfeiture superior to that of the defendant 
within the meaning of the applicable criminal forfeiture statute, and is 
thereby entitled to recover his or her interest in the forfeited 
property by statute. (If the applicable civil forfeiture statute 
contains no innocent owner defense, the innocent owner provisions 
applicable to 21 U.S.C. 881(a)(4) shall apply.) Unless otherwise 
provided by statute, in the case of petitioners who acquired their 
interest in the property after the time of the violation underlying the 
forfeiture, the question of whether the petitioner had knowledge of the 
violation shall be determined as of the point in time when the interest 
in the property was acquired.
    (B) The knowledge and responsibilities of petitioner's 
representative, agent, or employee in paragraph (j)(5)(i)(A)(2) of this 
section are imputed to the petitioner where the representative, agent, 
or employee was acting in the course of his or her employment and in 
furtherance of the petitioner's business.
    (C) The petitioner has the burden of establishing the basis for 
granting a petition for remission or mitigation of forfeited property, a 
restoration of proceeds of sale or appraised value of forfeited 
property, or a reconsideration of a denial of such a petition. Failure 
to provide information or documents and to submit to interviews, as 
requested, may result in a denial of the petition.
    (D) The Ruling Official shall presume a valid forfeiture and shall 
not consider whether the evidence is sufficient to support the 
forfeiture.
    (E) Willful, materially false statements or information, made or 
furnished by the petitioner in support of a petition for remission or 
mitigation of forfeited property, the restoration of proceeds or 
appraised value of forfeited property, or the reconsideration of a 
denial of any such petition, shall be grounds for denial of such 
petition and possible prosecution for the filing of false statements.
    (ii) Mitigation. (A) The Ruling Official may grant mitigation to a 
party not involved in the commission of the offense underlying 
forfeiture:
    (1) Where the petitioner has not met the minimum conditions for 
remission, but the Ruling Official finds that some relief should be 
granted to avoid extreme hardship and that return of the property 
combined with imposition of monetary and/or other conditions of 
mitigation in lieu of a complete forfeiture will promote the interest of 
justice and will not diminish the deterrent effect of the law. 
Extenuating circumstances justifying such a finding include those 
circumstances that reduce the responsibility of the petitioner for 
knowledge of the illegal activity, knowledge of the criminal record of a 
user of the property, or failure to take reasonable steps to prevent the 
illegal use or acquisition by another for some reason, such as a 
reasonable fear of reprisal; or
    (2) Where the minimum standards for remission have been satisfied 
but the overall circumstances are such that, in the opinion of the 
Ruling Official, complete relief is not warranted.
    (B) The Ruling Official may in his or her discretion grant 
mitigation to a

[[Page 60]]

party involved in the commission of the offense underlying the 
forfeiture where certain mitigating factors exist, including, but not 
limited to: The lack of a prior record or evidence of similar criminal 
conduct; if the violation does not include drug distribution, 
manufacturing, or importation, the fact that the violator has taken 
steps, such as drug treatment, to prevent further criminal conduct; the 
fact that the violation was minimal and was not part of a larger 
criminal scheme; the fact that the violator has cooperated with federal, 
state, or local investigations relating to the criminal conduct 
underlying the forfeiture; or the fact that complete forfeiture of an 
asset is not necessary to achieve the legitimate purposes of forfeiture.
    (C) Mitigation may take the form of a monetary condition or the 
imposition of other conditions relating to the continued use of the 
property, and the return of the property, in addition to the imposition 
of any other costs that would be chargeable as a condition to remission. 
This monetary condition is considered as an item of cost payable by the 
petitioner, and shall be deposited into the Postal Service Fund as an 
amount realized from forfeiture in accordance with the applicable 
statute. If the petitioner fails to accept the Ruling Official's 
mitigation decision or any of its conditions, or fails to pay the 
monetary amount within twenty (20) days of the receipt of the decision, 
the property shall be sold, and the monetary amount imposed and other 
costs chargeable as a condition to mitigation shall be subtracted from 
the proceeds of the sale before transmitting the remainder to the 
petitioner.
    (6) Special rules for specific petitioners--(i) General creditors. A 
general creditor may not be granted remission or mitigation of 
forfeiture unless he or she otherwise qualifies as a petitioner under 
these regulations.
    (ii) Rival claimants. If the beneficial owner of the forfeited 
property and the owner of a security interest in the same property each 
file a petition, and if both petitions are found to be meritorious, the 
claim of the beneficial owner shall take precedence.
    (iii) Voluntary bailments. A petitioner who allows another to use 
his or her property without cost, and who is not in the business of 
lending money secured by property or of leasing or renting property for 
profit, shall be granted remission or mitigation of forfeiture in 
accordance with the provisions of paragraph (j)(5) of this section.
    (iv) Lessors. A person engaged in the business of leasing or renting 
real or personal property on a long-term basis with the right to 
sublease shall not be entitled to remission or mitigation of a 
forfeiture of such property unless the lessor can demonstrate compliance 
with all the requirements of paragraph (j)(5) of this section.
    (v) Straw owners. A petition by any person who has acquired a 
property interest recognizable under these regulations and who knew or 
had reason to believe that the interest was conveyed by the previous 
owner for the purpose of circumventing seizure, forfeiture, or these 
regulations, shall be denied. A petition by a person who purchases or 
owns property for another who has a record for related crimes as defined 
in paragraph (j)(2)(xvii) of this section, or a petition by a lienholder 
who knows or has reason to believe that the purchaser or owner of record 
is not the real purchaser or owner, shall be denied unless both the 
purchaser of record and the real purchaser or owner meet the 
requirements of paragraph (j)(5) of this section.
    (vi) Judgment creditors. (A) A judgment creditor will be recognized 
as a lienholder if:
    (1) The judgment was duly recorded before the seizure of the 
property for forfeiture;
    (2) Under applicable state or other local law, the judgment 
constitutes a valid lien on the property that attached to it before the 
seizure of the property for forfeiture; and
    (3) The petitioner had no knowledge of the commission of any act or 
acts giving rise to the forfeiture at the time the judgment became a 
lien on the forfeited property.
    (B) A judgment creditor will not be recognized as a lienholder if 
the property in question is not property of which the judgment debtor is 
entitled to claim ownership under applicable state or other local law 
(e.g., stolen

[[Page 61]]

property). A judgment creditor is entitled under these regulations to no 
more than the amount of the judgment, exclusive of any interest, costs, 
or other fees including attorney's fees associated with the action that 
led to the judgment or its collection.
    (C) A judgment creditor's lien must be registered in the district 
where the property is located if the judgment was obtained outside the 
district.
    (7) Terms and conditions of remission and mitigation--(i) Owners. 
(A) An owner's interest in property that has been forfeited is 
represented by the property itself or by a monetary interest equivalent 
to that interest at the time of seizure. Whether the property or a 
monetary equivalent will be remitted to an owner shall be determined at 
the discretion of the Ruling Official.
    (B) If a civil judicial forfeiture action against the property is 
pending, release of the property must await an appropriate court order.
    (C) Where the government sells or disposes of the property prior to 
the grant of the remission, the owner shall receive the proceeds of that 
sale, less any costs incurred by the government in the sale. The Ruling 
Official, at his or her discretion, may waive the deduction of costs and 
expenses incident to the forfeiture.
    (D) Where the owner does not comply with the conditions imposed upon 
release of the property by the Ruling Official, the property shall be 
sold. Following the sale, the proceeds shall be used to pay all costs of 
the forfeiture and disposition of the property, in addition to any 
monetary conditions imposed. The remaining balance shall be paid to the 
owner.
    (ii) Lienholders. (A) When the forfeited property is to be retained 
for official use or transferred to a state or local law enforcement 
agency or foreign government pursuant to law, and remission or 
mitigation has been granted to a lienholder, the recipient of the 
property shall assure that:
    (1) In the case of remission, the lien is satisfied as determined 
through the petition process; or
    (2) In the case of mitigation, an amount equal to the net equity, 
less any monetary conditions imposed, is paid to the lienholder prior to 
the release of the property to the recipient agency or foreign 
government.
    (B) When the forfeited property is not retained for official use or 
transferred to another agency or foreign country pursuant to law, the 
lienholder shall be notified by the Ruling Official of the right to 
select either of the following alternatives:
    (1) Return of property. The lienholder may obtain possession of the 
property after paying the United States, through the Ruling Official, 
the costs and expenses incident to the forfeiture, the amount, if any, 
by which the appraised value of the property exceeds the lienholder's 
net equity in the property, and any amount specified in the Ruling 
Official's decision as a condition to remit the property. The Ruling 
Official, at his or her discretion, may waive costs and expenses 
incident to the forfeiture. The Ruling Official shall forward a copy of 
the decision, a memorandum of disposition, and the original releases to 
the U.S. Marshals Service or other property custodian who shall 
thereafter release the property to the lienholder; or
    (2) Sale of Property and Payment to Lienholder--Subject to the 
provisions of paragraph (j)(9)(i) of this section, upon sale of the 
property, the lienholder may receive the payment of a monetary amount up 
to the sum of the lienholder's net equity, less the expenses and costs 
incident to the forfeiture and sale of the property, and any other 
monetary conditions imposed. The Ruling Official, at his or her 
discretion, may waive costs and expenses incident to the forfeiture.
    (iii) If the lienholder does not notify the Ruling Official of the 
selection of one of the two options set forth above in paragraph 
(j)(7)(ii)(B) of this section within twenty (20) days of the receipt of 
such notification, the Ruling Official shall direct the U.S. Marshal or 
other property custodian to sell the property and pay the lienholder an 
amount up to the net equity, less the costs and expenses incurred 
incident to the forfeiture and sale, and any monetary conditions 
imposed. In the event a lienholder subsequently receives a payment of 
any kind on the debt owed for which he or she has already received 
payment as a result of the granting of

[[Page 62]]

remission or mitigation, the lienholder shall reimburse the Postal 
Service Fund to the extent of the payment received.
    (iv) Where the lienholder does not comply with the conditions 
imposed upon the release of the property, the property shall be sold 
after forfeiture. From the proceeds of the sale, all costs incident to 
the forfeiture and sale shall first be deducted, and the balance up to 
the net equity, less any monetary conditions, shall be paid to the 
lienholder.
    (8) Provisions applicable to victims. The provisions of this section 
apply to victims of an offense underlying the forfeiture of property, or 
of a related offense, who do not have a present ownership interest in 
the forfeited property (or, in the case of multiple victims of an 
offense, who do not have a present ownership interest in the forfeited 
property that is clearly superior to that of other petitioner victims). 
The provisions of this section apply only with respect to property 
forfeited pursuant to statutes that explicitly authorize restoration or 
remission of forfeited property to victims. Victims who have a superior 
present legally cognizable ownership interest in forfeited property may 
file petitions as other owners, subject to the regulations set forth in 
paragraph (j)(7)(i) of this section. The claims of such owner victims, 
like those of any other owners, shall have priority over the claims of 
any non-owner victims whose claims are recognized pursuant to this 
section.
    (i) Qualifications to file. A victim, as defined in paragraph 
(j)(2)(xxi) of this section, of an offense that was the underlying basis 
for the criminal, civil, or administrative forfeiture of specific 
property, or a victim of a related offense, may be granted remission of 
the forfeiture of that property, if in addition to complying with the 
other applicable provisions of this section, the victim satisfactorily 
demonstrates that:
    (A) A pecuniary loss of a specific amount has been directly caused 
by the criminal offense, or related offense, that resulted in the 
forfeiture, or by a related offense, and that the loss is supported by 
documentary evidence including invoices and receipts;
    (B) The pecuniary loss is the direct result of the illegal acts and 
is not the result of otherwise lawful acts which were committed in the 
course of a criminal offense;
    (C) The victim did not knowingly contribute to, participate in, 
benefit from, or act in a willfully blind manner towards the commission 
of the offense, or related offense, that was the underlying basis of the 
forfeiture;
    (D) The victim has not in fact been compensated for the wrongful 
loss of the property by the perpetrator or others; and
    (E) The victim does not have recourse reasonably available to other 
assets from which to obtain compensation for the wrongful loss of the 
property.
    (ii) Pecuniary loss. The amount of the pecuniary loss suffered by a 
victim for which remission may be granted is limited to the fair market 
value of the property of which the petitioner was deprived as of the 
date of the occurrence of the loss. No allowance shall be made for 
interest foregone or for collateral expenses incurred to recover lost 
property or to seek other recompense.
    (iii) Torts. A tort associated with illegal activity that formed the 
basis for the forfeiture shall not be a basis for remission, unless it 
constitutes the illegal activity itself, nor shall remission be granted 
for physical injuries to a petitioner or for damage to a petitioner's 
property.
    (iv) Denial of petition. In the exercise of his or her discretion, 
the Ruling Official may decline to grant remission where:
    (A) There is substantial difficulty in calculating the pecuniary 
loss incurred by the victim or victims;
    (B) The amount of the remission, if granted, would be small compared 
with the amount of expenses incurred by the government in determining 
whether to grant remission; or
    (C) The total number of victims is large and the monetary amount of 
the remission so small as to make its granting impractical.
    (v) Pro rata basis. In granting remission to multiple victims 
pursuant to this section, the Ruling Official should generally grant 
remission on a pro rata

[[Page 63]]

basis to recognized victims when petitions cannot be granted in full due 
to the limited value of the forfeited property. However, the Ruling 
Official may consider, among others, the following factors in 
establishing appropriate priorities in individual cases:
    (A) The specificity and reliability of the evidence establishing a 
loss;
    (B) The fact that a particular victim is suffering an extreme 
financial hardship;
    (C) The fact that a particular victim has cooperated with the 
government in the investigation related to the forfeiture or to a 
related prosecution or civil action; and
    (D) In the case of petitions filed by multiple victims of related 
offenses, the fact that a particular victim is a victim of the offense 
underlying the forfeiture.
    (vi) Reimbursement. Any petitioner granted remission pursuant to 
this section shall reimburse the Postal Service Fund for the amount 
received to the extent the individual later receives compensation for 
the loss of the property from any other source. The petitioner shall 
surrender the reimbursement upon payment from any secondary source.
    (vii) Claims of financial institution regulatory agencies. In cases 
involving property forfeitable under 18 U.S.C. 981(a)(1)(C) or 
(a)(1)(D), the Ruling Official may decline to grant a petition filed by 
a petitioner in whole or in part due to the lack of sufficient 
forfeitable funds to satisfy both the petition and claims of the 
financial institution regulatory agencies pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 981 
(e)(3) or (7). Generally, claims of financial regulatory agencies 
pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 981(e)(3) or (7) shall take priority over claims 
of victims.
    (9) Miscellaneous Provisions--(i) Priority of payment. Except where 
otherwise provided in this section, costs incurred by the Postal 
Inspection Service and other agencies participating in the forfeiture 
that were incident to the forfeiture, sale, or other disposition of the 
property shall be deducted from the amount available for remission or 
mitigation. Such costs include, but are not limited to, court costs, 
storage costs, brokerage and other sales-related costs, the amount of 
any liens and associated costs paid by the government on the property, 
costs incurred in paying the ordinary and necessary expenses of a 
business seized for forfeiture, awards for information as authorized by 
statute, expenses of trustees or other assistants pursuant to paragraph 
(j)(9)(iii) of this section, investigative or prosecutive costs 
specially incurred incident to the particular forfeiture, and costs 
incurred incident to the processing of the petition(s) for remission or 
mitigation. The remaining balance shall be available for remission or 
mitigation. The Ruling Official shall direct the distribution of the 
remaining balance in the following order of priority, except that he or 
she may exercise discretion in determining the priority between 
petitioners belonging to classes described in paragraphs (j)(9)(iii) and 
(9)(iv) of this section in exceptional circumstances:
    (A) Owners;
    (B) Lienholders;
    (C) Federal financial institution regulatory agencies (pursuant to 
paragraph (j)(9)(vi) of this section, not constituting owners or 
lienholders); and
    (D) Victims not constituting owners or lienholders (pursuant to 
paragraph (j)(8) of this section).
    (ii) Sale or disposition of property prior to ruling. If forfeited 
property has been sold or otherwise disposed of prior to a ruling, the 
Ruling Official may grant relief in the form of a monetary amount. The 
amount realized by the sale of the property is presumed to be the value 
of the property. Monetary relief shall not be greater than the appraised 
value of the property at the time of seizure and shall not exceed the 
amount realized from the sale or other disposition. The proceeds of the 
sale shall be distributed as follows:
    (A) Payment of the government's expenses incurred incident to the 
forfeiture and sale, including court costs and storage charges, if any;
    (B) Payment to the petitioner of an amount up to his or her interest 
in the property;
    (C) Payment to the Postal Service Fund of all other costs and 
expenses incident to the forfeiture;

[[Page 64]]

    (D) In the case of victims, payment of any amount up to the amount 
of his or her loss; and
    (E) Payment of the balance remaining, if any, to the Postal Service 
Fund.
    (iii) Trustees and other assistants. In the exercise of his or her 
discretion, the Ruling Official may use the services of a trustee, other 
government official, or appointed contractors to notify potential 
petitioners, process petitions, and make recommendations to the Ruling 
Official on the distribution of property to petitioners. The expense for 
such assistance shall be paid out of the forfeited funds.
    (iv) Other agencies of the United States. Where another agency of 
the United States is entitled to remission or mitigation of forfeited 
assets because of an interest that is recognizable under these 
regulations, or is eligible for such transfer pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 
981(e)(6), such agency shall request the transfer in writing, in 
addition to complying with the provisions of paragraphs (j)(3) through 
(5) of this section. The decision to make such transfer shall be made in 
writing by the Ruling Official.
    (v) Financial institution regulatory agencies. A Ruling Official may 
direct the transfer of property under 18 U.S.C. 981(e) to certain 
federal financial institution regulatory agencies or an entity acting in 
their behalf, upon receipt of a written request, in lieu of ruling on a 
petition for remission or mitigation.
    (vi) Transfers to foreign governments. A Ruling Official may decline 
to grant remission to any petitioner other than an owner or lienholder 
so that forfeited assets may be transferred to a foreign government 
pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 981(i)(1), 19 U.S.C. 1616a(c)(2), or 21 U.S.C. 
881(e)(1)(E).
    (vii) Filing by attorneys. (A) A petition for remission or 
mitigation may be filed by a petitioner or by his or her attorney or 
legal guardian. If an attorney files on behalf of the petitioner, the 
petition must include a signed and sworn statement by the client-
petitioner stating that:
    (1) The attorney has the authority to represent the petitioner in 
this proceeding;
    (2) The petitioner has fully reviewed the petition; and
    (3) The petition is truthful and accurate in every respect.
    (B) Verbal notification of representation is not acceptable. 
Responses and notification of rulings shall not be sent to an attorney 
claiming to represent a petitioner unless a written notice of 
representation is filed. No extensions of time shall be granted due to 
delays in submission of the notice of representation.
    (viii) Consolidated petitions. At the discretion of the Ruling 
Official in individual cases, a petition may be filed by one petitioner 
on behalf of other petitioners, provided the petitions are based on 
similar underlying facts, and the petitioner who files the petition has 
written authority to do so on behalf of the other petitioners. This 
authority must be either expressed in documents giving the petitioner 
the authority to file petitions for remission, or reasonably implied 
from documents giving the petitioner express authority to file claims or 
lawsuits related to the course of conduct in question on behalf of these 
other petitioners. An insurer or an administrator of an employee benefit 
plan, for example, which itself has standing to file a petition as a 
``victim'' within the meaning of paragraph (j)(2)(xxi) of this section, 
may also file a petition on behalf of all its insured or plan 
beneficiaries for any claims they may have based on co-payments made to 
the perpetrator of the offense underlying the forfeiture or the 
perpetrator of a ``related offense'' within the meaning of paragraph 
(j)(2)(xviii) of this section, if the authority to file claims or 
lawsuits is contained in the document or documents establishing the 
plan. Where such a petition is filed, any amounts granted as a remission 
must be transferred to the other petitioners, not the party filing the 
petition; although, in his or her discretion, the Ruling Official may 
use the actual petitioner as an intermediary for transferring the 
amounts authorized as a remission to the other petitioners.

[52 FR 4497, Feb. 12, 1987; 52 FR 5765, Feb. 26, 1987, as amended at 54 
FR 47520, Nov. 15, 1989; 56 FR 20361, May 3, 1991; 57 FR 32726, July 23, 
1992; 59 FR 31154, June 17, 1994; 59 FR 35852, July 14, 1994; 60 FR 
5581, Jan. 30, 1995; 60 FR 8306, Feb. 14, 1995; 62 FR 31726, June 11, 
1997]

[[Page 65]]



Sec. 233.8  Expedited forfeiture proceedings for property seized for 
administrative forfeiture involving controlled substances in personal 
use quantities.

    (a) Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms have 
the meanings specified:
    (1) Appraised Value means the estimated domestic price at the time 
of seizure at which such or similar property is freely offered for sale.
    (2) Controlled Substance has the meaning given in 21 U.S.C. 802.
    (3) Legal and Factual Basis of the Seizure means a statement of the 
applicable law under which the property is seized, and a written 
statement of the circumstances of the seizure sufficiently precise to 
enable an owner or other interested party to identify the date, place, 
and use or acquisition which makes the property subject to forfeiture.
    (4) Owner means one having a legal and possessory interest in the 
property seized for forfeiture. Even though one may hold primary and 
direct title to the property seized, such person may not have sufficient 
actual beneficial interest in the property to support a petition as 
owner if the facts indicate that another person had dominion and control 
over the property.
    (5) Personal Use Quantities means possession of a controlled 
substance in circumstances where there is not other evidence of an 
intent to distribute, or to facilitate the manufacturing, compounding, 
processing, delivering, importing, or exporting of any controlled 
substance. Evidence of personal use quantities does not include 
sweepings or other evidence of possession of quantities of a controlled 
substance for other than personal use.
    (i) Such other evidence includes:
    (A) Evidence, such as drug scales, drug distribution paraphernalia, 
drug records, drug packaging material, method of drug packaging, drug 
``cutting'' agents and other equipment, that indicates an intent to 
process, package or distribute a controlled substance;
    (B) Information from reliable sources indicating possession of a 
controlled substance with intent to distribute;
    (C) The arrest and/or conviction record of the person or persons in 
actual or constructive possession of the controlled substance for 
offenses under Federal, State or local law that indicates an intent to 
distribute a controlled substance;
    (D) Relationship of the controlled substance to large amounts of 
cash or any amount of prerecorded government funds;
    (E) Possession of the controlled substance under circumstances that 
indicate the substance is a sample intended for distribution in 
anticipation of a transaction involving large quantities, or is part of 
a larger delivery; or
    (F) Statements by the possessor, or otherwise attributable to the 
possessor, including statements of conspirators, that indicate 
possession with intent to distribute.
    (ii) Possession of a controlled substance is presumed to be for 
personal use when there are no indicia of illicit drug trafficking or 
distribution such as, but not limited to, the factors listed in Sec. 
233.8(a)(5)(i), and the amounts do not exceed the following quantities:
    (A) One gram of a mixture of substance containing a detectable 
amount of heroin;
    (B) One gram of a mixture or substance containing a detectable 
amount of:
    (1) Coca leaves, except coca leaves and extracts of coca leaves from 
which cocaine, ecgonine, and derivations of ecgonine or their salts have 
been removed;
    (2) Cocaine, its salts, optical and geometric isomers, and salts of 
isomers;
    (3) Ecgonine, its derivatives, their salts, isomers, and salts of 
isomers; or
    (4) Any compound, mixture or preparation which contains any quantity 
of any of the substances referred to in Sec. 233.8(a)(5) (ii)(B)(1)-
(3);
    (5) \1/10\th gram of a mixture or substance described in Sec. 
233.8(a)(5)(ii) which contains cocaine base;
    (6) \1/10\ gram of a mixture or substance containing a detectable 
amount of phencyclidine (PCP);
    (7) 500 micrograms of a mixture or substance containing a detectable 
amount of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD);
    (8) One ounce of a mixture of substance containing a detectable 
amount of marihuana;

[[Page 66]]

    (9) One gram of methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, and salts of 
its isomers, or one gram of a mixture or substance containing a 
detectable amount of methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, or salts of 
its isomer.
    (iii) The possession of a narcotic, a depressant, a stimulant, a 
hallucinogen or cannabis-controlled substance will be considered in 
excess of personal use quantities if the dosage unit amount possessed 
provides the same or greater equivalent efficacy as described in Sec. 
233.8(a)(5)(ii).
    (6) Property means property subject to forfeiture under title 21, 
U.S.C., Sections 881(a)(4), (6), and (7).
    (7) Statutory Rights or Defenses to the Forfeiture means all legal 
and equitable rights and remedies available to a claimant of property 
seized for forfeiture.
    (8) Sworn to as used in Sec. 233.8(b)(4)(ii) refers to the oath as 
provided by 28 U.S.C. 1746.
    (b) Petition for expedited release in an administrative forfeiture 
action. (1) Where property is seized for administrative forfeiture 
involving controlled substances in personal use quantities, the owner 
may petition the Postal Inspection Service for expedited release of the 
property.
    (2) The owner filing the petition for expedited release must 
establish the following:
    (i) The owner has a valid, good faith interest in the seized 
property as owner or otherwise;
    (ii) The owner reasonably attempted to ascertain the use of the 
property in a normal and customary manner; and
    (iii) The owner did not know or consent to the illegal use of the 
property, or in the event that the owner knew or should have known of 
the illegal use, the owner did what reasonably could be expected to 
prevent the violation.
    (3) In addition to those factors listed in Sec. 233.8(b)(2), if an 
owner can demonstrate that he has other statutory rights or defenses 
that would cause him to prevail on the issue of forfeiture, such factors 
must also be considered in ruling on the petition for expedited release.
    (4) A petition for expedited release must be:
    (i) Filed in a timely manner to be considered; in order to be filed 
in a timely manner, the petition must be received by the Postal 
Inspection Service within 20 days from the date of the first publication 
of the notice of seizure.
    (ii) Executed and sworn to by the owner and both the envelope and 
the request must be clearly marked ``PETITION FOR EXPEDITED RELEASE'';
    (iii) Filed in accordance with the notice of seizure; and
    (iv) Addressed to the Chief Postal Inspector, Postal Inspection 
Service.
    (5) The petition must include the following:
    (i) A complete description of the property, including identification 
numbers, if any, and the date and place of seizure;
    (ii) The petitioner's interest in the property, which must be 
supported by title documentation, bills of sale, contracts, mortgages, 
or other satisfactory documentary evidence; and
    (iii) A statement of the facts and circumstances, to be established 
by satisfactory proof, relied upon by the petitioner to justify 
expedited release of the seized property.
    (c) Ruling on petition for expedited release in an administrative 
forfeiture action involving personal use quantities of a controlled 
substance. (1) Upon receipt of a petition for expedited release filed 
pursuant to Sec. 233.8(b), the Postal Inspection Service must determine 
first whether a final administrative determination of the case, without 
regard to the provisions of this section, can be made within 21 days of 
the seizure. If such a final administrative determination is made within 
21 days, no further action need be taken under this section.
    (2) If no such final administrative determination is made within 21 
days of the seizure, the following procedure applies:
    (i) The Postal Inspection Service, within 20 days after the receipt 
of the petition for expedited release, determines whether the petition 
filed by the owner has established the factors listed in Sec. 
233.8(b)(2); and
    (ii) If the Postal Inspection Service determines that those factors 
have

[[Page 67]]

been established, it terminates the administrative proceedings and 
returns the property to the owner except where it is evidence of a 
violation of law; or
    (iii) If the Postal Inspection Service determines that those factors 
have not been established, it proceeds with the administrative 
forfeiture.
    (d) Posting of substitute res. (1) Where property is seized for 
administrative forfeiture involving controlled substances in personal 
use quantities, the owner may obtain release of the property by posting 
a substitute res with the Postal Service. The property will be released 
to the owner upon the payment of an amount equal to the appraised value 
of the property if it is not evidence of a violation of law or has 
design or other characteristics that particularly suit it for use in 
illegal activities. This payment must be in the form of a traveler's 
check, a money order, a cashier's check or an irrevocable letter of 
credit made payable to the Postal Service. A bond in the form of a 
cashier's check will be considered as paid once the check has been 
accepted for payment by the financial institution which issued the 
check.
    (2) If a substitute res is posted and the property is 
administratively forfeited, the Postal Inspection Service will forfeit 
the substitute res in lieu of the property.

[54 FR 47520, Nov. 15, 1989]



Sec. 233.9  Expedited release of conveyances being forfeited in a 
judicial forfeiture proceeding for a drug-related offense.

    (a) Petition for expedited release of conveyance. Where a conveyance 
has been seized and is being forfeited in a judicial proceeding for a 
drug-related offense, the owner may petition the United States Attorney 
for an expedited release of the conveyance in accordance with the 
regulations of the Department of Justice (21 CFR part 1316).
    (b) Petition filed in timely manner. A petition for expedited 
release must be filed in a timely manner in order to be considered by 
the United States Attorney. To be considered as filed in a timely 
manner, in accordance with 21 CFR part 1316, the petition must be 
received by the appropriate United States Attorney within 20 days from 
the date of the first publication of the notice of the action and arrest 
of the property, or within 30 days after filing of the claim, whichever 
occurs later.
    (c) Obtaining release of the property by filing a substitute res 
bond. Where a conveyance is being forfeited in a judicial proceeding for 
a drug-related offense, the owner may obtain release of the property by 
filing a substitute res bond with the Postal Inspection Service. The 
conveyance will be released to the owner upon the payment of a bond in 
the amount of the appraised value of the conveyance if it is not 
evidence of a violation of law or has design or other characteristics 
that particularly suit it for use in illegal activities. This bond must 
be in the form of a traveler's check, a money order, a cashier's check 
or an irrevocable letter of credit made payable to the United States 
Postal Service. A bond in the form of a cashier's check will be 
considered as paid once the check has been accepted for payment by the 
financial institution which issued the check.
    (d) Forfeiture of the bond. If a substitute res bond is filed and 
the conveyance is judicially forfeited, the court will forfeit the bond 
in lieu of the property.

[54 FR 47522, Nov. 15, 1989]



Sec. 233.10  Notice provisions.

    (a) Special notice provision. At the time of seizure of property 
defined in Sec. 233.8(b) for violations involving the possession of 
personal use quantities of a controlled substance, written notice will 
be provided to the possessor of the property regarding applicable 
statutes and Federal regulations including the procedures established 
for the filing of a petition for expedited release and for the posting 
of a substitute res bond.
    (b) Standard notice provision. The standard notice to the owner as 
required by 19 U.S.C. 1607 will be made at the earliest practicable 
opportunity after determining ownership of the seized property and must 
include the legal and factual basis of the seizure.

[54 FR 47522, Nov. 15, 1989]

[[Page 68]]



Sec. 233.11  Mail reasonably suspected of being dangerous to persons 
or property.

    (a) Screening of mail. When the Chief Postal Inspector determines 
that there is a credible threat that certain mail may contain a bomb, 
explosives, or other material that would endanger life or property, 
including firearms which are not mailable under Section C024 of the 
Domestic Mail Manual, the Chief Postal Inspector may, without a search 
warrant or the sender's or addressee's consent, authorize the screening 
of such mail by any means capable of identifying explosives, nonmailable 
firearms, or other dangerous contents in the mails. The screening must 
be within the limits of this section and without opening mail that is 
sealed against inspection or revealing the contents of correspondence 
within mail that is sealed against inspection. The screening is 
conducted according to these requirements.
    (1) Screening of mail authorized by paragraph (a) of this section 
must be limited to the least quantity of mail necessary to respond to 
the threat.
    (2) Such screening must be done in a manner that does not avoidably 
delay the screened mail.
    (3) The Chief Postal Inspector may authorize screening of mail by 
postal employees and by persons not employed by the Postal Service under 
such instruction that require compliance with this part and protect the 
security of the mail. No information obtained from such screening may be 
disclosed unless authorized by this part.
    (4) Mail of insufficient weight to pose a hazard to air or surface 
transportation, or to contain firearms which are not mailable under 
Section C024 of the Domestic Mail Manual, and international transit mail 
must be excluded from such screening.
    (5) After screening conducted under paragraph (a) of this section, 
mail that is reasonably suspected of posing an immediate and substantial 
danger to life or limb, or an immediate and substantial danger to 
property, may be treated by postal employees as provided in paragraph 
(b) of this section.
    (6) After screening, mail sealed against inspection that presents 
doubts about whether its contents are hazardous, that cannot be resolved 
without opening, must be reported to the Postal Inspection Service. Such 
mail must be disposed of under instructions promptly furnished by the 
Inspection Service.
    (b) Threatening pieces of mail. Mail, sealed or unsealed, reasonably 
suspected of posing an immediate danger to life or limb or an immediate 
and substantial danger to property may, without a search warrant, be 
detained, opened, removed from postal custody, and processed or treated, 
but only to the extent necessary to determine and eliminate the danger 
and only if a complete written and sworn statement of the detention, 
opening, removal, or treatment, and the circumstances that prompted it, 
signed by the person purporting to act under this section, is promptly 
forwarded to the Chief Postal Inspector.
    (c) Reports. Any person purporting to act under this section who 
does not report his or her action to the Chief Postal Inspector under 
the requirements of this section, or whose action is determined after 
investigation not to have been authorized, is subject to disciplinary 
action or criminal prosecution or both.

[61 FR 28060, June 4, 1996]



Sec. 233.12  Civil penalties.

    False representation and lottery orders--
    (a) Issuance. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3005, the Judicial Officer of 
the Postal Service, acting upon a satisfactory evidentiary basis, may 
issue a mail return and/or a cease and desist order against anyone 
engaged in conducting a scheme or device for obtaining money or property 
through the mail by means of a false representation, including the 
mailing of matter which is nonmailable, or engaged in conducting a 
lottery, gift enterprise, or scheme for the distribution of money or of 
real or personal property, by lottery, chance, or drawing of any kind.
    (b) Enforcement. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3012, any person:
    (1) Who, through the use of the mail, evades or attempts to evade 
the effect of an order issued under 39 U.S.C. 3005(a)(1) or 3005(a)(2);

[[Page 69]]

    (2) Who fails to comply with an order issued under 39 U.S.C. 
3005(a)(3); or
    (3) Who (other than a publisher described by 39 U.S.C. 3007(b)) has 
actual knowledge of any such order, is in privity with any person 
described by paragraph (b) (1) or (2) of this section, and engages in 
conduct to assist any such person to evade, attempt to evade, or fail to 
comply with such order, as the case may be, through the use of the mail;

Shall be liable to the United States for a civil penalty in an amount 
not to exceed $11,000 for each day that such person engages in conduct 
described by this paragraph (b). A separate penalty may be assessed 
under this paragraph (b) with respect to the conduct described by 
paragraphs (b) (1), (2), or (3) of this section.

[61 FR 56450, Nov. 1, 1996]



PART 235_DEFENSE DEPARTMENT LIAISON--Table of Contents




Sec.
235.1 Postal Service to the Armed Forces.
235.2 Civil preparedness.



Sec. 235.1  Postal Service to the Armed Forces.

    (a) Publication 38, Postal Agreement with the Department of Defense, 
defines the Postal Service's responsibilities for providing postal 
service to the Armed Forces.
    (b) The Chief Inspector is responsible for military liaison.
    (c) Postal inspectors provide liaison between postmasters and 
military commanders, visit military installations as required, and make 
any necessary recommendations.

(39 U.S.C. 401(2), 402, 403, 404, as enacted by Pub. L. 91-375, 84 Stat. 
719)

[38 FR 26193, Sept. 9, 1973]



Sec. 235.2  Civil preparedness.

    (a) Mission. The prime objective of postal emergency preparedness 
planning is to maintain or restore essential postal service in a 
national emergency, natural disaster, or disruptive domestic crisis.
    (b) Emergency Coordinator. The Chief Inspector is designated 
Emergency Coordinator for the Postal Service. As Emergency Coordinator, 
he provides general direction and coordination of the following 
programs:
    (1) National Civil Preparedness and Defense Mobilization;
    (2) Natural Disaster Preparedness;
    (3) Emergency Response to Disruptive Domestic Crisis.
    (c) Regional Emergency Coordinator. The Chief Inspector may delegate 
authority to Regional Chief Postal Inspectors, or others, for the 
function of Regional Emergency Coordinator and the general direction and 
coordination of all such programs within the Postal Regions, as are 
conducted by him at the National level.
    (d) Postmaster General emergency line of succession. (1) Deputy 
Postmaster General; (2) Senior Assistant Postmaster General, 
Administration; (3) Senior Assistant Postmaster General, Operations.
    (e) Headquarters and field lines of succession. Each Headquarters 
organizational unit shall establish its own internal line of succession 
to provide for continuity under emergency conditions. Each Regional 
Postmaster General, Regional Chief Inspector, Postal Data Center 
Director, Inspector in Charge, and postmaster at first-class post 
offices shall prepare a succession list of officials who will act in his 
stead in the event he is incapacitated or absent in an emergency. Orders 
of succession shall be shown by position titles, except those of the 
Inspection Service may be shown by names.
    (f) Field responsibilities. Postmasters and heads of other 
installations shall:
    (1) Carry out civil preparedness assignments, programs, etc., as 
directed by regional officials.
    (2) Comply with, and cooperate in community civil preparedness plans 
(including exercise) for evacuation, take cover and other survival 
measures prescribed for local populations.
    (3) Designate representatives for continuing liaison with local 
civil preparedness organizations where such activity will not interfere 
with normal duties.
    (4) Endeavor to serve (at their own option) as members on the staff 
of the local civil preparedness director, provided such service will not 
interfere

[[Page 70]]

with their primary postal responsibility in an emergency.
    (5) Authorize and encourage their employees to participate 
voluntarily in nonpostal pre-emergency training programs and exercises 
in cooperation with States and localities.

(39 U.S.C. 401(2), 402, 403, 404, as enacted by Pub. L. 91-375, 84 Stat. 
719)

[38 FR 26193, Sept. 9, 1973]



Post Office Organization and Administration--Table of Contents






PART 241_ESTABLISHMENT CLASSIFICATION, AND DISCONTINUANCE--Table of 
Contents




Sec.
241.1 Post offices.
241.2 Stations and branches.
241.3 Discontinuance of post offices.
241.4 Expansion, relocation, and construction of post offices.



Sec. 241.1  Post offices.

    (a) Establishment. See Sec. 113.1 of this chapter.
    (b) Classification. As of July 1 each year, post offices are 
classified by the Postmaster General based on the allowable postal 
revenue units for the second preceding fiscal year as follows:
    (1) First Class. Post offices having 950 or more revenue units.
    (2) Second Class. Post offices having 190 but less than 950 revenue 
units.
    (3) Third Class. Post offices having 36 but less 190 revenue units.
    (4) Fourth Class. Post offices having less than 36 revenue units.

(39 U.S.C. 401)

[36 FR 4764, Mar. 12, 1971, as amended at 42 FR 59082, Nov. 15, 1977]



Sec. 241.2  Stations and branches.

    (a) Description. (1) Stations are established within the corporate 
limits or boundary, and branches are established outside the corporate 
limits or boundary of the city, town, or village in which the main post 
office is located. Stations and branches may be designated by number, 
letter or name. As a general rule, branches are named.
    (2) Stations and branches transact registry and money order 
business, sell postage supplies, and accept matter for mailing. Delivery 
service, post office boxes, and other services may be provided when 
directed by the postmaster.
    (3) Stations and branches, except nonpersonnel rural stations and 
branches, are designated as independent when registered and other mail 
is received or dispatched without passing through the main office.
    (b) Classification--(1) Classified. Operated by postal employees in 
quarters provided by the Federal Government.
    (2) Contract. Operated under contract by persons who are not Federal 
Government employees. Persons operating contract stations and branches 
are independent contractors and neither the contractors nor any person 
employed by them to assist in the conduct of contract stations or 
branches shall be employees of the Federal Government for any purpose 
whatsoever.

(39 U.S.C. 401)

[36 FR 4764, Mar. 12, 1971]



Sec. 241.3  Discontinuance of post offices.

    (a) Introduction--(1) Coverage. This section establishes the rules 
governing the Postal Service's consideration of whether an existing post 
office should be discontinued. The rules cover any proposal to replace a 
post office with a community post office, station or branch, 
consolidation with another post office, and any proposal to discontinue 
a post office without providing a replacement facility.
    (2) Legal requirements. Under 39 U.S.C. 404(b), any decision to 
close or consolidate a post office must be based on certain criteria. 
These include the effect on the community served; the effect on 
employees of the post office; compliance with government policy 
established by law that the Postal Service must provide a maximum degree 
of effective and regular postal services to rural areas, communities, 
and small towns where post offices are not self-sustaining; the economic 
savings to the Postal Service; and any other factors the Postal Service 
determines necessary. In addition, certain mandatory procedures apply as 
follows:
    (i) The public must be given 60 days' notice of a proposed action to 
enable the persons served by a post office to

[[Page 71]]

evaluate the proposal and provide comments.
    (ii) After public comments are received and taken into account, any 
final determination to close or consolidate a post office must be made 
in writing and must include findings covering all the required 
considerations.
    (iii) The written determination must be made available to persons 
served by the post office at least 60 days before the discontinuance 
takes effect.
    (iv) Within the first 30 days after the written determination is 
made available, any person regularly served by the affected post office 
may appeal the decision to the Postal Rate Commission.
    (v) The Commission may only affirm the Postal Service determination 
or return the matter for further consideration but may not modify the 
determination.
    (vi) The Commission is required by 39 U.S.C. 404(b)(5) to make a 
determination on the appeal no later than 120 days after receiving the 
appeal.
    (vii) The following is a summary table of the notice and appeal 
periods under the statute for these regulations.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR09JN94.001

    (3) Additional requirements. This section also includes:
    (i) Rules to ensure that the community's identity as a postal 
address is preserved.
    (ii) Rules for consideration of a proposed discontinuance and for 
its implementation, if approved. These rules are designed to ensure that 
the reasons leading a district manager, Customer

[[Page 72]]

Service and Sales, to propose the discontinuance of a particular post 
office are fully articulated and disclosed at a stage that enables 
customer participation to make a helpful contribution toward the final 
decision.
    (b) Preservation of community address--(1) Policy. The Postal 
Service permits the use of a community's separate address to the extent 
practicable.
    (2) ZIP Code assignment. The ZIP Code for each address formerly 
served from the discontinued post office should be kept, wherever 
practical. In some cases, the ZIP Code originally assigned to the 
discontinued post office may be changed if the responsible district 
manager, Customer Service and Sales, submits a request with 
justification to his or her vice president, Area Operations, before the 
proposal to discontinue the post office is posted.
    (i) In a consolidation, the ZIP Code for the replacement community 
post office, station, or branch is the ZIP Code originally assigned to 
the discontinued post office.
    (ii) If the ZIP Code is changed and the parent post office covers 
several ZIP Codes, the ZIP Code must be that of the delivery area within 
which the facility is located.
    (3) Post office name in address. If all the delivery addresses using 
the name of the post office to be discontinued are assigned the same ZIP 
Code, customers may continue to use the discontinued post office name in 
their addresses, instead of the new delivering post office name.
    (4) Name of facility established by consolidation. If a post office 
to be discontinued is consolidated with one or more other post offices 
by establishing in its place a community post office, classified or 
contract station, or branch affiliated with another post office involved 
in the consolidation, the replacement unit is given the same name of the 
discontinued post office.
    (5) List of discontinued post offices. Publication 65, National 
Five-Digit ZIP Code and Post Office Directory, lists all post offices 
discontinued after March 14, 1977, for mailing address purposes only if 
they are used in addresses. The ZIP Codes listed for discontinued 
offices are those assigned under this subsection.
    (c) Initial proposal--(1) In general. If a district manager, 
Customer Service and Sales, believes that the discontinuance of a post 
office within his or her responsibility may be warranted, the manager:
    (i) Must use the standards and procedures in Sec. 241.3 (c) and 
(d).
    (ii) Must investigate the situation.
    (iii) May propose the post office be discontinued.
    (2) Consolidation. The proposed action may include a consolidation 
of post offices to substitute a community post office or a classified or 
contract station or branch for the discontinued post office if:
    (i) The communities served by two or more post offices are being 
merged into a single incorporated village, town, or city; or
    (ii) A replacement facility is necessary for regular and effective 
service to the area served by the post office considered for 
discontinuance.
    (3) Views of postmasters. Whether the discontinuance under 
consideration involves a consolidation or not, the district manager, 
Customer Service and Sales, must discuss the matter with the postmaster 
(or the officer in charge) of the post office considered for 
discontinuance, and with the postmaster of any other post office 
affected by the change. The manager should make sure that these 
officials submit written comments and suggestions as part of the record 
when the proposal is reviewed.
    (4) Preparation of written proposal. The district manager, Customer 
Service and Sales, must gather and preserve for the record all 
documentation used to assess the proposed change. If the manager thinks 
the proposed action is warranted, he or she must prepare a document 
titled ``Proposal to (Close) (Consolidate) the (Name) Post Office.'' 
This document must describe, analyze, and justify in sufficient detail 
to Postal Service management and affected customers the proposed service 
change. The written proposal must address each of the following matters 
in separate sections:
    (i) Responsiveness to community postal needs. It is the policy of 
the Government, as established by law, that the Postal Service will 
provide a maximum

[[Page 73]]

degree of effective and regular postal services to rural areas, 
communities, and small towns where post offices are not self-sustaining. 
The proposal should (A) contrast the services available before and after 
the proposed change; (B) describe how the changes respond to the postal 
needs of the affected customers; and (C) highlight particular aspects of 
customer service that might be less advantageous as well as more 
advantageous.
    (ii) Effect on community. The proposal must include an analysis of 
the effect the proposed discontinuance might have on the community 
served, and discuss the application of the requirements in Sec. 
241.3(b).
    (iii) Effect on employees. The written proposal must summarize the 
possible effects of the change on the postmaster, supervisors, and other 
employees of the post office considered for discontinuance. (The 
district manager, Customer Service and Sales, must suggest measures to 
comply with personnel regulations related to post office discontinuance 
and consolidation.)
    (iv) Savings. The proposal must include an analysis of the economic 
savings to the Postal Service from the proposed action, including the 
cost or savings expected from each major factor contributing to the 
overall estimate.
    (v) Other factors. The proposal should include an analysis of other 
factors that the district manager, Customer Service and Sales, 
determines are necessary for a complete evaluation of the proposed 
change, whether favorable or unfavorable.
    (vi) Summary. The proposal must include a summary that explains why 
the proposed action is necessary, and assesses how the factors 
supporting the proposed change outweigh any negative factors. In taking 
competing considerations into account, the need to provide regular and 
effective service is paramount.
    (vii) Notice. The proposal must include the following notice: ``This 
Is A Proposal. It Is Not A Final Determination To (Close) (Consolidate) 
This Post Office.''
    (A) If a final determination is made to close or consolidate this 
post office, after public comments on this proposal are received and 
taken into account, a notice of that final determination must be posted 
in this post office.
    (B) The final determination must contain instructions on how 
affected customers may appeal that decision to the Postal Rate 
Commission. Any such appeal must be received by the Commission within 30 
days of the posting of the final determination.
    (d) Notice, public comment, and record--(1) Posting proposal and 
comment notice. A copy of the written proposal and a signed invitation 
for comments must be posted prominently in each affected post office. 
The invitation for comments must:
    (i) Ask interested persons to provide written comments within 60 
days, to a stated address, offering specific opinions and information, 
favorable or unfavorable, on the potential effect of the proposed change 
on postal services and the community.
    (ii) State that copies of the proposal with attached optional 
comment forms are available in the affected post offices.
    (iii) Provide a name and telephone number to call for information.
    (2) Proposal and comment notice. The following is a sample format 
that may be used for the proposal and comment notice.

[[Page 74]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR09JN94.002

    (3) Other steps. In addition to providing notice and inviting 
comment, the district manager, Customer Service and Sales, must take any 
other steps necessary to ensure that the persons served by the affected 
post office understand the nature and implications of the proposed 
action (e.g., meeting with community groups and following up on comments 
received that seem to be based on incorrect assumptions or information).
    (i) If oral contacts develop views or information not previously 
documented, whether favorable or unfavorable to the proposal, the 
district manager, Customer Service and Sales, should encourage persons 
offering the views or information to provide written comments to 
preserve them for the record.
    (ii) As a factor in making his or her decision, the district 
manager, Customer Service and Sales, may not rely

[[Page 75]]

on communications received from anyone unless submitted in writing for 
the record.
    (4) Record. The district manager, Customer Service and Sales, must 
keep as part of the record for his or her consideration and for review 
by the vice president, Delivery and Retail, all the documentation 
gathered about the proposed change.
    (i) The record must include all information that the district 
manager, Customer Service and Sales, considered, and the decision must 
stand on the record. No information or views submitted by customers may 
be excluded.
    (ii) The docket number assigned to the proposal must be the ZIP Code 
of the office proposed for closing or consolidation.
    (iii) The record must include a chronological index in which each 
document contained is identified and numbered as filed.
    (iv) As written communications are received in response to the 
public notice and invitation for comments, they are included in the 
record.
    (v) A complete copy of the record must be available for public 
inspection during normal office hours at the post office proposed for 
discontinuance or at the post office providing alternative service, if 
the office to be discontinued was temporarily suspended, beginning no 
later than the date on which notice is posted and extending through the 
comment period.
    (vi) Copies of documents in the record (except the proposal and 
comment form) are provided on request and on payment of fees as noted in 
the Administrative Support Manual (ASM) Sec. 352.6.
    (e) Consideration of public comments and final local 
recommendation--(1) Analysis of comments. After waiting not less than 60 
days after notice is posted under Sec. 241.3(d)(1) the district 
manager, Customer Service and Sales, must prepare an analysis of the 
public comments received for consideration and inclusion in the record. 
If possible, comments subsequently received should also be included in 
the analysis. The analysis should list and briefly describe each point 
favorable to the proposal and each point unfavorable to the proposal. 
The analysis should identify to the extent possible how many comments 
support each point listed.
    (2) Re-evaluation of proposal. After completing the analysis, the 
district manager, Customer Service and Sales, must review the proposal 
and re-evaluate all the tentative conclusions previously made in light 
of additional customer information and views in the record.
    (i) Discontinuance not warranted. If the district manager, Customer 
Service and Sales, decides against the proposed discontinuance, he or 
she must post, in the post office considered for discontinuance, a 
notice stating that the proposed closing or consolidation is not 
warranted.
    (ii) Discontinuance warranted. If the district manager, Customer 
Service and Sales, decides that the proposed discontinuance is 
justified, the appropriate sections of the proposal must be revised, 
taking into account the comments received from the public. After making 
necessary revisions, the manager must:
    (A) Forward the revised proposal and the entire record to the vice 
president, Delivery and Retail.
    (B) Attach a certificate that all documents in the record are 
originals or true and correct copies.
    (f) Postal Service decision--(1) In general. The vice president, 
Delivery and Retail, or a designee must review the proposal of the 
district manager, Customer Service and Sales. This review and the 
decision on the proposal must be based on and supported by the record 
developed by the district manager, Customer Service and Sales. The vice 
president, Delivery and Retail, can instruct the district manager to 
provide more information to supplement the record. Each instruction and 
the response must be added to the record. The decision on the proposal 
of the district manager, which must also be added to the record, may 
approve or disapprove the proposal, or return it for further action as 
set forth in this paragraph (f).
    (2) Approval. The vice president, Delivery and Retail or a designee 
may approve the proposal of the district manager, Customer Service and 
Sales, with

[[Page 76]]

or without further revisions. If approved, the term ``Final 
Determination'' is substituted for ``Proposal'' in the title. A copy of 
the Final Determination must be provided to the district manager. The 
Final Determination constitutes the Postal Service determination for the 
purposes of 39 U.S.C. 404(b). The Final Determination must include the 
following notices:
    (i) Supporting materials. ``Copies of all materials on which this 
Final Determination is based are available for public inspection at the 
(Name) Post Office during normal office hours.''
    (ii) Appeal rights. ``This Final Determination to (close) 
(consolidate) the (name) Post Office may be appealed by any person 
served by that office to the Postal Rate Commission. Any appeal must be 
received by the Commission within 30 days of the date this Final 
Determination was posted. If an appeal is filed, copies of appeal 
documents prepared by the Postal Rate Commission, or the parties to the 
appeal, must be made available for public inspection at the (name) Post 
Office during normal office hours.''
    (3) Disapproval. The vice president, Delivery and Retail, or a 
designee may disapprove the proposal of the district manager, Customer 
Service and Sales, and return it and the record to the manager with 
written reasons for disapproval. The manager must post a notice in each 
affected post office that the proposed closing or consolidation has been 
determined to be unwarranted.
    (4) Return for further action. The vice president, Delivery and 
Retail, or a designee may return the proposal of the district manager, 
Customer Service and Sales, with written instructions to give additional 
consideration to matters in the record, or to obtain additional 
information. Such instructions must be placed in the record.
    (5) Public file. Copies of each Final Determination and each 
disapproval of a proposal by the vice president, Delivery and Retail, 
must be placed on file in the Postal Service Headquarters library.
    (g) Implementation of final determination--(1) Notice of final 
determination to discontinue post office. The district manager, Customer 
Service and Sales, must:
    (i) Provide notice of the Final Determination by posting a copy 
prominently in the affected post office or offices. The date of posting 
must be noted on the first page of the posted copy as follows: ``Date of 
posting:'' The district manager, Customer Service and Sales, must notify 
the vice president, Delivery and Retail, of the date of posting.
    (ii) Ensure that a copy of the completed record is available for 
public inspection during normal business hours at each post office where 
the Final Determination is posted for 30 days from the posting date.
    (iii) Provide copies of documents in the record on request and 
payment of fees as noted in the ASM 352.6.
    (2) Implementation of determinations not appealed. If no appeal is 
filed pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 404(b)(5), the official closing date of the 
office must be published in the Postal Bulletin, effective the first 
Saturday 90 days after the Final Determination was posted. A district 
manager, Customer Service and Sales, may request a different date for 
official discontinuance in the Post Office Change Announcement document 
submitted to the vice president, Delivery and Retail. However, the post 
office may not be discontinued sooner than 60 days after the posting of 
the notice required by paragraph (g)(1) of this section.
    (3) Actions during appeal--(i) Implementation of discontinuance. If 
an appeal is filed, only the vice president, Delivery and Retail, may 
direct a discontinuance before disposition of the appeal. However, the 
post office may not be discontinued sooner than 60 days after the 
posting of notice required by paragraph (g)(1) of this section.
    (ii) Display of appeal documents. Legal Policy and Ratemaking Law, 
Postal Service General Counsel, must provide the district manager, 
Customer Service and Sales, with copies of all pleadings, notices, 
orders, briefs, and opinions filed in the appeal proceeding.
    (A) The district manager must ensure that copies of all these 
documents are prominently displayed and available for public inspection 
in the post office to be discontinued. If the operation of

[[Page 77]]

that post office has been suspended, the manager must display copies in 
the affected post offices.
    (B) All documents except the Postal Rate Commission's final order 
and opinion must be displayed until the final order and opinion are 
issued. The final order and opinion must be displayed for 30 days.
    (4) Actions following appeal decision--(i) Determination affirmed. 
If the Commission dismisses the appeal or affirms the Postal Service's 
determination, the official closing date of the office must be published 
in the Postal Bulletin, effective the first Saturday 90 days after the 
Commission renders its opinion, if not previously implemented under 
Sec. 241.3(g)(3)(i). However, the post office may not be discontinued 
sooner than 60 days after the posting of the notice required under Sec. 
241.3(g)(1).
    (ii) Determination returned for further consideration. If the 
Commission returns the matter for further consideration, the vice 
president, Delivery and Retail, must direct that either:
    (A) Notice be provided under paragraph (f)(3) of this section that 
the proposed discontinuance is determined not to be warranted or
    (B) The matter be returned to an appropriate stage under this 
section for further consideration following such instructions as the 
vice president, Delivery and Retail, may provide.

[59 FR 29725, June 9, 1994, as amended at 60 FR 32273, June 21, 1995; 69 
FR 11536, Mar. 11, 2004]



Sec. 241.4  Expansion, relocation, and construction of post offices.

    (a) Application. (1) This section applies when the USPS contemplates 
any one of the following projects with respect to a customer service 
facility: expansion, relocation to another existing building, or new 
construction, except when the project is to meet an emergency 
requirement or for temporary use. Emergency situations include, but are 
not limited to, earthquakes, floods, fire, lease terminations, safety 
factors, environmental causes, or any other actions that would force an 
immediate relocation from an existing facility. Temporary relocation of 
space is used for, but not limited to, holidays, special events, or for 
overflow business. Use of emergency and temporary space will be limited 
to 180 days in duration. Any additional incremental time periods of up 
to 180 days each must be approved by the Vice President, Facilities.
    (2) This section does not apply when the project under consideration 
is limited to repair and alterations, such as--
    (i) Painting;
    (ii) Repairs;
    (iii) Replacement or upgrade of structural or functional elements of 
a postal building or of its equipment;
    (iv) Paving, striping, or other repair of parking areas;
    (v) Landscaping.
    (b) Purpose. The purpose of the procedures required by this section 
is to assure increased opportunities for members of the communities who 
may be affected by certain USPS facility projects, along with local 
officials, to convey their views concerning the contemplated project and 
have them considered prior to any final decision to expand, relocate to 
another existing building, or construct a new building that is owned or 
leased.
    (c) Expansion, relocation, new construction. When a need is 
identified that will require the expansion, relocation, or new 
construction of a customer service facility, postal representatives 
responsible for the project will take the following steps in accordance 
with the time schedule shown:
    (1) Personally visit one or more of the highest ranking local public 
officials (generally individuals holding elective office). During the 
visit, the postal representatives will--
    (i) Identify the need and fully describe the project that is under 
consideration to meet it, explain the process by which the Postal 
Service will solicit and consider input from the affected community, and 
solicit a working partnership with the community officials for the 
success of the project.
    (ii) Emphasize that in meeting a need for increased space, the first 
priority is to expand the existing facility; the second priority is to 
find an existing building in the same area as the current facility; and 
the third option is to build on a new site; all within the downtown 
area, if possible.

[[Page 78]]

    (iii) Ask that a Postal Service presentation of the project be 
placed on the regular agenda of a public meeting or hearing. If no such 
meeting is planned within the next 60 days or the agenda of a planned 
meeting cannot accommodate the project, the USPS will schedule its own 
public hearing concerning the project, and will advertise the meeting or 
hearing in a local general circulation newspaper.
    (iv) Give the local officials a letter describing the intended 
project.
    (2) Notify the lessor of the affected facility of the project, in 
writing.
    (3) Send an initial news release to local communications media.
    (4)(i) Post in the public lobby of the affected post offices a copy 
of the letter given to local officials, or the news release, or, space 
permitting, both. If such information is available at the time, include 
in the posting a public notice of the date, time, and location of a 
public meeting or hearing at least 7 days prior to the meeting or 
hearing.
    (ii) Except as provided in this paragraph, attend, or conduct, one 
or more public hearings to describe the project to the community, invite 
questions, solicit written comment, and describe the process by which 
community input will be considered. If it is believed at the time that 
the existing facility is not able to be expanded or that expansion is 
impracticable, disclose that fact and the reasons supporting that 
belief. If, during the public meeting or hearing process, a new 
development should occur to allow for an expansion of the existing 
facility, the Postal Service will make a good faith effort in pursuing 
this alternative. Under exceptional circumstances that would prevent 
postal representatives from attending a public meeting or conducting a 
postal hearing on the planned project within a reasonable time, and 
subject to approval of the Vice President, Facilities, the Postal 
Service may distribute a notification card to all affected customers, 
seeking their comments or other feedback. An example of exceptional 
circumstances would be a project in a sparsely populated area remote 
from the seat of local government or any forum where a postal conducted 
meeting could be held.
    (iii) At any public meeting or hearing, advise local officials and 
the community of their appeal rights and the process by which an appeal 
can be made. Information provided must include time limitations and an 
address for the appeal.
    (5) Review comments and notify local officials of decision. Not less 
than 15 days after the date of the most recent public meeting, or after 
receipt of notification cards, make a decision that takes into account 
community input and is consistent with postal objectives (e.g., 
expansion, relocation to another building, or construction of a new 
owned or leased facility), and notify local officials in writing. This 
notification must include information on the availability and terms of 
review under paragraph (c)(6) of this section. At the same time, post a 
copy of the notification letter in the local post office for the 
community. Take no action on the decision for at least 30 days following 
notification of local officials and the community.
    (6) Within the time period identified in paragraph (c)(5) of this 
section, any person may request in writing that the decision be reviewed 
by the Vice President, Facilities, at Postal Service Headquarters. No 
particular format is required for requesting review, but the request 
must be in writing and identify the post office or location affected; 
and should identify the decision objected to, and state the reasons for 
the objection. The Vice President, Facilities, will obtain the views of 
the decision maker, review relevant parts of the project file, and if 
necessary request more information from the appellant. Upon review of 
the facts, the Vice President, or a representative, will issue a written 
determination, if possible, within 15 days. In no event will the Postal 
Service take action on the decision being reviewed until 15 days 
following issuance of the final review determination. If the 
determination on review is to set aside the decision, the project 
process will return to the public hearing stage of paragraph (c)(4) of 
this section.
    (7) Advertise for sites and existing buildings, in accordance with 
existing postal procedures.

[[Page 79]]

    (d) Discontinuance of post offices; historic preservation. (1) It is 
the policy of the Postal Service, by virtue of Board of Governors 
Resolution No. 82-7, to comply with Section 106 of the general 
provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act, 16 U.S.C. 470, et 
seq., Executive Order 12072, and Executive Order 13006. Therefore, any 
facility project that will have an effect on cultural resources will be 
undertaken in accordance with that policy.
    (2) Any action involving the closing or other discontinuance of a 
post office shall be undertaken only in accordance with 39 U.S.C. 404(b) 
and 39 CFR 243.1. In the event a facility action is subject to both this 
section, and either the NHPA or the post office discontinuance 
requirements, all comment periods and other public participation matters 
shall be governed by those statutes.
    (e) Site selection. (1) When the decision is to advertise for sites 
and existing buildings, and after such sites have been identified, 
advise local officials in writing of all contending sites, and with 
respect to all sites not selected, provide an explanation. This notice 
will advise local officials, and the community, that no decision to 
select a site will be made for a minimum of 30 days, and that comments 
or discussions of all sites are solicited. Post a copy of this letter in 
the lobby of the affected post office for public notice.
    (2) Once a specific site is then selected, notify local officials in 
writing of the selection decision.
    (3) Take no final action to acquire or lease the selected site for 
30 days following the notification in paragraph (e)(2) of this section.
    (f) Planning, zoning, building codes. In carrying out customer 
service facilities projects, it is the policy of the Postal Service to 
comply with local planning and zoning requirements and building codes 
consistent with prudent business practices and unique postal 
requirements. In order to promote a partnership with local officials and 
assure conformance with local building codes, plans and drawings will be 
sent to the appropriate building department or other officials for 
review. Where payment of fees is normally required of private entities, 
the Postal Service will pay a reasonable fee for the review. The Postal 
Service will give local public officials written notice of any timely, 
written objections or recommendations that it does not plan to adopt or 
implement.
    (g) Continuing communication. During construction, whether 
renovation or new construction, the postmaster should keep local 
officials and the community informed via letters and news releases. The 
postmaster and other postal officials should plan, conduct and invite 
the community and local officials to any ``grand opening'', as 
appropriate.

[63 FR 46656, Sept. 2, 1998]



PART 242_CHANGE OF SITE--Table of Contents






Sec. 242.2  Change of site--fourth-class offices.

    Report by memorandum to chief, organization and management branch, 
when change in site is necessary. Complete Form 1021 when furnished. 
Retain one copy in files. If new location is one-fourth of a mile or 
more from existing location, furnish a statement signed by majority of 
customers approving change. When a change involves moving a post office 
from one county to another, notify the Deputy Postmaster General, of the 
circumstances (including a sketch showing present and proposed sites), 
and await approval of that Division.

(39 U.S.C. 401)

[36 FR 4765, Mar. 12, 1971]



PART 243_CONDUCT OF OFFICES--Table of Contents






Sec. 243.2  Quarters.

    (a) Employee bulletin boards. Bulletin boards may be placed in 
workrooms and employees' lunchrooms for displaying notices as prescribed 
in this manual and Management Labor Organization Agreements.
    (b) Location of offices. Postal units may not be located in, or 
directly connected to, a room in which intoxicating liquor is sold to be 
consumed on the premises.
    (c) Lost articles. When articles are turned in to employees, the 
name and address of the finder shall be recorded so the article may be 
returned to him

[[Page 80]]

if not claimed by the loser. If the name of the finder cannot be 
obtained, and the article is not claimed within 30 days, it must be 
disposed of in the same manner as unidentified material found loose in 
the mail. Do not return postal money orders to the finder. Mail to Money 
Order Branch, Accounting Division, U.S. Postal Service, General 
Accounting Office Building, Washington, DC 20260, with a memorandum of 
explanation.
    (d) Public use of restrooms. Restrooms off public corridors shall 
normally be kept open during regular hours of business for the benefit 
of the public. Where vandalism or loitering cannot be controlled, 
postmasters may lock restrooms, furnishing those agencies served by the 
restrooms, keys for employee use. This shall not be construed to permit 
access by nonpostal personnel to restrooms in restricted postal areas.
    (e) Letter drops. At all except fourth-class post offices, provide a 
regulation letterbox for depositing mail in front of or next to the post 
office. Show collection time schedules on letterboxes. At fourth-class 
offices, if a letterbox is not supplied, provide a slot in the outer 
post office door. When messengers or star route carriers have access to 
lobbies, door slot deposits must lead to a locked box.
    (f) Hour signs. Display hours of window service prominently at all 
first-, second-, and third-class post offices, classified stations and 
branches, and annexes. Use Sign 41, Hours decal set, available in supply 
centers.
    (g) Service of process on postal premises. Postmasters or other 
installation heads shall permit service on postal premises of civil and 
criminal process affecting employees in personal matters, when such 
service of process will not interfere with postal operations. Process 
servers should be directed to the postmaster's or installation head's 
office, where the employee will be called in and service made. Section 
265.10 of this chapter contains rules regarding compliance with subpoena 
duces tecum, court orders, and summonses where official business or 
official records are involved.
    (h) Public service areas--prohibited items. Photographs of an 
incumbent or former President or Postmaster General are not to be 
displayed in post office lobbies or in common use public service areas 
such as elevator lobbies and corridors in facilities owned by or leased 
to the Postal Service. Further, such photographs are not to be 
requisitioned or purchased by postal installations at Postal Service 
expense.

(39 U.S.C. 501)

[36 FR 4765, Mar. 12, 1971, as amended at 39 FR 38376, Oct. 31, 1974; 40 
FR 8820, Mar. 3, 1975; 42 FR 33722, July 1, 1977; 44 FR 39854, July 6, 
1979]



General Postal Administration--Table of Contents






PART 254_POSTAL SERVICE STANDARDS FOR FACILITY ACCESSIBILITY PURSUANT TO 
THE ARCHITECTURAL BARRIERS ACT--Table of Contents




Sec.
254.1 Adoption of U.S. Access Board Standards as Postal Service 
          Standards of Facility Accessibility
254.2 Definition of primary function area and criteria used to determine 
          whether an alteration has an effect on an area containing a 
          primary function that is disproportionate to the overall 
          alterations.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C 101, 401, 403; 29 U.S.C. 792(b)(3) and 42 U.S.C. 
12204.

    Source: 70 FR 28214, May 17, 2005, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 254.1  Adoption of U.S. Access Board Standards as Postal Service 
Standards of Facility Accessibility.

    (a) The United States Postal Service adopts as its Architectural 
Barriers Act (ABA) ``Standards for Facility Accessibility,'' the 
following sections of 36 CFR part 1191:
    Appendix A to Part 1191, Table of Contents for apps. C, D, and E.
    Appendix C to Part 1191, Architectural Barriers Act, Scoping (which 
contains ABA Chapter 1, Application and Administration, and ABA Chapter 
2, Scoping requirements); pertinent parts of Appendix D to Part 1191, 
Technical (which includes Chapters 3 through 10).
    Appendix E to Part 1191, List of Figures and Index.

[[Page 81]]

    (b) These sections listed in paragraph (a) of this section are 
adopted verbatim, with the exception of the Advisory Notes, which are 
expressly excluded.



Sec. 254.2  Definition of primary function area and criteria used to 
determine whether an alteration has an effect on an area containing a 
primary function that is disproportionate to the overall alterations.

    (a) Terminology. The new accessibility guidelines require that 
certain terms be defined by the participating federal agencies. In the 
U.S. Access Board's 36 CFR part 1191, Appendix C, ABA chapter 2, section 
F202.6.2 requires that ``primary function areas'' be defined and Section 
F202.4 contains requirements for alterations affecting ``primary 
function areas'' stating, ``* * *an alteration that affects or could 
affect the usability of or access to an area containing a primary 
function shall be made so as to ensure that, to the maximum extent 
feasible, the path of travel to the altered area, including the rest 
rooms, telephones, and drinking fountains serving the altered area, are 
readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, 
unless such alterations are disproportionate to the overall alterations 
in terms of cost and scope as determined under criteria established by 
the Administrator of * * * the United States Postal Service.''
    (b) Primary function areas. For purposes of this part, the primary 
function of the Postal Service is to provide mail service for its 
customers, that is to accept, distribute, transport and deliver the 
mail. Two essential facilities for fulfilling these functions are 
customer lobby areas where customers conduct their retail transactions, 
access mail depositories and post office boxes and work room areas where 
postal employees distribute the mail and perform other core postal 
operations. Therefore, for purposes of the accessibility guidelines 
applicable to the Postal Service under the Architectural Barriers Act, 
two primary function areas are identified: Customer Lobbies and Workroom 
Areas.
    (c) Disproportionality. (1) According to Section F202.6.2, 
``alteration'' of elements in a primary function area can trigger a 
requirement to make accessibility improvements along the path of travel 
to the area and improvements to rest rooms, telephones, and drinking 
fountains that serve the altered area if the alteration ``affects or 
could affect the usability of or access to an area containing a primary 
function.'' It is conceivable that almost any repair or alteration 
project in a ``primary function area'' could affect the usability of the 
area. Therefore a literal interpretation of this provision could require 
an expansion of the scope of virtually any alteration in a primary 
function area, regardless of the size and scope of the original project. 
According to Section F202.6.2, accessibility improvements must be made 
to the path of travel to the altered area and to rest rooms, telephones, 
and drinking fountains that serve the altered area ``unless such 
alterations are disproportionate to the overall alterations in terms of 
cost and scope''.
    (2) For purposes of the accessibility guidelines applicable to the 
Postal Service under the Architectural Barriers Act, two criteria must 
be considered in making a determination whether accessibility 
improvements are disproportionate to the cost and scope of the original 
alteration: a magnitude threshold for the original alteration and a 
maximum ``percentage threshold'' for the accessibility alteration.
    (d) Magnitude threshold. It is anticipated that, in most cases, a 
significant additional effort would be required to assess physical 
conditions along the path of travel and for rest rooms, telephones, and 
drinking fountains that serve the altered area, and to determine the 
scope, budget and appropriate design requirements for any corrective 
alterations. Unless the original alteration is of substantial magnitude, 
a disproportionate effort would be devoted to such investigation, 
design, and administration leaving few, if any funds to accomplish 
corrective work. Accordingly, a ``magnitude threshold'' is established 
such that no accessibility improvements to the path of travel, nor to 
any associated facilities, shall be required under F202.6.2 for 
alterations that have an estimated total cost less than 20 percent of 
the fair market value of the facility.

[[Page 82]]

    (e) Percentage threshold. For alterations subject to F202.6.2 that 
meet or exceed the ``magnitude threshold,'' the maximum cost for 
accessibility improvements to the path of travel, including all costs 
for accessibility improvements to rest rooms, telephones, and drinking 
fountains that serve the altered area, shall not exceed 20 percent of 
the total cost of the original alteration. Costs for accessibility 
improvements in excess of the 20 percent threshold shall be deemed 
``disproportionate.''



PART 255_ACCESS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES TO POSTAL SERVICE PROGRAMS, 
ACTIVITIES, FACILITIES, AND ELECTRONIC AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY--Table 
of Contents




Sec.
255.1 Purpose.
255.2 Definitions.
255.3 Nondiscrimination under any program or activity conducted by the 
          Postal Service.
255.4 Accessibility to electronic and information technology.
255.5 Employment.
255.6 Processing of complaints.
255.7 Special arrangements for postal services.
255.8 Access to postal facilities.
255.9 Other postal regulations; authority of postal managers and 
          employees.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 101, 401, 403, 1001, 1003, 3403, 3404; 29 
U.S.C. 791, 794, 794d.

    Source: 69 FR 44962, July 28, 2004, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 255.1  Purpose.

    (a) This part implements section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 
1973, as amended. Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of 
disability in programs or activities conducted by executive agencies or 
by the Postal Service. This part also implements section 508 of the 
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. Section 508 requires that 
executive agencies and the Postal Service ensure, absent an undue 
burden, that individuals with disabilities have access to electronic and 
information technology that is comparable to the access of individuals 
who are not disabled.
    (b) The standards relating to electronic and information technology 
expressed in this part are intended to be consistent with the standards 
announced by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance 
Board on December 21, 2000. Those standards are codified at 36 CFR part 
1194.



Sec. 255.2  Definitions.

    (a) Agency as used in this part means the Postal Service.
    (b) Area/functional vice president also includes his or her 
designee.
    (c) Electronic and information technology (EIT) includes 
``information technology'' and any equipment or interconnected system or 
subsystem of equipment that is used in the creation, conversion, or 
duplication of data or information. The term does not include any 
equipment that contains embedded information technology that is used as 
an integral part of the product, but the principal function of which is 
not the acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, 
control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of 
data or information.
    (d) Formal complaint means a written statement that contains the 
complainant's name, address, and telephone number, sets forth the nature 
of the complainant's disability, and describes the agency's alleged 
discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the agency of the 
nature of the alleged violation of section 504 or of section 508. It 
shall be signed by the complainant or by someone authorized to do so on 
the complainant's behalf.
    (e) Individual with a disability. For purposes of this part, 
``individual with a disability'' means any person who--
    (1) Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits 
one or more of such person's major life activities;
    (2) Has a record of such an impairment; or
    (3) Is regarded as having such an impairment.
    (f) Information technology means any equipment, or interconnected 
system or subsystem of equipment, that is used in the automatic 
acquisition, storage, manipulation, management,

[[Page 83]]

movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or 
reception of data or information.
    (g) Postal manager. As used in this part, ``postal manager'' means 
the manager or official responsible for a service, facility, program, or 
activity.
    (h) Qualified individual with a disability. For purposes of this 
part, ``qualified individual with a disability'' means--
    (1) With respect to any Postal Service program or activity, except 
for employment, under which a person is required to perform services or 
to achieve a level of accomplishment, an individual with a disability 
who meets the essential eligibility requirements and who can achieve the 
purpose of the program or activity without modifications in the program 
or activity that the agency can demonstrate would result in a 
fundamental alteration in its nature; or
    (2) With respect to any other program or activity, except for 
employment, an individual with a disability who meets the essential 
eligibility requirements for participation in, or receipt of benefits 
from, that program or activity; or
    (3) With respect to employment, an individual with a disability who 
can perform the essential functions of the job in question with or 
without reasonable accommodation.
    (i) Section 501 means section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 
as amended. Section 501 is codified at 29 U.S.C. 791.
    (j) Section 504 means section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 
as amended. Section 504 is codified at 29 U.S.C. 794.
    (k) Section 508 means section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 
as amended. Section 508 is codified at 29 U.S.C. 794d.
    (l) Undue burden means significant difficulty or expense.
    (m) Vice President and Consumer Advocate also includes his or her 
designee.



Sec. 255.3  Nondiscrimination under any program or activity conducted by 
the Postal Service.

    In accordance with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, no 
qualified individual with a disability shall, solely by reason of his or 
her disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the 
benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under, any program or 
activity conducted by the Postal Service.



Sec. 255.4  Accessibility to electronic and information technology.

    (a) In accordance with section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, the 
Postal Service shall ensure, absent an undue burden, that the electronic 
and information technology the agency procures allows--
    (1) Individuals with disabilities who are Postal Service employees 
or applicants to have access to and use of information and data that is 
comparable to the access to and use of information and data by Postal 
Service employees or applicants who are not individuals with 
disabilities; and
    (2) Individuals with disabilities who are members of the public 
seeking information or services from the Postal Service to have access 
to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access to 
and use of information and data by members of the public who are not 
individuals with disabilities.
    (b) When procurement of electronic and information technology that 
meets the standards published by the Architectural and Transportation 
Barriers Compliance Board would pose an undue burden, the Postal Service 
shall provide individuals with disabilities covered by paragraph (a) of 
this section with the information and data by an alternative means of 
access that allows the individuals to use the information and data.



Sec. 255.5  Employment.

    No qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of 
disability, be subjected to discrimination in employment with the Postal 
Service. The definitions, requirements, and procedures of section 501 of 
the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as established by the Equal Employment 
Opportunity Commission in 29 CFR part 1614 shall apply to employment 
within the Postal Service.

[[Page 84]]



Sec. 255.6  Processing of complaints.

    (a) Section 504 complaints, employment. The Postal Service shall 
process complaints of employees and applicants alleging violations of 
section 504 with respect to employment according to the procedures 
established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 29 CFR 
part 1614 pursuant to section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as 
amended, 29 U.S.C. 791. In accordance with 29 CFR part 1614, the Postal 
Service has established procedures for processing complaints of alleged 
employment discrimination, based upon disability, in the agency's 
handbook, Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint Processing.
    (b) Section 504 complaints, members of the public. The procedures of 
this part shall apply to section 504 complaints alleging disability 
discrimination in any program or activity of the Postal Service and 
brought by members of the public.
    (c) Section 508 complaints, members of the public, employees, and 
applicants. The procedures of this part shall apply to section 508 
complaints alleging failure to provide access to electronic and 
information technology and brought by members of the public or by 
employees or applicants. Section 508 complaints shall be processed to 
provide the remedies required by section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
    (d) Complaint Procedures. Any individual with a disability who 
believes that he or she has been subjected to discrimination prohibited 
by this part or by the alleged failure of the agency to provide access 
to electronic and information technology may file a complaint by 
following the procedures described herein. A complainant shall first 
exhaust informal administrative procedures before filing a formal 
complaint.
    (1) Informal complaints relating to Postal Service programs or 
activities and to EIT. (i) A complainant initiates the informal process 
by informing the responsible postal manager orally or in writing of the 
alleged discrimination or inaccessibility of Postal Service programs, 
activities, or EIT. Postal managers or employees who receive informal 
complaints that they lack the authority to resolve must promptly refer 
any such informal complaint to the appropriate postal manager, and at 
the same time must notify the complainant of the name, address, and 
telephone number of the person handling the complaint.
    (ii) Resolution of the informal complaint and time limits. Within 15 
days of receipt of the informal complaint, the responsible postal 
manager must send the complainant a written acknowledgement of the 
informal complaint. The written acknowledgment will include the date the 
complaint was filed and a description of the issue(s). If the matter 
cannot be resolved within 30 days of its receipt, the complainant must 
be sent a written interim report which explains the status of the 
informal complaint and the proposed resolution of the matter. On or 
before the 60th day from the agency's receipt of the informal complaint, 
the appropriate area/functional vice president within the Postal Service 
shall send a written decision to the complainant detailing the final 
disposition of the informal complaint and the reasons for that 
disposition. The decision shall contain the notice that the complainant 
may challenge an informal decision which denies relief either by 
proceeding in any other appropriate forum or by filing a formal 
complaint with the Vice President and Consumer Advocate. The notice will 
give the address of the Vice President and Consumer Advocate. The notice 
shall also state that if the complainant chooses to file a formal 
complaint, the complainant shall exhaust the formal complaint procedures 
before filing suit in any other forum.
    (iii) Automatic review. The responsible postal manager's proposed 
disposition of the informal complaint shall be submitted to the 
appropriate district/program manager for review. The district/program 
manager shall forward the proposed disposition to the area/functional 
vice president for review and issuance of the written decision. This 
automatic review process shall be completed such that the written 
decision of the area/functional vice president shall be sent to the 
complainant no later than the 60th day from the agency's receipt of the 
informal complaint.

[[Page 85]]

    (2) Formal complaints. If an informal complaint filed under 
paragraph (d)(1) of this section denies relief, the complainant may seek 
relief in any other appropriate forum, including the right to file a 
formal complaint with the Vice President and Consumer Advocate in 
accordance with the following procedures. If the complainant files a 
formal complaint with the Vice President and Consumer Advocate, the 
complainant shall exhaust the formal complaint procedures before filing 
suit in any other forum.
    (i) Where to file. Formal complaints relating to programs or 
activities conducted by the Postal Service or to access of Postal 
Service EIT may be filed with the Vice President and Consumer Advocate, 
United States Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW., Washington, DC 
20260.
    (ii) When to file. A formal complaint shall be filed within 30 days 
of the date the complainant receives the decision of the area/functional 
vice president to deny relief. For purposes of determining when a formal 
complaint is timely filed under paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section, a 
formal complaint mailed to the agency shall be deemed filed on the date 
it is postmarked. Any other formal complaint shall be deemed filed on 
the date it is received by the Vice President and Consumer Advocate.
    (iii) Acceptance of the formal complaint. The Vice President and 
Consumer Advocate shall accept a timely filed formal complaint that 
meets the requirements of Sec. 255.2(d), that is filed after fulfilling 
the informal exhaustion procedures of Sec. 255.6(d)(1), and over which 
the agency has jurisdiction. The Vice President and Consumer Advocate 
shall notify the complainant of receipt and acceptance of the formal 
complaint within 15 days of the date the Vice President and Consumer 
Advocate received the formal complaint.
    (iv) Resolution of the formal complaint. Within 180 days of receipt 
and acceptance of a formal complaint over which the agency has 
jurisdiction, the Vice President and Consumer Advocate shall notify the 
complainant of the results of the investigation of the formal complaint. 
The notice shall be a written decision stating whether or not relief is 
being granted and the reasons for granting or denying relief. The notice 
shall state that it is the final decision of the Postal Service on the 
formal complaint.
    (e) No retaliation. No person shall be subject to retaliation for 
opposing any practice made unlawful by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 
as amended, 29 U.S.C. 791, or for participating in any stage of 
administrative or judicial proceedings under the statute.



Sec. 255.7  Special arrangements for postal services.

    Members of the public who are unable to use or who have difficulty 
using certain postal services may be eligible under postal regulations 
for special arrangements. Some of the special arrangements that the 
Postal Service has authorized are listed below. No one is required to 
use any special arrangement offered by the Postal Service, but an 
individual's refusal to make use of a particular special arrangement 
does not require the Postal Service to offer other special arrangements 
to that individual.
    (a) The Postal Operations Manual offers information on special 
arrangements for the following postal services:
    (1) Carrier delivery services and programs.
    (2) Postal retail services and programs.
    (i) Stamps by mail or phone.
    (ii) Retail service from rural carriers.
    (iii) Self-service postal centers. Self-service postal centers 
contain vending equipment for the sale of stamps and stamp items, and 
deposit boxes for parcels and letter mail. Many centers are accessible 
to individuals in wheelchairs. Information regarding the location of the 
nearest center may be obtained from a local post office.
    (b) The Domestic Mail Manual, the Administrative Support Manual, and 
the International Mail Manual contain information regarding postage-free 
mailing for mailings that qualify.
    (c) Inquiries and requests. Members of the public wishing further 
information about special arrangements for particular postal services 
may contact their local postal manager.
    (d) Response to a request or complaint regarding a special 
arrangement for postal

[[Page 86]]

services. A local postal manager receiving a request or complaint about 
a special arrangement for postal services must provide any arrangement 
as required by postal regulations. If no special arrangements are 
required by postal regulations, the local postal manager, in 
consultation with the district manager or area manager, as needed, may 
provide a special arrangement or take any action that will accommodate 
an individual with a disability as required by section 504 or by this 
part.



Sec. 255.8  Access to postal facilities.

    (a) Legal requirements and policy--(1) ABA Standards. Where the 
design standards of the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) of 1968, 42 
U.S.C. 4151 et seq., do not apply, the Postal Service may perform a 
discretionary retrofit to a facility in accordance with this part to 
accommodate individuals with disabilities.
    (2) Discretionary modifications. The Postal Service may modify 
facilities not legally required to conform to ABA standards when it 
determines that doing so would be consistent with efficient postal 
operations. In determining whether modifications not legally required 
should be made, due regard is to be given to:
    (i) The cost of the discretionary modification;
    (ii) The number of individuals to be benefited by the modification;
    (iii) The inconvenience, if any, to the general public;
    (iv) The anticipated useful life of the modification to the Postal 
Service;
    (v) Any requirement to restore a leased premises to its original 
condition at the expiration of the lease, and the cost of such 
restoration;
    (vi) The historic or architectural significance of the property in 
accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, 16 
U.S.C. 470 et seq.;
    (vii) The availability of other options to foster service 
accessibility; and
    (viii) Any other factor that is relevant and appropriate to the 
decision.
    (b) Inquiries and requests. (1) Inquiries concerning access to 
postal facilities, and requests for discretionary alterations of postal 
facilities not covered by the design standards of the ABA, may be made 
to the local postal manager of the facility involved.
    (2) The local postal manager's response to a request or complaint 
regarding an alteration to a facility will be made after consultation 
with the district manager or the area manager. If the determination is 
made that modification to meet ABA design standards is not required, a 
discretionary alteration may be made on a case-by-case basis in 
accordance with the criteria listed in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. 
If a discretionary alteration is not made, the local postal manager 
should determine if a special arrangement for postal services under 
Sec. 255.7 can be provided.



Sec. 255.9  Other postal regulations; authority of postal managers and 
employees.

    This part supplements all other postal regulations. Nothing in this 
part is intended either to repeal, modify, or amend any other postal 
regulation, to authorize any postal manager or employee to violate or 
exceed any regulatory limit, or to confer any budgetary authority on any 
postal official or employee outside normal budgetary procedures.



PART 259_SERVICES PERFORMED FOR OTHER AGENCIES--Table of Contents




Sec.
259.1 Government.
259.2 Red Cross.



Sec. 259.1  Government.

    (a) Policy. The Postal Service cooperates with Federal Agencies 
whenever the overall costs to Government will be reduced. Assistance in 
a number of special projects and programs is provided when the knowledge 
and abilities of postal employees are helpful.
    (b) Reimbursement. The Postal Service establishes reasonable fees 
and charges for nonpostal services performed for agencies of the Federal 
as well as State governments. In establishing such fees and charges, the 
Postal Service considers the value of time of the personnel directly 
involved in the performance of the service, including direct supervision 
and supporting functions, plus the cost of materials and

[[Page 87]]

supplies specifically sold, used or consumed. Also included is an 
element representing a reasonable share of Postal Service general 
overhead costs which are not attributable or assignable specifically to 
any product or service. The establishment of such fees and charges shall 
be reasonably consistent with the methods employed in establishing rates 
and fees for postal services then in effect.
    (c) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, 
arrangements for Postal Service participation in special surveys, 
censuses, and other activities must be made between the national 
headquarters of the requesting agencies and the Customer Services 
Department, U.S. Postal Service, Washington, DC 20260. Refer all 
requests to the Regional Postmaster General for forwarding to 
Headquarters. Authority to perform services for Government agencies is 
announced in the Postal Bulletin or by individual letters to the offices 
involved.
    (d) Housing Vacancy Surveys--(1) General. An interagency agreement 
between the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and the Federal Home Loan Bank 
Board (FHLBB) establishes the terms and conditions and reimbursement 
rates under which USPS will conduct Housing Vacancy Surveys in City 
Delivery offices when requested by FHLBB.
    (2) Restrictions. The Agreement only authorizes the disclosure of 
aggregate statistical data. Postal managers must not permit the name or 
address of any past or present postal patron, or any other person to be 
disclosed unless such disclosure is authorized in writing by USPS 
Regions or Headquarters and is not in violation of 39 U.S.C. 412.
    (3) Postmaster's Responsibility. (i) A postmaster will receive 
notification from FHLBB when his office has been selected to conduct a 
Housing Vacancy Survey. Normally, written notification will be mailed to 
the postmaster 30 days in advance of the date FHLBB would like USPS to 
conduct the survey, since USPS is under no obligation to use overtime or 
auxiliary assistance to conduct these surveys. The postmaster or his 
designee will schedule the survey on or near the date requested and will 
promptly reply to FHLBB so that the necessary forms will be provided on 
time.
    (ii) All necessary forms and instructions will be supplied directly 
to each post office to be surveyed. Postmasters will designate a manager 
in each delivery unit to coordinate the survey within the unit and to 
review completed survey forms for accuracy.
    (iii) FHLBB may request USPS to perform special or emergency surveys 
with less than 30 days advance notice. Since FHLBB has agreed to 
reimburse USPS at twice the normal rates for promptly performing such 
surveys, every reasonable effort should be made to accommodate such 
requests in a timely manner.
    (iv) Housing Vacancy Surveys will not be conducted during the month 
of December of any year.
    (v) Postmasters will notify the Office of Delivery and Collection, 
Washington, DC 20260, of the number of each type survey form completed 
for FHLBB. FHLBB will then remit payment directly to Headquarters, USPS.
    (vi) USPS will not release or publish any survey results except in 
response to a court order, subpoena, or as required by the Freedom of 
Information Act.
    (e) Unauthorized projects prohibited. Do not conduct special surveys 
or otherwise participate in any cooperative projects without the 
authorization in paragraph (c) of this section.

(39 U.S.C. 401, 411)

[36 FR 4773, Mar. 12, 1971, as amended at 40 FR 26511, June 24, 1975; 41 
FR 56196, Dec. 27, 1976; 42 FR 58170, Nov. 8, 1977; 42 FR 63170, Dec. 
15, 1977]



Sec. 259.2  Red Cross.

    (a) General. The Postal Service and the Red Cross cooperate to 
maintain communication between the individual and the community during 
times of disaster. This applies only to natural disasters such as those 
caused by floods, tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, explosions, 
etc., and not to those caused by enemy action.
    (b) Role of Postal Service. The Postal Service and the Red Cross 
will share information on the whereabouts of persons displaced by 
disasters, and otherwise cooperate with each other, as follows:

[[Page 88]]

    (1) The Red Cross will use Form 3575, Change of Address Order, as a 
standard item in Red Cross disaster relief. It will urge disaster 
victims displaced from their homes to obtain and complete the forms, it 
will distribute the forms to disaster victims who need them, and it will 
collect from the victims and turn over to the Postal Service any 
completed forms received.
    (2) The Postal Service will provide the Red Cross the blank forms 
needed.
    (3) During each disaster and subsequent disaster relief efforts, the 
Postal Service will establish a separate file of change of address forms 
completed by disaster victims, and will make available to the Red Cross 
information in the file. This information will be used by the Red Cross 
only to locate individuals and families, to answer inquiries from 
relatives and friends concerning the whereabouts and welfare of the 
disaster victims, or to make contact with disaster victims who have 
applied for assistance from the Red Cross but who cannot be located 
because of a change of address.
    (4) The Postal Service and the Red Cross will encourage appropriate 
local postal officials and Red Cross chapters to maintain contact with 
each other and to participate in local and community planning for 
disasters.
    (5) When appropriate, the Postal Service and the Red Cross will meet 
and exchange information at the national headquarters level concerning 
the effectiveness of their joint efforts for disaster relief.
    (6) Regional Postmasters General and Postal Inspectors in Charge are 
responsible for seeing that post offices implement these cooperative 
arrangements in disaster situations.
    (7) The instructions in Sec. 259.2 serve as a broad framework 
within which field officials of both agencies may coordinate their 
facilities and resources. However, postal officials shall cooperate with 
Red Cross officials to the maximum feasible degree during times of 
natural disasters.

(39 U.S.C. 401, 411)

[36 FR 4773, Mar. 12, 1971, as amended at 40 FR 26511, June 24, 1975]



Records and Information--Table of Contents






PART 261_RECORDS AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT--Table of Contents




Sec.
261.1 Purpose and scope.
261.2 Authority.
261.3 Policy.
261.4 Responsibility.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 401.



Sec. 261.1  Purpose and scope.

    As a result of the Postal Reorganization Act, 39 U.S.C. 410, the 
U.S. Postal Service is no longer subject to the provisions of the 
Federal Records Act of 1950, or any of its supporting regulations which 
provide for the conduct of records management in Federal agencies. The 
objective of Parts 261 through 268 is to provide the basis for a Postal 
Service-wide records and information management program affecting all 
organizational components having the custody of any form of information 
and records.

[40 FR 45721, Oct. 2, 1975; 40 FR 48511, Oct. 16, 1975]



Sec. 261.2  Authority.

    (a) 39 U.S.C. 401(5) states that the Postal Service has the power to 
acquire property it deems necessary or convenient in the transaction of 
its business and to hold, maintain, sell, lease or otherwise dispose of 
such property.
    (b) 39 CFR 262.2 assigns to the Postal Service Records Office, 
located under the Privacy Office responsibility for the retention, 
security, and privacy of Postal Service records and the power to 
authorize the disclosure of such records and to order their disposal by 
destruction or transfer. Included is the authority to issue records 
management policy and to delegate or take appropriate action if that 
policy is not adhered to or if questions of interpretation of procedure 
arise.

[40 FR 45721, Oct. 2, 1975, as amended at 44 FR 51223, Aug. 31, 1979; 60 
FR 57344, Nov. 15, 1995; 68 FR 56558, Oct. 1, 2003]



Sec. 261.3  Policy.

    It is the policy of the Postal Service:
    (a) To, as appropriate, create, preserve, protect and disclose 
records

[[Page 89]]

which contain adequate and proper documentation of the organization, 
functions, policies, decisions, operations, procedures, activities and 
transactions of the Postal Service,
    (b) To reduce to an absolute minimum the records holdings of the 
Postal Service by strict adherence to established records retention 
schedules.

[40 FR 45721, Oct. 2, 1975, as amended at 44 FR 51223, Aug. 31, 1979]



Sec. 261.4  Responsibility.

    (a) The Manager, Records Office, under the Privacy Office, 
administers the Postal Service release of information and privacy of 
information programs with the assistance of FOIA coordinators in the 
Consumer Affairs function of area and district offices.
    (b) The Chief Privacy Officer, under the Vice President and Consumer 
Advocate, is responsible for administering records and information 
management policies and for the compliance of all handbooks, directives, 
and instructions in support of this policy.
    (c) Postal Service managers are responsible for administering 
records and information management policies and for complying with all 
handbooks, directives, and instructions in support of this policy.

[64 FR 41290, July 30, 1999, as amended at 68 FR 56558, Oct 1, 2003]



PART 262_RECORDS AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT DEFINITIONS--Table of Contents




Sec.
262.1 Purpose and scope.
262.2 Officials.
262.3 Information.
262.4 Records.
262.5 Systems (Privacy).
262.6 Retention and disposal.
262.7 Non-records.

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552, 552a; 39 U.S.C. 401.

    Source: 49 FR 30693, Aug. 1, 1984, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 262.1  Purpose and scope.

    This part contains the official definition of those basic records 
and information management terms that are frequently used throughout 
Postal Service regulations and directives.



Sec. 262.2  Officials.

    (a) Chief Privacy Officer. The Chief Privacy Officer (CPO) is 
responsible for the issuance of policy on the protection of privacy and 
the release of Postal Service records with the power to authorize the 
disclosure of such records and to delegate or take appropriate action if 
that policy is not adhered to or if questions of interpretation or 
procedure arise. The CPO directs the activities of the Privacy Office 
and the Records Office.
    (b) Manager, Records Office. The Manager, Records Office, manages 
the Records Office, and is responsible for establishing procedures and 
guidelines to ensure that record management practices are in compliance 
with the Privacy Act and FOIA. The Manager, Records Office, may also 
delegate or take appropriate action if policies are not adhered to or if 
questions of interpretation or procedures arise.
    (c) Records Custodian. The postmaster or other head of a facility 
such as an area vice president, district manager, or head of a postal 
installation or department who maintains Postal Service records. Vice 
presidents are the custodians of records maintained at Headquarters. 
Senior medical personnel are the custodians of restricted medical 
records maintained within postal facilities.
    (d) Information System Executive. The Postal Service official who 
prescribes the existence of and the policies for an information system; 
usually this is a Vice President.
    (e) Records Office. The Records Office is responsible for the 
issuance of policy on the maintenance and disposition of Postal Service 
records and information, and to delegate or take appropriate action if 
such policy is not adhered to or if questions of interpretation or 
procedure arise.

[49 FR 30693, Aug. 1, 1984, as amended at 51 FR 26385, July 23, 1986; 60 
FR 57344, Nov. 15, 1995; 63 FR 6481, Feb. 9, 1998; 64 FR 41290, July 30, 
1999; 68 FR 56558, Oct. 1, 2003]



Sec. 262.3  Information.

    Data combined with the knowledge of its context and having the 
potential to serve a Postal Service use.

[[Page 90]]

    (a) Sensitive information. Information which has been identified by 
the USPS as restricted or critical.
    (1) Critical information. Information that must be available in 
order that the Postal Service effectively perform its mission and meet 
legally assigned responsibilities; and for which special precautions are 
taken to ensure its accuracy, relevance, timeliness and completeness. 
This information, if lost, would cause significant financial loss, 
inconvenience or delay in performance of the USPS mission.
    (2) Restricted information. Information that has limitations placed 
upon both its access within the Postal Service and disclosure outside 
the Postal Service consistent with the Privacy and Freedom of 
Information Acts.
    (i) Restricted mandatory. Information that has limitations upon its 
internal access and that may be disclosed only in accordance with an 
Executive Order, public law, or other Federal statute and their 
supporting postal regulations.
    (ii) Restricted discretionary. Information that has limitations upon 
its internal access and that may be withheld from external disclosure 
solely in accordance with postal regulations, consistent with the 
Freedom of Information Act.
    (b) Classified information (National Security). Information about 
the national defense and foreign relations of the United States that has 
been determined under Executive Order 12356 to require protection 
against unauthorized disclosure and has been so designated.



Sec. 262.4  Records.

    Recorded information, regardless of media, format, or physical 
characteristics, including electronic data, developed or received by the 
Postal Service in connection with the transaction of its business and 
retained in its custody; for machine-readable records, a collection of 
logically related data treated as a unit.
    (a) Permanent record. A record determined by the Records Office or 
the National Archives and Records Administration as having sufficient 
historical or other value to warrant continued preservation. (All other 
records are considered temporary and must be scheduled for disposal.)
    (b) Corporate records. Those records series that are designated by 
the Records Office as containing information of legal, audit, obligatory 
or archival value about events and transactions of interest to the 
entire corporate body of the Postal Service. Corporate records are 
distinguished from operational records, which have value only in their 
day-to-day use, and from precedential files, which have value only as 
examples.
    (c) Active record. A record that contains information used for 
conducting current business.
    (d) Inactive record. A record that contains information which is not 
used for conducting current business, but for which the retention period 
has not yet expired.
    (e) Vital records. Certain records which must be available in the 
event of a national emergency in order to ensure the continuity of 
Postal Service operations and the preservation of the rights and 
interests of the Postal Service, its employees, contractors and 
customers. There are two types of vital records: Emergency Operating 
Records and Rights and Interests Records.
    (1) Emergency operating records. Certain vital records necessary to 
support essential functions of the Postal Service during and immediately 
following a national emergency.
    (2) Rights and interest records. Certain vital records maintained to 
ensure the preservation of the rights and interests of the Postal 
Service, its employees, contractors and customers.

[49 FR 30693, Aug. 1, 1984, as amended at 51 FR 26385, July 23, 1986; 60 
FR 57344, Nov. 15, 1995; 63 FR 6481, Feb. 9, 1998; 64 FR 41290, July 30, 
1999; 68 FR 56558, Oct. 1, 2003]



Sec. 262.5  Systems (Privacy).

    (a) Privacy Act system of records. A Postal Service system 
containing information about individuals, including mailing lists, from 
which information is retrieved by the name of an individual or by some 
identifying number or symbol assigned to the individual, such as a 
Social Security Account Number.

[[Page 91]]

    (b) Individual (record subject). A living person. Does not include 
sole proprietorships, partnerships or corporations. A business firm 
identified by the name of one or more persons is not an individual.
    (c) Computer matching program. A ``matching program,'' as defined in 
the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a(a)(8), is subject to the matching 
provisions of the Act, published guidance of the Office of Management 
and Budget, and these regulations. The term ``matching program'' 
includes any computerized comparison of:
    (1) A Postal Service automated system of records with an automated 
system of records of another Federal agency, or with non-Federal 
records, for the purpose of:
    (i) Establishing or verifying the eligibility of, or continuing 
compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements by, applicants 
for, recipients or beneficiaries of, participants in, or providers of 
services with respect to, cash or in-kind assistance or payments under 
Federal benefit programs, or
    (ii) Recouping payments or delinquent debts under such Federal 
benefit programs;
    (2) A Postal Service automated personnel or payroll system of 
records with another automated personnel or payroll system of records of 
the Postal Service or other Federal Agency or with non-Federal records.
    (d) Other computer matching activities. (1) The following kinds of 
computer matches are specifically excluded from the term ``matching 
program'':
    (i) Statistical matches whose purpose is solely to produce aggregate 
data stripped of personal identifiers.
    (ii) Statistical matches whose purpose is in support of any research 
or statistical project.
    (iii) Law enforcement investigative matches whose purpose is to 
gather evidence against a named person or persons in an existing 
investigation.
    (iv) Tax administration matches.
    (v) Routine administrative matches using Federal personnel records, 
provided that the purpose is not to take any adverse action against an 
individual.
    (vi) Internal matches using only records from Postal Service systems 
of records, provided that the purpose is not to take any adverse action 
against any individual.
    (vii) Matches performed for security clearance background checks or 
for foreign counterintelligence.
    (2) Although these and other matching activities that fall outside 
the definition of ``matching program'' are not subject to the matching 
provisions of the Privacy Act or OMB guidance, other provisions of the 
Act and of these regulations may be applicable. No matching program or 
other matching activity may be conducted without the prior approval of 
the Records Office.

[49 FR 30693, Aug. 1, 1984, as amended at 59 FR 37160, July 21, 1994; 60 
FR 57344, Nov. 15, 1995; 64 FR 41290, July 30, 1999; 68 FR 56558, Oct. 
1, 2003]



Sec. 262.6  Retention and disposal.

    (a) Records control schedule. A directive describing records series 
that are maintained by components of the Postal Service; it provides 
maintenance, retention, transfer, and disposal instructions for each 
series listed, and serves as the authority for Postal officials to 
implement such instructions.
    (b) Disposal (records). The permanent removal of records or 
information from Postal Service custody; included are:
    (1) Transfer to the National Archives.
    (2) Donation to the Smithsonian Institution, local museums or 
historical societies.
    (3) Sale as waste material.
    (4) Discarding.
    (5) Physical destruction.
    (c) Retention period. The authorized length of time that a records 
series must be kept before its disposal, usually stated in terms of 
months or years, but sometimes expressed as contingent upon the 
occurrence of an event; usually the retention period refers to the 
period of time between the creation of a series and its authorized 
disposal date; however, in some cases it refers to the length of time 
between the cutoff point and the disposal date.



Sec. 262.7  Non-records.

    (a) Non-record material. Includes blank forms and surplus 
publications, handbooks, circulars, bulletins, announcements, and other 
directives as

[[Page 92]]

well as any material not directly associated with the transaction of 
Postal Service business.
    (b) Personal papers. Those materials created or received during an 
individual's period of employment with the Postal Service which are of a 
purely private or nonofficial character, or which were neither created 
nor received in connection with Postal Service business.



PART 263_RECORDS RETENTION AND DISPOSITION--Table of Contents




Sec.
263.1 Purpose and scope.
263.2 Policy.
263.3 Responsibility.
263.4 Records disposal.
263.5 Inquiries.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 401.

    Source: 40 FR 45722, Oct. 2, 1975, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 263.1  Purpose and scope.

    This part contains the policy and general regulations pertaining to 
the retention and disposition of records and information throughout all 
organizational levels and components.



Sec. 263.2  Policy.

    It is the policy of the U.S. Postal Service to establish and 
maintain schedules specifying the retention periods required for all 
official and duplicate record copies. Furthermore, it is the policy that 
all duplicate record copies and non-record material will be disposed of 
as soon as they have served their purpose.



Sec. 263.3  Responsibility.

    (a) Records Office. Records Office has the responsibility for 
providing for the establishment of retention schedules and has the 
authority to approve them. Furthermore, that office has the authority to 
dispose of Postal Service records by transfer or destruction.
    (b) Custodians. Custodians are responsible for the retention and 
prompt disposal of records in their custody and for delegating in 
writing, persons to perform these duties.

[40 FR 45722, Oct. 2, 1975, as amended at 60 FR 57344, Nov. 15, 1995; 64 
FR 41290, July 30, 1999; 68 FR 56558, Oct. 1, 2003]



Sec. 263.4  Records disposal.

    All disposals of records containing sensitive information, i.e. 
transfers to records storage centers, destruction, transfers external to 
the USPS, and maintenance of accounting records regarding such disposal, 
must be accomplished in accordance with procedures issued by the Records 
Office.

[40 FR 45722, Oct. 2, 1975, as amended at 60 FR 57344, Nov. 15, 1995. 
Redesignated and amended at 64 FR 41290, July 30, 1999; 68 FR 56558, 
Oct. 1, 2003]



Sec. 263.5  Inquiries.

    Inquiries regarding records maintenance and disposition should be 
directed to the Manager, Records Office, United States Postal Service, 
475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW., Washington, DC 20260, or, by telephone, (202) 
268-2608.

[64 FR 41290, July 30, 1999, as amended at 68 FR 56558, Oct. 1, 2003]



PART 264_VITAL RECORDS--Table of Contents




Sec.
264.1 Purpose and scope.
264.2 Policy.
264.3 Responsibility.
264.4 Vital Records Program.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 401.

    Source: 44 FR 51224, Aug. 31, 1979, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 264.1  Purpose and scope.

    Certain records are critical to the continuity of Postal Service 
operations or to the preservation of the rights and interests of the 
Postal Service, its employees, contractors or customers. To ensure that 
these records are available when needed, specific controls are required 
which affect all organizational components having the custody of records 
defined as being ``vital.''



Sec. 264.2  Policy.

    It is the policy of the U.S. Postal Service to ensure the 
availability of all

[[Page 93]]

records considered critical to the continuity of its operations and the 
preservation of the rights and interests of the Postal Service, its 
employees, contractors, and customers. Vital records shall be routinely 
maintained at predesignated off-site locations to ensure their 
availability when needed by management and operating personnel.



Sec. 264.3  Responsibility.

    (a) Manager, Records Office. The Manager, Records Office, is 
responsible for categorizing records as vital, and in conjunction with 
the Chief Postal Inspector/Emergency Coordinator shall establish and 
maintain the vital records program, and ensure compliance with 
supportive procedures.
    (b) Chief Postal Inspector. As the Postal Service's Emergency 
Coordinator, the Chief Postal Inspector shall establish and maintain a 
program to ensure that vital records are available at predesignated off-
site locations for use during a national emergency.
    (c) Custodians. Custodians are responsible for following vital 
records program procedures including the forwarding of vital records to 
predesignated off-site locations.

[44 FR 51224, Aug. 31, 1979, as amended at 60 FR 57344, Nov. 15, 1995; 
64 FR 41290, July 30, 1999; 68 FR 56558, Oct. 1, 2003]



Sec. 264.4  Vital Records Program.

    Complete procedures concerning the identification, categorization, 
processing, protection, and transfer of vital records are provided by 
the office of Corporate Accounting or the USPS Emergency Coordinator, as 
appropriate.

[44 FR 51224, Aug. 31, 1979, as amended at 60 FR 57344, Nov. 15, 1995; 
64 FR 41290, July 30, 1999]



PART 265_RELEASE OF INFORMATION--Table of Contents




Sec.
265.1 Purpose and scope.
265.2 Policy.
265.3 Responsibility.
265.4 Inquiries.
265.5 Public reading rooms.
265.6 Availability of records.
265.7 Procedure for inspection and copying of records.
265.8 Business information; procedures for predisclosure notification to 
          submitters.
265.9 Schedule of fees.
265.10 Annual report.
265.11 Compliance with subpoena duces tecum, court orders, and 
          summonses.
265.12 Demands for testimony or records in certain legal proceedings.
265.13 Compliance with subpoenas, summonses, and court orders by postal 
          employees within the Inspection Service where the Postal 
          Service, the United States, or any other federal agency is not 
          a party.

Appendix A to Part 265--Fees for Computer Services

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552; 5 U.S.C. App. 3; 39 U.S.C. 401, 403, 410, 
1001, 2601.



Sec. 265.1  Purpose and scope.

    (a) This part contains the regulations of the Postal Service 
relating to the availability to the public of Postal Service records. 
Included in this part are the regulations which implement section 552 of 
title 5, U.S.C., the ``Freedom of Information Act,'' insofar as it 
applies to the Postal Service.
    (b) Official records of the Postal Service made available pursuant 
to the requirements of the Act shall be furnished to members of the 
public as prescribed by this part.

[40 FR 7331, Feb. 19, 1975]



Sec. 265.2  Policy.

    (a) It is the policy of the Postal Service to make its official 
records available to the public to the maximum extent consistent with 
the public interest. This policy requires a practice of full disclosure 
subject only to the specific exemptions required or authorized by law.
    (b) The exemptions from mandatory disclosure provided by section 
552(b) of title 5, and section 410(c) of title 39, U.S.C., for various 
types of records, reflect the fact that under some circumstances the 
public interest may be better served by leaving the disclosure of 
particular records to the discretion of the Postal Service than by 
requiring their disclosure. As to those records the disclosure of which 
is not prohibited by statute, Executive Order, or regulation, the 
discretion vested in the Postal Service is exercised after giving 
consideration to the following: The effect of non-disclosure on the 
public's

[[Page 94]]

right to know about a particular matter; the effect of disclosure on the 
right of privacy of any affected individuals; the effect of disclosure 
on the public interest in the economical, efficient, and orderly 
operation of the nation's mail system; and any other factors that may be 
relevant under the circumstances.

[40 FR 7331, Feb. 19, 1975, as amended at 45 FR 44270, July 1, 1980]



Sec. 265.3  Responsibility.

    (a) Custodian. Official records are in the custody of the postmaster 
or other head of a facility or department at which they are maintained, 
as defined at Sec. 262.2(c) of this chapter. These custodians are 
responsible for responding in the first instance to requests from 
members of the public for Postal Service records.
    (b) Manager, Records Office. The Postal Service Manager, Records 
Office, under the Privacy Office, is responsible for the overall 
administration of this part, including the issuance of detailed 
instructions to custodians.
    (c) General Counsel. The General Counsel decides timely appeals 
authorized by this part.

[40 FR 7331, Feb. 19, 1975, as amended at 45 FR 44270, July 1, 1980; 60 
FR 57344, Nov. 15, 1995; 63 FR 6481, Feb. 9, 1998; 64 FR 41290, July 30, 
1999; 68 FR 56558, Oct. 1, 2003]



Sec. 265.4  Inquiries.

    Inquiries regarding the availability of Postal Service records 
should be directed to the appropriate records custodian. If the 
appropriate records custodian is not known, inquiries should be directed 
to the Manager, Records Office, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza 
SW., Washington, DC 20260, telephone (202) 268-2608.

[60 FR 57345, Nov. 15, 1995, as amended at 64 FR 41290, July 30, 1999; 
68 FR 56559, Oct. 1, 2003]



Sec. 265.5  Public reading rooms.

    The Library of the Postal Service Headquarters, 475 L'Enfant Plaza 
SW, Washington, DC 20260-1641, serves as public reading room for the 
materials which are listed in paragraphs (a)(2), (3), (4) and (5) of 
Sec. 265.6 as available for public inspection and copying. Such of this 
material as has been created by the Postal Service on or after November 
1, 1996, and has not been published and offered for sale, also will be 
available in electronic format at the Postal Service's world wide web 
site at http://www.usps.com/foia.

[63 FR 6481, Feb. 9, 1998, as amended at 68 FR 56559, Oct. 1, 2003]



Sec. 265.6  Availability of records.

    (a) Records available to the public on request--(1) General. Postal 
Service records are available for inspection or copying at the request 
of any person, in accordance with the provisions of this part, except as 
otherwise provided by law or regulations, including but not limited to 
paragraphs (b) through (g) of this section. Certain categories of 
records of particular interest are available on a continuing basis as 
provided in paragraphs (a)(2), (3), and (4) of this section and are 
listed in a public index as provided in paragraphs (a)(4) and (5) of 
this section. Access to other records may be requested on an individual 
basis in accordance with the procedures provided in Sec. 265.7. 
Official records which are maintained on an electronic storage medium 
will normally be made available, in accordance with this part, as an 
exact duplicate of the requested original in a form readable by the 
human eye, such as a computer print-out. On request, records will be 
provided in a different form or format if they are maintained in the 
requested form or format or if they can be readily reproduced in the 
requested form or format.
    (2) Opinions. All final opinions and orders made in the adjudication 
of cases by the Judicial Officer and Administrative Law Judges, all 
final determinations pursuant to section 404(b) of title 39, United 
States Code, to close or consolidate a post office, or to disapprove a 
proposed closing or consolidation, all advisory opinions concerning the 
private express statutes issued pursuant to 39 CFR 310.6, and all bid 
protest decisions are on file and available for inspection and copying 
at the Headquarters Library and, if created on or after November 1, 
1996, also at the Postal Service's world wide web site identified at 
Sec. 265.5.

[[Page 95]]

    (3) Administrative manuals and instructions to staff. The manuals, 
instructions, and other publications of the Postal Service that affect 
members of the public are available through the Headquarters Library and 
at many post offices and other postal facilities. Those which are 
available to the public but are not listed for sale may be inspected in 
the Headquarters Library, at any postal facility which maintains a copy, 
or, if created on or after November 1, 1996, through the world wide web 
site identified at Sec. 265.5. Copies of publications which are not 
listed as for sale or as available free of charge may be obtained by 
paying a fee in accordance with Sec. 265.9.
    (4) Previously released records. Records processed and disclosed 
after March 31, 1997, in response to a Freedom of Information Act 
request, which the Postal Service determines have become or are likely 
to become the subject of subsequent requests for substantially the same 
records, are available for inspection and copying at the Headquarters 
Library. Any such records created by the Postal Service on or after 
November 1, 1996, also will be available at the Postal Service's world 
wide web site identified at Sec. 265.5. Records described in this 
paragraph that were not created by, or on behalf of, the Postal Service 
generally will not be available at the world wide web site. Records will 
be available in the form in which they were originally disclosed, except 
to the extent that they contain information that is not appropriate for 
public disclosure and may be withheld pursuant to this section. Any 
deleted material will be marked and the applicable exemption(s) 
indicated in accordance with Sec. 265.7(d)(3). A general index of the 
records described in this paragraph is available for inspection and 
copying at the Headquarters Library. [Beginning on or before December 
31, 1999, the index also will be available at the Postal Service's world 
wide web site.]
    (5) Public index. (i) A public index is maintained in the 
Headquarters Library and at the world wide web site of all final 
opinions and orders made by the Postal Service in the adjudication of 
cases, Postal Service policy statements which may be relied on as 
precedents in the disposition of cases, administrative staff manuals and 
instructions that affect the public, and other materials which the 
Postal Service elects to index and make available to the public on 
request in the manner set forth in paragraph (a) of this section.
    (ii) The index contains references to matters issued after July 4, 
1967, and may reference matters issued prior to that date.
    (iii) Any person may arrange for the inspection of any matter in the 
public index in accordance with the procedures of Sec. 265.7.
    (iv) Copies of the public index and of matters listed in the public 
index may be purchased through the Headquarters Library with payment of 
fees as listed in the index or as provided in Sec. 265.9.
    (v) Materials listed in the public index that were created on or 
after November 1, 1996, will also be available in electronic format at 
the Postal Service's world wide web site at http://www.usps.gov.
    (6) Listings of employees' names. Upon written request, the Postal 
Service will, to the extent required by law, provide a listing of postal 
employees working at a particular postal facility.
    (b) Records not subject to mandatory public disclosure. Certain 
classes of records are exempt from mandatory disclosure under exemptions 
contained in the Freedom of Information Act and in section 410(c) of 
title 39, U.S.C. The Postal Service will exercise its discretion, in 
accordance with the policy stated in Sec. 265.2, as implemented by 
instructions issued by the Records Office with the approval of the 
General Counsel in determining whether the public interest is served by 
the inspection or copying of records that are:
    (1) Related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of 
the Postal Service.
    (2) Trade secrets, or privileged or confidential commercial or 
financial information, obtained from any person.
    (3) Information of a commercial nature, including trade secrets, 
whether or not obtained from a person outside the Postal Service, which 
under good business practice would not be publicly disclosed. This class 
includes, but is not limited to:

[[Page 96]]

    (i) Information pertaining to methods of handling valuable 
registered mail.
    (ii) Records of money orders, except as provided in R900 of the 
Domestic Mail Manual (DMM).
    (iii) Technical information concerning postage meters and prototypes 
submitted for Postal Service approval prior to leasing to mailers.
    (iv) Reports of market surveys conducted by or under contract in 
behalf of the Postal Service.
    (v) Records indicating rural carrier lines of travel.
    (vi) Records compiled within the Postal Service which would be of 
potential benefit to persons or firms in economic competition with the 
Postal Service.
    (vii) Information which, if publicly disclosed, could materially 
increase procurement costs.
    (viii) Information which, if publicly disclosed, could compromise 
testing or examination materials.
    (4) Interagency or internal memoranda or letters that would not be 
available by law to a private party in litigation with the Postal 
Service.
    (5) Reports and memoranda of consultants or independent contractors, 
except to the extent they would be required to be disclosed if prepared 
within the Postal Service.
    (6) Files personal in nature, including medical and personnel files, 
the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion 
of personal privacy.
    (7) Information prepared for use in connection with proceedings 
under chapter 36 of title 39, U.S.C., relating to rate, classification, 
and service changes.
    (8) Information prepared for use in connection with the negotiation 
of collective bargaining agreements under chapter 12 of title 39, 
U.S.C., or minutes of, or notes kept during, negotiating sessions 
conducted under such chapter.
    (9) Other matter specifically exempted from disclosure by statute.
    (c) Records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes. 
(1) Investigatory files compiled for law enforcement purposes, whether 
or not considered closed, are exempt by statute from mandatory 
disclosure except to the extent otherwise available by law to a party 
other than the Postal Service, 39 U.S.C. 410(c)(6). As a matter of 
policy, however, the Postal Service will normally make records or 
information compiled for law enforcement purposes available upon request 
unless the production of these records:
    (i) Could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement 
proceedings;
    (ii) Would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an 
impartial adjudication;
    (iii) Could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted 
invasion of personal privacy;
    (iv) Could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a 
confidential source, including a State, local, or foreign agency or 
authority or any private institution which furnished information on a 
confidential basis, and, in the case of a record or information compiled 
by a criminal law enforcement authority (such as the Postal Inspection 
Service) in the course of a criminal investigation, or by an agency 
conducting a lawful national security intelligence investigation, 
information furnished by a confidential source;
    (v) Would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement 
investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law 
enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could 
reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law; or
    (vi) Could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical 
safety of any individual.
    (2) Whenever a request is made which involves access to records 
described in Sec. 265.6(c)(1)(i), and
    (i) The investigation or proceeding involves a possible violation of 
criminal law; and
    (ii) There is reason to believe that,
    (A) The subject of the investigation or proceeding is not aware of 
its pendency, and
    (B) Disclosure of the existence of the records could reasonably be 
expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings, the Postal Service 
may, during only such time as that circumstance continues, treat the 
records

[[Page 97]]

as not subject to the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act.
    (3) Whenever informant records maintained by a criminal law 
enforcement agency (such as the Postal Inspection Service) under an 
informant's name or personal identifier are requested by a third party 
according to the informant's name or personal identifier, the records 
may be treated as not subject to the requirements of the Freedom of 
Information Act unless the informant's status as an informant has been 
officially confirmed.
    (4) Authority to disclose records or information compiled for law 
enforcement purposes to persons outside the Postal Service must be 
obtained from the Chief Postal Inspector, U.S. Postal Service, 
Washington, DC 20260-2100, or designee.
    (d) Disclosure of names and addresses of customers. Upon request, 
the names and addresses of specifically identified Postal Service 
customers will be made available only as follows:
    (1) Change of address. The new address of any specific customer who 
has filed a permanent or temporary change of address order (by 
submitting PS Form 3575, a hand-written order, or an electronically 
communicated order) will be furnished to any person, except that the new 
address of a specific customer who has indicated on the order that the 
address change is for an individual or an entire family will be 
furnished only in those circumstances stated at paragraph (d)(5) of this 
section. Disclosure will be limited to the address of the specifically 
identified individual about whom the information is requested (not other 
family members or individuals whose names may also appear on the change 
of address order). The Postal Service reserves the right not to disclose 
the address of an individual for the protection of the individual's 
personal safety. Other information on PS Form 3575 or copies of the form 
will not be furnished except in those circumstances stated at paragraphs 
(d)(5)(i), (d)(5)(iii), or (d)(5)(iv) of this section.
    (2) Name and address of permit holder. The name and address of the 
holder of a particular bulk mail permit, permit imprint or similar 
permit (but not including postage meter licenses), and the name of any 
person applying for a permit in behalf of a holder will be furnished to 
any person upon the payment of any fees authorized by paragraph (b) of 
Sec. 265.9. For the name and address of a postage meter license holder, 
see paragraph (d)(3) of this section. (Lists of permit holders may not 
be disclosed to members of the public. See paragraph (e)(1) of this 
section.)
    (3) Name and address of postage evidencing user. The name and 
address of an authorized user of a postage meter or PC Postage product 
(postage evidencing systems) printing a specified indicium will be 
furnished to any person upon the payment of any fees authorized by 
paragraph (b) of Sec. 265.9, provided the user is using the postage 
meter or PC Postage product for business purposes. The request for this 
information must be sent to the manager of Postage Technology 
Management, Postal Service Headquarters. The request must include the 
original or a photocopy of the envelope or wrapper on which the postage 
meter or PC postage indicium in question is printed, and a copy or 
description of the contents to support that the sender is a business or 
firm and not an individual. (Lists of authorized users of postage meters 
or PC Postage products may not be disclosed to members of the public.)
    (4) Post Office boxholder information. Information from PS Form 
1093, Application for Post Office Box or Caller Service, will be 
provided as follows:
    (i) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(4)(iii) of this section, the 
boxholder applicant name and address from PS Form 1093 will be provided 
only in those circumstances stated in paragraphs (d)(5)(i) through 
(d)(5)(iii) of this section.
    (ii) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(4)(iii) of this section, 
the names of persons listed as receiving mail, other than the boxholder 
applicant, will be furnished from PS Form 1093 only in those 
circumstances stated in paragraphs (d)(5)(i) and (d)(5)(iii) of this 
section.
    (iii) When a copy of a protective order has been filed with the 
postmaster, information from PS Form 1093 will not be disclosed except 
pursuant to

[[Page 98]]

the order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
    (5) Exceptions. Except as otherwise provided in these regulations, 
names or addresses of Postal Service customers will be furnished only as 
follows:
    (i) To a federal, state or local government agency upon prior 
written certification that the information is required for the 
performance of its duties. The Postal Service requires government 
agencies to use the format appearing at the end of this section when 
requesting the verification of a customer's current address or a 
customer's new mailing address. If the request lacks any of the required 
information or a proper signature, the postmaster will return the 
request to the agency, specifying the deficiency in the space marked 
`OTHER'. A copy of PS Form 1093 may be provided.
    (ii) To a person empowered by law to serve legal process, or the 
attorney for a party in whose behalf service will be made, or a party 
who is acting pro se, upon receipt of written information that 
specifically includes all of the following: (A) A certification that the 
name or address is needed and will be used solely for service of legal 
process in connection with actual or prospective litigation; (B) a 
citation to the statute or regulation that empowers the requester to 
serve process, if the requester is other than the attorney for a party 
in whose behalf service will be made, or a party who is acting pro se; 
(C) the names of all known parties to the litigation; (D) the court in 
which the case has been or will be commenced; (E) the docket or other 
identifying number, if one has been issued; and (F) the capacity in 
which the boxholder is to be served, e.g., defendant or witness. By 
submitting such information, the requester certifies that it is true. 
The address of an individual who files with the postmaster a copy of a 
protective court order will not be disclosed except as provided under 
paragraphs (d)(5)(i), (d)(5)(iii), or (d)(5)(iv) of this section. A copy 
of Form 1093 will not be provided.
    The Postal Service suggests use of the standard format appearing at 
the end of this section when requesting information under this 
paragraph. When using the standard format on the submitter's own 
letterhead, the standard format must be used in its entirety. The 
warning statement and certification specifically must be included 
immediately before the signature block. If the request lacks any of the 
required information or a proper signature, the postmaster will return 
it to the requester specifying the deficiency.

    Note: The term pro se means that a party is not represented by an 
attorney but by himself or herself.

    (iii) In compliance with a subpoena or court order, except that 
change of address or boxholder information which is not otherwise 
subject to disclosure under these regulations may be disclosed only 
pursuant to a court order.
    (iv) To a law enforcement agency, for oral requests made through the 
Inspection Service, but only after the Inspection Service has confirmed 
that the information is needed in the course of a criminal 
investigation. (All other requests from law enforcement agencies should 
be submitted in writing to the postmaster as in paragraph (d)(5)(i) of 
this section.)
    (6) Jury service. The mailing address of any customer sought in 
connection with jury service, if known, will be furnished without charge 
upon prior written request to a court official, such as a judge, court 
clerk or jury commissioner.
    (7) Address verification. The address of a postal customer will be 
verified at the request of a Federal, State, or local government agency 
upon written certification that the information is required for the 
performance of the agency's duties. ``Verification'' means advising such 
an agency whether or not its address for a postal customer is one at 
which mail for that customer is currently being delivered. 
``Verification'' neither means nor implies knowledge on the part of the 
Postal Service as to the actual residence of the customer or as to the 
actual receipt by the customer of mail delivered to that address. The 
Postal Service requires government agencies to use the format appearing 
at the end of this section when

[[Page 99]]

requesting the verification of a customer's current address or a 
customer's new mailing address. If the request lacks any of the required 
information or a proper signature, the postmaster will return the 
request to the agency, specifying the deficiency in the space marked 
``OTHER''.
    (8) Business/Residence location. If the location of a residence or a 
place of business is known to a Postal Service employee, whether as a 
result of official duties or otherwise, the employee may, but need not, 
disclose the location or give directions to it. No fee is charged for 
such information.
    (9) Private mailbox information. Information from PS Form 1583, 
Application for Delivery of Mail Through Agent, will be provided as 
follows:
    (i) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(9)(iii) of this section, 
information from PS Form 1583 will be provided only in the circumstance 
stated in paragraph (d)(5)(iii) of this section.
    (ii) To the public only for the purpose of identifying a particular 
address as an address of an agent to whom mail is delivered on behalf of 
other persons. No other information, including, but not limited to, the 
identities of persons on whose behalf agents receive mail, may be 
disclosed to the public from PS Form 1583.
    (iii) Information concerning an individual who has filed a 
protective court order with the postmaster will not be disclosed except 
pursuant to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
    (e) Information not available for public disclosure. (1) Except as 
provided by paragraph (a)(6) of this section, the Postal Service and its 
officers and employees shall not make available to the public by any 
means or for any purpose any mailing list or other list of names or 
addresses (past or present) of postal patrons or other persons.
    (2) Records or other documents which are classified or otherwise 
specifically authorized by Executive Order 12356 and implementing 
regulations to be kept secret in the interest of the national defense or 
foreign policy are not subject to disclosure pursuant to this part.
    (3) Records consisting of trade secrets or confidential financial 
data, the disclosure of which is prohibited by section 1905 of title 18, 
U.S.C., are not subject to disclosure pursuant to this part.
    (4) Other records, the disclosure of which is prohibited by statute, 
are not subject to disclosure pursuant to this part.
    (f) Protection of the right of privacy. If any record required or 
permitted by this part to be disclosed contains the name of, or other 
identifying details concerning, any person, including an employee of the 
Postal Service, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly 
unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, the name or other identifying 
details shall be deleted before the record is disclosed and the 
requester so informed.
    (g) Disclosure in part of otherwise exempt record. Any reasonably 
segregable portion of a record shall be provided after deleting the 
information which is neither subject to mandatory disclosure nor 
available as a matter of discretion.

[[Page 100]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01SE05.084


[[Page 101]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01SE05.085


[40 FR 7331, Feb. 19, 1975, as amended at 41 FR 52052, Nov. 26, 1976; 42 
FR 59085, Nov. 15, 1977; 45 FR 44270, July 1, 1980; 47 FR 20304, May 12, 
1982; 47 FR 21248, May 18, 1982; 48 FR 1969, Jan. 17, 1983; 51 FR 8825, 
Mar. 14, 1986; 51 FR 26386, July 23, 1986; 52 FR 13668, Apr. 24, 1987; 
52 FR 22778, June 16, 1987; 53 FR 49983, Dec. 13, 1988; 54 FR 3558, Jan. 
24, 1989; 59 FR 11550, Mar. 11, 1994; 59 FR 22757, May 3, 1994; 59 FR 
62324, Dec. 5, 1994; 59 FR 67225, 67226, 67227, Dec. 29, 1994; 60 FR 
57345, Nov. 15, 1995; 62 FR 64282, Dec. 5, 1997; 63 FR 6481, Feb. 9, 
1998; 64 FR 41290, July 30, 1999; 65 FR 3859, Jan. 25, 2000; 67 FR 
46393, July 15, 2002; 68 FR 56559, Oct. 1, 2003; 69 FR 34932, June 23, 
2004; 69 FR 39851, July 1, 2004; 70 FR 22512, Apr. 29, 2005; 70 FR 
52016, Sept. 1, 2005]



Sec. 265.7  Procedure for inspection and copying of records.

    (a) Submission of requests--(1) Form and content of request. To 
permit expeditious handling and timely response in accordance with the 
provisions of this part, a request to inspect or to obtain a copy of an 
identifiable Postal Service record shall be in writing and bear the 
caption ``Freedom of Information Act Request'' or otherwise be clearly 
and prominently identified as a request for records pursuant to the 
Freedom of Information Act. A request shall be

[[Page 102]]

clearly and prominently identified as such on the envelope or other 
cover. Other requests for information will be considered informal 
requests and will be handled as expeditiously as practicable but not 
necessarily within the time limitations set forth in Sec. 265.7(b). An 
informal request will be granted or denied according to the substantive 
rules in Sec. 265.6, if found to be a request for a record. A Freedom 
of Information Act request shall identify the record sought as 
completely as possible, by name, description, or subject matter, and be 
sufficient to permit the custodian to locate it with a reasonable amount 
of effort. The request may state the maximum amount of fees for which 
the requester is willing to accept liability without prior notice. See 
paragraph (f)(2) of Sec. 265.8. If no amount is stated, the requester 
will be deemed willing to accept liability for fees not to exceed $25.
    (2) To whom submitted. A request shall be submitted to the custodian 
of the requested record. If the location of the record is not known, 
inquiry should be directed to the Manager, Records Office, U.S. Postal 
Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW., Washington, DC 20260, telephone (202) 
268-2608. If a request is submitted to a facility other than that at 
which the record is maintained, it shall be promptly transmitted to the 
appropriate custodian with a copy of the transmittal furnished to the 
requester. A request which is not initially submitted to the appropriate 
custodian shall be deemed to have been received by the Postal Service 
for purposes of computing the time for response is accordance with Sec. 
265.7(b) at the time that it is actually received by the appropriate 
custodian. If a request seeks records maintained at two or more 
facilities, the custodian shall be deemed to be the next senior common 
supervisor of the heads of the facilities, e.g., district manager, area 
vice president. The Records Office is deemed to be the custodian, for 
purposes of this part, in all instances in which a request is for a 
listing of postal employees. See Sec. 265.6(a)(6).
    (3) Reasons for request. In view of the possibility that some or all 
of the records may be exempt from mandatory disclosure, the requester 
may state any reasons why the record should nevertheless be made 
available to him even if exempt.
    (4) Request for waiver of fees. The requester may ask that fees or 
the advance payment of fees be waived in whole or in part. A fee waiver 
request shall indicate how the information will be used; to whom it will 
be provided; whether the requester intends to use the information for 
resale at a fee above actual cost; any personal or commercial benefit 
that the requester expects as a result of disclosure; in what manner the 
general public will benefit from disclosure; and information as to the 
intended user's identity, qualifications, expertise in the subject area, 
and ability and intention to disseminate the information to the public. 
(See Sec. 265.9(g)(3).)
    (5) Categorical requests. A request for all or substantially all of 
the records within a specific category will be deemed a reasonable 
description of those records only if it is possible, without further 
information, to determine which particular records are sought. See 
paragraph (b)(3) of this section concerning the providing of additional 
information.
    (6) Request for records located at numerous facilities. A request 
for records which are, or may be, located at all or a substantial number 
of post offices or other postal facilities will be deemed to be a 
reasonable description only of such of those records as are maintained 
at the post office or other facility to which the request is submitted, 
and of those records maintained at any other post offices or facilities 
specifically identified in the request. See paragraph (a)(2) of this 
section concerning the custodian of records of two or more facilities.
    (b) Responsibilities of the custodian. (1) The custodian of the 
requested record is the person responsible for determining whether to 
comply with or to deny the request. A custodian who is not an Officer as 
defined in Sec. 221.8 of this chapter, however, should not deny a 
request until he has obtained the advice of Chief Field Counsel. If 
denial of a request appears necessary, the custodian should seek advice 
as soon as possible after receipt of the request so as

[[Page 103]]

to provide adequate time for legal review. Denial must be made in 
accordance with paragraph (d) of this section.
    (2) The custodian shall make the determination whether to release or 
deny the record(s) within 20 working days (i.e., exclusive of Saturdays, 
Sundays, and holidays) of receiving the request, and more rapidly if 
feasible. The custodian and the requester may, by mutual agreement, 
preferably in writing, establish a different response period.
    (3) If a requested record cannot be located from the information 
supplied, the requester should be given an opportunity to supply 
additional information and, if feasible, to confer with the custodian or 
his/her representative, in an attempt to provide a reasonable 
description of the records sought. If additional information is 
furnished, the request will be deemed to have been received by the 
custodian when sufficient additional information to identify and locate 
the record with a reasonable amount of effort has been received.
    (4) The custodian shall make reasonable efforts to search for the 
records in electronic form or format, except when such efforts would 
significantly interfere with the operation of the automated information 
system.
    (5) The 20 working day response period allowed in paragraph (b)(2) 
of this section may be extended by the custodian, after consultation 
with Chief Field Counsel or with the General Counsel if the custodian is 
at Headquarters, for a period not to exceed an additional 10 working 
days, except as provided in paragraph (b)(7) of this section, when, and 
to the extent, reasonably necessary to permit the proper processing of a 
particular request, under one or more of the following unusual 
circumstances:
    (i) The request requires a search for and collection of records from 
a facility other than that processing the request.
    (ii) The request requires the search for, and collection and 
appropriate examination of, a voluminous amount of separate and distinct 
records.
    (iii) The request requires consultation:
    (A) With another agency having a substantial interest in the 
determination of whether to comply with the request or
    (B) Among two or more components of the Postal Service having 
substantial subject matter interest in the determination of whether to 
comply with the request.
    (6) When the custodian finds that the additional time is required, 
he shall acknowledge the request in writing within the initial 20-day 
response period, state the reason for the delay, and indicate the date 
on which a decision as to disclosure is expected.
    (7) If a request cannot be processed within the additional time 
provided by paragraph (b)(5) of this section, in spite of the exercise 
of due diligence, the custodian shall notify the requester of the 
exceptional circumstances preventing timely compliance and of the date 
by which it is expected that the determination will be made. The 
custodian also shall provide the requester an opportunity to limit the 
scope of the request so that it may be processed within the extended 
time limit, or an opportunity to arrange with the custodian an 
alternative time frame for processing the request or a modified request. 
The custodian shall nonetheless make a determination on the request as 
promptly as possible.
    (8) If a requested record is known to have been destroyed, disposed 
of, or otherwise not to exist, the requester shall be so notified.
    (c) Compliance with request upon affirmative determination by 
custodian. (1) When a requested record has been identified and is to be 
disclosed in whole or in part, the custodian shall ensure that the 
record is made available promptly and shall immediately notify the 
requester where and when and under what reasonable conditions, if any, 
including the payment of fees, the record will be available for 
inspection or copies will be available. Postal Service records will 
normally be available for inspection and copying during regular business 
hours at the postal facilities at which they are maintained. The 
custodian may, however, designate other reasonable locations and times 
for inspection and copying of some or all of the records within his 
custody.
    (2) Any fees authorized or required to be paid in advance by Sec. 
265.9(f)(3) shall

[[Page 104]]

be paid by the requester before the record is made available or a copy 
is furnished unless payment is waived or deferred pursuant to Sec. 
265.9(g).
    (3) A custodian complying with a request may designate a 
representative to monitor any inspection or copying.
    (d) Denial of request. (1) A reply denying a request in whole or in 
part shall be in writing, signed by the custodian or his designee, and 
shall include:
    (i) A statement of the reason for, or justification of, the denial 
(e.g., records personal in nature), including, if applicable, a 
reference to the provision or provisions of Sec. 265.6 authorizing the 
withholding of the record and a brief explanation of how each provision 
applies to the records requested.
    (ii) If entire records or pages are withheld, a reasonable estimate 
of the number of records or pages, unless providing such estimate would 
harm an interest protected by the exemption relied upon.
    (iii) A statement of the right to appeal and of the appeal procedure 
within the Postal Service (described in paragraph (e) of this section).
    (2) The custodian is ordinarily the person responsible for the 
denial of the request. If the denial of a particular request has been 
directed by higher authority, however, the name and title or position of 
the person directing the denial shall be given in the reply to the 
requester in place of the custodian as the person responsible for the 
denial, and a copy of the denial shall be sent to that person.
    (3) When information is deleted from a record that is disclosed in 
part, the custodian shall indicate, on the released portion of the 
record, the amount of information deleted, unless including that 
indication would harm an interest protected by the exemption relied on. 
The indication must appear, if technically feasible, at the place in the 
record where such deletion is made.
    (e) Appeal procedure. (1) If a request to inspect or to copy a 
record, or a request for expedited processing of the request, is denied, 
in whole or in part, if no determination is made within the period 
prescribed by this section, or if a request for waiver of fees is not 
granted, the requester may appeal to the General Counsel, U.S. Postal 
Service, Washington, DC 20260-1100.
    (2) The requester shall submit his appeal in writing within 30 days 
of the date of the denial or of the other action complained of, or 
within a reasonable time if the appeal is from a failure of the 
custodian to act. The General Counsel may, in his discretion, consider 
late appeals.
    (3) In the event of the denial of a request or of other action or 
failure to act on the part of a custodian from which no appeal is taken, 
the General Counsel may, if he considers that there is doubt as to the 
correctness of the custodian's action or failure to act, review the 
action or failure to act as though an appeal pursuant to this section 
had been taken.
    (4) A letter of appeal should include, as applicable:
    (i) A copy of the request, of any notification of denial or other 
action, and of any other related correspondence;
    (ii) A statement of the action, or failure to act, from which the 
appeal is taken;
    (iii) A statement of the reasons why the requester believes the 
action or failure to act is erroneous; and
    (iv) A statement of the relief sought.
    (f) Action on appeals. (1) The decision of the General Counsel or 
his designee constitutes the final decision of the Postal Service on the 
right of the requester to inspect or copy a record, or to expedited 
processing of the request, as appropriate. The General Counsel will give 
prompt consideration to an appeal for expedited processing of a request. 
All other decisions normally will be made within 20 working days from 
the time of the receipt by the General Counsel. The 20-day response 
period may be extended by the General Counsel or his designee for a 
period not to exceed an additional 10 working days when reasonably 
necessary to permit the proper consideration of an appeal, under one or 
more of the unusual circumstances set forth in paragraph (b)(5) of this 
section. The aggregate number of additional working days utilized 
pursuant to this paragraph (f)(1) and paragraph (b) of this section, 
however, may not exceed 10.
    (2) The decision on the appeal shall be in writing. If the decision 
sustains a

[[Page 105]]

denial of a record, in whole or in part, or if it denies expedited 
processing, it shall state the justification therefor and shall inform 
the requester of his right to judicial review. In the case of records 
withheld, the decision also shall specify any exemption or exemptions 
relied on and the manner in which they apply to the record, or portion 
thereof, withheld.
    (3) If not prohibited by or under law, the General Counsel or his 
designee may direct the disclosure of a record even though its 
disclosure is not required by law or regulation.
    (g) Expedited processing--(1) Criteria. A request for expedited 
processing of a request for records shall be granted when the requester 
demonstrates compelling need. For purposes of this paragraph, 
``compelling need'' exists if:
    (i) Failure of the requester to obtain the records on an expedited 
basis could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the 
life or physical safety of an individual or;
    (ii) In the case of a request made by a person primarily engaged in 
disseminating information, there is an urgency to inform the public 
concerning actual or alleged federal government activity.
    (2) Request. A request for expedited processing shall be directed in 
writing to the records custodian. The requester must provide information 
in sufficient detail to demonstrate compelling need for the records and 
certify this statement to be true and correct to the best of the 
requester's knowledge and belief. The custodian may waive the formality 
of certification when deemed appropriate.
    (3) Determination. The records custodian shall make a determination 
of whether to provide expedited processing and notify the requester 
within ten days after the date of the request for expedited processing. 
If the request is granted, the records custodian shall process the 
request for records as soon as practicable. If the request for expedited 
processing is denied, the written response will include the procedures 
at paragraph (d) of this section for appealing the denial.

[40 FR 7331, Feb. 19, 1975, as amended at 45 FR 44271, July 1, 1980; 47 
FR 20304, May 12, 1982; 51 FR 26386, July 23, 1986; 52 FR 13668, Apr. 
24, 1987; 60 FR 57345, Nov. 15, 1995; 62 FR 64282, Dec. 5, 1997; 63 FR 
6482, Feb. 9, 1998; 64 FR 41290, July 30, 1999; 68 FR 56559, Oct. 1, 
2003; 69 FR 34935, June 23, 2004]



Sec. 265.8  Business information; procedures for predisclosure 
notification to submitters.

    (a) In general. This section provides a procedure by which persons 
submitting business information to the Postal Service can request that 
the information not be disclosed pursuant to a request under the Freedom 
of Information Act. This section does not affect the Postal Service's 
right, authority, or obligation to disclose information in any other 
context, nor is it intended to create any right or benefit, substantive 
or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against the Postal Service, 
its officers, or any person. Existing rights of submitters are also 
unaffected. For purposes of this section, the following definitions 
apply:
    (1) Business information means commercial or financial information 
provided directly or indirectly to the Postal Service by a submitter 
that arguably is protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the 
Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4), which is restated in 
Sec. 265.6(b)(2).
    (2) Submitter means any person or entity who provides business 
information, directly or indirectly, to the Postal Service. The term 
includes, but is not limited to, corporations, state governments, and 
foreign governments.
    (b) Notice to submitters. (1) The custodian shall, to the extent 
permitted by law, provide a submitter with prompt written notice of a 
Freedom of Information Act request for the submitter's business 
information whenever required under paragraph (c) of this section, 
except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, in order to afford 
the submitter an opportunity to object to disclosure pursuant to 
paragraph (f) of this section. Such written notice shall either describe 
the exact nature of the business information requested

[[Page 106]]

or provide copies of the records or portions of records containing the 
business information. In the case of an administrative appeal, the 
General Counsel shall be responsible for providing such notification as 
may be appropriate under this section.
    (2) When notice is given to a submitter under paragraph (b)(1) of 
this section, the requester also shall be notified that notice and an 
opportunity to object are being provided to the submitter pursuant to 
this section.
    (c) When notice is required. Notice shall be given to a submitter 
whenever:
    (1) The submitter has in good faith designated the information as 
information deemed protected from disclosure under Exemption 4, in 
accordance with the procedure described in paragraph (e) of this 
section; or
    (2) In the opinion of the custodian, or of the General Counsel in 
the case of an administrative appeal, it is likely that disclosure of 
the information would result in competitive harm to the submitter.
    (d) Exceptions to notice requirements. The notice requirements of 
paragraph (b) of this section shall not apply if:
    (1) The Postal Service determines without reference to the submitter 
that the information will not be disclosed;
    (2) The information lawfully has been published or has been 
officially made available to the public;
    (3) Disclosure of the information is required by law (other than the 
Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552); or
    (4) Disclosure of the particular kind of information is required by 
a Postal Service regulation, except that, in such case, advance written 
notice of a decision to disclose shall be provided to the submitter if 
the submitter had provided written justification for protection of the 
information under Exemption 4 at the time of submission or a reasonable 
time thereafter.
    (e) Procedure for designating business information at the time of 
its submission. (1) Submitters of business information shall use good-
faith efforts to designate, by appropriate markings, either at the time 
of submission or at a reasonable time thereafter, those portions of 
their submissions which they deem to be protected from disclosure under 
Exemption 4. Each record, or portion thereof, to be so designated, shall 
be clearly marked with a suitable legend such as Privileged Business 
Information--Do Not Release. When the designated records contain some 
information for which an exemption is not claimed, the submitter shall 
clearly indicate the portions for which protection is sought.
    (2) At the time a designation is made pursuant to paragraph (e)(1) 
of this section, the submitter shall furnish the Postal Service with the 
name, title, address and telephone number of the person or persons to be 
contacted for the purpose of the notification described in paragraph (b) 
of this section.
    (3) Submitters who provide to a postal facility business information 
on a recurring basis and in substantially identical form may use the 
following simplified process: The first submission will provide in full 
the information required in paragraphs (e)(1) and (2) of this section; 
shall identify the type of information, e.g., PS Form 3602, to which it 
is intended to apply; and shall state that it is intended to serve as a 
designation for all of the information of this type that is submitted to 
the particular facility. Thereafter when providing this type of 
information, the submitter need only mark a submission with a reference 
to the designation, e.g., Privileged: see letter of 4-1-91. By written 
agreement with the head of the facility, even this marking may be 
dispensed with if it is not necessary to alert postal employees at that 
facility of the claim of exemption.
    (4) A designation made pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section 
shall be deemed to have expired ten years after the date the records 
were submitted unless the submitter requests, and provides reasonable 
justification for, a designation period of greater duration.
    (5) The Postal Service will not determine the validity of any 
request for confidential treatment until a request for disclosure of the 
information is received.
    (f) Opportunity to object to disclosure. Through the notice 
described in paragraph (b) of this section, the submitter shall be 
afforded a reasonable period of

[[Page 107]]

time within which to provide the Postal Service with a detailed written 
statement of any objection to disclosure. Such statement shall specify 
all grounds for withholding any of the information under any exemption 
of the Freedom of Information Act and, in the case of Exemption 4, shall 
demonstrate why the information is contended to be a trade secret or 
commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential. 
Whenever possible, the submitter's claim of confidentiality should be 
supported by a statement or certification by an officer or authorized 
representative of the submitter that the information in question is in 
fact confidential, has not been disclosed to the public by the 
submitter, and is not routinely available to the public from other 
sources. Information provided by a submitter pursuant to this paragraph 
may itself be subject to disclosure under the FOIA.
    (g) Determination that confidential treatment is warranted. If the 
custodian determines that confidential treatment is warranted for any 
part of the requested records, he shall inform the requester in writing 
in accordance with the procedures set out in Sec. 265.7(d) of this 
chapter, and shall advise the requester of the right to appeal. A copy 
of the letter of denial shall also be provided to the submitter of the 
records in any case in which the submitter had been notified of the 
request pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section.
    (h) Notice of intent to disclose. The custodian, in the case of an 
initial request, or the General Counsel, in the case of an appeal, shall 
consider carefully a submitter's objections and specific grounds for 
nondisclosure prior to determining whether to disclose business 
information. In the event of a decision to disclose business information 
over the objection of the submitter, the submitter shall be furnished a 
written notice which shall include:
    (1) A description of the business information to be disclosed;
    (2) A statement of the reasons for which the submitter's disclosure 
objections were not sustained; and
    (3) The specific date upon which disclosure will occur. Such notice 
of intent to disclose shall be forwarded to the submitter a reasonable 
number of days prior to the specified disclosure date and the requester 
shall be notified likewise.
    (i) Notice of FOIA lawsuit. Whenever a requester brings suit seeking 
to compel disclosure of business information, the General Counsel shall 
promptly notify the submitter.

[56 FR 56934, Nov. 7, 1991]



Sec. 265.9  Schedule of fees.

    (a) Policy. The purpose of this section is to establish fair and 
equitable fees to permit the furnishing of records to members of the 
public while recovering the full allowable direct costs incurred by the 
Postal Service. The Postal Service will use the most efficient and least 
costly methods available to it when complying with requests for records.
    (b) Standard rates--(1) Record retrieval. Searches may be done 
manually or by computer using existing programming.
    (i) Manual search. The fee for a manual search is $32 per hour 
(fractions of an hour are rounded to the nearest half hour).
    (ii) Computer search. The fee for retrieving data by computer is the 
actual direct cost of the retrieval, including computer search time, and 
personnel cost in effect at the time that the retrieval services are 
performed. The fees are subject to periodic revision. A copy of the fees 
are included within the public index. (See appendix A.)
    (2) Duplication. (i) Except where otherwise specifically provided in 
postal regulations, the fee for duplicating any record or publication is 
$.15 per page.
    (ii) The Postal Service may at its discretion make coin-operated 
copy machines available at any location or otherwise give the requester 
the opportunity to make copies of Postal Service records at his own 
expense. Unless authorized by the Records Office, however, no off-site 
copying shall be permitted of records which, if lost, could not be 
replaced without inconvenience to the Postal Service.
    (iii) The Postal Service will normally furnish only one copy of any 
record. If duplicate copies are furnished at the request of the 
requester, the $.15 per-page fee shall be charged for each copy of each 
duplicate page without regard to whether the requester is eligible for 
free copies pursuant to paragraph (c) or

[[Page 108]]

(g) of this section. At his or her discretion, when it is reasonably 
necessary because of a lack of adequate copying facilities or other 
circumstances, the custodian may make the requested record available to 
the requester for inspection under reasonable conditions and need not 
furnish a copy thereof.
    (3) Review. The fee for reviewing records located in response to a 
commercial use request is $32 per hour (fractions of an hour are rounded 
to the nearest half hour). Only requesters who are seeking documents for 
commercial use may be charged for review. ``Review'' is defined in 
paragraph (h)(4) of this section; ``commercial use'' is defined in 
paragraph (h)(5) of this section.
    (4) Micrographics. Paragraphs (b) (1), (2) and (3) of this section 
also apply to information stored within micrographic systems.
    (c) Four categories of fees to be charged. For the purpose of 
assessing fees under this section, a requester shall be classified into 
one of four categories: commercial use requesters; educational and 
noncommercial scientific institutions; representatives of the news 
media; and all other requesters. Requesters in each category must 
reasonably describe the records sought. Fees shall be charged requesters 
in each category in accordance with the following.
    (1) Commercial use requesters. Fees shall be charged to recover the 
full direct costs of search, review and duplication in accordance with 
the rates prescribed in paragraphs (b) (1) through (3) of this section, 
subject only to the general waiver set out in paragraph (g)(1) of this 
section. The term ``commercial use request'' is defined in paragraph 
(h)(5).
    (2) Educational and noncommercial scientific institutions. Fees 
shall be charged only for duplication in accordance with paragraph 
(b)(2) of this section, except that the first 100 pages furnished in 
response to a particular request shall be furnished without charge. (See 
also the general waiver provision in paragraph (g)(1) of this section.) 
To be eligible for the reduction of fees applicable to this category, 
the requester must show that the request is being made as authorized by 
and under the auspices of a qualifying institution and that the records 
are not sought for a commercial use, but are sought in furtherance of 
scholarly or scientific research. These institutions are defined in 
paragraphs (h)(6) and (h)(7) of this section, respectively.
    (3) Representatives of the news media. Fees shall be charged only 
for duplication in accordance with paragraph (b)(2) of this section, 
except that the first 100 pages furnished in response to a particular 
request shall be furnished without charge. (See also the general waiver 
provision in paragraph (g)(1) of this section.) To be eligible for the 
reduction of fees applicable to this category, the requester must meet 
the criteria in paragraph (h)(8) of this section, and the request must 
not be made for a commercial use.
    (4) All other requesters. Fees shall be charged for search and 
duplication in accordance with paragraphs (b) (1) and (2) of this 
section, except that the first 100 pages of duplication and the first 
two hours of search time shall be furnished without charge. (See also 
paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this section.)
    (d) Aggregating requests. When the custodian reasonably believes 
that a requester is attempting to break a request down into a series of 
requests in order to evade the assessment of fees, the custodian may 
aggregate the requests and charge accordingly. The custodian shall not 
aggregate multiple requests when the requests pertain to unrelated 
subject matter. Requests made by more than one requester may be 
aggregated only when the custodian has a concrete basis on which to 
conclude that the requesters are acting in concert specifically to avoid 
payment of fees.
    (e) Other costs--(1) Publications. Publications and other printed 
materials may, to the extent that they are available in sufficient 
quantity, be made available at the established price, if any, or at cost 
to the Postal Service. Fees established for printed materials pursuant 
to laws, other than the Freedom of Information Act, that specifically 
provide for the setting of fees for particular types of records are not 
subject to waiver or reduction under this section.
    (2) Other charges. When a response to a request requires services or 
materials other than the common one listed in

[[Page 109]]

paragraph (b) of this section, the direct cost of such services or 
materials to the Postal Service may be charged, but only if the 
requester has been notified of the nature and estimated amount of such 
cost before it is incurred.
    (f) Advance notice and payment of fees--(1) Liability and payment. 
The requester is responsible, subject to limitations on liability 
provided by this section, for the payment of all fees for services 
resulting from his request, even if responsive records are not located 
or are determined to be exempt from disclosure. Checks in payment of 
fees should be made payable to ``U.S. Postal Service.''
    (2) Advance notice. To protect members of the public from 
unwittingly incurring liability for unexpectedly large fees, the 
custodian shall notify the requester if the estimated cost is expected 
to exceed $25. When search fees are expected to exceed $25, but it 
cannot be determined in advance whether any records will be located or 
made available, the custodian shall notify the requester of the 
estimated amount and of the responsibility to pay search fees even 
through records are not located or are determined to be exempt from 
disclosure. The notification shall be transmitted as soon as possible 
after physical receipt of the request, giving the best estimate then 
available. It shall include a brief explanatory statement of the nature 
and extent of the services upon which the estimate is based and shall 
offer the requester an opportunity to confer with the custodian or his 
representative in an attempt to reformulate the request so as to meet 
his needs at lower cost. The time period for responding to the request 
shall not run during the interval between the date such notification is 
transmitted and the date of receipt of the requester's agreement to bear 
the cost. No notification is required if the request specifically states 
that whatever cost is involved is acceptable or is acceptable up to a 
specified amount that covers estimated costs or if payment of all fees 
in excess of $25 has been waived.
    (3) Advance payment. Advance payment of fees shall not be required, 
except: (i) When it is estimated that the fees chargeable under this 
section are likely to exceed $250. If the requester has a history of 
prompt payment of FOIA fees, the custodian shall notify the requester of 
the likely cost and obtain satisfactory assurance of full payment before 
commencing work on the request. If the requester has no history of 
payment, the custodian may require an advance payment of an amount up to 
the full estimated charge before commencing work on the request.
    (ii) When a requester has previously failed to pay a fee in a timely 
fashion (i.e., within 30 days of the date of the billing), the requester 
shall be required to pay the full amount owed, and to make an advance 
payment of the full amount of the estimated fee before processing will 
begin on a new or pending request.
    (iii) When advance payment is required under paragraphs (f)(3)(i) or 
(ii) of this section, the time periods for responding to the initial 
request or to an appeal shall not run during the interval between the 
date that notice of the requirement is transmitted and the date that the 
required payment or assurance of payment is received.
    (g) Restrictions on assessing fees--(1) General waiver. No fees 
shall be charged to any requester if they would amount, in the 
aggregate, for a request or a series of related requests, to $10 or 
less. When the fees for the first 100 pages or the first two hours of 
search time are excludable under paragraph (c) of this section, 
additional costs will not be assessed unless they exceed $10.
    (2) Certain fees not charged--(i) All requests except those for 
commercial use. Fees shall not be charged for the first 100 pages of 
duplication and the first two hours of search time except when the 
request is for a commercial use as defined in paragraph (h)(5) of this 
section. When search is done by computer, the fees to be excluded for 
the first two hours of search time shall be determined on the basis of 
fee for computer searches then in effect. (See appendix A.) Assessment 
of search fees will begin at the point when the cost of the search 
(including the cost of personnel and computer processing time) reaches 
the equivalent dollar amount of personnel fees for 2 hours.
    (ii) Requests of educational and noncommercial scientific 
institutions, and

[[Page 110]]

representatives of the news media. Fees shall not be charged for time 
spent searching for records in response to requests submitted by 
educational and noncommercial scientific institutions or representatives 
of the news media.
    (3) Public interest waiver. The custodian shall waive a fee, in 
whole or in part, and any requirement for advance payment of such a fee, 
when he determines that furnishing the records is deemed to be in the 
public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to 
public understanding of the operations or activities of the federal 
government, and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the 
requester. This waiver may be granted notwithstanding the applicability 
of other fee reductions prescribed by this section for requesters in 
certain categories. In determining whether disclosure is in the public 
interest for the purposes of this waiver, the following factors may be 
considered:
    (i) The relation of the records to the operations or activities of 
the Postal Services;
    (ii) The informative value of the information to be disclosed;
    (iii) Any contribution to an understanding of the subject by the 
general public likely to result from disclosure;
    (iv) The significance of that contribution to the public 
understanding of the subject;
    (v) The nature of the requester's personal interest, if any, in the 
disclosure requested; and
    (vi) Whether the disclosure would be primarily in the requester's 
commercial interest.
    (4) Waiver by officer. Any officer of the Postal Service, as defined 
in Sec. 221.8, his designee, or the Manager, Records Office may waive 
in whole or in part any fee required by this part or the requirement for 
advance payment of any fee.
    (5) Fee for other services. Waivers do not apply for fees for 
address correction services performed in accordance with section R900 of 
the Domestic Mail Manual.
    (h) Definitions. As used in this section, the term:
    (1) Direct costs include expenditures actually incurred in searching 
for and duplicating (and in the case of commercial requesters, 
reviewing) documents to respond to a FOIA request. Direct costs include, 
for example, the salary of the employee performing work (the basic rate 
of pay for the employee plus a factor to cover benefits) and the cost of 
operating duplicating machinery. Not included in direct costs are 
overhead expenses such as costs of space, and heating or lighting the 
facility in which the records are stored.
    (2) Search includes all time spent looking for material that is 
responsive to a request, including page-by-page or line-by-line 
identification of material within documents. Searches may be done 
manually or by computer using existing programming. A line-by-line 
search will be conducted only when necessary to determine whether the 
document contains responsive information and will not be employed in 
those instances in which duplication of the entire document would be the 
less expensive and quicker method of complying with a request. Search 
does not include review of material to determine whether the material is 
exempt from disclosure (see paragraph (h)(4) of this section).
    (3) Duplication refers to the process of making a copy of a document 
necessary to respond to a FOIA request. Such copies can take the form of 
paper copy, microform, audio-visual materials, or machine readable 
documentation (e.g., magnetic tape or disk), among others. The copy 
provided must be in a form that is reasonably usable by requesters.
    (4) Review refers to the process of examining documents located in 
response to a request that is for a commercial use (see paragraph (h)(5) 
of this section) to determine whether any portion of any document 
located is exempt from mandatory disclosure. It also includes processing 
any documents for disclosure, e.g., doing all that is necessary to 
excise them and otherwise prepare them for release. Review does not 
include time spent resolving general legal or policy issues regarding 
the application of exemptions. Charges may be assessed only for the 
initial review, i.e., the first time the applicability of a specific 
exemption is analyzed. Costs for a subsequent review are properly 
assessable only when a

[[Page 111]]

record or portion of a record withheld solely on the basis of an 
exemption later determined not to apply must be reviewed again to 
determine the applicability of other exemptions not previously 
considered.
    (5) Commercial use request refers to a request from or on behalf of 
one who seeks information for a use or purpose that furthers the 
commercial, trade, or profit interests of the requester or the person on 
whose behalf the request is made. In determining whether a request 
properly belongs in this category, the Postal Service will look to the 
use to which the requester will put the documents requested. If the use 
is not clear from the request itself, or if there is reasonable cause to 
doubt the requester's stated use, the custodian shall seek additional 
clarification from the requester before assigning the request to this 
category.
    (6) Educational institution refers to a pre-school, a public or 
private elementary or secondary school, an institution of graduate 
higher education, an institution of undergraduate higher education, an 
institution of professional education, and an institution of vocational 
education, which operates a program or programs of scholarly research.
    (7) Noncommercial scientific institution refers to an institution 
that is not operated on a ``commercial'' basis as that term is defined 
in paragraph (h)(5) of this section, and which is operated solely for 
the purpose of conducting scientific research the results of which are 
not intended to promote any particular product or industry.
    (8) Representative of the news media refers to any person actively 
gathering news for an entity that is organized and operated to publish 
or broadcast news to the public. The term ``news'' means information 
that is about current events or that would be of current interest to the 
public. Requests by news organizations for information that will be used 
for the furtherance of the organization's commercial interests, rather 
than for the dissemination of news to the public, shall be considered 
commercial use requests. Examples of news media entities include 
television or radio stations broadcasting to the public at large, and 
publishers of periodicals (but only in those instances when they can 
qualify as disseminators of ``news'') who make their products available 
for purchase or subscription by the general public. These examples are 
not intended to be all-inclusive. A ``freelance'' journalist will be 
regarded as a representative of the news media if he can demonstrate a 
solid basis for expecting publication through a news organization, even 
though not actually employed by it. This may be demonstrated either by a 
publication contract with the news organization or by the past 
publication record of the requester.

[52 FR 13668, Apr. 24, 1987, as amended at 53 FR 49983, Dec. 13, 1988; 
54 FR 7417, Feb. 21, 1989. Redesignated at 56 FR 56934, Nov. 7, 1991, 
and amended at 56 FR 57805, Nov. 14, 1991; 59 FR 11550, Mar. 11, 1994; 
60 FR 57345, Nov. 15, 1995; 64 FR 41290, July 30, 1999; 68 FR 56559, 
Oct. 1, 2003; 69 FR 34935, June 23, 2004]



Sec. 265.10  Annual report.

    A report concerning the administration of the Freedom of Information 
Act and this part will be submitted to the Attorney General of the 
United States on or before February 1 of each year, with the first such 
report, for fiscal year 1998, due on or before February 1, 1999. Data 
for the report will be collected on the basis of fiscal year that begins 
on October 1 of each year. The Attorney General, in consultation with 
the Director, Office of Management and Budget, will prescribe the form 
and content of the report. The report will be made available to the 
public at the headquarters Library and on the Postal Service's world 
wide web site at http://www.usps.com/foia.

[63 FR 6483, Feb. 9, 1998, as amended at 68 FR 56559, Oct. 1, 2003]



Sec. 265.11  Compliance with subpoena duces tecum, court orders, and 
summonses.

    (a) Compliance with subpoena duces tecum. (1) Except as required by 
Part 262, produce other records of the Postal Service only in compliance 
with a subpoena duces tecum or appropriate court order.
    (2) Time, leave, and payroll records of postal employees are subject 
to production when a subpoena duces tecum or

[[Page 112]]

appropriate court order has been properly served. The custodian of the 
records may designate a postal employee to present the records. The 
presentation by a designee rather than the employee named in the 
subpoena or court order must meet with the approval of the attorneys for 
each side. In addition, such records may be released if authorized in 
writing by the employee.
    (3) If the subpoena involves a job-connected injury, the records are 
under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Office of Workers' Compensation 
Programs, Department of Labor. Requests for authorization to produce 
these records shall be addressed to: Office of Workers' Compensation 
Programs, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC 20210-0001. Also 
notify the attorney responsible for the issuance of the subpoena or 
court order.
    (4) Employee medical records are primarily under the exclusive 
jurisdiction of the U.S. Civil Service Commission. The Commission has 
delegated authority to the Postal Service and to the Commission's 
Regional Directors to release medical information, in response to proper 
requests and upon competent medical advice, in accordance with the 
following criteria:
    (i) Except in response to a subpoena or court order, do not release 
any medical information about an employee to any non-Federal entity or 
individual without authorization from the employee.
    (ii) With authorization from the employee, the Area, Information 
Systems Service Center, or Chief Field Counsel will respond as follows 
to a request from a non-Federal source for medical information:
    (a) If, in the opinion of a Federal medical officer, the medical 
information indicates the existence of a malignancy, a mental condition, 
or other condition about which a prudent physician would hesitate to 
inform a person suffering from such a condition as to its exact nature 
and probable outcome, do not release the medical information to the 
employee or to any individual designated by him, except to a physician, 
designated by the employee in writing. If a subpoena or court order was 
issued, the responding official shall caution the moving party as to the 
possible dangers involved if the medical information is divulged.
    (b) If, in the opinion of a Federal medical officer, the medical 
information does not indicate the presence of any condition which would 
cause a prudent physician to hesitate to inform a person of the exact 
nature and probable outcome of his condition, release it in response to 
a subpoena or court order, or to the employee or to any person, firm, or 
organization he authorizes in writing.
    (c) If a Federal medical officer is not available, refer the request 
to the Civil Service Commission regional office with the medical 
certificates or other medical reports concerned.
    (5) Do not release any records containing information as to the 
employee's security or loyalty.
    (6) Honor subpoenas or court orders only when disclosure is 
authorized.
    (7) When authorized to comply with a subpoena duces tecum, do not 
leave the original records with the court.
    (b) [Reserved]

[40 FR 7331, Feb. 19, 1975, as amended at 51 FR 26386, July 23, 1986; 56 
FR 55824, Oct. 30, 1991. Redesignated at 56 FR 56934, Nov. 7, 1991; 60 
FR 36712, July 18, 1995; 60 FR 57345, Nov. 15, 1995]



Sec. 265.12  Demands for testimony or records in certain legal 
proceedings.

    (a) Scope and applicability of this section. (1) This section 
establishes procedures to be followed if the Postal Service or any 
Postal Service employee receives a demand for testimony concerning or 
disclosure of:
    (i) Records contained in the files of the Postal Service;
    (ii) Information relating to records contained in the files of the 
Postal Service; or
    (iii) Information or records acquired or produced by the employee in 
the course of his or her official duties or because of the employee's 
official status.
    (2) This section does not create any right or benefit, substantive 
or procedural, enforceable by any person against the Postal Service.
    (3) This section does not apply to any of the following:

[[Page 113]]

    (i) Any legal proceeding in which the United States is a party;
    (ii) A demand for testimony or records made by either House of 
Congress or, to the extent of matter within its jurisdiction, any 
committee or subcommittee of Congress;
    (iii) An appearance by an employee in his or her private capacity in 
a legal proceeding in which the employee's testimony does not relate to 
the employee's official duties or the functions of the Postal Service; 
or
    (iv) A demand for testimony or records submitted to the Postal 
Inspection Service (a demand for Inspection Service records or testimony 
will be handled in accordance with rules in Sec. 265.11).
    (4) This section does not exempt a request from applicable 
confidentiality requirements, including the requirements of the Privacy 
Act. 5 U.S.C. 552a.
    (b) Definitions. The following definitions apply to this section:
    (1) Adjudicative authority includes, but is not limited to, the 
following:
    (i) A court of law or other judicial forums, whether local, state, 
or federal; and
    (ii) Mediation, arbitration, or other forums for dispute resolution.
    (2) Demand includes a subpoena, subpoena duces tecum, request, 
order, or other notice for testimony or records arising in a legal 
proceeding.
    (3) Employee means a current employee or official of the Postal 
Service.
    (4) General Counsel means the General Counsel of the United States 
Postal Service, the Chief Field Counsels, or an employee of the Postal 
Service acting for the General Counsel under a delegation of authority.
    (5) Legal proceeding means:
    (i) A proceeding before an adjudicative authority;
    (ii) A legislative proceeding, except for a proceeding before either 
House of Congress or before any committee or subcommittee of Congress; 
or
    (iii) An administrative proceeding.
    (6) Private litigation means a legal proceeding to which the United 
States is not a party.
    (7) Records custodian means the employee who maintains a requested 
record. For assistance in identifying the custodian of a specific 
record, contact the Manager, Records Office, U.S. Postal Service, 475 
L'Enfant Plaza, SW., Washington, DC 20260, telephone (202) 268-2608.
    (8) Testimony means statements made in connection with a legal 
proceeding, including but not limited to statements in court or other 
forums, depositions, declarations, affidavits, or responses to 
interrogatories.
    (9) United States means the federal government of the United States 
and any of its agencies, establishments, or instrumentalities, including 
the United States Postal Service.
    (c) Requirements for submitting a demand for testimony or records. 
(1) Ordinarily, a party seeking to obtain records from the Postal 
Service should submit a request in accordance with the provisions of the 
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552, and the Postal 
Service's regulations implementing the FOIA at 39 CFR 265.1 through 
265.9 or the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a and the Postal Service's 
regulations implementing the Privacy Act at 39 CFR 266.1 through 266.9.
    (2) A demand for testimony or records issued pursuant to the rules 
governing the legal proceeding in which the demand arises must:
    (i) Be in writing;
    (ii) Identify the requested record and/or state the nature of the 
requested testimony, describe the relevance of the record or testimony 
to the proceeding, and why the information sought is unavailable by any 
other means; and
    (iii) If testimony is requested, contain a summary of the requested 
testimony and a showing that no document could be provided and used in 
lieu of testimony.
    (3) Procedures for service of demand are made as follows:
    (i) Service of a demand for testimony or records (including, but not 
limited to, personnel or payroll information) relating to a current or 
former employee must be made in accordance with the applicable rules of 
civil procedure on the employee whose testimony is requested or the 
records custodian. The requester also shall deliver a copy of the demand 
to the District Manager, Customer Services and Sales, for all current 
employees whose work location

[[Page 114]]

is within the geographic boundaries of the manager's district, and any 
former employee whose last position was within the geographic boundaries 
of the manager's district. A demand for testimony or records must be 
received by the employee whose testimony is requested and the 
appropriate District Manager, Customer Services and Sales, at least ten 
(10) working days before the date the testimony or records are needed.
    (ii) Service of a demand for testimony or records other than those 
described in paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this section must be made in 
accordance with the applicable rules of civil procedure on the employee 
whose testimony is requested or the records custodian. The requester 
also shall deliver a copy of the demand to the General Counsel, United 
States Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW, Washington DC 20260-1100, 
or the Chief Field Counsel. A demand for testimony or records must be 
received by the employee and the General Counsel or Chief Field Counsel 
at least ten (10) working days before the date testimony or records are 
needed.
    (d) Procedures followed in response to a demand for testimony or 
records. (1) After an employee receives a demand for testimony or 
records, the employee shall immediately notify the General Counsel or 
Chief Field Counsel and request instructions.
    (2) An employee may not give testimony or produce records without 
the prior authorization of the General Counsel.
    (3)(i) The General Counsel may allow an employee to testify or 
produce records if the General Counsel determines that granting 
permission:
    (A) Would be appropriate under the rules of procedure governing the 
matter in which the demand arises and other applicable laws, privileges, 
rules, authority, and regulations; and
    (B) Would not be contrary to the interest of the United States. The 
interest of the United States includes, but is not limited to, 
furthering a public interest of the Postal Service and protecting the 
human and financial resources of the United States.
    (ii) An employee's testimony shall be limited to the information set 
forth in the statement described at paragraph (c)(2) of this section or 
to such portions thereof as the General Counsel determines are not 
subject to objection. An employee's testimony shall be limited to facts 
within the personal knowledge of the employee. A Postal Service employee 
authorized to give testimony under this rule is prohibited from giving 
expert or opinion testimony, answering hypothetical or speculative 
questions, or giving testimony with respect to privileged subject 
matter. The General Counsel may waive the prohibition of expert 
testimony under this paragraph only upon application and showing of 
exceptional circumstances and the request substantially meets the 
requirements of this section.
    (4) The General Counsel may establish conditions under which the 
employee may testify. If the General Counsel authorizes the testimony of 
an employee, the party seeking testimony shall make arrangements for the 
taking of testimony by those methods that, in the General Counsel's 
view, will least disrupt the employee's official duties. For example, at 
the General Counsel's discretion, testimony may be provided by 
affidavits, answers to interrogatories, written depositions, or 
depositions transcribed, recorded, or preserved by any other means 
allowable by law.
    (5) If a response to a demand for testimony or records is required 
before the General Counsel determines whether to allow an employee to 
testify, the employee or counsel for the employee shall do the 
following:
    (i) Inform the court or other authority of the regulations in this 
section; and
    (ii) Request that the demand be stayed pending the employee's 
receipt of the General Counsel's instructions.
    (6) If the court or other authority declines the request for a stay, 
or rules that the employee must comply with the demand regardless of the 
General Counsel's instructions, the employee or counsel for the employee 
shall respectfully decline to comply with the demand, citing United 
States ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen, 340 U.S. 462 (1951), and the regulations 
in this section.
    (7) The General Counsel may request the assistance of the Department 
of

[[Page 115]]

Justice or a U.S. Attorney where necessary to represent the interests of 
the Postal Service and the employee.
    (8) At his or her discretion, the General Counsel may grant a waiver 
of any procedure described by this section, where waiver is considered 
necessary to promote a significant interest of the United States or for 
other good cause.
    (9) If it otherwise is permissible, the records custodian may 
authenticate, upon the request of the party seeking disclosure, copies 
of the records. No employee of the Postal Service shall respond in 
strict compliance with the terms of a subpoena duces tecum unless 
specifically authorized by the General Counsel.
    (e) Postal Service employees as expert witnesses. No Postal Service 
employee may testify as an expert or opinion witness, with regard to any 
matter arising out of the employee's official duties or the functions of 
the Postal Service, for any party other than the United States, except 
that in extraordinary circumstances, the General Counsel may approve 
such expert testimony in private litigation. A Postal Service employee 
may not testify as such an expert witness without the express 
authorization of the General Counsel. A litigant must obtain 
authorization of the General Counsel before designating a Postal Service 
employee as an expert witness.
    (f) Substitution of Postal Service employees. Although a demand for 
testimony may be directed to a named Postal Service employee, the 
General Counsel, where appropriate, may designate another Postal Service 
employee to give testimony. Upon request and for good cause shown (for 
example, when a particular Postal Service employee has direct knowledge 
of a material fact not known to the substitute employee designated by 
the Postal Service), the General Counsel may permit testimony by a named 
Postal Service employee.
    (g) Fees and costs. (1) The Postal Service may charge fees, not to 
exceed actual costs, to private litigants seeking testimony or records 
by request or demand. The fees, which are to be calculated to reimburse 
fully the Postal Service for processing the demand and providing the 
witness or records, may include, among others:
    (i) Costs of time spent by employees, including attorneys, of the 
Postal Service to process and respond to the demand;
    (ii) Costs of attendance of the employee and agency attorney at any 
deposition, hearing, or trial;
    (iii) Travel costs of the employee and agency attorney;
    (iv) Costs of materials and equipment used to search for, process, 
and make available information.
    (2) All costs for employee time shall be calculated on the hourly 
pay of the employee (including all pay, allowance, and benefits) and 
shall include the hourly fee for each hour, or portion of each hour, 
when the employee is in travel, in attendance at a deposition, hearing, 
or trial, or is processing or responding to a request or demand.
    (3) At the discretion of the Postal Service, where appropriate, 
costs may be estimated and collected before testimony is given.
    (h) Acceptance of service. This section does not in any way abrogate 
or modify the requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (28 
U.S.C. Appendix) regarding service of process.

[60 FR 17224, Apr. 5, 1995, as amended at 60 FR 57345, Nov. 15, 1995; 64 
FR 41291, July 30, 1999; 68 FR 56559, Oct. 1, 2003]



Sec. 265.13  Compliance with subpoenas, summonses, and court orders by 
postal employees within the Inspection Service where the Postal Service, 
the United States, or any other federal agency is not a party.

    (a) Applicability of this section. The rules in this section apply 
to all federal, state, and local court proceedings, as well as 
administrative and legislative proceedings, other than:
    (1) Proceedings where the United States, the Postal Service, or any 
other federal agency is a party;
    (2) Congressional requests or subpoenas for testimony or documents;
    (3) Consultative services and technical assistance rendered by the 
Inspection Service in executing its normal functions;
    (4) Employees serving as expert witnesses in connection with 
professional and consultative services under 5 CFR

[[Page 116]]

part 7001, provided that employees acting in this capacity must state 
for the record that their testimony reflects their personal opinions and 
should not be viewed as the official position of the Postal Service;
    (5) Employees making appearances in their private capacities in 
proceedings that do not relate to the Postal Service (e.g., cases 
arising from traffic accidents, domestic relations) and do not involve 
professional or consultative services; and
    (6) When in the opinion of the Counsel or the Counsel's designee, 
Office of the Chief Postal Inspector, it has been determined that it is 
in the best interest of the Inspection Service or in the public 
interest.
    (b) Purpose and scope. The provisions in this section limit the 
participation of postal employees within or assigned to the Inspection 
Service, in private litigation, and other proceedings in which the 
Postal Service, the United States, or any other federal agency is not a 
party. The rules are intended to promote the careful supervision of 
Inspection Service resources and to reduce the risk of inappropriate 
disclosures that might affect postal operations.
    (c) Definitions. For the purposes of this section:
    (1) Authorizing official is the person responsible for giving the 
authorization for release of documents or permission to testify.
    (2) Case or matter means any civil proceeding before a court of law, 
administrative board, hearing officer, or other body conducting a 
judicial or administrative proceeding in which the United States, the 
Postal Service, or another federal agency is not a named party.
    (3) Demand includes any request, order, or subpoena for testimony or 
the production of documents.
    (4) Document means all records, papers, or official files, 
including, but not limited to, official letters, telegrams, memoranda, 
reports, studies, calendar and diary entries, graphs, notes, charts, 
tabulations, data analyses, statistical or information accumulations, 
records of meetings and conversations, film impressions, magnetic tapes, 
computer discs, and sound or mechanical reproductions;
    (5) Employee or Inspection Service employee, for the purpose of this 
section only, refers to a Postal Service employee currently or formerly 
assigned to the Postal Inspection Service, student interns, contractors 
and employees of contractors who have access to Inspection Service 
information and records.
    (6) Inspection Service means the organizational unit within the 
Postal Service as outlined in Sec. 224.3 of this chapter.
    (7) Inspection Service Legal Counsel is an attorney authorized by 
the Chief Postal Inspector to give legal advice to members of the 
Inspection Service.
    (8) Inspection Service Manual is the directive containing the 
standard operating procedures for Postal Inspectors and certain 
Inspection Service employees.
    (9) Nonpublic includes any material or information not subject to 
mandatory public disclosure under Sec. 265.6(b).
    (10) Official case file means official documents that relate to a 
particular case or investigation. These documents may be kept at any 
location and do not necessarily have to be in the same location in order 
to constitute the file.
    (11) Postal Inspector reports include all written reports, letters, 
recordings, or other memorializations made in conjunction with the 
duties of a Postal Inspector.
    (12) Testify or testimony includes both in-person oral statements 
before any body conducting a judicial or administrative proceeding and 
statements made in depositions, answers to interrogatories, 
declarations, affidavits, or other similar documents.
    (13) Third-party action means an action, judicial or administrative, 
in which the United States, the Postal Service, or any other federal 
agency is not a named party.
    (d) Policy. (1) No current or former employee within the Inspection 
Service may testify or produce documents concerning information acquired 
in the course of employment or as a result of his or her relationship 
with the Postal Service in any proceeding to which this section applies 
(see paragraph (a) of this section), unless authorized to do so. 
Authorization will be provided by:
    (i) The Postal Inspector in Charge of the affected field Division, 
or designee,

[[Page 117]]

for Division personnel and records, after that official has determined 
through consultation with Inspection Service legal counsel that no legal 
objection, privilege, or exemption applies to such testimony or 
production of documents.
    (ii) The Chief Postal Inspector or designee for Headquarters 
employees and records, after that official has determined through 
consultation with Inspection Service legal counsel, that no legal 
objection, privilege, or exemption applies to such testimony or 
production of documents.
    (2) Consideration shall be given to:
    (i) Statutory restrictions, as well as any legal objection, 
exemption, or privilege that may apply;
    (ii) Relevant legal standards for disclosure of nonpublic 
information and documents;
    (iii) Inspection Service rules and regulations and the public 
interest;
    (iv) Conservation of employee time; and
    (v) Prevention of the expenditure of Postal Service resources for 
private purposes.
    (3) If additional information is necessary before a determination 
can be made, the authorizing official may, in coordination with 
Inspection Service legal counsel, request assistance from the Department 
of Justice.
    (e) Compliance with subpoena duces tecum. (1) Except as required by 
part 262 of this chapter, produce any other record of the Postal Service 
only in compliance with a subpoena duces tecum or appropriate court 
order.
    (2) Do not release any record containing information relating to an 
employee's security or loyalty.
    (3) Honor subpoenas and court orders only when disclosure is 
authorized.
    (4) When authorized to comply with a subpoena duces tecum or court 
order, do not leave the originals with the court.
    (5) Postal Inspector reports are considered to be confidential 
internal documents and shall not be released unless there is specific 
authorization by the Chief Postal Inspector or the Inspector in Charge 
of the affected field Division, after consulting with Inspection Service 
legal counsel.
    (6) The Inspection Service Manual and other operating instructions 
issued to Inspection Service employees are considered to be confidential 
and shall not be released unless there is specific authorization, after 
consultation with Inspection Service legal counsel. If the requested 
information relates to confidential investigative techniques, or release 
of the information would adversely affect the law enforcement mission of 
the Inspection Service, the subpoenaed official, through Inspection 
Service legal counsel, may request an in camera, ex parte conference to 
determine the necessity for the release of the information. The entire 
Manual should not be given to any party.
    (7) Notes, memoranda, reports, transcriptions, whether written or 
recorded and made pursuant to an official investigation conducted by a 
member of the Inspection Service, are the property of the Inspection 
Service and are part of the official case file, whether stored with the 
official file.
    (f) Compliance with summonses and subpoenas ad testificandum. (1) If 
an Inspection Service employee is served with a third-party summons or a 
subpoena requiring an appearance in court, contact should be made with 
Inspection Service legal counsel to determine whether and which 
exemptions or restrictions apply to proposed testimony. Inspection 
Service employees are directed to comply with summonses, subpoenas, and 
court orders, as to appearance, but may not testify without 
authorization.
    (2) Postal Inspector reports or records will not be presented during 
testimony, in either state or federal courts in which the United States, 
the Postal Service, or another federal agency is not a party in 
interest, unless authorized by the Chief Postal Inspector or the Postal 
Inspector in Charge of the affected field Division, who will make the 
decision after consulting with Inspection Service legal counsel. If an 
attempt is made to compel production, through testimony, the employee is 
directed to decline to produce the information or matter and to state 
that it may be exempted and may not be disclosed or produced without the 
specific approval of the Chief Postal Inspector or the Postal Inspector 
in Charge of the affected field Division. The Postal Service will offer 
all

[[Page 118]]

possible assistance to the courts, but the question of disclosing 
information for which an exemption may be claimed is a matter of 
discretion that rests with the appropriate official. Paragraph (e) of 
this section covers the release of Inspection Service documents in cases 
where the Postal Service or the United States is not a party.
    (g) General procedures for obtaining Inspection Service documents 
and testimony from Inspection Service employees. (1) To facilitate the 
orderly response to demands for the testimony of Inspection Service 
employees and production of documents in cases where the United States, 
the Postal Service, or another federal agency is not a party, all 
demands for the production of nonpublic documents or testimony of 
Inspection Service employees concerning matters relating to their 
official duties and not subject to the exemptions set forth in paragraph 
(a) of this section shall be in writing and conform to the requirements 
outlined in paragraphs (g)(2) and (g)(3) of this section.
    (2) Before or simultaneously with service of a demand described in 
paragraph (g)(1) of this section, the requesting party shall serve on 
the Counsel, Office of the Chief Postal Inspector, 475 L'Enfant Plaza 
SW., Washington, DC 20260-2181, an affidavit or declaration containing 
the following information:
    (i) The title of the case and the forum where it will be heard;
    (ii) The party's interest in the case;
    (iii) The reasons for the demand;
    (iv) A showing that the requested information is available, by law, 
to a party outside the Postal Service;
    (v) If testimony is sought, a summary of the anticipated testimony;
    (vi) If testimony is sought, a showing that Inspection Service 
records could not be provided and used in place of the requested 
testimony;
    (vii) The intended use of the documents or testimony; and
    (viii) An affirmative statement that the documents or testimony is 
necessary for defending or prosecuting the case at issue.
    (3) The Counsel, Office of the Chief Postal Inspector, shall act as 
agent for the receipt of legal process for demands for production of 
records or testimony of Inspection Service employees where the United 
States, the Postal Service, or any other federal agency is not a party. 
A subpoena for testimony or for the production of documents from an 
Inspection Service employee concerning official matters shall be served 
in accordance with the applicable rules of civil procedure. A copy of 
the subpoena and affidavit or declaration, if not previously furnished, 
shall also be sent to the Chief Postal Inspector or the appropriate 
Postal Inspector in Charge.
    (4) Any Inspection Service employee who is served with a demand 
shall promptly inform the Chief Postal Inspector, or the appropriate 
Postal Inspector in Charge, of the nature of the documents or testimony 
sought and all relevant facts and circumstances.
    (h) Authorization of testimony or production of documents. (1) The 
Chief Postal Inspector or the Postal Inspector in Charge of the affected 
field Division, after consulting with Inspection Service legal counsel, 
shall determine whether testimony or the production of documents will be 
authorized.
    (2) Before authorizing the requested testimony or the production of 
documents, the Chief Postal Inspector or the Postal Inspector in Charge 
of the affected field Division shall consider the following factors:
    (i) Statutory restrictions, as well as any legal objection, 
exemption, or privilege that may apply;
    (ii) Relevant legal standards for disclosure of nonpublic 
information and documents;
    (iii) Inspection Service rules and regulations and the public 
interest;
    (iv) Conservation of employee time; and
    (v) Prevention of expenditures of government time and resources 
solely for private purposes.
    (3) If, in the opinion of the authorizing official, the documents 
should not be released or testimony should not be furnished, that 
official's decision is final.
    (4) Inspection Service legal counsel may consult or negotiate with 
the party or the party's counsel seeking testimony or documents to 
refine and limit the demand, so that compliance

[[Page 119]]

is less burdensome, or obtain information necessary to make the 
determination whether the documents or testimony will be authorized. If 
the party or party's counsel seeking the documents or testimony fails to 
cooperate in good faith, preventing Inspection Service legal counsel 
from making an informed recommendation to the authorizing official, that 
failure may be presented to the court or other body conducting the 
proceeding as a basis for objection.
    (5) Permission to testify or to release documents in all cases will 
be limited to matters outlined in the affidavit or declaration described 
in paragraph (g)(2) of this section or to such parts as deemed 
appropriate by the authorizing official.
    (6) If the authorizing official allows the release of documents or 
testimony to be given by an employee, arrangements shall be made for the 
taking of testimony or receipt of documents by the least disruptive 
methods to the employee's official duties. Testimony may, for example, 
be provided by affidavits, answers to interrogatories, written 
depositions, or depositions transcribed, recorded, or preserved by any 
other means allowable by law.
    (i) While giving a deposition, the employee may, at the option of 
the authorizing official, be represented by Inspection Service legal 
counsel.
    (ii) While completing affidavits, or other written reports or at any 
time during the process of preparing for testimony or releasing 
documents, the employee may seek the assistance of Inspection Service 
legal counsel.
    (7) Absent written authorization from the authorizing official, the 
employee shall respectfully decline to produce the requested documents, 
testify, or, otherwise, disclose the requested information.
    (8) If the authorization is denied or not received by the return 
date, the employee, together with counsel, where appropriate, shall 
appear at the stated time and place, produce a copy of this section, and 
respectfully decline to testify or produce any document on the basis of 
the regulations in this section.
    (9) The employee shall appear as ordered by the subpoena, summons, 
or other appropriate court order, unless:
    (i) Legal counsel has advised the employee that an appearance is 
inappropriate, as in cases where the subpoena, summons, or other court 
order was not properly issued or served, has been withdrawn, discovery 
has been stayed; or
    (ii) Where the Postal Service will present a legal objection to 
furnishing the requested information or testimony.
    (i) Inspection Service employees as expert or opinion witnesses. No 
Inspection Service employee may testify as an expert or opinion witness, 
with regard to any matter arising out of the employee's duties or 
functions at the Postal Service, for any party other than the United 
States, except that in extraordinary circumstances, the Counsel, Office 
of the Chief Postal Inspector, may approve such testimony in private 
litigation. An Inspection Service employee may not testify as such an 
expert or opinion witness without the express authorization of the 
Counsel, Office of the Chief Postal Inspector. A litigant must first 
obtain authorization of the Counsel, Office of the Chief Postal 
Inspector, before designating an Inspection Service employee as an 
expert or opinion witness.
    (j) Postal liability. This section is intended to provide 
instructions to Inspection Service employees and does not create any 
right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by any party 
against the Postal Service.
    (k) Fees. (1) Unless determined by 28 U.S.C. 1821 or other 
applicable statute, the costs of providing testimony, including 
transcripts, shall be borne by the requesting party.
    (2) Unless limited by statute, such costs shall also include 
reimbursement to the Postal Service for the usual and ordinary expenses 
attendant upon the employee's absence from his or her official duties in 
connection with the case or matter, including the employee's salary and 
applicable overhead charges, and any necessary travel expenses as 
follows:
    (i) The Inspection Service is authorized to charge reasonable fees 
to parties demanding documents or information. Such fees, calculated to 
reimburse the Postal Service for the cost of responding to a demand, may 
include

[[Page 120]]

the costs of time expended by Inspection Service employees, including 
attorneys, to process and respond to the demand; attorney time for 
reviewing the demand and for legal work in connection with the demand; 
expenses generated by equipment used to search for, produce, and copy 
the requested information; travel costs of the employee and the agency 
attorney, including lodging and per diem where appropriate. Such fees 
shall be assessed at the rates and in the manner specified in Sec. 
265.9.
    (ii) At the discretion of the Inspection Service where appropriate, 
fees and costs may be estimated and collected before testimony is given.
    (iii) The provisions in this section do not affect rights and 
procedures governing public access to official documents pursuant to the 
Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C 552a.
    (l) Acceptance of service. The rules in this section in no way 
modify the requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (28 
U.S.C. Appendix) regarding service of process.

[60 FR 36712, July 18, 1995, as amended at 69 FR 34935, June 23, 2004]

           Appendix A to Part 265--Fees for Computer Searches

    When requested information must be retrieved by computer, fees 
charged to the requester are based on rates for personnel and computer 
time. Estimates are provided to the requester in advance and are based 
on the following rates:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     Price       Unit
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Personnel:
  High technical..................................     $120    per hour.
  Medium technical................................       70    per hour.
  Low technical...................................       50    per hour.
Computer Processing:
  Mainframe usage.................................      .39  per second.
  Midrange server usage...........................      .06  per second.
  PC usage........................................     7.00       per 15
                                                                minutes.
  Printing computer output........................      .14    per page.
  Magnetic tape production........................    24.00  per volume.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[68 FR 56559, Oct. 1, 2003]



PART 266_PRIVACY OF INFORMATION--Table of Contents




Sec.
266.1 Purpose and scope.
266.2 Policy.
266.3 Responsibility.
266.4 Collection and disclosure of information about individuals.
266.5 Notification.
266.6 Procedures for requesting inspection, copying, or amendment of 
          records.
266.7 Appeal procedure.
266.8 Schedule of fees.
266.9 Exemptions.
266.10 Computer matching.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 401; 5 U.S.C. 552a.



Sec. 266.1  Purpose and scope.

    This part is intended to protect individual privacy and affects all 
personal information collection and usage activities of the entire U.S. 
Postal Service. This includes the information interface of Postal 
Service employees to other employees, to individuals from the public at 
large, and to any private organization or governmental agency.

[40 FR 45723, Oct. 2, 1975]



Sec. 266.2  Policy.

    It is the policy of the U.S. Postal Service to ensure that any 
record within its custody that identifies or describes any 
characteristic or provides historical information about an individual or 
that affords a basis for inferring personal characteristics, or things 
done by or to such individual, including the record of any affiliation 
with an organization or activity, or admission to an institution, is 
accurate, complete, timely, relevant, and reasonably secure from 
unauthorized access. Additionally, it is the policy to provide the means 
for individuals to know: (a) Of the existence of all Postal Service 
Privacy Act systems of records, (b) the recipients and usage made of 
such information, (c) what information is optional or mandatory to 
provide to the Postal Service, (d) the procedures for individuals to 
review and request update to all information maintained about 
themselves, (e) the reproduction fees for releasing records, (f) the 
procedures for individual legal appeal in cases of dissatisfaction; and 
(g) of the establishment or revision of a computer matching program.

[45 FR 44272, July 1, 1980, as amended at 59 FR 37160, July 21, 1994]

[[Page 121]]



Sec. 266.3  Responsibility.

    (a) Records Office. The Records Office, within the Privacy Office, 
will ensure Postal Service-wide compliance with this policy.
    (b) Custodian. Custodians are responsible for adherence to this part 
within their respective units and in particular for affording 
individuals their rights to inspect and obtain copies of records 
concerning them.
    (c) Information System Executive. These managers are responsible for 
reporting to the Records Office the existence or proposed development of 
Privacy Act systems of records. They also must report any change that 
would alter the systems description as published in the Federal 
Register. They establish the relevancy of the information within those 
systems.
    (d) Data Integrity Board--(1) Responsibilities. The Data Integrity 
Board oversees Postal Service computer matching activities. Its 
principal function is to review, approve, and maintain all written 
agreements for use of Postal Service records in matching programs to 
ensure compliance with the Privacy Act and all relevant statutes, 
regulations, and guidelines. In addition, the Board annually reviews 
matching programs and other matching activities in which the Postal 
Service has participated during the preceding year to determine 
compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and agreements; compiles a 
biennial matching report of matching activities; and performs review and 
advisement functions relating to records accuracy, recordkeeping and 
disposal practices, and other computer matching activities.
    (2) Composition. The Privacy Act requires that the senior official 
responsible for implementation of agency Privacy Act policy and the 
Inspector General serve on the Board. The Chief Privacy Officer, as 
administrator of Postal Service Privacy Act policy, serves as Secretary 
of the Board and performs the administrative functions of the Board. The 
Board is composed of these and other members designated by the 
Postmaster General, as follows:
    (i) Vice President and Consumer Advocate (Chairman).
    (ii) Chief Postal Inspector.
    (iii) Inspector General.
    (iv) Senior Vice President, Human Resources.
    (v) Vice President, General Counsel.
    (vi) Chief Privacy Officer.

[40 FR 45723, Oct. 2, 1975, as amended at 45 FR 44272, July 1, 1980; 59 
FR 37160, July 21, 1994; 60 FR 57345, Nov. 15, 1995; 64 FR 41291, July 
30, 1999; 68 FR 56560, Oct. 1, 2003]



Sec. 266.4  Collection and disclosure of information about individuals.

    (a) The following rules govern the collection of information about 
individuals throughout Postal Service operations;
    (1) The Postal Service will:
    (i) Collect, solicit and maintain only such information about an 
individual as is relevant and necessary to accomplish a purpose required 
by statute or Executive Order,
    (ii) Collect information, to the greatest extent practicable, 
directly from the subject individual when such information may result in 
adverse determinations about an individual's rights, benefits or 
privileges,
    (iii) Inform any individual who has been asked to furnish 
information about himself whether that disclosure is mandatory or 
voluntary, by what authority it is being solicited, the principal 
purposes for which it is intended to be used, the routine uses which may 
be made of it, and any penalties and specific consequences for the 
individual, which are known to the Postal Service, which will result 
from refusal to furnish it.
    (2) The Postal Service will not discriminate against any individual 
who fails to provide information about himself unless that information 
is required or necessary for the conduct of the system or program in 
which the individual desires to participate.
    (3) No information will be collected (or maintained) describing how 
individuals exercise rights guaranteed by the First Amendment unless the 
Postmaster General specifically determines that such information is 
relevant and necessary to carry out a statutory purpose of the Postal 
Service.
    (4) The Postal Service will not require individuals to furnish their 
Social Security account number or deny a right, privilege or benefit 
because of an

[[Page 122]]

individual's refusal to furnish the number unless it must be provided by 
Federal law.
    (b) Disclosures--(1) Disclosure: Limitations On. The Postal Service 
will not disseminate information about an individual unless reasonable 
efforts have been made to assure that the information is accurate, 
complete, timely and relevant and unless:
    (i) The individual to whom the record pertains has requested in 
writing that the information be disseminated, or
    (ii) It has obtained the prior written consent of the individual to 
whom the record pertains, or
    (iii) The dissemination is in accordance with paragraph (b)(2) of 
this section.
    (2) Dissemination of personal information may be made:
    (i) To a person pursuant to a requirement of the Freedom of 
Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552);
    (ii) To those officers and employees of the Postal Service who have 
a need for such information in the performance of their duties;
    (iii) For a routine use as contained in the system notices published 
in the Federal Register;
    (iv) To a recipient who has provided advance adequate written 
assurance that the information will be used solely as a statistical 
reporting or research record, and to whom the information is transferred 
in a form that is not individually identifiable;
    (v) To the Bureau of the Census for purposes of planning or carrying 
out a census or survey or related activity pursuant to the provisions of 
title 13, U.S.C.;
    (vi) To the National Archives of the United States as a record which 
has sufficient historical or other value to warrant its continued 
preservation by the U.S. Government, or for evaluation by the 
Administrator of General Services or his designee to determine whether 
the record has such value;
    (vii) To a person pursuant to a showing of compelling circumstances 
affecting the health or safety of an individual, if upon such disclosure 
notification is transmitted to the last known address of such 
individual;
    (viii) To a federal agency or to an instrumentality of any 
governmental jurisdiction within or under the control of the United 
States for a civil or criminal law enforcement activity, if such 
activity is authorized by law and if the head of the agency or 
instrumentality has made a written request to the Postal Service 
specifying the particular portion of the record desired and the law 
enforcement activity for which the record is sought;
    (ix) To either House of Congress or its committees or subcommittees 
to the extent of matter within their jurisdiction;
    (x) To the Comptroller General or any of his authorized 
representatives in the course of the performance of the duties of the 
General Accounting Office;
    (xi) Pursuant to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
    (3) Names and Addresses of Postal Customers. The disclosure of lists 
of names or addresses of Postal customers or other persons to the public 
is prohibited (39 U.S.C. 412). Names or addresses will be disclosed only 
in those cases permitted by 39 CFR 265.6(d) relating to the Release of 
Information.
    (4) Employee Credit References. A credit bureau or commercial firm 
from which an employee is seeking credit may be given the following 
information upon request: grade, duty status, length of service, job 
title, and salary.
    (5) Employee Job References. Prospective employers of a postal 
employee or a former postal employee may be furnished with the 
information in paragraph (b)(4) of this section, in addition to the date 
and the reason for separation, if applicable. The reason for separation 
must be limited to one of the following terms: retired, resigned, or 
separated. Other terms or variations of these terms (e.g., retired--
disability) may not be used. If additional information is desired, the 
requester must submit the written consent of the employee, and an 
accounting of the disclosure must be kept.
    (6) Computer matching purposes. Records from a Postal Service system 
of records may be disclosed to another agency for the purpose of 
conducting a computer matching program or other matching activity as 
defined in paragraphs (c) and (d) of Sec. 262.5, but only

[[Page 123]]

after a determination by the Data Integrity Board that the procedural 
requirements of the Privacy Act, the guidelines issued by the Office of 
Management and Budget, and these regulations as may be applicable are 
met. These requirements include:
    (i) Routine use. Disclosure is made only when permitted as a routine 
use of the system of records. The Manager, Records Office, determines 
the applicability of a particular routine use and the necessity for 
adoption of a new routine use.
    (ii) Notice. Publication of new or revised matching programs in the 
Federal Register and advance notice to Congress and the Office of 
Management and Budget must be made pursuant to paragraph (f) of Sec. 
266.5.
    (iii) Computer matching agreement. The participants in a computer 
matching program must enter into a written agreement specifying the 
terms under which the matching program is to be conducted (see Sec. 
266.10). The Manager, Records Office, may require that other matching 
activities be conducted in accordance with a written agreement.
    (iv) Data Integrity Board approval. No record from a Postal Service 
system of records may be disclosed for use in a computer matching 
program unless the matching agreement has received approval by the 
Postal Service Data Integrity Board (see Sec. 266.10). Other matching 
activities may, at the discretion of the Manager, Records Office, be 
submitted for Board approval.
    (c) Correction Disclosure. Any person or other agency to which a 
personal record has been or is to be disclosed shall be informed of any 
corrections or notations of dispute relating thereto affecting the 
accuracy, timeliness or relevance of that personal record.
    (d) Recording of Disclosure. (1) An accurate accounting of each 
disclosure will be kept in all instances except those in which 
disclosure is made to the subject of the record, or to Postal Service 
employees in the performance of their duties or is required by the 
Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552).
    (2) The accounting will be maintained for at least five (5) years or 
the life of the record, whichever is longer.
    (3) The accounting will be made available to the individual named in 
the record upon inquiry, except for disclosures made pursuant to 
provision paragraph (b)(2)(viii) of this section relating to law 
enforcement activities.

[40 FR 45723, Oct. 2, 1975, as amended at 45 FR 44272, July 1, 1980; 58 
FR 62036, Nov. 24, 1993; 59 FR 37160, July 21, 1994; 64 FR 41291, July 
30, 1999; 68 FR 56560, Oct. 1, 2003]



Sec. 266.5  Notification.

    (a) Notification of Systems. Upon written request, the Postal 
Service will notify any individual whether a specific system named by 
the individual contains a record pertaining to him or her. See Sec. 
266.6 for suggested form of request.
    (b) Notification of Disclosure. The Postal Service shall make 
reasonable efforts to serve notice on an individual before any personal 
information on such individual is made available to any person under 
compulsory legal process when such process becomes a matter of public 
record.
    (c) Notification of Amendment. (See Sec. 266.6(c)(1) relating to 
amendment of records upon request.)
    (d) Notification of New Use. Any newly intended use of personal 
information maintained by the Postal Service will be published in the 
Federal Register thirty (30) days before such use becomes operational. 
Public views may then be submitted to the Records Office.
    (e) Notification of Exemptions. The Postal Service will publish 
within the Federal Register its intent to exempt any system of records 
and shall specify the nature and purpose of that system.
    (f) Notification of computer matching program. The Postal Service 
publishes in the Federal Register and forwards to Congress and the 
Office of Management and Budget advance notice of its intent to 
establish, substantially revise, or renew a matching program, unless 
such notice is published by another participant agency. In those 
instances in which the Postal Service is the ``recipient'' agency, as 
defined in the Act, but another participant agency sponsors and derives 
the principal benefit from the matching program, the other

[[Page 124]]

agency is expected to publish the notice. The notice must be sent to 
Congress and OMB 40 days, and published at least thirty (30) days, prior 
to (1) initiation of any matching activity under a new or substantially 
revised program, or (2) expiration of the existing matching agreement in 
the case of a renewal of a continuing program.

[40 FR 45724, Oct. 2, 1975; 40 FR 48512, Oct. 16, 1975, as amended at 45 
FR 44272, July 1, 1980; 59 FR 37161, July 21, 1994; 60 FR 57345, Nov. 
15, 1995; 64 FR 41291, July 30, 1999; 68 FR 56560, Oct. 1, 2003; 69 FR 
34935, June 23, 2004]



Sec. 266.6  Procedures for requesting inspection, copying, or amendment 
of records.

    The purpose of this section is to provide procedures by which an 
individual may have access and request amendment to personal information 
within a Privacy Act System of Records.
    (a) Submission of Requests--(1) Manner of submission. Inquiries 
regarding the contents of records systems or access or amendment to 
personal information should be submitted in writing to the custodian of 
the official record, if known, or to the Manager, Records Office, U.S. 
Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20260, telephone 
(202) 268-2608. Requests submitted to the Office of Inspector General 
should be submitted to the Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Officer, 
Office of Inspector General, 1735 North Lynn Street, Arlington, 
Virginia, 22209-2020. Inquiries should be clearly marked, ``Privacy Act 
Request''. Any inquiry concerning a specific system of records should 
provide the Postal Service with the information contained under 
``Notification'' for that system as published in the Federal Register. 
If the information supplied is insufficient to locate or identify the 
record, the requester will be notified promptly and, if possible, 
informed of additional information required. If the requester is not a 
Postal Service employee, he should designate the post office at which he 
wishes to review or obtain copies of records. Amendment requests contest 
the relevance, accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the record and 
will include a statement of the amendment requested.
    (2) Third party inquiries. Anyone desiring to review or copy records 
pertaining to another person must have the written consent of that 
person.
    (3) Period for response by custodian. Upon receipt of an inquiry, 
the custodian will respond with an acknowledgement of receipt within ten 
(10) days. If the inquiry requires the custodian to determine whether a 
particular record exists, the inquirer shall be informed of this 
determination as a part of the acknowledgement letter.
    (b) Compliance with Request for Access--(1) Notification of time and 
place for inspection. When a requested record has been identified and is 
to be disclosed, the custodian shall ensure that the record is made 
available promptly and shall immediately notify the requester where and 
when the record will be available for inspection or copying. Postal 
Service records will normally be available for inspection and copying 
during regular business hours at the postal facilities at which they are 
maintained. The custodian may, however, designate other reasonable 
locations and times for inspection and copying of some or all of the 
records within his custody.
    (2) Identification of requester. The requester must present personal 
identification sufficient to satisfy the custodian as to his identity 
prior to record review. Examples of sufficient identification are a 
valid driver's license, Medicare card, and employee identification 
cards.
    (3) Responsibilities of requester. The requester shall assume the 
following responsibilities regarding the review of official personal 
records:
    (i) Requester must agree not to leave Postal Services premises with 
official records unless specifically given a copy for that purpose by 
the custodian or his representative.
    (ii) Requester must sign a statement indicating he has reviewed a 
specific record(s) or category of record.
    (iii) Requester may be accompanied by a person he so chooses to aid 
in the inspection of information; however, requester must furnish the 
Postal Service with written authorization for such review in that 
person's presence.
    (4) Special rules for medical records. A medical record shall be 
disclosed to the

[[Page 125]]

requester to whom it pertains unless, in the judgment of the medical 
officer, access to such record could have an adverse effect upon such 
individual. When the medical officer determines that the disclosure of 
medical information could have an adverse effect upon the individual to 
whom it pertains, the medical officer will transmit such information to 
a medical doctor named by the requesting individual.
    (5) Limitations on access. Nothing in this section shall allow an 
individual access to any information compiled in reasonable anticipation 
of a civil action or proceeding. Other limitations on access are those 
specifically addressed in Sec. Sec. 266.6(b)(4) and 266.9.
    (6) Response when compliance is not possible. A reply denying a 
written request to review a record shall be in writing signed by the 
custodian or other appropriate official and shall be made only if such a 
record does not exist or does not contain personal information relating 
to the requester, or is exempt from disclosure. This reply shall include 
a statement regarding the determining factors of denial, and the right 
to appeal to denial to the General Counsel.
    (c) Compliance With Request for Amendment. (1) Correct or eliminate 
any information that is found to be incomplete, inaccurate, not relevant 
to a statutory purpose of the Postal Service, or not timely and notify 
the requester when this action is complete, or
    (2) Not later than thirty (30) working days after receipt of a 
request to amend, notify the requester of a determination not to amend 
and of the requester's right to appeal, or to submit, in lieu of an 
appeal, a statement of reasonable length setting forth a position 
regarding the disputed information to be attached to the contested 
personal record.
    (d) Availability of Assistance in Exercising Rights. The Manager, 
Records Office is available to provide an individual with assistance in 
exercising rights pursuant to this part.

[40 FR 45723, Oct. 2, 1975, as amended at 45 FR 44272, July 1, 1980; 51 
FR 26386, July 23, 1986; 60 FR 57345, Nov. 15, 1995; 64 FR 41291, July 
30, 1999; 67 FR 16024, Apr. 4, 2002; 68 FR 56560, Oct. 1, 2003]



Sec. 266.7  Appeal procedure.

    (a) Appeal Procedure. (1) If a request to inspect, copy, or amend a 
record is denied, in whole or in part, or if no determination is made 
within the period prescribed by this part, the requester shall appeal to 
the General Counsel, U.S. Postal Service, Washington, DC 20260-1100.
    (2) The requester should submit his appeal in writing within thirty 
(30) days of the date of denial, or within ninety (90) days of such 
request if the appeal is from a failure of the custodian to make a 
determination. The letter of appeal should include, as applicable:
    (i) Reasonable identification of the record access to which or the 
amendment of which was requested.
    (ii) A statement of the Postal Service action or failure to act and 
of the relief sought.
    (iii) A copy of the request, of the notification of denial and of 
any other related correspondence.
    (3) Any record found on appeal to be incomplete, inaccurate, not 
relevant, or not timely, shall within thirty (30) working days of the 
date of such findings be appropriately amended.
    (4) The decision of the General Counsel, constitutes the final 
decision of the Postal Service on the right of the requester to inspect, 
copy, change, or update a record. The decision on the appeal shall be in 
writing and in the event of a denial shall set forth the reasons for 
such denial and state the individual's right to obtain judicial review 
in a district court. An indexed file of decisions on appeals shall be 
maintained by the General Counsel.
    (b) Submission of Statement of Disagreement. If the final decision 
concerning a request for the amendment of a record does not satisfy the 
requester, any statement of reasonable length provided by that 
individual setting forth a position regarding the disputed information 
will be accepted and attached to the relevant personal record.

[40 FR 45723, Oct. 2, 1975, as amended at 41 FR 24709, June 18, 1976; 45 
FR 44273, July 1, 1980; 51 FR 26386, July 23, 1986; 60 FR 57345, Nov. 
15, 1995; 64 FR 41291, July 30, 1999; 68 FR 56560, Oct. 1, 2003]

[[Page 126]]



Sec. 266.8  Schedule of fees.

    (a) Policy. The purpose of this section is to establish fair and 
equitable fees to permit duplication of records for subject individuals 
(or authorized representatives) while recovering the full allowable 
direct costs incurred by the Postal Service.
    (b) Duplication. (1) For duplicating any paper or micrographic 
record or publication or computer report, the fee is $.15 per page, 
except that the first 100 pages furnished in response to a particular 
request shall be furnished without charge. See paragraph (d) of this 
section for fee limitations.
    (2) The Postal Service may at its discretion make coin-operated copy 
machines available at any location. In that event, requesters will be 
given the opportunity to make copies at their own expense.
    (3) The Postal Service normally will not furnish more than one copy 
of any record. If duplicate copies are furnished at the request of the 
requester, $.15 per page fee is charged for each copy of each duplicate 
page without regard to whether the requester is eligible for free copies 
pursuant to Sec. 266.8(b)(1).
    (c) Aggregating requests. When the custodian reasonably believes 
that a requester is attempting to break a request for similar types of 
records down into a series of requests in order to evade the assessment 
of fees, the custodian may aggregate the requests and charge 
accordingly.
    (d) Limitations. No fee will be charged an individual for the 
process of retrieving, reviewing, or amending a record pertaining to 
that individual.
    (e) The Postal Service may, at its discretion, require reimbursement 
of its costs as a condition of participation in a computer matching 
program or activity with another agency. The agency to be charged is 
notified in writing of the approximate costs before they are incurred. 
Costs are calculated in accordance with the schedule of fees at Sec. 
265.9.

[52 FR 38230, Oct. 15, 1987, as amended at 59 FR 37161, July 21, 1994; 
68 FR 56560, Oct. 1, 2003]



Sec. 266.9  Exemptions.

    (a) Subsections 552a(j) and (k) of 5 U.S.C. 552a empower the 
Postmaster General to exempt systems of records meeting certain criteria 
from various other subsections of 5 U.S.C. 552a. With respect to systems 
of records so exempted, nothing in this part shall require compliance 
with provisions hereof implementing any subsections of 5 U.S.C. 552a 
from which those systems have been exempted.
    (b) Paragraph (b)(1) of this section contains a summary of 
provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a for which exemption is claimed for some 
systems of records pursuant to, and to the extent permitted by, 
subsections 552a(j) and (k) of 5 U.S.C. 552a. Paragraphs (b)(2) through 
(5) of this section identify the exempted systems of records, the 
exemptions applied to each, and the reasons for the exemptions:
    (1) Explanation of provisions under 5 U.S.C. 552a for which an 
exemption is claimed in the systems discussed below. (i) Subsection 
(c)(3) requires an agency to make available to the individual named in 
the records an accounting of each disclosure of records.
    (ii) Subsection (c)(4) requires an agency to inform any person or 
other agency to which a record has been disclosed of any correction or 
notation of dispute the agency has made to the record in accordance with 
5 U.S.C. 552a(d).
    (iii) Subsections (d)(1) through (4) require an agency to permit an 
individual to gain access to records about the individual, to request 
amendment of such records, to request a review of an agency decision not 
to amend such records, and to provide a statement of disagreement about 
a disputed record to be filed and disclosed with the disputed record.
    (iv) Subsection (e)(1) requires an agency to maintain in its records 
only such information about an individual that is relevant and necessary 
to accomplish a purpose required by statute or executive order of the 
President.
    (v) Subsection (e)(2) requires an agency to collect information to 
the greatest extent practicable directly from the subject individual 
when the information may result in adverse determinations about an 
individual's rights,

[[Page 127]]

benefits, and privileges under federal programs.
    (vi) Subsection (e)(3) requires an agency to inform each person whom 
it asks to supply information of the authority under which the 
information is sought, the purposes for which the information will be 
used, the routine uses that may be made of the information, whether 
disclosure is mandatory or voluntary, and the effects of not providing 
the information.
    (vii) Subsection (e)(4)(G) and (H) requires an agency to publish a 
Federal Register notice of its procedures whereby an individual can be 
notified upon request whether the system of records contains information 
about the individual, how to gain access to any record about the 
individual contained in the system, and how to contest its content.
    (viii) Subsection (e)(5) requires an agency to maintain its records 
with such accuracy, relevance, timeliness, and completeness as is 
reasonably necessary to ensure fairness to the individual in making any 
determination about the individual.
    (ix) Subsection (e)(8) requires an agency to make reasonable efforts 
to serve notice on an individual when any record on such individual is 
made available to any person under compulsory legal process when such 
process becomes a matter of public record.
    (x) Subsection (f) requires an agency to establish procedures 
whereby an individual can be notified upon request if any system of 
records named by the individual contains a record pertaining to the 
individual, obtain access to the record, and request amendment.
    (xi) Subsection (g) provides for civil remedies if an agency fails 
to comply with the access and amendment provisions of subsections (d)(1) 
and (d)(3), and with other provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a, or any rule 
promulgated thereunder, in such a way as to have an adverse effect on an 
individual.
    (xii) Subsection (m) requires an agency to cause the requirements of 
5 U.S.C. 552a to be applied to a contractor operating a system of 
records to accomplish an agency function.
    (2) Pursuant to subsection 552a(j)(2), Emergency Management Records, 
USPS 500.300; Inspection Service Investigative File System, USPS 
700.000; Mail Cover Program Records, USPS 700.100; and Inspector General 
Investigative Records, USPS 700.300, are exempt from subsections 552a 
(c)(3), (c)(4), (d)(1)-(4), (e)(1)-(3), (e)(4) (G) and (H), (e)(5), 
(e)(8), (f), (g), and (m) because the systems contain information 
pertaining to the enforcement of criminal laws. The reasons for 
exemption follow:
    (i) Disclosure to the record subject pursuant to subsections (c)(3), 
(c)(4), or (d)(1)-(4) could:
    (A) Alert subjects that they are targets of an investigation or mail 
cover by the Postal Inspection Service or an investigation by the Office 
of Inspector General;
    (B) Alert subjects of the nature and scope of the investigation and 
of evidence obtained;
    (C) Enable the subject of an investigation to avoid detection or 
apprehension;
    (D) Subject confidential sources, witnesses, and law enforcement 
personnel to harassment or intimidation if their identities were 
released to the target of an investigation;
    (E) Constitute unwarranted invasions of the personal privacy of 
third parties who are involved in a certain investigation;
    (F) Intimidate potential witnesses and cause them to be reluctant to 
offer information;
    (G) Lead to the improper influencing of witnesses, the destruction 
or alteration of evidence yet to be discovered, the fabrication of 
testimony, or the compromising of classified material; and
    (H) Seriously impede or compromise law enforcement, mail cover, or 
background investigations that might involve law enforcement aspects as 
a result of the above.
    (ii) Application of subsections (e)(1) and (e)(5) is impractical 
because the relevance, necessity, or correctness of specific information 
might be established only after considerable analysis and as the 
investigation progresses. As to relevance (subsection (e)(1)), effective 
law enforcement requires the keeping of information not relevant to a 
specific Postal Inspection Service investigation or Office of Inspector 
General investigation. Such information

[[Page 128]]

may be kept to provide leads for appropriate law enforcement and to 
establish patterns of activity that might relate to the jurisdiction of 
the Office of Inspector General, Postal Inspection Service, and/or other 
agencies. As to accuracy (subsection (e)(5)), the correctness of records 
sometimes can be established only in a court of law.
    (iii) Application of subsections (e)(2) and (e)(3) would require 
collection of information directly from the subject of a potential or 
ongoing investigation. The subject would be put on alert that he or she 
is a target of an investigation by the Office of Inspector General, or 
an investigation or mail cover by the Postal Inspection Service, 
enabling avoidance of detection or apprehension, thereby seriously 
compromising law enforcement, mail cover, or background investigations 
involving law enforcement aspects. Moreover, in certain circumstances 
the subject of an investigation is not required to provide information 
to investigators, and information must be collected from other sources.
    (iv) The requirements of subsections (e)(4)(G) and (H), and (f) do 
not apply because this system is exempt from the provisions of 
subsection (d). Nevertheless, the Postal Service has published notice of 
its notification, access, and contest procedures because access is 
appropriate in some cases.
    (v) Application of subsection (e)(8) could prematurely reveal an 
ongoing criminal investigation to the subject of the investigation.
    (vi) The provisions of subsection (g) do not apply because exemption 
from the provisions of subsection (d) renders the provisions on suits to 
enforce subsection (d) inapplicable.
    (vii) If one of these systems of records is operated in whole or in 
part by a contractor, the exemptions claimed herein shall remain 
applicable to it (subsection (m)).
    (3) Pursuant to subsection 552a(k)(2), Labor Relations Records, USPS 
200.000; Emergency Management Records, USPS 500.300; Inspection Service 
Investigative File System, USPS 700.000; Mail Cover Program Records, 
USPS 700.100; Inspector General Investigative Records, USPS 700.300; and 
Financial Transactions, USPS 860.000, are exempt from certain 
subsections of 5 U.S.C. 552a because the systems contain investigatory 
material compiled for law enforcement purposes other than material 
within the scope of subsection 552a(j)(2).
    (i) Emergency Management Records, USPS 500.300; Inspection Service 
Investigative File System, USPS 700.000; Mail Cover Program Records, 
USPS 700.100; and Inspector General Investigative Records, USPS 700.300, 
are exempt from subsections 552a(c)(3), (d)(1)-(4), (e)(1), (e)(4) (G) 
and (H), and (f) for the same reasons as stated in paragraph (b)(2) of 
this section.
    (ii) Labor Relations Records, USPS 200.000, is exempt from 
subsections 552a(d)(1)-(4), (e)(4)(G) and (H), and (f) for the following 
reasons:
    (A) Application of the requirements at subsections (d)(1)-(4) would 
cause disruption of enforcement of the laws relating to equal employment 
opportunity (EEO). It is essential to the integrity of the EEO complaint 
system that information collected in the investigative process not be 
prematurely disclosed and that witnesses be free from restraint, 
interference, coercion, or reprisal.
    (B) The requirements of subsections (e)(4)(G) and (H), and (f) do 
not apply for the same reasons described in paragraph (b)(2)(iv) of this 
section.
    (iii) Financial Transactions, USPS 860.000, is exempt from 
subsections 552a(c)(3), (d)(1)-(4), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G) and (H), and (f) 
for the following reasons:
    (A) Disclosure to the record subject pursuant to subsections (c)(3) 
and (d)(1)-(4) would violate the non-notification provision of the Bank 
Secrecy Act, 31 U.S.C. 5318(g)(2), under which the Postal Service is 
prohibited from notifying a transaction participant that a suspicious 
transaction report has been made. In addition, the access provisions of 
subsections (c)(3) and (d)(1)-(4) would alert individuals that they have 
been identified as suspects or possible subjects of investigation and 
thus seriously hinder the law enforcement purposes underlying the 
suspicious transaction reports.
    (B) This system is in compliance with subsection (e)(1) because 
maintenance of the records is required by law. Strict application of the 
relevance and necessity requirements of subsection (e)(1)

[[Page 129]]

to suspicious transactions would be impractical, however, because the 
relevance or necessity of specific information can often be established 
only after considerable analysis and as an investigation progresses.
    (C) The requirements of subsections (e)(4)(G) and (H), and (f) do 
not apply because this system is exempt from the provisions of 
subsection (d). Nevertheless, the Postal Service has published notice of 
its notification, access, and contest procedures because access is 
appropriate in some cases.
    (4) Pursuant to subsection 552a(k)(5), Recruiting, Examining, and 
Placement Records, USPS 100.100; Labor Relations Records, USPS 200.000; 
Inspection Service Investigative File System, USPS 700.000; and 
Inspector General Investigative Records, USPS 700.300 are exempt from 
certain subsections of 5 U.S.C. 552a because the systems contain 
investigatory material compiled for the purpose of determining 
suitability, eligibility, or qualifications for employment, contracts, 
or access to classified information.
    (i) Recruiting, Examining, and Placement Records, USPS 100.100, is 
exempt from subsections 552a(d)(1)-(4) and (e)(1) for the following 
reasons:
    (A) During its investigation and evaluation of an applicant for a 
position, the Postal Service contacts individuals who, without an 
assurance of anonymity, would refuse to provide information concerning 
the subject of the investigation. If a record subject were given access 
pursuant to subsection (d)(1)-(4), the promised confidentiality would be 
breached and the confidential source would be identified. The result 
would be restriction of the free flow of information vital to a 
determination of an individual's qualifications and suitability for 
appointment to or continued occupancy of his or her position.
    (B) In collecting information for investigative and evaluative 
purposes, it is impossible to determine in advance what information 
might be of assistance in determining the qualifications and suitability 
of an individual for appointment. Information that seems irrelevant, 
when linked with other information, can sometimes provide a composite 
picture of an individual that assists in determining whether that 
individual should be appointed to or retained in a position. For this 
reason, exemption from subsection (e)(1) is claimed.
    (C) The requirements of subsections (e)(4)(G) and (H), and (f) do 
not apply because this system is exempt from the provisions of 
subsection (d). Nevertheless, the Postal Service has published notice of 
its notification, access, and contest procedures because access is 
appropriate in some cases.
    (ii) Labor Relations Records, USPS 200.000, is exempt from 
subsections 552a(d)(1)-(4), (e)(4)(G) and (H), and (f) for the following 
reasons:
    (A) Application of the provisions at subsection (d)(1)-(4) would 
reveal to the EEO complainant the identity of individuals who supplied 
information under a promise of anonymity. It is essential to the 
integrity of the EEO complaint system that information collected in the 
investigative process not be prematurely disclosed and that witnesses be 
free from restraint, interference, coercion, or reprisal.
    (B) The requirements of subsections (e)(4)(G) and (H), and (f) do 
not apply because this system is exempt from the provisions of 
subsection (d). Nevertheless, the Postal Service has published notice of 
its notification, access, and contest procedures because access is 
appropriate in some cases.
    (iii) Inspection Service Investigative File System, USPS 700.000; 
and Inspector General Investigative Records, USPS 700.300, are exempt 
from subsections 552a(c)(3), (d)(1)-(4), (e)(1), (e)(4) (G) and (H), and 
(f) for the same reasons as stated in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.
    (5) Pursuant to subsection 552a(k)(6), Employee Development and 
Training Records, USPS 100.300; Personnel Research Records, 100.600; and 
Emergency Management Records, USPS 500.300 are exempt from subsections 
552a(d)(1)-(4), (e)(4)(G) and (H), and (f) because the systems contain 
testing or examination material the disclosure of which would compromise 
the objectivity or fairness of the material. The reasons for exemption 
follow:
    (i) These systems contain questions and answers to standard testing 
materials, the disclosure of which would compromise the fairness of the 
future

[[Page 130]]

use of these materials. It is not feasible to develop entirely new 
examinations after each administration as would be necessary if 
questions or answers were available for inspection and copying. 
Consequently, exemption from subsection (d) is claimed.
    (ii) The requirements of subsections (e)(4)(G) and (H), and (f) do 
not apply because this system is exempt from the provisions of 
subsection (d). Nevertheless, the Postal Service has published notice of 
its notification, access, and contest procedures because access is 
appropriate in some cases.

[70 FR 22513, Apr. 29, 2005]



Sec. 266.10  Computer matching.

    (a) General. Any agency or Postal Service component that wishes to 
use records from a Postal Service automated system of records in a 
computerized comparison with other postal or non-postal records must 
submit its proposal to the Postal Service Manager Records Office. 
Computer matching programs as defined in paragraph (c) of Sec. 262.5 
must be conducted in accordance with the Privacy Act, implementing 
guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget and these 
regulations. Records may not be exchanged for a matching program until 
all procedural requirements of the Act and these regulations have been 
met. Other matching activities must be conducted in accordance with the 
Privacy Act and with the approval of the Manager, Records Office. See 
paragraph (b)(6) of Sec. 266.4.
    (b) Procedure for submission of matching proposals. A proposal must 
include information required for the matching agreement discussed in 
paragraph (d)(1) of this section. The Inspection Service must submit its 
proposals for matching programs and other matching activities to the 
Postal Service Manager Records Office through: Independent Counsel, 
Inspection Service, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Rm 3417, 
Washington, DC 20260-2181. All other matching proposals, whether from 
postal organizations or other government agencies, must be mailed 
directly to: Manager, Records Office, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant 
Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20260.
    (c) Lead time. Proposals must be submitted to the Postal Service 
Manager Records Office at least 3 months in advance of the anticipated 
starting date to allow time to meet Privacy Act publication and review 
requirements.
    (d) Matching agreements. The participants in a computer matching 
program must enter into a written agreement specifying the terms under 
which the matching program is to be conducted. The Manager, Records 
Office may require similar written agreements for other matching 
activities.
    (1) Content. Agreements must specify:
    (i) The purpose and legal authority for conducting the matching 
program;
    (ii) The justification for the program and the anticipated results, 
including, when appropriate, a specific estimate of any savings in terms 
of expected costs and benefits, in sufficient detail for the Data 
Integrity Board to make an informed decision;
    (iii) A description of the records that are to be matched, including 
the data elements to be used, the number of records, and the approximate 
dates of the matching program;
    (iv) Procedures for providing notice to individuals who supply 
information that the information may be subject to verification through 
computer matching programs;
    (v) Procedures for verifying information produced in a matching 
program and for providing individuals an opportunity to contest the 
findings in accordance with the requirement that an agency may not take 
adverse action against an individual as a result of information produced 
by a matching program until the agency has independently verified the 
information and provided the individual with due process;
    (vi) Procedures for ensuring the administrative, technical, and 
physical security of the records matched; for the retention and timely 
destruction of records created by the matching program; and for the use 
and return or destruction of records used in the program;
    (vii) Prohibitions concerning duplication and redisclosure of 
records exchanged, except where required by law or essential to the 
conduct of the matching program;

[[Page 131]]

    (viii) Assessments of the accuracy of the records to be used in the 
matching program; and
    (ix) A statement that the Comptroller General may have access to all 
records of the participant agencies in order to monitor compliance with 
the agreement.
    (2) Approval. Before the Postal Service may participate in a 
computer matching program or other computer matching activity that 
involves both USPS and non-USPS records, the Data Integrity Board must 
have evaluated the proposed match and approved the terms of the matching 
agreement. To be effective, the matching agreement must receive approval 
by each member of the Board. Votes are collected by the Postal Service 
Manager Records Office. Agreements are signed on behalf of the Board by 
the Chairman. If a matching agreement is disapproved by the Board, any 
party may appeal the disapproval in writing to the Director, Office of 
Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503-0001, within 30 days 
following the Board's written disapproval.
    (3) Effective dates. No matching agreement is effective until 40 
days after the date on which a copy is sent to Congress. The agreement 
remains in effect only as long as necessary to accomplish the specific 
matching purpose, but no longer than 18 months, at which time the 
agreement expires unless extended. The Data Integrity Board may extend 
an agreement for one additional year, without further review, if within 
3 months prior to expiration of the 18-month period it finds that the 
matching program is to be conducted without change, and each party to 
the agreement certifies that the program has been conducted in 
compliance with the matching agreement. Renewal of a continuing matching 
program that has run for the full 30-month period requires a new 
agreement that has received Data Integrity Board approval.

[59 FR 37161, July 21, 1994, as amended at 60 FR 57345, Nov. 15, 1995; 
64 FR 41291, July 30, 1999; 68 FR 56560, Oct. 1, 2003; 69 FR 34935, June 
23, 2004]



PART 267_PROTECTION OF INFORMATION--Table of Contents




Sec.
267.1 Purpose and scope.
267.2 Policy.
267.3 Responsibility.
267.4 Information security standards.
267.5 National Security Information.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 401; Pub. L. 93-579, 88 Stat. 1896.



Sec. 267.1  Purpose and scope.

    This part addresses the protection of information and records in the 
custody of the Postal Service throughout all phases of information flow 
and within all organization components, and includes micromated, manual 
and data processing information.

[40 FR 45726, Oct. 2, 1975]



Sec. 267.2  Policy.

    Consistent with the responsibility of the Postal Service to make its 
official records available to the public to the maximum extent required 
by the public interest, and to ensure the security, confidentiality, and 
integrity of official records containing sensitive or national security 
information, it is the policy of the Postal Service to maintain 
definitive and uniform information security safeguards. These safeguards 
will have as their purpose: (a) Ensuring the effective operation of the 
Postal Service through appropriate controls over critical information, 
and (b) Protecting personal privacy, the public interest, and the 
national security by limiting unauthorized access to both restricted and 
national security information.

[44 FR 51224, Aug. 31, 1979]



Sec. 267.3  Responsibility.

    (a) Chief Postal Inspector and Chief Privacy Officer. The Chief 
Postal Inspector and the Chief Privacy Officer will ensure within their 
respective areas of jurisdiction:
    (1) Postal Service-wide compliance with this policy and related 
standards and procedures; and
    (2) Implementation of remedial action when violations or attempted 
violations of these standards and procedures occur.

[[Page 132]]

    (b) Custodians. All custodians are responsible for insuring that 
information security standards and procedures are followed and that all 
relevant employees participate in the information security awareness 
programs.

[40 FR 45726, Oct. 2, 1975, as amended at 60 FR 57345, Nov. 15, 1995; 68 
FR 56560, Oct. 1, 2003]



Sec. 267.4  Information security standards.

    (a) The Postal Service will operate under a uniform set of 
information security standards which address the following functional 
aspects of information flow and management:
    (1) Information system development,
    (2) Information collection,
    (3) Information handling and processing,
    (4) Information dissemination and disclosure,
    (5) Information storage and destruction,
    (b) Supplementing this list are information security standards 
pertaining to the following administrative areas:
    (1) Personnel selection and training,
    (2) Physical environment protection,
    (3) Contingency planning,
    (4) Information processing or storage system procurement,
    (5) Contractual relationships.

[40 FR 45726, Oct. 2, 1975; 40 FR 48512, Oct. 16, 1975]



Sec. 267.5  National Security Information.

    (a) Purpose and scope. The purpose of this section is to provide 
regulations implementing Executive Order 12356 National Security 
Information (hereinafter referred to as the Executive Order) which deals 
with the protection, handling and classification of national security 
information.
    (b) Definitions. (1) In this section, National Security Information 
means information on the national defense and foreign relations of the 
United States that has been determined under the Executive Order or 
prior Orders to require protection against unauthorized disclosure and 
has been so designated.
    (2) Derivative Classification means the carrying forward of a 
classification from one document to a newly created document that 
contains national security information which is in substance the same as 
information that is currently classified.
    (3) In the Custody of the Postal Service means any national security 
information transmitted to and held by the U.S. Postal Service for the 
information and use of postal officials. (This does not include any 
national security information in the U.S. Mails.)
    (c) Responsibility and authority. (1) The Manager, Payroll 
Accounting and Records, serves as the USPS National Security Information 
Oversight Officer. This officer shall:
    (i) Conduct an active oversight program to ensure that the 
appropriate provisions of these regulations are complied with;
    (ii) Chair a committee composed of the Manager, Payroll Accounting 
and Records; the Chief Postal Inspector (USPS Security Officer); the 
General Counsel; the Executive Assistant to the Postmaster General; and 
the Director, Operating Policies Office; or their designees, with 
authority to act on all suggestions and complaints concerning compliance 
by the Postal Service with the regulations in this part;
    (iii) Ensure that appropriate and prompt corrective action is taken 
whenever a postal employee knowingly, willfully and without 
authorization:
    (A) Discloses national security information properly classified 
under the Executive order, or prior orders,
    (B) Compromises properly classified information through negligence, 
or
    (C) Violates any provisions of these regulations or procedures;
    (iv) Establish, staff, and direct activities for controlling 
documents containing national security information at USPS Headquarters 
and to provide functional direction to the field.
    (v) In conjunction with the USPS Security Officer, prepare and issue 
instructions for the control, protection, and derivative classification 
of national security information in the custody of, and use by, the 
Postal Service. These instructions shall include requirements that:
    (A) A demonstrable need for access to national security information 
is established before requesting the initiation of administrative 
clearance procedures;

[[Page 133]]

    (B) Ensure that the number of people granted access to national 
security information is reduced to and maintained at the minimum number 
consistent with operational requirements and needs;
    (vi) Establish, staff and direct activities for controlling 
documents containing national security information at USPS Headquarters 
and provide functional direction to each Regional Records Control 
Officer;
    (vii) As part of the overall program implementation, develop a 
training program to familiarize appropriate postal employees of the 
requirements for control, protection and classification; and
    (viii) Report to the USPS Security Officer any incidents of possible 
loss or compromise of national security information.
    (2) The USPS Security Officer (the Chief Postal Inspector) shall:
    (i) Provide technical guidance to the Manager, Payroll Accounting 
and Records in implementing the national security information program;
    (ii) Conduct investigations into reported program violations or loss 
or possible compromise of national security information and report any 
actual loss or compromise to the originating agency;
    (iii) Periodically conduct an audit of the USPS national security 
information program;
    (iv) Process requests for sensitive clearances; conduct the 
appropriate investigations and grant or deny a sensitive clearance to 
postal employees having an official ``need to know'' national security 
information; and
    (v) Report to the Attorney General any evidence of possible 
violations of federal criminal law by a USPS employee and of possible 
violations by any other person of those federal criminal laws.
    (3) All postal employees who have access to national security 
information shall:
    (i) Sign a nondisclosure agreement;
    (ii) Be familiar with and follow all Program regulations and 
instructions;
    (iii) Actively protect and be accountable for all national security 
information entrusted to their care;
    (iv) Disclose national security information only to another 
individual who is authorized access;
    (v) Immediately report to the Manager, Payroll Accounting and 
Records and the USPS Security Officer any suspected or actual loss or 
compromise of national security information; and
    (vi) Be subject to administrative sanctions should requirements (ii) 
through (v) not be followed.
    (d) Derivative classification. When applying derivative 
classifications to documents created by the Postal Service, the Postal 
Service shall:
    (1) Respect original classification decisions;
    (2) Verify the information's current level of classification so far 
as practicable before applying the markings; and
    (3) Carry forward to any newly created documents the assigned dates 
or events for declassification or review and any additional authorized 
markings in accordance with section 2 of the Executive order.
    (e) General provisions--(1) Dissemination. National security 
information received by the U.S. Postal Service shall not be further 
disseminated to any other agency without the consent of the originating 
agency.
    (2) Disposal. Classified documents no longer needed by the Postal 
Service shall be either properly destroyed or returned to the 
originating agency.
    (3) Freedom of Information Act or mandatory review requests.
    (i) Requests for classified documents made under the Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA) and mandatory review requests (requests under 
Section 3-501 of the Executive Order for the declassification and 
release of information), including requests by the news media, should be 
submitted to: Manager, Records Office, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant 
Plaza, SW., Washington, DC 20260.
    (ii) In response to an FOIA request or a mandatory review request, 
the Postal Service shall not refuse to confirm the existence or non-
existence of a document, unless the fact of its existence or non-
existence would itself be classifiable.

[[Page 134]]

    (iii) The Postal Service shall forward all FOIA and mandatory review 
requests for national security information in its custody (including 
that within records derivatively classified by the USPS) to the 
originating agency for review unless the agency objects on the grounds 
that its association with the information requires protection. The 
requester shall be notified that:
    (A) The request was referred; and
    (B) The originating agency will provide a direct response.
    (4) Research requests. Requests from historical researchers for 
access to national security information shall be referred to the 
originating agency.

(39 U.S.C. 401 (2), (10), 404(a)(7))

[44 FR 51224, Aug. 31, 1979, as amended at 45 FR 30069, May 7, 1980; 49 
FR 22476, May 30, 1984; 60 FR 57345, 57346, Nov. 15, 1995; 64 FR 41291, 
July 30, 1999; 68 FR 56560, Oct. 1, 2003]



PART 268_PRIVACY OF INFORMATION_EMPLOYEE RULES OF CONDUCT--Table of 
Contents




Sec.
268.1 General principles.
268.2 Consequences of non-compliance.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 401; 5 U.S.C. 552a.



Sec. 268.1  General principles.

    In order to conduct its business, the Postal Service has the need to 
collect various types of personally identifiable information about its 
customers, employees and other individuals. Information of this nature 
has been entrusted to the Postal Service, and employees handling it have 
a legal and ethical obligation to hold it in confidence and to actively 
protect it from uses other than those compatible with the purpose for 
which the information was collected. This obligation is legally imposed 
by the Privacy Act of 1974, which places specific requirements upon all 
Federal agencies, including the Postal Service, and their employees. In 
implementation of these requirements, the following rules of conduct 
apply:
    (a) Except as specifically authorized in Sec. 266.4(b)(2) of this 
chapter, no employee shall disclose, directly or indirectly, the 
contents of any record about another individual to any person or 
organization. Managers are to provide guidance in this regard to all 
employees who must handle such information.
    (b) No employee will maintain a secret system of records about 
individuals. All records systems containing personally identifiable 
information about individuals must be reported to the Manager, Records 
Office.
    (c) All employees shall adhere strictly to the procedures 
established by the U.S. Postal Service to ensure the confidentiality and 
integrity of information about individuals that is collected, maintained 
and used for official Postal Service business. Employees shall be held 
responsible for any violation of these procedures.

[45 FR 44273, July 1, 1980, as amended at 60 FR 57346, Nov. 15, 1995; 68 
FR 56560, Oct. 1, 2003]



Sec. 268.2  Consequences of non-compliance.

    (a) The Privacy Act authorizes any individual, whether or not an 
employee, to bring a civil action in U.S. District Court to obtain 
judicial review of the failure of the Postal Service to comply with the 
requirements of the Act or its implementing regulations. In certain 
instances of willful or intentional non-compliance, the plaintiff may 
recover damages from the Postal Service in the minimum amount of $1,000 
together with costs of the action and attorney fees.
    (b) The Act provides criminal sanctions for individuals, including 
employees, who violate certain of its provisions.
    (1) Any officer or employee who, by virtue of his employment or 
position, has possession of, or access to, official records which 
contain individually identifiable information and who, knowing that 
disclosure of the specific material is prohibited by Postal Service 
regulations, willfully discloses the material to a person or agency not 
entitled to receive it, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not 
more than $5,000.
    (2) Any officer or employee who willfully maintains a system of 
records

[[Page 135]]

without meeting the notice requirements set forth in Postal Service 
regulations shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not more than 
$5,000.
    (3) Any person who knowingly and willfully requests or obtains any 
record concerning another individual from the Postal Service under false 
pretense shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not more than 
$5,000.
    (c) In addition to the criminal sanctions, any employee violating 
any provisions of these rules of conduct is subject to disciplinary 
action which may result in dismissal from the Postal Service.

[40 FR 45726, Oct. 2, 1975]



PART 273_ADMINISTRATION OF PROGRAM FRAUD CIVIL REMEDIES ACT--Table of 
Contents




Sec.
273.1 Purpose.
273.2 Definitions.
273.3 Liability for false claims and statements.
273.4 Non-exclusivity of penalty authority.
273.5 Investigations of alleged violations.
273.6 Evaluation by reviewing official.
273.7 Concurrence of Attorney General.
273.8 Issuance of complaint.
273.9 Collection of civil penalties or assessments.
273.10 Reports.

    Authority: 31 U.S.C. Chapter 38; 39 U.S.C. 401.

    Source: 52 FR 12901, Apr. 20, 1987, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 273.1  Purpose.

    This part establishes procedures for imposing civil penalties and 
assessments under the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act of 1986 (codified 
at 31 U.S.C. 3801-3812) against any person who makes, submits, or 
presents, or causes to be made, submitted, or presented, a false 
fictitious, or fraudulent claim or written statement to the Postal 
Service. Procedures governing the hearing and appeal rights of any 
person alleged to be liable for such penalties and assessments are set 
forth in part 962 of this title.



Sec. 273.2  Definitions.

    (a) Claim means any request, demand, or submission:
    (1) Made to the Postal Service for property, services, or money 
(including money representing grants, loans, insurance, or benefits); or
    (2) Made to a recipient of property, services, or money from the 
Postal Service or to a party to a contract with the Postal Service:
    (i) For property or services if the United States:
    (A) Provided such property or services;
    (B) Provided any portion of the funds for the purchase of such 
property or services; or
    (C) will reimburse such recipient or party for the purchase of such 
property or services; or
    (ii) For the payment of money (including money representing grants, 
loans, insurance or benefits) if the United States:
    (A) Provided any portion of the money requested or demanded; or
    (B) Will reimburse such recipient or party for any portion of the 
money paid on such request or demand; or
    (3) Made to the Postal Service which has the effect of decreasing an 
obligation to pay or account for property, services, or money.
    (b) Complaint refers to the administrative Complaint served by the 
Reviewing Official on a Respondent pursuant to Sec. 273.8.
    (c) Investigating Official refers to the Inspector General of the 
Postal Service or any designee within the United States Office of the 
Inspector General who serves in a position for which the rate of basic 
pay is not less than the minimum rate of basic pay for grade GS-16 under 
the General Schedule.
    (d) Judicial Officer refers to the Judicial Officer or Acting 
Judicial Officer of the United States Postal Service or for purposes 
other than specified in Sec. 962.21 of this title any designee within 
the Judicial Officer Department.
    (e) Knows or has reason to know, for purposes of establishing 
liability under 31 U.S.C. 3802, means that, with respect to a claim or 
statement, although no proof of specific intent to defraud is required, 
a person:

[[Page 136]]

    (1) Has actual knowledge that the claim or statement is false, 
fictitious, or fraudulent;
    (2) Acts in deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the 
claim or statement; or
    (3) Acts in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the claim 
or statement.
    (f) Person refers to any individual, partnership, corporation, 
association, or private organization.
    (g) Postmaster General refers to the Postmaster General of the 
United States or his designee.
    (h) Presiding Officer refers to an Administrative Law Judge 
designated by the Judicial Officer to conduct a hearing authorized by 31 
U.S.C. 3803 in accordance with Part 962 of this title.
    (i) Respondent refers to any person alleged to be liable for civil 
penalty or assessment under 31 U.S.C. 3802.
    (j) Reviewing Official refers to the General Counsel of the Postal 
Service or any designee within the Law Department who serves in a 
position for which the rate of basic pay is not less than the minimum 
rate of basic pay for grade GS-16 under the General Schedule.
    (k) Statement means any representation, certification, affirmation, 
document, record, or accounting or bookkeeping entry made:
    (1) With respect to a claim or to obtain the approval or payment of 
a claim (including relating to eligibility to make a claim); or
    (2) With respect to (including relating to eligibility for)--
    (i) A contract with, or a bid or proposal for a contract with; or
    (ii) A grant, loan, or benefit from, the Postal Service, or any 
State, political subdivision of a State, or other party, if the United 
States Government provides any portion of the money or property under 
such contract or for such grant, loan, or benefit, or if the Government 
will reimburse such State, political subdivision, or party for any 
portion of the money or property under such contract or for such grant, 
loan or benefit.

[52 FR 12901, Apr. 20, 1987, as amended at 56 FR 55825, Oct. 30, 1991; 
67 FR 16024, Apr. 4, 2002]



Sec. 273.3  Liability for false claims and statements.

    Section 3802 of title 31, United States Code, provides for liability 
as follows:
    (a) Claims. (1) Any person who makes, presents, or submits, or 
causes to be made, presented, or submitted, a claim that the person 
knows or has reason to know--
    (i) Is false, fictitious, or fraudulent; or
    (ii) Includes or is supported by any written statement asserting a 
material fact which is false, fictitious, or fraudulent; or
    (iii) Includes or is supported by any written statement that--
    (A) Omits a material fact;
    (B) Is false, fictitious, or fraudulent as a result of such 
omission; and
    (C) Is a statement in which the person making, presenting, or 
submitting such statement has a duty to include such material fact; or
    (iv) Is for payment for the provision of property or services which 
the person has not provided as claimed

Shall be subject to, in addition to any other remedy that may be 
prescribed by law, a civil penalty of not more than $5,500 for each such 
claim.
    (2) Each voucher, invoice, claim form, or other individual request 
or demand for property, services, or money constitutes a separate claim.
    (3) A claim shall be considered made, presented, or submitted to the 
Postal Service, recipient, or party when such claim is actually made to 
an agent, fiscal intermediary, or other entity, including any State or 
political subdivision thereof, acting for or on behalf of the Postal 
Service, recipient, or party.
    (4) Each claim for property, services, or money is subject to the 
civil penalty referred to in paragraph (a)(1) of this section regardless 
of whether such property, service, or money is actually delivered or 
paid.
    (5) If the Government has made payment on a claim, a person subject 
to the civil penalty referred to in paragraph (a)(1) of this section 
shall also be subject to an assessment of not more than twice the amount 
of such claim or twice the amount of that portion thereof that is 
determined to be in violation of paragraph (a)(1) of this section. This 
assessment shall be in lieu of

[[Page 137]]

damages sustained by the United States because of such claim.
    (b) Statements. (1) Any person who makes, presents, or submits, or 
causes to be made, presented, or submitted, a written statement that--
    (i) The person knows or has reason to know--
    (A) Asserts a material fact which is false, fictitious, or 
fraudulent; or
    (B) Is false, fictitious, or fraudulent because it omits a material 
fact that the person making, presenting or submitting such statement had 
a duty to include in such statement; and
    (ii) Contains or is accompanied by an express certification or 
affirmation of the truthfulness and accuracy of the contents of the 
statement.

Shall be subject to, in addition to any other remedy that may be 
prescribed by law, a civil penalty of not more than $5,500 for each such 
statement.
    (2) Each written representation, certification, or affirmation 
constitutes a separate statement.
    (3) A statement shall be considered made, presented, or submitted to 
the Postal Service when such statement is actually made to an agent, 
fiscal intermediary, or other entity, including any State or political 
subdivision thereof, acting for or on behalf of the Postal Service.
    (c) In any case in which it is determined that more than one person 
is liable for making a claim or statement under this section, the civil 
penalty referred to in paragraph (a)(1) of this section may be imposed 
on each such person without regard to the amount of any penalties 
collected or demanded from others.
    (d) In any case in which it is determined that more than one person 
is liable for making a claim under this section on which the Government 
has made payment, an assessment may be imposed against any such person 
or jointly and severally against any combination of such persons. The 
aggregate amount of the assessments collected with respect to such claim 
shall not exceed twice the portion of such claim determined to be in 
violation of paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

[52 FR 12901, Apr. 20, 1987, as amended at 56 FR 55825, Oct. 30, 1991; 
61 FR 55750, Oct. 29, 1996]



Sec. 273.4  Non-exclusivity of penalty authority.

    (a) A determination by the Reviewing Official that there is adequate 
evidence to believe that a person is liable under 31 U.S.C 3802, or a 
final determination that a person is liable under such statute, may 
provide the Postal Service with grounds for commencing any 
administrative or contractual action against such person which is 
authorized by law and which is in addition to any action against such 
person under chapter 38 of title 31, United States Code.
    (b) In the case of an administrative or contractual action to 
suspend or debar any person from eligibility to enter into contracts 
with the Postal Service, a determination referred to in paragraph (a) of 
this section shall not be considered as a conclusive determination of 
such person's responsibility pursuant to Postal Service procurement 
regulations.



Sec. 273.5  Investigations of alleged violations.

    (a) Investigations of allegations of liability under 31 U.S.C. 3802 
shall be conducted by the Investigating Official.
    (b)(1) For purposes of an investigation under this part, the 
Investigating Official may issue a subpoena requiring the production of 
all information, documents, reports, answers, records, accounts, papers, 
and data not otherwise reasonably available to the Postal Service. Any 
subpoena issued by the Investigating Official under this authority shall 
cite 31 U.S.C. 3804(a) as the authority under which it is issued, shall 
be signed by the Investigating Official, and shall command each person 
to whom it is directed to produce the specified documentary material at 
a prescribed time and place.
    (2) In the case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpoena issued 
pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the district courts of the 
United States have jurisdiction to issue an appropriate order for the 
enforcement of such subpoena. Any failure to obey such order of the 
court may be punishable as contempt. In any case in which the Postal 
Service seeks the enforcement of a subpoena under this section,

[[Page 138]]

the Postal Service shall request the Attorney General to petition the 
district court for the district in which the person receiving the 
subpoena resides or conducts business to issue such an order.
    (c) Upon completing an investigation under this part, the 
Investigating Official shall submit to the Reviewing Official a report 
containing the findings and conclusions of his investigation, including:
    (1) A description of the claims or statements for which liability 
under 31 U.S.C. 3802 is alleged;
    (2) A description of any evidence which supports allegations of 
liability under 31 U.S.C. 3802, or where applicable, a description of 
any evidence that tends to support a conclusion that such statute has 
not been violated;
    (3) An estimate of the amount of money or the value of property or 
services allegedly requested or demanded in violation of 31 U.S.C. 3802;
    (4) A statement of any exculpatory or mitigating circumstances which 
may relate to the claims or statements under investigation;
    (5) A statement of the amount of penalties and assessments that, 
considering the information described in paragraphs (c) (3) and (4) of 
this section, the Investigating Official recommends be demanded from the 
person alleged to be liable; and
    (6) An estimate of the prospects of collecting the amount specified 
in paragraph (c)(5) of this section, and any reasons supporting such 
estimate.
    (d) Nothing in these regulations modifies any responsibility of the 
Investigating Official to report violations of criminal law to the 
Attorney General

[52 FR 12901, Apr. 20, 1987, as amended at 56 FR 55825, Oct. 30, 1991]



Sec. 273.6  Evaluation by reviewing official.

    (a) Based upon the investigatory report prepared by the 
Investigating Official, the Reviewing Official shall determine whether 
there is adequate evidence to believe that a person is liable under 31 
U.S.C. 3802, and, if so, whether prosecution would likely result in the 
imposition and collection of civil penalties and applicable assessments.
    (b) If the Reviewing Official determines that a case has merit and 
should be referred to the Judicial Officer for assignment to a Presiding 
Officer, he must first transmit to the Attorney General a written notice 
containing the following information:
    (1) A statement setting forth the Reviewing Official's reasons for 
proposing to refer the case to a Presiding Officer;
    (2) A description of the claims or statements for which liability 
under 31 U.S.C. 3802 is alleged;
    (3) A statement specifying the evidence that supports the 
allegations of liability;
    (4) An estimate of the amount of money or the value of property or 
services allegedly requested or demanded in violation of 31 U.S.C. 3802;
    (5) A statement of any exculpatory or mitigating circumstances which 
may relate to the claims or statements under investigation;
    (6) A statement of the amount of penalties and assessments that, 
considering the factors listed in paragraphs (b)(4) and (5) of this 
section, the Reviewing Official recommends be demanded from the person 
alleged to be liable; and
    (7) A statement that, in the opinion of the Reviewing Official, 
there is a reasonable prospect of collecting the amount specified in 
paragraph (b)(6) of this section and the reasons supporting such 
statement.
    (c) No allegations of liability under 31 U.S.C. 3802 with respect to 
any claim made, presented, or submitted by any person shall be referred 
to the Judicial Officer if the Reviewing Official determines that (1) an 
amount of money in excess of $150,000; or (2) property or service with a 
value in excess of $150,000 is requested or demanded in violation of 
section 3802 in such claim or in a group of related claims which are 
submitted at the time such claim is submitted.



Sec. 273.7  Concurrence of Attorney General.

    (a) The Attorney General is required by 31 U.S.C. 3803(b) to respond 
to the Reviewing Official's written notice described in Sec. 273.6 
within 90 days. The Reviewing Official may refer allegations of 
liability to the Judicial Officer

[[Page 139]]

only if the Attorney General or his designee approves such action in a 
written statement which specifies:
    (1) That the Attorney General or his designee approves the referral 
to the Judicial Officer of the allegations of liability set forth in the 
notice described in Sec. 273.6; and
    (2) That the initiation of a proceeding under the Program Fraud 
Civil Remedies Act is appropriate.
    (b) If at any time after the Attorney General approves the referral 
of a case to the Judicial Officer, the Attorney General or his designee 
transmits to the Postmaster General a written finding that the 
continuation of any proceeding under the Program Fraud Civil Remedies 
Act with respect to a claim or statement may adversely affect any 
pending or potential criminal or civil action related to such claim or 
statement, such proceeding shall be immediately stayed and may be 
resumed only upon written authorization of the Attorney General.



Sec. 273.8  Issuance of complaint.

    (a) If the Attorney General or his designee approves the referral of 
allegations of liability to the Judicial Officer, the Reviewing Official 
shall serve on the Respondent, pursuant to paragraph (b) of this 
section, a Complaint, which:
    (1) Specifies the allegations of liability against the Respondent, 
including the statutory basis for liability;
    (2) Identifies the claims or statements that are the basis for the 
alleged liability, and the reasons why liability allegedly arises from 
such claims or statements;
    (3) Specifies the amount of penalties or assessments the Postal 
Service seeks to impose;
    (4) Informs the Respondent of his right to request an oral hearing 
before, or a decision on the record by, a Presiding Officer concerning 
the allegations of liability and the amount of proposed penalties or 
assessments;
    (5) Informs the Respondent of how to request a hearing described in 
paragraph (a)(4) of this section;
    (6) Includes a copy of the procedures which govern hearings under 
the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act, and which are set forth in part 
962 of this title; and
    (7) Notifies the Respondent that his or her failure to request a 
hearing on the issues raised by the Complaint within 30 days of its 
receipt may result in the imposition of the proposed penalty and 
assessments pursuant to Sec. Sec. 962.4(a) and 962.15(d) of this title.
    (b) Service of a Complaint issued under paragraph (a) of this 
section must be effected by registered or certified mail, return-receipt 
requested, or by personal delivery. In the case of personal service, the 
person making service shall, if possible, secure from the person sought 
to be served, or his or her agent, a written acknowledgment of receipt, 
showing the date and time of such receipt. If the person upon whom 
service is made declines to acknowledge receipt, the person effecting 
service shall execute a statement, indicating the time, place and manner 
of service, which shall constitute evidence of service.

[52 FR 12901, Apr. 20, 1987, as amended at 56 FR 55825, Oct. 30, 1991]



Sec. 273.9  Collection of civil penalties or assessments.

    (a) Any penalty or assessment imposed under the Program Fraud Civil 
Remedies Act may be recovered in a civil action brought by the Attorney 
General. In any such action, no matter that was raised or that could 
have been raised in a hearing conducted under part 962 of this title or 
pursuant to judicial review under 31 U.S.C. 3805 may be raised as a 
defense and the determination of liability and the determination of 
amounts of penalties and assessments shall not be subject to review. A 
civil action to recover a penalty or assessment shall be commenced 
within three years after the date on which the determination of 
liability for such penalty or assessment becomes final.
    (b) The amount of any penalty or assessment which has become final 
may be collected by administrative offset in accordance with 31 U.S.C 
3716, 3807.
    (c) Any penalty or assessment imposed by the Postal Service under 
this part shall be deposited in the Postal Service Fund established by 
section 2003 of title 39.

[[Page 140]]



Sec. 273.10  Reports.

    (a) Not later than October 31 of each year, the Postmaster General 
shall prepare and transmit to the appropriate committees and 
subcommittees of the Congress an annual report summarizing actions taken 
under the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act during the most recent 12-
month period ending the previous September 30.
    (b) The report referred to in paragraph (a) of this section shall 
include the following information for the period covered by the report:
    (1) A summary of matters referred by the Investigating Official to 
the Reviewing Official under this part;
    (2) A summary of matters transmitted to the Attorney General under 
this part;
    (3) A summary of all hearings conducted by a Presiding Officer under 
part 962 of this title, and the results of such hearings; and
    (4) A summary of the actions taken during the reporting period to 
collect any civil penalty or assessment imposed under the Program Fraud 
Civil Remedies Act.



Damage to or Destruction of Firm Mailings--Table of Contents






PART 281_FIRM MAILINGS DAMAGED OR DESTROYED THROUGH TRANSPORTATION 
ACCIDENTS OR CATASTROPHES--Table of Contents




Sec.
281.1 Notification of firm mailers.
281.2 Action required by processing postal officials.
281.3 Postal inspector responsibilities.
281.4 Disclaimer.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 401, 403, and 404.



Sec. 281.1  Notification of firm mailers.

    Whenever bulk firm mail shipments are involved in transportation 
accidents or catastrophes, such as train or highway accidents, fire, 
flood, etc., it will be the responsibility of the sectional center 
director of customer services at the office of mailing to give known 
mailers timely notification of the incident and its effect on their mail 
shipment(s).

[39 FR 20974, June 17, 1974, as amended at 40 FR 2179, Jan. 10, 1975]



Sec. 281.2  Action required by processing postal officials.

    Postal officials processing salvable mail recovered from the scene 
of an accident or catastrophe are responsible for giving timely 
notification of the incident to the sectional center director of 
customer services at the office of mailing. The notification should 
include, but not be limited to:
    (a) The determinable names of the major mailers involved;
    (b) The nature and extent of damage or destruction;
    (c) Anticipated delivery delay; and
    (d) If known, the shipment delivery destination(s).

[39 FR 20974, June 17, 1974, as amended at 40 FR 2179, Jan. 10, 1975]



Sec. 281.3  Postal inspector responsibilities.

    The postal inspector investigating the incident should assure that 
the processing postal officials are fulfilling their notification 
responsibilities on a timely basis. Should the situation arise where no 
postal officials are involved in processing affected mail, then the 
investigating postal inspector will take necessary action to insure that 
appropriate notification is made.

[39 FR 20974, June 17, 1974]



Sec. 281.4  Disclaimer.

    The Postal Service will not be liable in damages for any loss 
occasioned by any failure to notify firm mailers in accordance with this 
part of damage to or destruction of firm mailings.

[39 FR 20974, June 17, 1974]

[[Page 141]]



        SUBCHAPTER E_RESTRICTIONS ON PRIVATE CARRIAGE OF LETTERS





PART 310_ENFORCEMENT OF THE PRIVATE EXPRESS STATUTES--Table of Contents




Sec.
310.1 Definitions.
310.2 Unlawful carriage of letters.
310.3 Exceptions.
310.4 Responsibility of carriers.
310.5 Payment of postage on violation.
310.6 Advisory opinions.
310.7 Amendment of regulations.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 401, 404, 601-606; 18 U.S.C. 1693-1699.

    Source: 39 FR 33211, Sept. 16, 1974, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 310.1  Definitions.

    (a) Letter is a message directed to a specific person or address and 
recorded in or on a tangible object, subject to the following:
    (1) Tangible objects used for letters include, but are not limited 
to, paper (including paper in sheet or card form), recording disks, and 
magnetic tapes. Tangible objects used for letters do not include (i) 
objects the material or shape and design of which make them valuable or 
useful for purposes other than as media for long-distance 
communications, unless they are actually used as media for personal and 
business correspondence, and (ii) outsized, rigid objects not capable of 
enclosure in envelopes, sacks, boxes or other containers commonly used 
to transmit letters or packets of letters.
    (2) Message means any information or intelligence that can be 
recorded as described in paragraph (a)(4) of this section.
    (3) A message is directed to a ``specific person or address'' when, 
for example, it, or the container in which it is carried, singly or with 
other messages, identical or different, is marked for delivery to a 
specific person or place, or is delivered to a specific person or place 
in accordance with a selective delivery plan. Selective delivery plans 
include delivery to particular persons or addresses by use of detached 
address labels or cards; address lists; memorized groups of addresses; 
or ``piggy-backed'' delivery with addressed articles of merchandise, 
publications, or other items. Selective delivery plans do not include 
distributions of materials without written addresses to passersby on a 
particular street corner, or to all residents or randomly selected 
residents of an area. A message bearing the name or address of a 
specific person or place is a letter even if it is intended by the 
sender to be read or otherwise used by some person or persons other than 
or in addition to the addressee.
    (4) Methods by which messages are recorded on tangible objects 
include, but are not limited to, the use of written or printed 
characters, drawing, holes, or orientations of magnetic particles in a 
manner having a predetermined significance.
    (5) Whether a tangible object bears a message is to be determined on 
an objective basis without regard to the intended or actual use made of 
the object sent.
    (6) Identical messages directed to more than one specific person or 
address or separately directed to the same person or address constitute 
separate letters.
    (7) The following are not letters within the meaning of these 
regulations: \1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Several of the items enumerated in this paragraph (a)(7) do not 
self-evidently lie outside of the definition of ``letter''. To the 
extent, however, that there is any question whether these items may 
properly be excluded by definition, the Postal Service has determined by 
adoption of these regulations that the restrictions of the Private 
Express Statutes are suspended pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 601(b).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (i) Telegrams.
    (ii) Checks, drafts, promissory notes, bonds, other negotiable and 
nonnegotiable financial instruments, stock certificates, other 
securities, insurance policies, and title policies when shipped to, 
from, or between financial institutions.
    (A) As used above, checks and drafts include documents intrinsically 
related to and regularly accompanying the

[[Page 142]]

movement of checks or drafts within the banking system. ``Checks'' do 
not include materials accompanying the movement of checks to financial 
institutions from persons who are not financial institutions, or vice 
versa, except such materials as would qualify under Sec. 310.3(a) if 
``checks'' were treated as cargo. Specifically, for example, ``checks'' 
do not include bank statements sent to depositors showing deposits, 
debits, and account balances.
    (B) As used above, financial institutions means:
    (1) As to checks and drafts: banks, savings banks, savings and loan 
institutions, credit unions, and their offices, affiliates, and 
facilities.
    (2) As to other instruments: institutions performing functions 
involving the bulk generation, clearance, and transfer of such 
instruments.
    (iii) Abstracts of title, mortgages and other liens, deeds, leases, 
releases, articles of incorporation, papers filed in lawsuits or formal 
quasi-judicial proceedings, and orders of courts and of quasi-judicial 
bodies.
    (iv) Newspapers and periodicals.
    (v) Books and catalogs consisting of 24 or more bound pages with at 
least 22 printed, and telephone directories. Separate letters of less 
than 24 bound and 22 printed pages bound to other material do not 
qualify for this exclusion. In determining whether separate letters have 
been bound to other material, the following factors will be considered, 
along with any other relevant factors: Whether the parts are visually 
similar; whether the parts were printed and bound together at the same 
time and by the same process; whether the binding serves an important 
purpose and has been a longstanding practice; and whether the same 
individual reads all parts of the bound document. Ordinarily, books and 
catalogs deal with matters of interest to, and are intended for, a 
substantial number of recipients. In addition, books generally contain a 
substantial number of pages. Accordingly, this exclusion will not apply 
when the nature of the message conveyed, the limited numbers of 
published copies and of recipients, the limited number of pages, or 
other relevant factors suggest that it is not appropriate to treat the 
material as a book or catalog. An item distributed privately, or 
privately and by mail, to fewer than 25 separate persons or places will 
generally not be treated as a book or catalog falling within this 
exclusion.
    (vi) Matter sent from a printer, stationer, or similar source, to a 
person ordering such matter for use as his letters. This exclusion 
applies whether or not the printer, stationer, or similar source is 
owned by or affiliated with the person who orders such matter for use as 
his letters.
    (vii) Letters sent to a records storage center exclusively for 
storage, letters sent exclusively for destruction, letters retrieved 
from a records storage center, and letters sent as part of a household 
or business relocation.
    (viii) Tags, labels, stickers, signs or posters the type-size, 
layout or physical characteristics of which indicate they are primarily 
intended to be attached to other objects for reading.
    (ix) Photographic material being sent by a person to a processor and 
processed photographic material being returned from the processor to the 
person sending the material for processing.
    (x) Copy sent from a person to an independent or company-owned 
printer or compositor, or between printers and compositors, and proofs 
or printed matter returned from the printer or compositor to the office 
of the person who initially sent the copy.
    (xi) Sound recordings, films, and packets of identical printed 
letters containing messages all or the overwhelming bulk of which are to 
be disseminated to the public. The ``public'' does not include 
individuals residing at the place of address; individuals employed by 
the organization doing business at the place of address (whether or not 
the actual place of employment is the place of address); individuals who 
are members of an organization, if an organization is located at the 
place of address; or other individuals who, individually or as members 
of a group, are reasonably identifiable to the sender.
    (xii) Computer programs recorded on media suitable for direct input. 
For the conditions under which the Private Express Statutes are 
suspended for data processing materials, see Sec. 320.2.

[[Page 143]]

    (b) Packet means two or more letters, identical or different, or two 
or more packets of letters, under one cover or otherwise bound together. 
As used in these regulations, unless the context otherwise requires, 
``letter'' or ``letters'' includes ``packet'' or ``packets''.
    (c) Person means an individual, corporation, association, 
partnership, governmental agency, or other organization or entity.
    (d) Post routes are routes on which mail is carried by the Postal 
Service, and includes post roads as defined in 39 U.S.C. 5003, as 
follows:
    (1) The waters of the United States, during the time the mail is 
carried thereon;
    (2) Railroads or parts of railroads and air routes in operation;
    (3) Canals, during the time the mail is carried thereon;
    (4) Public roads, highways, and toll roads during the time the mail 
is carried thereon; and
    (5) Letter-carrier routes established for the collection and 
delivery of mail.
    (e) Private carriage, private carrier, and terms of similar import 
used in connection with the Private Express Statutes or these 
regulations mean carriage by anyone other than the Postal Service, 
regardless of any meaning ascribed to similar terms under other bodies 
of law or regulation.
    (f) The Private Express Statutes are set forth in 18 U.S.C. 1693-
1699 and 39 U.S.C. 601-606 (1970).
    (g) The term identical printed letters includes letters that differ 
only in name, address or serial number.

[39 FR 33211, Sept. 16, 1974, as amended at 44 FR 52833, Sept. 11, 1979; 
45 FR 3034, Jan. 16, 1980; 45 FR 59873, Sept. 11, 1980; 48 FR 42354, 
Sept. 27, 1982]



Sec. 310.2  Unlawful carriage of letters.

    (a) It is generally unlawful under the Private Express Statutes for 
any person other than the Postal Service in any manner to send or carry 
a letter on a post route or in any manner to cause or assist such 
activity. Violation may result in injunction, fine or imprisonment or 
both and payment of postage lost as a result of the illegal activity 
(see Sec. 310.5).
    (b) Activity described in paragraph (a) of this section is lawful 
with respect to a letter if:
    (1)(i) The letter is enclosed in an envelope or other suitable 
cover;
    (ii) The amount of postage which would have been charged on the 
letter if it had been sent through the Postal Service is paid by stamps, 
or postage meter stamps, on the cover or by other methods approved by 
the Postal Service;
    (iii) The name and address of the person for whom the letter is 
intended appear on the cover;
    (iv) The cover is so sealed that the letter cannot be taken from it 
without defacing the cover;
    (v) Any stamps on the cover are canceled in ink by the sender; and
    (vi) The date of the letter, or of its transmission or receipt by 
the carrier, is endorsed on the cover in ink by the sender or carrier, 
as appropriate; or
    (2)(i) The activity is in accordance with the terms of a written 
agreement between the shipper or the carrier of the letter and the 
Postal Service. Such an agreement may include some or all of the 
provisions of paragraph (b)(1) of this section, or it may change them, 
but it must:
    (A) Adequately ensure payment of an amount equal to the postage to 
which the Postal Service would have been entitled had the letters been 
carried in the mail;
    (B) Remain in effect for a specified period (subject to renewals); 
and
    (C) Provide for periodic review, audit, and inspection.
    (ii) Possible alternative arrangements may include but are not 
limited to:
    (A) Payment of a fixed sum at specified intervals based on the 
shipper's projected shipment of letters for a given period, as verified 
by the Postal Service; or
    (B) Utilization of a computer record to determine the volume of 
letters shipped during an interval and the applicable postage to be 
remitted to the Postal Service.
    (c) The Postal Service may suspend the operation of any part of 
paragraph (b) of this section where the public interest requires the 
suspension.

[[Page 144]]

    (d) Activity described in paragraph (a) of this section is permitted 
with respect to letters which:
    (1) Relate to some part of the cargo of, or to some article carried 
at the same time by, the conveyance carrying it (see Sec. 310.3(a));
    (2) Are sent by or addressed to the carrier (see Sec. 310.3(b));
    (3) Are conveyed or transmitted without compensation (see Sec. 
310.3(c));
    (4) Are conveyed or transmitted by special messenger employed for 
the particular occasion only, provided that not more than twenty-five 
such letters are conveyed or transmitted by such special messenger (see 
Sec. 310.3(d)); or
    (5) Are carried prior or subsequent to mailing (see Sec. 310.3(e)).

[39 FR 33211, Sept. 16, 1974, as amended at 45 FR 77029, Nov. 21, 1980]



Sec. 310.3  Exceptions.

    (a) Cargo. The sending or carrying of letters is permissible if they 
accompany and relate in all substantial respects to some part of the 
cargo or to the ordering, shipping or delivering of the cargo.
    (b) Letters of the carrier. (1) The sending or carrying of letters 
is permissible if they are sent by or addressed to the person carrying 
them. If the individual actually carrying the letters is not the person 
sending the letters or to whom the letters are addressed, then such 
individual must be an officer or employee of such person (see Sec. 
310.3(b)(2)) and the letters must relate to the current business of such 
person.
    (2) The fact that the individual actually carrying the letters may 
be an officer or employee of the person sending the letters or to whom 
the letters are addressed for certain purposes does not necessarily mean 
that he is an officer or employee for purposes of this exception. The 
following factors bear on qualifications for the exception: the carrying 
employee is employed for a substantial time, if not fulltime (letters 
must not be privately carried by casual employees); the carrying 
employee carries no matter for other senders; the carrying employee is a 
regular salaried employee and shares in all privileges enjoyed by other 
regular employees (including employees not engaged primarily by the 
letter carrying function), including but not limited to salary, annual 
vacation time, absence allowed for illness, health benefits, workmen's 
compensation insurance, and retirement benefits.
    (3) Separately incorporated carriers are separate entities for 
purposes of this exception, regardless of any subsidiary, ownership, or 
leasing arrangement. When, however, two concerns jointly operate an 
enterprise with joint employees and share directly in its revenues and 
expenses, either of the concerns may carry the letters of the joint 
enterprise.
    (c) Private hands without compensation. The sending or carrying of 
letters without compensation is permitted. Compensation generally 
consists of a monetary payment for services rendered. Compensation may 
also consist, however, of non-monetary valuable consideration and of 
good will Thus, for example, when a business relationship exists or is 
sought between the carrier and its user, carriage by the carrier of the 
user's letter will ordinarily not fall under this exception; or, when a 
person is engaged in the transportation of goods or persons for hire, 
his carrying of letters ``free of charge'' for customers whom he does 
charge for the carriage of goods or persons does not fall under this 
exception.
    (d) Special messenger. (1) The use of a special messenger employed 
for the particular occasion only is permissible to transmit letters if 
not more than twenty-five letters are involved. The permission granted 
under this exception is restricted to use of messenger service on an 
infrequent, irregular basis by the sender or addressee of the message.
    (2) A special messenger is a person who, at the request of either 
the sender or the addressee, picks up a letter from the sender's home or 
place of business and carries it to the addressees home or place of 
business, but a messenger or carrier operating regularly between fixed 
points is not a special messenger.
    (e) Carriage prior or subsequent to mailing. (1) The private 
carriage of letters which enter the mail stream at some point between 
their origin and their destination is permissible. Except as provided in 
paragraph (e)(3) of this section, however, the carriage of letters

[[Page 145]]

from a place where they have been opened, read, separated, or otherwise 
utilized, does not fall within this exception even though such letters 
had previously been in the mail stream. Similarly, the carriage of 
letters to a place where they will be consolidated or otherwise utilized 
does not fall within this exception even though they will subsequently 
enter the mail stream.
    (2) Examples of permitted activities are the pickup and carriage of 
letters which are delivered to post offices for mailing; the pickup and 
carriage of letters at post offices for delivery to addressees; and the 
bulk shipment of individually addressed letters ultimately carried by 
the Postal Service.
    (3) The private carriage of letters from branches of an organization 
to a location for preparation for mailing does not constitute a 
consolidation. The private carriage of letters from an organization's 
point of mail delivery to its branches in the locality does not 
constitute a separation.

[39 FR 33211, Sept. 16, 1974, as amended at 44 FR 52834, Sept. 11, 1979; 
45 FR 59873, Sept. 11, 1980]



Sec. 310.4  Responsibility of carriers.

    Private carriers are cautioned to make sure that their carriage of 
matter is lawful within the definition, exceptions, suspension, and 
conditions contained in this part and in part 320 of this chapter. They 
should take reasonable measures to inform their customers of the 
contents of these regulations so that only proper matter is tendered to 
them for carriage. Carriers should desist from carrying any matter when 
the form of shipment, identity of sender or recipient, or any other 
information reasonably accessible to them indicates that matter tendered 
to them for carriage is not proper under these regulations.



Sec. 310.5  Payment of postage on violation.

    (a) Upon discovery of activity made unlawful by the Private Express 
Statutes, the Postal Service may require any person or persons who 
engage in, cause, or assist such activity to pay an amount or amounts 
not exceeding the total postage to which it would have been entitled had 
it carried the letters between their origin and destination.
    (b) The amount equal to postage will be due and payable not later 
than 15 days after receipt of formal demand from the Inspection Service 
or the Chicago Rates and Classification Service Center (RCSC) unless an 
appeal is taken to the Judicial Officer Department in accordance with 
rules of procedure set out in part 959 of this chapter.
    (c) Refusal to pay an unappealed demand or a demand that becomes 
final after appeal will subject the violator to civil suit by the Postal 
Service to collect the amount equal to postage.
    (d) The payment of amounts equal to postage on violation shall in no 
way limit other actions to enforce the Private Express Statutes by civil 
or criminal proceedings.

[39 FR 33211, Sept. 16, 1974, as amended at 69 FR 54006, Sept. 7, 2004]



Sec. 310.6  Advisory opinions.

    An advisory opinion on any question arising under this part and part 
320 of this chapter may be obtained by writing the Senior Counsel, 
Ethics and Information, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW., 
Washington, DC 20260-1127. A numbered series of advisory opinions is 
available for inspection by the public in the Library of the U.S. Postal 
Service, and copies of individual opinions may be obtained upon payment 
of charges for duplicating services.

[69 FR 54006, Sept. 7, 2004]



Sec. 310.7  Amendment of regulations.

    Amendments of the regulations in this part and in part 320 may be 
made only in accordance with the rulemaking provisions of the 
Administrative Procedure Act.

[40 FR 23295, May 29, 1975]



PART 320_SUSPENSION OF THE PRIVATE EXPRESS STATUTES--Table of Contents




Sec.
320.1 Definitions.
320.2 Suspension for certain data processing materials.
320.3 Operations under suspension for certain data processing materials.

[[Page 146]]

320.4 Suspension for certain letters of college and university 
          organizations.
320.5 Suspension for certain international-ocean carrier-related 
          documents.
320.6 Suspension for extremely urgent letters.
320.7 Suspension for advertisements accompanying parcels or periodicals.
320.8 Suspension for international remailing.
320.9 Revocation or amendment of suspensions.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 401, 404, 601-606; 18 U.S.C. 1693-1699.



Sec. 320.1  Definitions.

    The definitions in Sec. 310.1 apply to part 320 as well. \1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Several of the items enumerated in Sec. 310.1(a)(7) do not 
self-evidently lie outside of the definition of ``letter''. To the 
extent, however, that there is any question whether these items may 
properly be excluded by definition, the Postal Service has determined by 
adoption of these regulations that the restrictions of the Private 
Express Statutes are suspended pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 601(b).

[39 FR 33212, Sept. 16, 1974]



Sec. 320.2  Suspension for certain data processing materials.

    (a) The operation of 39 U.S.C. 601(a) (1) through (6) and Sec. 
310.2(b) (1) through (6) of this chapter is suspended on all post routes 
for data processing materials defined in paragraph (c) of this section 
on the terms detailed in paragraph (b) of this section, subject to the 
operating requirements in Sec. 320.3.
    (b) The suspension referred to in paragraph (a) of this section is 
for data processing materials conveyed (1) to a data processing center, 
if carriage is completed within 12 hours or by noon of the addressee's 
next business day and if data processing work is commenced on such 
materials within 36 hours of their receipt at the center; or (2) back 
from the data processing center to the address of the office originating 
the incoming materials, if carriage is completed within 12 hours or by 
noon of the addressee's next business day, and if data processing work 
was commenced on the incoming materials within 36 hours of their receipt 
at the center. For purposes of the time limitations for completion of 
delivery referred to in the preceding sentence, delivery of shipments 
between a domestic point and a foreign point shall be deemed to begin at 
the time materials of foreign origin are received at the international 
gateway city or end at the time materials of domestic origin leave the 
international gateway city. This suspension does not apply to carriages 
from or to originating offices that are neither part of the firm owning 
the data processing center nor data processing customers of the firm 
owning the data processing center.
    (c) For purposes of this suspension, (1) ``addressee's next business 
day'' means the first calendar day, stated in his local time, on which 
he conducts business, following the calendar day of dispatch, stated in 
the sender's local time; (2) ``data processing'' means electro-
mechanical or electronic processing and includes the recording of data 
by electro-mechanical or electronic means for further processing; and 
(3) ``data processing materials'' means materials of all types that are 
sent exclusively for data processing and are ready for immediate data 
processing, but only if they are produced recurringly in the course of 
the normal business operations of the office originating them or 
receiving them back from the processing center. The performance of 
clerical work which is merely preparatory and incidental to the 
commencement of data processing is not, for purposes of this suspension, 
inconsistent with the requirement that the materials be sent exclusively 
for data processing and be ready for immediate data processing.

[44 FR 52834, Sept. 11, 1979]



Sec. 320.3  Operations under suspension for certain data processing 
materials.

    (a) Carriers intending to establish or alter operations based on the 
suspension granted pursuant to Sec. 320.2 shall, as a condition to the 
right to operate under the suspension, notify the National Administrator 
for the Private Express Statutes, U.S. Postal Service, RCSC, 3900 
Gabrielle Lane, Rm. 111, Fox Valley, IL 60597-9599, of their intention 
to establish such operations not later than the beginning of such 
operations. Such notification, on a form available from the office of 
the National Administrator for the Private

[[Page 147]]

Express Statutes, shall include information on the identity and 
authority of the carrier and the scope of its proposed operations.
    (b) Carriers operating under the suspension granted pursuant to 
Sec. 320.2 are responsible for making sure that their carriage of 
matter under the suspension meets all conditions contained in Sec. 
320.2. (See Sec. 310.4.) The containers or covers of any matter carried 
under the suspension must be made available for examination upon request 
by a properly identified representative of the RCSC. Carrier records--
either in the form of notations on the containers or covers of any 
matter carried under the suspension granted pursuant to Sec. 320.2 or 
in the form of records kept by employees of the actual times they make 
delivery or pickup stops--must be sufficient to show that the delivery 
of such matter was completed within the applicable time limitation 
prescribed in Sec. 320.2. The provisions of this paragraph shall not 
restrict the Postal Service in the exercise of search powers conferred 
upon it by law.
    (c) The filing of notifications under this section does not relieve 
the operator of responsibility for assuring that its operations conform 
to applicable statutes and regulations.
    (d) Failure to comply with the notification requirements of this 
section and carriage of material or other action in violation of other 
provisions of this part and of part 310 are grounds for administrative 
revocation of the suspension as to a particular carrier for a period of 
not less than one year, in a proceeding instituted by the General 
Counsel, following a hearing by the Judicial Officer Department in 
accordance with the rules of procedure set out in part 959 of this 
chapter.

    Note: The form referred to in Sec. 320.3 is reproduced below.

Notice of Intent To Establish Operations Under Suspension of the Private 
                          Express Statutes \1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Information relates exclusively to operations under the 
suspension for data processing materials. This form should be used for 
an initial notice of operations and for any amendments to the initial or 
subsequent notices.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (see 39 CFR part 320, suspension of the private express statutes)

                       Private Carriage of Letters

Name of Carrier_________________________________________________________
Address_________________________________________________________________
State of Incorporation__________________________________________________
Geographical Area To Be Served__________________________________________

    1. Designate the specific markets or areas in which operations will 
be conducted.
    2. Describe specifically any authorizations issued by local, state, 
or federal regulatory agencies under which operations will be conducted.

                                                  (Signature of Officer)

                                                        (Name and Title)

    Subscribed and sworn to before me this ---- day of ----------, 197--
--.

                                                           Notary Public

    Seal

My commission expires___________________________________________________

    (Note: False statements contained herein are punishable by law, 18 
U.S.C. 1001.)

[39 FR 33212, Sept. 16, 1974; 39 FR 34533, Sept. 26, 1974, as amended at 
40 FR 23295, May 29, 1975; 44 FR 52835, Sept. 11, 1979; 69 FR 54006, 
Sept. 7, 2004]



Sec. 320.4  Suspension for certain letters of college and university 
organizations.

    The operation of 39 U.S.C. 601(a) (1) through (6) and Sec. 310.2(b) 
(1) through (6) of this chapter is suspended on all post routes to 
permit colleges and universities to carry in their internal mail systems 
the letters of their bona fide student or faculty organizations to 
campus destinations. This suspension does not cover the letters of 
faculty members, students, or organizations other than bona fide student 
or faculty organizations of the carrying college or university. Colleges 
and universities choosing to provide their student or faculty 
organizations access to their internal mail systems are responsible

[[Page 148]]

for assuring that only letters of bona fide student or faculty 
organizations addressed to campus destinations are carried. (See Sec. 
310.4.) For purposes of this suspension, ``internal mail systems'' are 
those which carry letters on, between, and among the various campuses of 
a single college or university and which operate in accordance with the 
Letters of the carrier exception in 39 CFR 310.3(b).

[44 FR 52835, Sept 11, 1979]



Sec. 320.5  Suspension for certain international-ocean carrier-related 
documents.

    The operation of 39 U.S.C. 601(a) (1) through (6) and Sec. 310.2(b) 
(1) through (6) of this chapter is suspended on all post routes for 
documents, sent by a shipper or an ocean carrier from a foreign origin 
to a United States ocean-carrier port city destination or from a United 
States ocean-carrier port city origin to a foreign destination, that 
would be excepted under Sec. 310.3(a) if the documents accompanied the 
cargo. This suspension covers only shipments to or from ports where the 
cargo to which the documents relate is actually loaded on, or unloaded 
from, an ocean vessel. For purposes of this suspension ``foreign 
origins'' or ``foreign destinations'' means origins or destinations 
outside the contiguous 48 states.

[44 FR 52835, Sept 11, 1979]



Sec. 320.6  Suspension for extremely urgent letters.

    (a) The operation of 39 U.S.C. 601(a) (1) through (6) and Sec. 
310.2(b) (1) through (6) of this chapter is suspended on all post routes 
for extremely urgent letters if the conditions of either paragraph (b) 
or (c) of this section, and of the other paragraphs of this section, are 
met.
    (b)(1) For letters dispatched within 50 miles of the intended 
destination, delivery of those dispatched by noon must be completed 
within 6 hours or by the close of the addressee's normal business hours 
that day, whichever is later, and delivery of those dispatched after 
noon and before midnight must be completed by 10 A.M. of the addressee's 
next business day. For other letters, delivery must be completed within 
12 hours or by noon of the addressee's next business day. The suspension 
is available only if the value or usefulness of the letter would be lost 
or greatly diminished if it is not delivered within these time limits. 
For any part of a shipment of letters to qualify under this paragraph 
(b), each of the letters must be extremely urgent.
    (2) Letters sent from the 48 contiguous states of the United States 
to other jurisdictions of the United States or to other nations are 
deemed ``delivered'' when they are in the custody of the international 
or overseas carrier at its last scheduled point of departure from the 48 
contiguous states. Letters sent from other jurisdictions of the United 
States or from other nations into the 48 contiguous states are deemed 
``dispatched'' when they are in the custody of the domestic carrier, 
having been passed by United States Customs, if applicable, at the 
letters' point of arrival in the 48 contiguous states.
    (3) Except as provided in this paragraph (b)(3), the times and time 
limits specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section are not applicable 
to any locations outside the 48 contiguous states. The times and time 
limits specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section are applicable to 
letters dispatched and delivered wholly within Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto 
Rico or a territory or possession of the United States. The regulations 
provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section relating to the delivery 
and dispatch of letters are applicable by analogy to letters shipped 
between these jurisdictions and other nations.
    (c) It will be conclusively presumed that a letter is extremely 
urgent and is covered by the suspension if the amount paid for private 
carriage of the letter is at least three dollars or twice the applicable 
U.S. postage for First-Class Mail (including priority mail) whichever is 
the greater. If a single shipment consists of a number of letters that 
are picked up together at a single origin and delivered together to a 
single destination, the applicable U.S. postage may be computed for 
purposes of this paragraph as though the shipment constituted a single 
letter of the weight of the shipment. If not actually charged on a 
letter-by-letter or

[[Page 149]]

shipment-by-shipment basis, the amount paid may be computed for purposes 
of this paragraph on the basis of the carrier's actual charge divided by 
a bona fide estimate of the average number of letters or shipments 
during the period covered by the carrier's actual charge.
    (d) The sender must prominently mark the outside covers or 
containers of letters carried under this suspension with the words 
``Extremely Urgent'' or ``Private Carriage Authorized by Postal 
Regulations (39 CFR 320.6)'' or with a similar legend identifying the 
letters as carried pursuant to this suspension. In addition, each 
outside container or cover must show the name and address of the 
carrier, and the name and address of the addressee. Carrier records must 
be sufficient to show that the delivery of the letters was completed 
within the applicable time limitations, if carried under the authority 
of paragraph (b) of this section, and must be made available for 
inspection at the request of the Postal Service. The required records 
may be either in the form of notations on the containers or covers of 
any letters asserted to be carried under this suspension, or in the form 
of records kept by employees of the actual times they pick up and 
deliver such materials.
    (e) Violation by a shipper or carrier of the terms of this 
suspension is grounds for administrative revocation of the suspension as 
to such shipper or carrier for a period of one year in a proceeding 
instituted by the General Counsel, following a hearing by the Judicial 
Officer Department in accordance with the rules of procedure set out in 
Part 959 of this chapter. The period of the revocation may be reduced or 
be extended for not to exceed one additional year by the Judicial 
Officer, depending on such mitigating or aggravating factors as the 
extent of the postal revenue lost because of the violation and the 
presence or absence of good faith error or of previous violations. The 
failure of a shipper or carrier to cooperate with an authorized 
inspection or audit conducted by the Postal Inspection Service for the 
purpose of determining compliance with the terms of this suspension 
shall be deemed to create a presumption of a violation for the purpose 
of this paragraph (e) and shall shift to the shipper or carrier the 
burden of establishing the fact of compliance. Revocation of this 
suspension as to a shipper or carrier shall in no way limit other 
actions as to such shipper or carrier to enforce the Private Express 
Statutes by administrative proceedings for collection of postage (see 
Sec. 310.5) or by civil or criminal proceedings.
    (f) The following examples illustrate the application of this 
suspension.

    Example (1). The headquarters of a city police department each night 
compiles a list of the license plate numbers and descriptions of 
automobiles reported stolen within the metropolitan area during the 
previous 24 hours. This list is delivered by 7 a.m. the following day to 
each of the local precinct offices located throughout the city. By 9 
a.m. that day, the list is circulated for use by law enforcement units 
operating from each office. Effective police recovery of stolen vehicles 
depends upon having this information handed out in written form to all 
units on at least a daily basis. The private carriage of these lists 
would qualify under the test set in paragraph (b) of this section.
    Example (2). The same police department headquarters also from time 
to time distributes memoranda advising the local precinct officers on 
departmental policy and vacation schedules, and responding to inquiries 
from the local precinct offices. Nothing substantial turns on whether 
these memoranda arrive by midnight or by 10 a.m. of the next business 
day or whether their transmission takes a day or more longer to 
complete. The private carriage of these memoranda would not qualify 
under the test set out in paragraph (b) of this section.
    Example (3). A health maintenance organization (HMO) operating its 
own hospital, clinics, and medical laboratory daily sends test samples 
and specimens from the HMO's hospital and clinics to its medical 
laboratory in a different location for immediate analysis. In return, 
the HMO laboratory sends to the HMO's hospital and clinics the 
laboratory reports for these samples and specimens on the day the 
reports are completed. The reports are then promptly utilized by the 
hospital and clinics as part of regular diagnostic procedures. The 
private carriage of these reports would qualify under the loss-of-value 
test set out in paragraph (b) of this section.
    Example (4). The same HMO's hospital and clinics send requisitions 
and invoices to the HMO's central office as the need arises for the 
ordering of and payment for goods and services, which are handled 
centrally. Every other Friday, the central office sends to the hospital 
and clinics reports and memoranda

[[Page 150]]

on expenditures for personnel, supplies, utilities, and other goods and 
services. Nothing substantial turns on whether these materials arrive 
the same day or by 10 a.m. of the next business day or whether their 
transmission takes a day or more longer to complete. The private 
carriage of these materials would not qualify under the test set out in 
paragraph (b) of this section.
    Example (5). On Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, the central 
office of a regional grocery store chain sends out to its various stores 
in the area inventory bulletins prepared over the previous 24 hours 
showing the current availability and prices of meat, produce, dairy 
products, breadstuffs, frozen foods and similar items. Early the 
following afternoon, each store must send these inventory bulletins back 
to the central office with a notation of the store's orders to assure 
that the central office can ship sufficient supplies of such items for 
sale by the store on its next business day. The private carriage of 
these bulletins would qualify under the test set out in paragraph (b) of 
this section.
    Example (6). On Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, the central 
office of a different regional grocery chain sends out to its various 
stores in the area inventory bulletins showing the current availability 
and prices of meat, produce, dairy products, breadstuffs, frozen foods 
and similar items. Early in the afternoon of the second day following 
receipt of the bulletins, each store sends the bulletins back to the 
central office so that supplies of such items may be shipped to the 
store four days later. Nothing substantial turns on whether these 
bulletins arrive within 12 hours or by noon of the next business day or 
whether their transmission takes a day or more longer to complete. The 
private carriage of these materials would not qualify under the test set 
out in paragraph (b) of this section.
    Example (7). The headquarters office of a large bank each business 
day prepares and sends to its branch offices lists showing current 
foreign exchange rates and similar information that must be updated and 
distributed to the branches on a daily basis in order for the bank to 
avoid the risk of serious financial loss. Within three hours of their 
receipt by each branch office, these lists are circulated and utilized 
by officials of the branch office in conducting regular banking 
procedures involving the use of such lists. The private carriage of 
these lists would qualify under the test set out in paragraph (b) of 
this section.
    Example (8). The field office of an insurance company daily sends 
the insurance applications it has taken in that day to the company's 
central office. The applications are bound (i.e., constitute evidence of 
insurance) for 30 days, but may be canceled by the company. Few if any 
policies have been canceled by the company within 48 hours of their 
receipt at the central office, though the company normally begins 
processing the applications soon after their receipt. Nothing 
substantial turns on whether these bound applications arrive within 12 
hours or by noon of the next business day or whether their transmission 
takes a day or more longer to complete. The private carriage of these 
materials would not qualify under the test set out in paragraph (b) of 
this section.
    Example (9). An organization of real estate brokers in a community 
issues periodic bulletins containing information about properties which 
have been listed for sale by the constituent brokers. Each broker is 
entitled to show the properties to prospective buyers. In order to 
provide each broker with substantially equal opportunity to secure a 
buyer, it is necessary that the bulletins be delivered on the same day 
and within the shortest time span within that day. The bulletins 
constitute the basic source of information for the brokers and delivery 
in the foregoing manner is a key element in the functioning of the 
brokers. The private carriage of the bulletins would therefore qualify 
under the test set out in paragraph (b) of this section.
    Example (10). The same organization distributes memoranda regarding 
speakers at real estate seminars, sales figures for a given period, and 
other information of significance and interest to real estate brokers 
but which does not affect their competitive positions. A failure to make 
simultaneous or near simultaneous delivery to the brokers, or a failure 
to make delivery within a specified period of time, has no material 
bearing upon the day-to-day operations of the brokers and private 
carriage of these materials would not qualify under the test set out in 
paragraph (b) of this section.

[44 FR 61181, Oct. 24, 1979]



Sec. 320.7  Suspension for advertisements accompanying parcels or 
periodicals.

    (a) The operation of 39 U.S.C. 601(a) (1) through (6) and Sec. 
310.2(b) (1) through (6) of this chapter is suspended on all post routes 
for advertisements enclosed with merchandise in parcels or accompanying 
periodicals under the following circumstances:
    (1) The advertisements must not be marked with the names or 
addresses of the intended recipients.
    (2) The advertisements must be incidental to the shipment of the 
merchandise or the periodical.
    (i) An advertisement is incidental to the shipment of the 
accompanying merchandise or the periodical when the

[[Page 151]]

merchandise or the periodical has been ordered by or would otherwise be 
sent to the recipient even without the accompanying advertisement.
    (ii) Notwithstanding Sec. 320.7(a)(2)(i), an advertisement is not 
incidental to the merchandise when the pertinent circumstances, such as 
the nominal value of the merchandise, its shipment on an unsolicited 
basis, or its status as a sample, reasonably indicate that the shipper's 
primary purpose is the conveyance of the advertisement itself and that 
the merchandise is merely an adjunct to the advertisement.
    (b) An item is an advertisement if its primary purpose is to cause 
or induce the purchase of goods or services from the shipper or others.

[45 FR 59874, Sept. 11, 1980]



Sec. 320.8  Suspension for international remailing.

    (a) The operation of 39 U.S.C. 601(a)(1) through (6) and Sec. 
310.2(b)(1) through (6) of this chapter is suspended on all post routes 
to permit the uninterrupted carriage of letters from a point within the 
United States to a foreign country for deposit in its domestic or 
international mails for delivery to an ultimate destination outside the 
United States.

    Example (1). The letters to overseas customers of commercial firm A 
in Chicago are carried by Carrier B to New York where they are delivered 
to Carrier C for carriage to Europe. Carrier C holds the letters in its 
distribution center overnight, then sorts them by country of destination 
and merges them with letters of other firms to those countries before 
starting the carriage to Europe in the morning. The carriage of firm A's 
letters is not interrupted. The suspension for international remailing 
applies to the carriage by Carrier B and by Carrier C.
    Example (2). The bills addressed to foreign customers of the Chicago 
branch office of commercial firm D are carried by Carrier E to New York 
where they are delivered to the accounting department of firm D's home 
office. The accounting department uses the information in the bills to 
prepare its reports of accounts receivable. The bills are then returned 
to Carrier E which carries them directly to Europe where they are 
entered into the mails of a foreign country. The carriage of the bills 
from Chicago to Europe is interrupted in New York by the delivery to 
firm D's home office. The suspension for international remailing does 
not apply to the carriage from Chicago to New York. It does apply to the 
subsequent carriage from New York to Europe.

    (b) This suspension shall not permit the shipment or carriage of a 
letter or letters out of the mails to any foreign country for subsequent 
delivery to an address within the United States.

    Example (1). A number of promotional letters originated by firm F in 
Los Angeles are carried by Carrier G to Europe for deposit in the mails 
of a foreign country. Some of the letters are addressed to persons in 
Europe, some to persons in the United States. The suspension for 
international remailing does not apply to the letters addressed to 
persons in the United States.

    (c) Violation by a shipper or carrier of the terms of this 
suspension is grounds for administrative revocation of the suspension as 
to such shipper or carrier for a period of one year in a proceeding 
instituted by the General Counsel in accordance with part 959 of this 
chapter. The failure of a shipper or carrier to cooperate with an 
inspection or audit authorized and conducted by the Postal Inspection 
Service for the purpose of determining compliance with the terms of this 
suspension shall be deemed to create a presumption of a violation for 
the purpose of this paragraph (c) and shall shift to the shipper or 
carrier the burden of establishing the fact of compliance. Revocation of 
this suspension as to a shipper or carrier shall in no way limit other 
actions as to such shipper or carrier to enforce the Private Express 
Statutes by administrative proceedings for collection of postage (see 
Sec. 310.5) or by civil or criminal proceedings.

[51 FR 29638, Aug. 20, 1986]



Sec. 320.9  Revocation or amendment of suspensions.

    These suspensions may be revoked or amended in accordance with Sec. 
310.7. No revocation of the suspension provided in Sec. 320.2 will 
curtail operations of particular carriers existing at the time of the 
revocation to a level of operations (in dollar or volume terms, 
whichever is larger) lower than that antedating the revocation in a 
particular market served prior to the revocation. Should the suspension 
referred to in Sec. 320.2 be revoked, carriers, as a condition to

[[Page 152]]

continuing operations under this section, will be required to provide 
reasonably complete and accurate data to support estimates of past 
operating levels in particular markets.

[44 FR 52835, Sept. 11, 1979. Redesignated at 44 FR 61181, Oct. 24, 
1979]

[[Page 153]]



                         SUBCHAPTER F_PERSONNEL





PART 447_RULES OF CONDUCT FOR POSTAL EMPLOYEES--Table of Contents




                 Subpart A_Applicability and Definitions

Sec.
447.11 Applicability.
447.12 Definitions.

                       Subpart B_Employee Conduct

447.21 Prohibited conduct.

    Subpart C_Ethical Conduct Advisory Services and Post-Employment 
                               Activities

447.31 Advisory service.
447.32 Post-employment activities.

                     Subpart D_Political Activities

447.41 General.
447.42 Additional prohibited political activities.
447.43 Investigation and enforcement.

              Subpart E_Participation in Community Affairs

447.51 General.
447.52 Holding of State or local office by Postal Service employees.

             Subpart F_Bribery, Undue Influence, or Coercion

447.61 General.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 401.

    Source: 39 FR 1990, Jan. 16, 1974, unless otherwise noted.



                 Subpart A_Applicability and Definitions

    Source: 60 FR 47243, Sept. 11, 1995, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 447.11  Applicability.

    This part contains rules of conduct for the employees of the Postal 
Service. Employees are required to comply with the regulations in this 
part, and violations of the regulations may be cause for disciplinary 
action. The regulations in this part are in addition to other rules of 
conduct provided by applicable statutes, regulations, or Postal Service 
handbooks and manuals. For applicable rules of ethical conduct, 
employees are referred to the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees 
of the Executive Branch, 5 CFR part 2635, and Postal Service regulations 
supplemental thereto, 5 CFR part 7001.



Sec. 447.12  Definitions.

    The following definitions apply for purposes of this part.
    (a) Postal Service. The United States Postal Service as established 
by 39 U.S.C. 201.
    (b) Employee. An individual appointed to a position, temporary or 
permanent, within the Postal Service, or hired as an executive under an 
employment contract, including a substitute or a special employee as 
defined by 18 U.S.C. 202(a). The term ``employee'' does not include the 
Governors of the Postal Service.



                       Subpart B_Employee Conduct



Sec. 447.21  Prohibited conduct.

    (a) An employee must not engage, either on a paid or unpaid basis, 
in teaching, lecturing, or writing for the purpose of the special 
preparation of a person or class of persons for an examination of the 
Office of Personnel Management or Board of Examiners for the Foreign 
Service, or for appointment in the U.S. Postal Service, when these 
activities are dependent on information obtained as a result of his or 
her employment with the Postal Service, except when that information has 
been made available to the general public, or will be made available on 
request, or when the Postmaster General gives written authorization that 
the use of nonpublic information is in the public interest.
    (b) No employee shall take sick leave to enable himself to engage in 
outside work.
    (c) No employee while acting in his official capacity shall directly 
or indirectly authorize, permit, or participate in any action, event or 
course of conduct which subjects any person to discrimination, or 
results in any person being discriminated against, on the

[[Page 154]]

basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or age.
    (d) No employee shall engage in criminal, dishonest, notoriously 
disgraceful or immoral conduct, or other conduct prejudicial to the 
Postal Service. Conviction of a violation of any criminal statute may be 
grounds for disciplinary action by the Postal Service in addition to any 
other penalty imposed by or pursuant to statute.
    (e) No employee shall habitually use intoxicating beverages to 
excess. No employee shall drink beer, wine, or other intoxicating 
beverages while on duty. No employee shall begin work or return to duty 
while intoxicated. No employee shall drink intoxicating beverages in a 
public place while in uniform. Unless the Postmaster General 
specifically authorizes an exception (as in the case, for example, of an 
official reception) no employee shall have or bring any container of 
beer, wine, or other intoxicating beverage on premises occupied by a 
postal facility, whether or not the container has been opened.
    (f) Illegal use of drugs may be grounds for removal from the Postal 
Service.
    (g) No employee while on property owned or leased by the Postal 
Service or the United States or while on duty, shall participate in any 
gambling activity, including the operation of a gambling device, in 
conducting or acting as an agent for a lottery or pool, in conducting a 
game for money or property, or in selling or purchasing a numbers slip 
or ticket.
    Note: Paragraph (g) of this section does not prohibit participation 
in activities specified herein if participation is necessitated by an 
employee's law enforcement duties, or if participation is in accordance 
with section 3 of Executive Order No. 10927, of March 18, 1961, relating 
to agency-approved solicitations.

[39 FR 1990, Jan. 16, 1974; 39 FR 3677, Jan. 28, 1974, as amended at 48 
FR 48231, Oct. 18, 1983. Redesignated and amended at 60 FR 47244, Sept. 
11, 1995]



    Subpart C_Ethical Conduct Advisory Services and Post-Employment 
                               Activities



Sec. 447.31  Advisory service.

    (a) The Ethical Conduct Officer is responsible for the 
administration of the ethics program of the Postal Service. In the 
exercise of that responsibility, the Ethical Conduct Officer shall 
coordinate the advisory service provided by this section, assure that 
authoritative interpretations of the Standards of Ethical Conduct for 
Employees of the Executive Branch (Standards) and Supplemental Postal 
Service Regulations (Supplemental Regulations) are available to the 
Associate Ethical Conduct Officers, and render final rulings on behalf 
of the Postal Service in appeals by employees from rulings under the 
Standards and Supplemental Regulations made by an agency designee. The 
Ethical Conduct Officer shall provide advice and guidance for the 
Postmaster General and all Associate Ethical Conduct Officers concerning 
questions arising under the Standards and Supplemental Regulations. The 
Ethical Conduct Officer may delegate to an Assistant Ethical Conduct 
Officer authority to perform any duty or function vested in him or her 
by this Section. The General Counsel is the Ethical Conduct Officer of 
the Postal Service and the Designated Agency Ethics Official for 
purposes of the Ethics in Government Act, as amended, and implementing 
regulations of the Office of Government Ethics, including 5 CFR part 
2638.
    (b) The Deputy Postmaster General is the Associate Ethical Conduct 
Officer for the Office of the Postmaster General and the Office of the 
Deputy Postmaster General. The Chief Operating Officer, Senior Vice 
Presidents, Vice Presidents, and such other persons as the Ethical 
Conduct Officer may designate are Associate Ethical Conduct Officers for 
their respective organizational elements. Each Associate Ethical Conduct 
Officer shall designate a suitable employee to coordinate the ethics 
program within his or her organization and to act as liaison with the 
Ethical Conduct Officer. Each Associate may designate other suitable 
employees to assist or act for him or

[[Page 155]]

her and shall ensure that there is an adequate number of Qualified 
Ethics Trainers to comply with the requirements of the annual ethics 
training program.
    (c) The Ethical Conduct Officer and, with his or her approval, 
Associate Ethical Conduct Officers, may delegate to additional persons 
or classes of persons the authority to make determinations, to give 
approval, or to take other action in accordance with the Standards of 
Ethical Conduct, as is contemplated by 5 CFR 2635.102(b), defining 
``agency designee.''
    (d) An employee may obtain advice and guidance on questions of 
conflicts of interest from the Ethical Conduct Officer or the Associate 
Ethical Conduct Officer having appropriate jurisdiction. In order to 
avoid undue interference with established grievance and disciplinary 
procedures, advisory service under this subpart will not normally be 
available in an instance in which a grievance is pending or disciplinary 
action has been initiated.
    (e) An employee may request any ruling provided for by the Standards 
and Supplemental Regulations by submitting a request in writing to the 
Senior Counsel, Ethics, or, in the field, to the Chief Field Counsel or 
Deputy Chief Field Counsel, General Law.
    (f) An employee may appeal to the Ethical Conduct Officer from a 
ruling made by an agency designee concerning matters covered by the 
Standards and Supplemental Regulations within 30 days from the date of 
the ruling. The appeal must be in writing and must contain a full 
statement of the relevant facts. It should be addressed to the Ethical 
Conduct Officer, U.S. Postal Service, Washington, DC 20260, and a copy 
thereof should be sent to the official whose ruling is being appealed.

[60 FR 47244, Sept. 11, 1995]



Sec. 447.32  Post-employment activities.

    (a) Restrictions on the post-employment activities of persons who 
have been employed by the Postal Service are imposed by 18 U.S.C. 207. 
The Ethics Reform Act of 1989 includes amendments to 18 U.S.C. 207, 
which became effective January 1, 1991. Employees who terminated their 
employment prior to January 1, 1991, are subject to the restrictions 
imposed under 18 U.S.C. 207 in effect prior to that date, while all 
other employees are subject to the restrictions imposed under 18 U.S.C. 
207 as amended.
    (b) The Office of Government Ethics has issued regulations, 
contained in 5 CFR part 2637, that implement 18 U.S.C. 207 as in effect 
prior to January 1, 1991. Employees who terminated their employment with 
the Postal Service prior to January 1, 1991, may refer to 5 CFR part 
2637 for guidance concerning applicable post-employment restrictions, 
and further guidance may be obtained in accordance with Sec. 447.31 of 
this part.
    (c) Employees who terminate their postal employment on or after 
January 1, 1991, are subject to 18 U.S.C. 207 as amended. Guidance 
concerning post-employment restrictions applicable to such employees may 
be obtained in accordance with Sec. 447.31 of this part.

[60 FR 47244, Sept. 11, 1995]



                     Subpart D_Political Activities



Sec. 447.41  General.

    (a) Postal Service employees, except those mentioned in paragraph 
(b) of this section, are subject, at all times to restrictions on their 
participation in political activity (5 U.S.C. subchapter III of chapter 
73, and 18 U.S.C. 602, 603, and 607), and to the regulations issued by 
the Office of Personnel Management relating thereto.
    (b) Those Postal Service employees who are employed on an irregular 
or occasional basis; e.g., experts and consultants, substitute rural 
carriers, others on a per diem basis, and without compensation or when 
actually employed employees, are subject to the restrictions mentioned 
in paragraph (a) of this section only while in an active duty status and 
only for the entire 24 hours of any day of actual employment. 
Notwithstanding this paragraph, full-time employees in a leave status 
and part-time employees are fully subject to the restrictions of 
paragraph (a) of this section.

[39 FR 1990, Jan. 16, 1974, as amended at 48 FR 48231, Oct. 18, 1983. 
Redesignated at 60 FR 47245, Sept. 11, 1995]

[[Page 156]]



Sec. 447.42  Additional prohibited political activities.

    (a) In addition to the restrictions on political activities 
mentioned in Sec. 447.51, an employee may not:
    (1) Display a political picture or sticker on property owned or 
leased by the Postal Service. He is not forbidden by this paragraph, 
however, from displaying a picture, including a personally autographed 
picture of a political figure in his office or place of work if it has 
no language in the nature of political campaigning;
    (2) Wear a political badge or button while in uniform or while on 
duty when that duty requires him to deal with the public or be in the 
view of the public;
    (3) Display a political picture or sticker on his private vehicle 
while that vehicle is being used for official postal purposes.

[39 FR 1990, Jan. 16, 1974. Redesignated at 60 FR 47245, Sept. 11, 1995]



Sec. 447.43  Investigation and enforcement.

    The Office of the Special Counsel and the Merit Systems Protection 
Board investigate and adjudicate allegations of political activity in 
violation of the regulations of the Office of Personnel Management by 
Postal Service employees. For jurisdiction in such a case, see 5 CFR 
734.102 and part 1201.

[60 FR 47245, Sept. 11, 1995]



              Subpart E_Participation in Community Affairs



Sec. 447.51  General.

    An employee is permitted to participate in community affairs to the 
extent consistent with the proper performance of his postal duties and 
with applicable laws and regulations. Nothing in this section shall 
prevent an employee from serving as an official of a religious or 
fraternal organization or of a civil nonpolitical organization which is 
supported by dues or contributions from its own members.

[39 FR 1990, Jan. 16, 1974. Redesignated at 60 FR 47245, Sept. 11, 1995]



Sec. 447.52  Holding of State or local office by Postal Service 
employees.

    (a) An employee may seek, accept, or hold a nonpartisan State or 
local office subject to the provisions of this Code and in particular 
this section. A ``nonpartisan'' office is one filled by a ``nonpartisan 
election'', which is an election at which none of the candidates are to 
be nominated or elected as representing a political party any of whose 
candidates for presidential elector received votes in the last preceding 
election at which presidential electors were selected.
    (b) An employee who wishes to seek, accept, or hold a nonpartisan 
State or local office is responsible for ascertaining:
    (1) Whether the office is ``nonpartisan'' within the definition in 
Sec. 447.62(a).
    (2) Whether State or local law permits a Postal Service employee to 
seek, accept, or hold the particular office.
    (3) Whether the duties of the office would result in a conflict with 
his Postal Service employment.
    (4) Whether the discharge of the duties of the office would 
interfere with the performance by the particular employee of his Postal 
Service duties in an acceptable manner or would interfere with the 
performance by other Postal Service employees of their respective duties 
in an acceptable manner.
    (c) An employee is encouraged to seek advice from his Associate 
Ethical Conduct Counselor prior to taking any action to seek, accept, or 
hold a State or local office. If, after the employee has entered upon 
the discharge of the duties of this non-postal office, his non-postal 
duties interfere with the proper discharge of postal duties, either by 
him or by other postal employees, the employee holding the non-postal 
office shall be advised by his superior to eliminate the interference, 
either by resignation from the non-postal office, or in such other 
manner as is appropriate under the circumstances. If the employee fails, 
refuses, or neglects to comply with the foregoing advice and the 
interference continues, he will be subject to disciplinary proceedings.

[[Page 157]]

    (d) Employees, other than postmasters or acting postmasters in a 
salary level of EAS-25 or higher, may be granted permission to campaign 
for a full-time State or local nonpartisan office while on annual leave 
or on authorized leave without pay during the campaign when:
    (1) The criteria in paragraphs (b) (1) and (2) of this section are 
met, and
    (2) The Vice President, Area Operations, determines that the 
employee's postal responsibilities are being conducted in a satisfactory 
manner and that the absence of the employee during the campaign period 
will not disrupt the operation of the facility where he or she is 
employed.

    Note: Requests shall be submitted through the postmaster or other 
installation head to the Vice President, Area Operations. If the 
employee is elected to and takes such a full-time office, he or she may 
either be separated from the Postal Service or granted leave without 
pay.

    (e) A postmaster or acting postmaster in salary level EAS-25 or 
higher shall not be authorized to take annual leave or leave without pay 
for the purpose of campaigning for a full-time State or local 
nonpartisan office.

[39 FR 1990, Jan. 16, 1974, as amended at 48 FR 48231, Oct. 18, 1983. 
Redesignated and amended at 60 FR 47245, Sept. 11, 1995]



             Subpart F_Bribery, Undue Influence, or Coercion



Sec. 447.61  General.

    (a) An employee shall report immediately to the General Counsel, 
U.S. Postal Service, Washington, DC 20260:
    (1) Any instance in which a person either within or outside the 
Postal Service uses or attempts to use a bribe, undue influence, or 
coercion to induce or attempt to induce the employee to act or neglect 
to act in regard to his official responsibilities; and
    (2) Any information that causes him to believe that there has been a 
violation of a Federal criminal statute or any law or regulation 
directly or indirectly related to the responsibilities of the Postal 
Service. A copy of a report made under this paragraph shall also be sent 
by the employee to the Chief Postal Inspector, Washington, DC 20260. The 
report shall be sent in a sealed envelope clearly marked ``Limited 
Official Use--To Be Opened by Addressee Only''.

[39 FR 1990, Jan. 16, 1974. Redesignated at 60 FR 47245, Sept. 11, 1995]



PART 491_GARNISHMENT OF SALARIES OF EMPLOYEES OF THE POSTAL SERVICE AND 
THE POSTAL RATE COMMISSION--Table of Contents




Sec.
491.1 Authorized Agent to receive service.
491.2 Manner of service.
491.3 Sufficient legal form.
491.4 Identification of employees.
491.5 Costs.
491.6 Response to process.
491.7 Release of information.
491.8 Execution of process.
491.9 Restrictions on garnishment.

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5520a; 39 U.S.C. 401; E.O.12897, 59 FR 5517, 3 
CFR, 1994 Comp., p. 858.

    Source: 63 FR 67403, Dec. 7, 1998, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 491.1  Authorized Agent to receive service.

    Notwithstanding the designation, in Sec. 2.2 of this chapter, of 
the General Counsel as agent for the receipt of legal process against 
the Postal Service, the sole agent for service of garnishment process 
directed to the pay of Postal Service employees and employees of the 
Postal Rate Commission (``employees'') is the Manager, Payroll 
Processing Branch, 2825 Lone Oak Parkway, Eagan, MN 55121-9650 
(``Authorized Agent''). The Authorized Agent shall have sole authority 
to receive service of legal process in the nature of garnishment 
(hereinafter sometimes referred to as ``process'') arising under the law 
of any state, territory, or possession, or the order of a court of 
competent jurisdiction of any state, territory, or possession (including 
any order for child support and alimony or bankruptcy). The Authorized 
Agent may not receive or transmit service of process in a private legal 
matter on behalf of an employee. No process shall be effectively served 
until it is received by the Authorized Agent or his designee. No other 
employee shall have the authority to accept service of such

[[Page 158]]

process. Service of process in conformity with Rule 4(i) of the Federal 
Rules of Civil Procedure (28 U.S.C. Appendix) is not waived for any suit 
or action wherein the Postal Service, its officers, or employees are 
parties. Any Order, issued in bankruptcy, for the withholding of sums 
from pay due an employee and which is directed to the Postal Service for 
handling outside the voluntary allotment procedure, is legal process 
subject to the provisions of these regulations.



Sec. 491.2  Manner of service.

    Service of process on the Authorized Agent or his designee may be 
made in person or by certified or registered mail, with return receipt 
requested, at the address of the Authorized Agent. Service may also be 
made on the Authorized Agent by means of any private delivery service 
pursuant to its authority for the private carriage of letters under an 
exception to the Private Express Statutes, 39 U.S.C. 601-606, provided 
that the private delivery organization issues a receipt bearing the name 
and address of both the addressee and sender, as well as the date of 
delivery and the signature of the receiving agent. No garnishment is 
effectively served until it is received by the Authorized Agent or his 
designee regardless of the chosen mode of delivery. Process addressed 
to, delivered to, or in any manner given to any employee, other than the 
Authorized Agent or his designee, may, at the sole discretion of the 
employee, be returned to the issuing court marked ``Not Effectively 
Served.'' A copy of or reference to these regulations may be included. 
Employees are not authorized to redirect or forward garnishment process 
to the Authorized Agent. In the event that the address of the Authorized 
Agent is changed, mail may be forwarded from his last published address 
to his new official address until such time as these regulations are 
amended to reflect the new address.



Sec. 491.3  Sufficient legal form.

    No document purporting to garnish employee wages shall be deemed 
sufficient unless it can be determined from the face of the document 
that it is legal process in the nature of garnishment; that it is issued 
by a court of competent jurisdiction or an authorized official pursuant 
to an order of such a court or pursuant to federal, state or local law, 
evidenced by a signature of the issuing person; and that it contains the 
name of the garnished party, with his or her social security number, 
orders the employing agency to withhold from pay a specific amount of 
money, specifically describes the judgment of debt or administrative 
action complete with statutory citation and contains specific advice as 
to where to send the funds as they are periodically withheld including 
the complete Zip Code (Zip + 4). When there is a suggestion that the 
employee is under the jurisdiction of a bankruptcy proceeding, the 
creditor must provide documentary evidence to prove that his legal 
process is not in violation of the bankruptcy court's jurisdiction 
before the creditor's garnishment may be processed. Documents deficient 
in any of these respects may be returned to the issuing court or 
authorized official inscribed ``Insufficient as to legal form.''



Sec. 491.4  Identification of employees.

    Garnishments must be accompanied by sufficient information to permit 
prompt identification of the employee and the payments involved. 
Garnishment of an employee whose name and social security number is 
similar to but not identical with the name and social security number on 
the garnishment will not be processed. An exact match of both name and 
social security number is required in order to permit processing; 
otherwise, the garnishment will be returned marked ``Insufficient 
identifying information.'' Garnishments which are insufficient in regard 
to identifying information will not be held pending receipt of further 
information and must be served again when the proper information is 
obtained.



Sec. 491.5  Costs.

    The Postal Service's administrative costs in executing the 
garnishment action shall be added to each garnishment and the costs 
recovered shall be retained as offsetting collections. The Postal 
Service reserves the right to redetermine the administrative cost of

[[Page 159]]

any garnishment if, in administering any garnishment, extra costs beyond 
those normally encountered are incurred, and add the extra cost to each 
garnishment. The extra costs recovered shall be retained as offsetting 
collections.



Sec. 491.6  Response to process.

    (a) Within fifteen days after receipt of process that is sufficient 
for legal form and contains sufficient information to identify the 
employee, the Authorized Agent shall send written notice that 
garnishment process has been served, together with a copy thereof, to 
the affected employee at his or her duty station or last known address. 
The Authorized Agent shall respond, in writing, to the garnishment or 
interrogatories within thirty days of receipt of process. The Authorized 
Agent may respond within a longer period of time as may be prescribed by 
applicable state Law. Neither the Authorized Agent nor any employee 
shall be required to respond in person to any garnishment served 
according to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 5520a and the regulations in 
this section. A sufficient response to legal process shall consist of 
any action of the Postal Service consistent with these regulations. The 
action shall be considered to be given under penalty of perjury and 
shall constitute a legally sufficient answer to any garnishment. The 
Postal Service may, in its sole discretion, answer or otherwise respond 
to documents purporting to be legal process which are insufficient as to 
the manner of service, insufficient as to the identification of the 
employee, insufficient as to legal form or insufficient for any other 
reason.
    (b) The requirements of paragraph (a) of this section are 
illustrated by the following example:

    Example: Each periodic check with the accompanying Financial 
Institution Statement shall be considered to be a legally sufficient 
answer. Where legal process has been processed but no money was 
deducted, (for the reason of insufficient pay, prior garnishment in 
force, etc.) the mailing label or other written response shall be a 
sufficient answer. Where the Postal Service sends a check or mailing 
label, no further action will be required (such as a cumulative report 
or notarized statement.) Documents which are defective with respect to 
service, lack of legal sufficiency, failure to properly identify the 
employee, or other reason, do not require a response or an answer but if 
the Postal Service chooses to act in any way, such as to return the 
document, that act shall be a sufficient answer.



Sec. 491.7  Release of information.

    (a) No employee whose duties include responding to interrogatories 
to garnishments shall release information in response to a garnishment 
until it is determined that sufficient information, as required in Sec. 
491.4, has been received in writing as part of the garnishment legal 
process. The Authorized Agent may, at his or her sole discretion, accept 
or initiate telephone or telefax inquiries concerning garnishments. No 
other employee may release any information about employees except in 
conformity with the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, and the 
regulations in 39 CFR Part 266, ``Privacy of Information.''
    (b) The Authorized Agent's response to legal process is sufficient 
if it contains only that information not otherwise protected from 
release by any federal statute including the Privacy Act. Neither the 
Postal Service nor the Postal Rate Commission shall be required to 
provide formal answers to interrogatories received prior to the receipt 
of legal process. Employment verification may be obtained by accessing 
the Postal Service's employment verification system by dialing 1-(800) 
276-9850.



Sec. 491.8  Execution of process.

    (a) All legal process in the nature of garnishment shall be date and 
time stamped by the Authorized Agent when received for the purpose of 
determining the order of receipt of process which is sufficient as to 
legal form and contains sufficient information for identification of the 
employee, the Authorized Agent's date and time stamp shall be conclusive 
evidence. Child support and alimony garnishments will be accorded 
priority over commercial garnishments under 5 U.S.C. 5520a as provided 
in 5 U.S.C. 5520a(h)(2). Garnishments shall be executed provided that 
the pay cycle is open for input or, if closed, will be held until the 
next cycle. In no event shall the Postal Service be required to

[[Page 160]]

vary its normal pay or disbursement cycles in order to comply with legal 
process of any kind. Garnishments shall be recalculated, if required, to 
fit within the normal postal pay cycles. The Postal Service shall not be 
required to withhold pay and hold the funds in escrow. The Postal 
Service, in its sole discretion, may process more than one garnishment 
at a time within the restrictions on garnishments in Section 491.9 of 
these regulations. The Postal Service may, in its sole discretion, 
accept and hold for processing garnishments received after the 
garnishment currently in force.
    (b) The Postal Service will only accept and effectuate legal process 
for a person who is currently employed. Upon cessation of employment, 
process relating to that individual will be terminated and not retained. 
The Postal Service shall not be required to establish an escrow account 
to comply with legal process even if the applicable law of the 
jurisdiction requires private employers to do so. Legal process must 
state on its face that the Postal Service withhold up to a specific 
total amount of money, the Postal Service will not calculate interest, 
charges, or any variable in processing a garnishment. The Postal Service 
may continue processing a garnishment if the garnishing attorney 
provides the adjusted total including the additional money owed, as 
determined from his calculation of the variable amounts. The attorney is 
deemed to certify on his professional responsibility that the 
calculations are correct and will indemnify the employee directly for 
any errors. All garnishments of periodic pay may be effectuated in 
accordance with the bi-weekly pay schedule. The Postal Service need not 
vary its pay and disbursement cycles to accommodate withholding on any 
other cycle.
    (c) Neither the Postal Service, the Postal Rate Commission nor any 
disbursing officer shall be liable for any payment made from moneys due 
from, or payable by the Postal Service or the Postal Rate Commission to 
any individual pursuant to legal process regular on its face.
    (d) The Postal Service, the Postal Rate Commission, any disbursing 
officer or any other employee shall not be liable to pay money damages 
for failure to comply with legal process.



Sec. 491.9  Restrictions on garnishment.

    Garnishments under this section shall be subject to the restrictions 
in 15 U.S.C. 1671-1677, including limits on the amounts which can be 
withheld from an employee's pay and the priority of garnishments.

[[Page 161]]



                      SUBCHAPTER G_POSTAGE PROGRAMS





PART 501_AUTHORIZATION TO MANUFACTURE AND DISTRIBUTE POSTAGE METERS
--Table of Contents




Sec.
501.1 Postage evidencing system/infrastructure authorization.
501.2 Manufacturer qualification.
501.3 Changes in ownership or control, bankruptcy, or insolvency.
501.4 Burden of proof standard.
501.5 Suspension and revocation of authorization.
501.6 Specifications.
501.7 Test plans.
501.8 Submission of each model.
501.9 Security testing.
501.10 Meter approval.
501.11 Conditions for approval.
501.12 Suspension and revocation of approval.
501.13 Reporting and Communications.
501.14 Administrative sanction on reporting.
501.15 Materials and workmanship.
501.16 Breakdown and endurance testing.
501.17 Protection of printing dies and keys.
501.18 Secure destruction.
501.19 Destruction of meter stamps.
501.20 Inspection of new and rebuilt meters.
501.21 Keys and setting equipment.
501.22 Inventory control.
501.23 Distribution controls.
501.24 Administrative sanction.
501.25 Meter replacement.
501.26 Inspection of meters in use.
501.27 Meters not located.
501.28 Protection and control of internal and security components.
501.29 Computerized remote postage meter resetting.
501.30 Licensee information.

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a); 39 U.S.C. 101, 401, 403, 404, 410, 2601, 
2605; Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended (Pub. L. 95-452, as 
amended), 5 U.S.C. App. 3.

    Source: 60 FR 30726, June 9, 1995, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 501.1  Postage evidencing system/infrastructure authorization.

    (a) Postage evidencing systems produce evidence of prepayment of 
U.S. postage by any method other than postage stamps or permit imprint. 
They include but are not limited to postage meters and PC Postage 
[reg] systems. The Postal Service considers the 
infrastructure associated with such systems to be essential to the 
exercise of its specific powers to prescribe postage and provide 
evidence of payment of postage under 39 U.S.C. 404(a)(2) and (4).
    (b) Due to the potential for adverse impact upon Postal Service 
revenue, the following activities may not be engaged in by any person or 
concern without prior, written approval of the Postal Service:
    (1) Producing or distributing any postage evidencing system that 
generates U.S. postage.
    (2) Repairing, distributing, refurbishing, remanufacturing, or 
destroying any component of a postage evidencing system that accounts 
for or authorizes the printing of U.S. postage.
    (3) Owning or operating an infrastructure that maintains operating 
data for the production of U.S. postage, or accounts for U.S. postage 
purchased for distribution through a postage evidencing system.
    (4) Owning or operating an infrastructure that maintains operating 
data that is used to facilitate licensing or registration with the 
Postal Service of users of a postage evidencing system.
    (c) Any person or entity seeking authorization to perform any 
activity described in paragraph (b) of this section must submit a 
request to the Postal Service in person or in writing.
    (d) Approval shall be based upon satisfactory evidence of the 
applicant's integrity and financial responsibility, and commitment to 
the security of the postage evidencing system, and a determination that 
disclosure to the applicant of the Postal Service customer, financial, 
or other data of a commercial nature necessary to perform the function 
for which approval is sought would be appropriate and consistent with 
good business practices within the meaning of 39 U.S.C. 410 (c)(2). The 
Postal Service may condition its approval on the agreement to 
undertakings by the applicant that would give the Postal Service 
appropriate assurance of the applicant's ability to meet its obligations 
under this section,

[[Page 162]]

including but not limited to the method and manner of performing certain 
financial, security, and servicing functions and the need to maintain 
sufficient financial reserves to guarantee uninterrupted performance of 
not less than 3 months of operation.
    (e) Qualification and approval may be based upon conditions agreed 
to by the Postal Service and the applicant. The applicant is approved in 
writing to engage in the function(s) for which authorization was sought 
and approved.
    (f) The Postal Service functional area charged with administering 
authorization as described in this part 501 is the Postage Technology 
Management program office. All submissions cited throughout all sections 
of 39 CFR part 501 are to be made to this office in person or via U.S. 
mail to 1735 N. Lynn Street Room 5011, Rosslyn, VA 22209-6370 or via fax 
to 703-292-4073. Inquiries may be made via telephone to 703-292-3691, 
and information updates may be found on the U.S. Postal Service Web page 
at www.usps.com/postagesolutions/flash.htm.

[69 FR 60090, Oct. 7, 2004; 69 FR 61085, Oct. 14, 2004, as amended at 69 
FR 67508, Nov. 18, 2004]



Sec. 501.2  Manufacturer qualification.

    Any concern wanting authorization to manufacture and/or lease 
postage meters for use by licensees under Domestic Mail Manual P030 
must:
    (a) Satisfy the Postal Service of its integrity and financial 
responsibility;
    (b) Obtain approval of at least one meter model incorporating all 
the features and safeguards specified in Sec. 501.6;
    (c) Have, or establish, and keep under its supervision and control, 
adequate production facilities suitable to carry out the provisions of 
Sec. Sec. 501.15 through 501.21 to the satisfaction of the Postal 
Service. The production facilities must be subject to unannounced 
inspection by representatives of the Postal Service. If the provider's 
production facilities are located outside the continental United States, 
the provider will be responsible for all reasonable and necessary 
travel-related costs incurred by the Postal Service to conduct the 
inspections. Travel-related costs are determined in accordance with 
Postal Service Handbook F-15, Travel and Relocation. At its discretion, 
the Postal Service may continue to fund routine inspections outside the 
continental United States as it has in the past, provided the costs are 
not associated with particular security issues related to a 
manufacturer's product, or with the start-up or implementation of a new 
plant or of a new or substantially changed manufacturing process.
    (1) When conducting an inspection outside the continental United 
States, the Postal Service will make every effort to combine the 
inspection with other inspections in the same general geographic area in 
order to enable affected manufacturers to share the costs. The Postal 
Service team conducting such inspections will be limited to the minimum 
number necessary to conduct the inspection. All air travel will be 
contracted for at the rates for official government business, when 
available, under such rules respecting class of travel as apply to those 
Postal Service representatives inspecting the facility at the time the 
travel occurs.
    (2) If political or other impediments prevent the Postal Service 
from conducting security evaluations of meter manufacturing facilities 
in foreign countries, Postal Service approval to distribute meters 
produced in those facilities may be suspended until such time as 
satisfactory inspections may be conducted.
    (d) Have, or establish, and keep under its active supervision and 
control adequate facilities for the control, distribution, and 
maintenance of meters and their replacement or secure disposal or 
destruction when necessary.

[60 FR 30726, June 9, 1995, as amended at 67 FR 69479, Nov. 18, 2002; 67 
FR 71843, Dec. 3, 2002]



Sec. 501.3  Changes in ownership or control, bankruptcy, or insolvency.

    (a) Any person or entity authorized under Sec. 501.1 must promptly 
notify the Postal Service when it has a reasonable expectation that 
there may be a change in its ownership or control including changes in 
the ownership of an affiliate which exercises control over its postage 
evidencing system operations in the United States. A change of ownership 
or control within the meaning of this section includes entry

[[Page 163]]

into a strategic alliance or other agreement whereby the third party has 
access to data related to the security of the system or the third party 
is a competitor to the Postal Service. Any person or entity seeking to 
acquire ownership or control of a person or entity authorized under 
Sec. 501.1 must provide the Postal Service satisfactory evidence that 
it satisfies the conditions for approval stated in Sec. 501.1. Early 
notification of a proposed change in ownership or control will 
facilitate expeditious review of an application to acquire ownership or 
control under this section.
    (b) Any person or entity authorized under Sec. 501.1 must promptly 
notify the Postal Service when it has a reasonable expectation that 
there may be a change in the status of its financial condition either 
through bankruptcy, insolvency, assignment for the benefit of creditors, 
or other similar financial action. Any person or entity authorized under 
Sec. 501.1 who experiences a change in the status of its financial 
condition may, at the discretion of the Postal Service, have its 
authorization under Sec. 501.1 modified or terminated.

[69 FR 60091, Oct. 7, 2004]



Sec. 501.4  Burden of proof standard.

    The burden of proof is on the Postal Service in adjudications of 
suspension and revocation under Sec. Sec. 501.5 and 501.12 and 
administrative sanctions under Sec. Sec. 501.14 and 501.23. Except as 
otherwise indicated in those sections, the standard of proof shall be 
the preponderance-of-evidence standard.



Sec. 501.5  Suspension and revocation of authorization.

    (a) The Postal Service may suspend and/or revoke authorization to 
manufacture and/or distribute any or all of a manufacturer's postage 
meters if the manufacturer engages in any unlawful scheme or enterprise, 
fails to comply with any provision in this part 501, or fails to 
implement instructions issued in accordance with any final decision 
issued by the Postal Service within its authority over the meter 
program.
    (b) The decision to suspend or revoke a manufacturer's authorization 
shall be based on the nature and circumstances of the violation (whether 
the violation was willful, whether the manufacturer voluntarily admitted 
to the violation, whether the manufacturer cooperated with the Postal 
Service, whether the manufacturer implemented successful remedial 
measures) and on the manufacturer's performance history. Before 
determining whether a manufacturer's authorization to manufacture and/or 
distribute meters should be revoked, the procedures in paragraph (c) of 
this section shall be followed.
    (c) Suspension in all cases shall be as follows:
    (1) Upon determination by the Postal Service that a manufacturer is 
in violation of the provisions in this part 501, the Postal Service 
shall issue a written notice of proposed suspension citing deficiencies 
for which suspension of authorization to manufacture and/or distribute a 
specific meter or class of meters may be imposed under paragraph (c)(2) 
of this section. Except in cases of willful violation, the manufacturer 
shall be given an opportunity to correct deficiencies and achieve 
compliance with all requirements within a time limit corresponding to 
the potential risk to postal revenue.
    (2) In cases of willful violation, or if the Postal Service 
determines that the manufacturer has failed to correct cited 
deficiencies within the specified time limit, the Postal Service shall 
issue a written notice setting forth the facts and reasons for the 
decision to suspend and the effective date if a written defense is not 
presented as provided in paragraph (d) of this section.
    (3) If, upon consideration of the defense as provided in paragraph 
(e) of this section, the Postal Service deems that the suspension is 
warranted, the suspension shall remain in effect for up to 90 days 
unless withdrawn by the Postal Service, as provided in paragraph 
(c)(4)(iii) of this section.
    (4) At the end of the 90-day suspension, the Postal Service may:
    (i) Extend the suspension in order to allow more time for 
investigation or to allow the manufacturer to correct the problem;
    (ii) Make a determination to revoke authorization to manufacture 
and/or distribute the manufacturer's meters in part or in whole; or

[[Page 164]]

    (iii) Withdraw the suspension based on identification and 
implementation of a satisfactory solution to the problem. Manufacturer 
suspensions may be withdrawn before the end of the 90-day period if the 
Postal Service determines that the manufacturer's solution and 
implementation are satisfactory.
    (d) The manufacturer may present the Postal Service with a written 
defense to any suspension or revocation determination within 30 calendar 
days of receiving the written notice (unless a shorter period is deemed 
necessary). The defense must include all supporting evidence and state 
with specificity the reasons for which the order should not be imposed.
    (e) After receipt and consideration of the defense, the Postal 
Service shall advise the manufacturer of the decision and the facts and 
reasons for it. The decision shall be effective on receipt unless it 
provides otherwise. The decision shall also advise the manufacturer that 
it may appeal that determination within 30 calendar days of receiving 
written notice (unless a shorter time frame is deemed necessary), as 
specified therein. The appeal must include all supporting evidence and 
state with specificity the reasons the manufacturer believes that the 
decision is erroneous.
    (f) An order or final decision under this section does not preclude 
any other criminal or civil statutory, common law, or administrative 
remedy that is available by law to the Postal Service, the United 
States, or any other person or concern.



Sec. 501.6  Specifications.

    Postage meters must incorporate all the following features and 
safeguards:
    (a) A postage meter is the postage printing die and postage 
registering mechanism of a mailing machine. It may be integral with the 
mailing machine or separable. In either case, the licensee must be able 
to take the meter to the post office for setting or examination.
    (b) A meter may be capable of printing one denomination of postage 
and registering the number of such impressions made (single 
denomination), or it may be capable of printing varying denominations 
and registering either multiples of the smallest unit printed 
(multidenomination) or the currency value of the impressions made 
(omnidenomination). The printing die or dies, counters, and 
counteractuating mechanism must be inseparable from the meter, except by 
the manufacturer.
    (c) In each meter, there must be two accurate and dependable 
counting devices: one ascending and registering the total imprinted, the 
other descending and registering the unused postage balance. The 
descending register must actuate a locking mechanism that prevents 
further operation of the meter after the register descends to zero or an 
amount less than the largest denomination printable in one operation. In 
electronic meters, the locking device must prevent printing if the 
amount to be printed reduces the descending register to less than zero. 
The construction of the descending register must allow the post office 
to set any amount of postage or number of impressions within its 
capacity, prepaid by the licensee.
    (d) The entire meter must be encased in a substantial housing to 
which unauthorized access cannot be gained without creating obvious 
damage. The descending register must be accessible to the post office by 
a door equipped with a suitable lock and with provision for a post 
office seal. The requirement that accessibility to the descending 
register be restricted does not apply to Computerized Remote Postage 
Meter Resetting System electronic meters that have no access to the 
descending register of the meter. Descending registers on this type of 
meter are reset electronically by coded input only. The ascending 
register and all other components must be so shielded as not to be 
accessible even when the door is open. The readings of both registers 
must be easily obtainable at any time between operations, by visibility 
through closed windows, by imprint on tape or card, or by a combination 
of the two methods. The construction of the housing must make it 
impossible to alter the readings of the ascending register except by 
normal operation or impossible to gain access to the internal 
components, except for setting the descending register under Sec. 
501.20(c), without mutilation.

[[Page 165]]

    (e) The printing die must either conform in design to one already in 
use or be approved by the Postal Service. The die must include the 
serial number of the meter and identification of the manufacturer, and 
the die must be so constructed or shielded that it is not practically 
possible without proper registration in the ascending and descending 
register to obtain imprints fraudulently. The die must be attached to 
the meter in a manner (such as with breakoff screws) that it is not 
practicable to remove or replace the die fraudulently.
    (f) The meter die must include a postmark to print the name of the 
city and state from which mail is dispatched and the date of mailing, 
except as specified by the Postal Service. Information that must appear 
in the meter postmark and the location of that postmark must be as 
specified by the Postal Service.
    (g) A meter may be designed to print a meter slogan or ad plate to 
the left of, and next to, the postmark. The size and position of a meter 
slogan or ad plate must not interfere with or obscure the meter stamp or 
postmark, and it must be possible to install the plate easily without 
exposing the meter stamp die. Plates must be made of suitable, durable 
material that does not soften or disintegrate while in use. Plates must 
be well-fitted and so securely fastened to the printing mechanism that 
they do not become loose or detached or otherwise interfere with proper 
operation of a meter.
    (h) The entire meter must be of sufficiently solid, substantial, and 
dependable construction that protects the Postal Service amply against 
loss of revenue from fraud, manipulation, misoperation, or breakdown.
    (i) In addition to the features and safeguards above, electronic 
meters must:
    (1) Have either nonvolatile ascending and descending registers or a 
solid-state memory that stores the data for the ascending and descending 
registers. Solid-state memories that rely on applied voltage for memory 
retention must be powered by batteries with a minimum support life of 5 
years from the date of battery renewal with no external power applied 
and with sufficient redundancy to be self-checking.
    (2) Be able to display the amounts in both the ascending and the 
descending registers (not necessarily at the same time).
    (3) Be able to display, free from accidental changes, the next 
amount of postage to be printed.
    (4) Be resettable by Postal Service employees, preferably without 
customized equipment.
    (5) Contain a fault-detection device for computational security that 
automatically locks out the meter and prevents printing of additional 
postage in the event of malfunction.
    (6) Meet Postal Service test specifications in United States Postal 
Service Specification, Postage Meters, Electronic, Postal Service-M-942 
(RDC). Persons wanting to manufacture electronic meters may obtain a 
copy of this Postal Service test specification from Postal Service 
Headquarters.
    (j) Auxiliary equipment required for the operation of the meters 
must be part of the final production models submitted for Postal Service 
approval. Failure of the auxiliary equipment, which could cause 
malfunction in meter operation, is considered the same as a meter 
failure.



Sec. 501.7  Test plans.

    To receive Postal Service approval, a postage meter must be tested. 
Manufacturers of electronic meters must submit a detailed test plan to 
the Postal Service for approval at least 60 days before conducting the 
tests. The test plan must include tests that, if passed by a meter, 
prove compliance by the meter with all postal requirements. The test 
plan must list the parameters to be tested, test equipment, procedures, 
test sample sizes, and test data formats. Also, the plan must include 
detailed descriptions, specifications, design drawings, schematic 
diagrams, and explanations of the purposes of all special test equipment 
and nonstandard or noncommercial instrumentation.

[[Page 166]]



Sec. 501.8  Submission of each model.

    Each meter model proposed for manufacture must be approved by the 
Postal Service after testing at the manufacturer's expense. A 
preliminary working model that meets the specifications in Sec. 501.6 
may be submitted for tentative approval. No meter of any model may be 
distributed or used for postage payment until a complete unit made to 
production drawings and specifications is submitted, tested, and 
approved, unless authorized for preliminary field testing.



Sec. 501.9  Security testing.

    The Postal Service reserves the right to require or conduct 
additional examination and testing at any time, without cause, of any 
meter submitted to the Postal Service for approval or approved by the 
Postal Service for manufacture and distribution.



Sec. 501.10  Meter approval.

    As provided in Sec. 501.13, the manufacturer has a duty to report 
security weaknesses to the Postal Service to ensure that each meter 
model and every meter in service protects the Postal Service against 
loss of revenue at all times. A grant of approval of a model does not 
constitute an irrevocable determination that the Postal Service is 
satisfied with the revenue-protection capabilities of the model. After 
approval is granted to manufacture and distribute a meter, no change 
affecting the basic features or safeguards of a meter may be made except 
as authorized or ordered by the Postal Service in writing.



Sec. 501.11  Conditions for approval.

    (a) The Postal Service may require, and reserves future rights to 
require, that production models of approved meters be deposited with the 
Postal Service.
    (b) The manufacturer must provide copies of resetting and inspection 
media to each licensing post office before distribution. The contents of 
the media must explain how the meter is reset and describe any special 
or unique features of the meter. The manufacturer must also provide a 
training video for any new metering product that includes an explanation 
of how the device is reset as well as recommended methods for detecting 
evidence of tampering.
    (c) As a condition of approval, the manufacturer has a continuing 
obligation to provide the Postal Service with copies of service manuals 
and updates to setting instructions. The manufacturer must also promptly 
provide Retail Systems and Equipment, Postal Service Headquarters, with 
any additional documentation on request.
    (d) On request by the Postal Service, additional meters must be 
submitted to the Postal Service for testing, at the expense of the 
manufacturer.



Sec. 501.12  Suspension and revocation of approval.

    (a) The Postal Service may suspend meter approval under Sec. 501.10 
if the Postal Service has probable cause to believe that a 
manufacturer's meter or class of meters poses an unreasonable risk to 
postal revenue. Suspension of approval to manufacture or distribute a 
meter or class of meters in whole or in part shall be based on the 
potential risk to postal revenue. Before determining whether approval of 
a meter or class of meters should be revoked, the procedures in 
paragraph (b) of this section shall be followed.
    (b) Suspension in all cases shall be as follows:
    (1) Upon determination by the Postal Service that a meter poses an 
unreasonable risk to postal revenue, the Postal Service shall issue a 
written notice of proposed suspension citing deficiencies for which 
suspension may be imposed under paragraph (b)(2) of this section. The 
manufacturer shall be given an opportunity to correct deficiencies and 
achieve compliance with all requirements within a time limit 
corresponding to the potential risk to postal revenue.
    (2) If the Postal Service determines that the manufacturer has 
failed to correct cited deficiencies within the specified time limit, 
the Postal Service shall issue a written notice setting forth the facts 
and reasons for the decision to suspend and the effective date if a 
written defense is not presented as provided in paragraph (c) of this 
section.

[[Page 167]]

    (3) If, upon consideration of the defense as provided in paragraph 
(d) of this section, the Postal Service deems that the suspension is 
warranted, the suspension shall remain in effect for up to 90 days 
unless withdrawn by the Postal Service, as provided in paragraph 
(b)(4)(iii) of this section.
    (4) At the end of the 90-day suspension, the Postal Service may:
    (i) Extend the suspension in order to allow more time for 
investigation or to allow the manufacturer to correct the problem;
    (ii) Make a determination to revoke the approval of the 
manufacturer's meter or class of meters; or
    (iii) Withdraw the suspension based on identification and 
implementation of a satisfactory solution to the problem. Manufacturer 
suspensions may be withdrawn before the end of the 90-day period if the 
Postal Service determines that the manufacturer's solution and 
implementation are satisfactory.
    (c) The manufacturer may present the Postal Service with a written 
defense to any suspension or revocation determination within 30 calendar 
days of receiving the written notice (unless a shorter period is deemed 
necessary). The defense must include all supporting evidence and state 
with specificity the reasons for which the order should not be imposed.
    (d) After receipt and consideration of the written defense, the 
Postal Service shall advise the manufacturer of the decision and the 
facts and reasons for it. The decision shall be effective on receipt 
unless it provides otherwise. The decision shall also advise the 
manufacturer that it may appeal that determination within 30 calendar 
days of receiving written notice (unless a shorter period is deemed 
necessary), as specified therein. The appeal must include all supporting 
evidence and state with specificity the reasons that the manufacturer 
believes that the decision is erroneous.
    (e) An order or final decision under this section does not preclude 
any other criminal or civil statutory, common law, or administrative 
remedy that is available by law to the Postal Service, the United 
States, or any other person or concern.



Sec. 501.13  Reporting and Communications.

    (a) For purposes of this section, ``manufacturer'' refers to the 
authorized postage meter manufacturer in Sec. 501.1 and its foreign 
affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, dealers, independent dealers, 
employees, and parent corporations.
    (b) Each authorized meter manufacturer in Sec. 501.1 must submit a 
preliminary report to notify the Postal Service promptly (in no event 
more than 21 calendar days of discovery or 21 calendar days from June 
30, 1995) of the following:
    (1) All findings or results of any testing known to the manufacturer 
concerning the security or revenue protection features, capabilities, or 
failings of any meters sold, leased, or distributed by the manufacturer 
that have been approved for sale, lease, or distribution by the Postal 
Service or any foreign postal administration; or have been submitted for 
approval by the manufacturer to the Postal Service or other foreign 
postal administration(s).
    (2) All potential security weaknesses or methods of meter tampering 
of the meters that the manufacturer distributes of which the 
manufacturer knows or should know, and the meter or model subject to 
each method. These potential security weaknesses include but are not 
limited to suspected equipment defects, suspected abuse by a meter 
licensee or manufacturer employee, suspected security breaches of the 
Computerized Remote Postage Meter Resetting System, occurrences outside 
normal performance, or any repeatable deviation from normal meter 
performance (within the same model family and/or by the same licensee).
    (c) Within 45 days of the preliminary notification of the Postal 
Service under Sec. 501.13(b), the manufacturer must submit a written 
report to the Postal Service. The report must include the circumstances, 
proposed investigative procedure, and the anticipated completion date of 
the investigation. The manufacturer must also provide periodic status 
reports to the Postal Service during subsequent investigation and, on 
completion, must submit a summary of the investigative findings.

[[Page 168]]

    (d) The manufacturer must establish and adhere to timely and 
efficient procedures for internal reporting of potential security 
weaknesses. The manufacturer is required to submit a copy of internal 
reporting procedures and instructions to the Postal Service for review.
    (e) Authorized postage meter manufacturers and distributors, and 
their agents and employees, must not intentionally misrepresent to 
customers of the Postal Service decisions, actions, or proposed actions 
of the Postal Service respecting its regulation of postage meters in the 
United States. The Postal Service reserves the right to suspend and/or 
revoke the authorization to manufacture and/or distribute postage meters 
throughout the United States or in any part thereof under Sec. 501.5 
when the manufacturer, distributor, or agent or employee of either fails 
to comply with this requirement.

[60 FR 30726, June 9, 1995, as amended at 70 FR 1349, Jan. 7, 2005]



Sec. 501.14  Administrative sanction on reporting.

    (a) Notwithstanding any act, admission, or omission by the Postal 
Service before June 30, 1995, an authorized postage meter manufacturer 
may be subject to an administrative sanction for failing to comply with 
Sec. 501.13.
    (b) The Postal Service shall determine all costs and revenue losses 
measured from the date that the manufacturer knew, or should have known, 
of a potential security weakness, including, but not limited to, 
administrative and investigative costs and documented revenue losses 
that result from any meter for which the manufacturer failed to comply 
with any provision in Sec. 501.13. The Postal Service shall recover any 
and all such costs and losses (net of any amount collected by the Postal 
Service from the licensees or meter users) with interest by issuing a 
written notice to the manufacturer setting forth the facts and reasons 
on which the determination to impose the sanction is based. The notice 
shall advise the manufacturer of the date that the action takes effect 
if a written defense is not presented within 30 calendar days of receipt 
of the notice.
    (c) The manufacturer may present the Postal Service with a written 
defense to the proposed action within 30 calendar days of receipt. The 
defense must include all supporting evidence and state with specificity 
the reasons for which the sanction should not be imposed.
    (d) After receipt and consideration of the defense, the Postal 
Service shall advise the manufacturer of the decision and the facts and 
reasons for it; the decision shall be effective on receipt unless it 
provides otherwise. The decision shall also advise the manufacturer that 
it may, within 30 calendar days of receiving written notice, appeal that 
determination as specified therein.
    (e) The manufacturer may submit a written appeal to the Postal 
Service within 30 calendar days of receipt of the decision. The appeal 
must include all supporting evidence and state with specificity the 
reasons that the manufacturer believes that the administrative sanction 
was erroneously imposed. The submission of an appeal stays the 
effectiveness of the sanction.
    (f) The imposition of an administrative sanction under this section 
does not preclude any other criminal or civil statutory, common law, or 
administrative remedy that is available by law to the Postal Service, 
the United States, or any other person or concern.



Sec. 501.15  Materials and workmanship.

    All meters must adhere to the quality in materials and workmanship 
of the approved production model and must be manufactured with suitable 
jigs, dies, tools, etc., to ensure proper maintenance and 
interchangeability of parts.



Sec. 501.16  Breakdown and endurance testing.

    Each meter model proposed for manufacturing must pass without error 
or breakdown the following described printing cycle endurance test, 
which includes operation of the printing mechanism with proper 
registration of the selected postage value in both the ascending and 
descending registers. At reasonably frequent intervals, the manufacturer 
must take meters at random from production and subject them to breakdown 
tests to make certain

[[Page 169]]

that quality and performance standards are maintained.
    (a) For meters that operate at 100 or more printing cycles per 
minute--4 million cycles. For meters that operate at less than 100 
printing cycles per minute (and cannot be used interchangeably on power-
base machines that operate at 100 or more printing cycles per minute)--2 
million cycles.
    (b) For multidenomination and omnidenomination meters, postage value 
selection elements must be tested for one-half million operations. A 
complete operation includes selection of a value and return to zero.
    (c) Balance register lockout operation must be done at the start of, 
at intervals during, and after the printing cycle test.



Sec. 501.17  Protection of printing dies and keys.

    During the process of fabricating parts and assembling postage 
meters, the manufacturer must exercise due care to prevent loss or theft 
of keys or of serially numbered postage-printing dies or component parts 
(such as denomination-printing dies, or auxiliary power supply and 
meter-setting equipment for electronic meters) that might be used in 
some manner to defraud the Postal Service of revenue. All serially 
numbered printing dies produced should be accounted for by assembly into 
meters or by evidence of mutilation or destruction. Postage printing 
dies removed from meters and not suitable for reassembly must also be 
mutilated so that the dies cannot be used or they must be completely 
destroyed.



Sec. 501.18  Secure destruction.

    (a) Authorized meter manufacturers/distributors may destroy meters, 
when required, in accordance with methods approved in advance by the 
manager of Postage Technology Management. The postage meter must be 
rendered completely inoperable by the destruction process and associated 
postage-printing dies must be destroyed in accordance with Sec. 501.17. 
Manufacturers/distributors must submit the proposed destruction method; 
a schedule listing the meters to be destroyed, by serial number and 
model; and the proposed time and place of destruction to the manager of 
Postage Technology Management for approval prior to any meter 
destruction. Manufacturers/distributors must record and retain the 
serial numbers of the meters to be destroyed, and provide the list in 
electronic form in accordance with Postal Service requirements for 
postage meter accounting and tracking systems. Manufacturers/
distributors must give sufficient advance notice of the destruction to 
allow the manager of Postage Technology Management to schedule 
observation by Postage Technology Management or its designated 
representative. The Postal Service representative must ensure that the 
serial numbers of the meters destroyed are the same as the serial 
numbers recorded by the manufacturer/distributor on the list of 
destroyed meters, and that the destruction is performed in accordance 
with a Postal Service-approved method or process.
    (b) These requirements for meter destruction apply to all postage 
meters, postage evidencing systems, and postal security devices included 
as a component of a postage evidencing system.

[66 FR 55097, Nov. 1, 2001]



Sec. 501.19  Destruction of meter stamps.

    All meter stamps printed in the process of testing dies or meters 
must be collected and destroyed daily.

[60 FR 30726, June 9, 1995. Redesignated at 66 FR 55097, Nov. 1, 2001]



Sec. 501.20  Inspection of new and rebuilt meters.

    All new and rebuilt meters must be inspected carefully before 
leaving the manufacturer's meter service station.

[60 FR 30726, June 9, 1995. Redesignated at 66 FR 55097, Nov. 1, 2001]



Sec. 501.21  Keys and setting equipment.

    The meter manufacturer must furnish keys and other essential 
equipment for setting the meters to all post offices under whose 
jurisdiction its meters are licensed for use. These items must be 
protected and must not be furnished to persons not authorized by the 
Postal Service to possess them. The Postal Service shall maintain 
control over the procurement, manufacture, and distribution of meter 
security seals. Manufacturers must reimburse

[[Page 170]]

the Postal Service promptly for the cost of the seals. All costs 
associated with meter security seals are apportioned twice annually to 
the meter manufacturers by the installed base of each manufacturer.

[60 FR 30726, June 9, 1995. Redesignated at 66 FR 55097, Nov. 1, 2001]



Sec. 501.22  Inventory control.

    (a) An authorized manufacturer must maintain sufficient facilities 
for and records of the distribution, control, storage, maintenance, 
repair, replacement, and destruction or disposal of all meters and their 
components to enable accurate accounting thereof throughout the entire 
meter life cycle. Recordkeeping is required for all meters including 
newly produced meters, active leased meters, inactive meters, unleased 
meters, and lost or stolen meters. All such facilities and records are 
subject to inspection by Postal Service representatives.
    (b) If the manufacturer uses a third party to perform functions that 
may affect meter security, including, but not limited to meter repair, 
maintenance, and disposal, the manager of Postage Technology Management, 
Postal Service Headquarters, must review in advance all aspects of the 
relationship, as they relate to the custody and control of meters, and 
must specifically authorize in writing the arrangement between the 
parties.
    (1) Postal Service authorization of a third-party relationship for a 
given function does not extend to any other function. Extension of the 
third-party relationship to another function must be implemented and 
approved as if it were a new relationship.
    (2) No third-party relationship shall compromise the security of the 
meter, or of any of its components, including, but not limited to, the 
hardware, software, communications, and security components, or of any 
system with which it interfaces, including, but not limited to, the 
resetting system, reporting systems, and Postal Service support systems. 
The functions of the third party with respect to a meter, its 
components, and the systems with which it interfaces are subject to the 
same scrutiny as the equivalent functions of the manufacturer.
    (3) Any authorized third party must keep adequate facilities for and 
records of meters and their components in accordance with paragraph (a) 
of this section. All such facilities and records are subject to 
inspection by Postal Service representatives, insofar as they are used 
to distribute, control, store, maintain, repair, replace, destroy, or 
dispose of meters.
    (4) The manufacturer must ensure that any party acting in its behalf 
in any of the functions described in paragraph (a) of this section 
maintains adequate facilities, records, and procedures for the security 
of the meters. Deficiencies in the operations of a third party relating 
to the custody and control of postage meters, unless corrected in a 
timely manner, can place at risk a manufacturer's approval to 
manufacture and/or distribute postage meters.
    (5) The Postal Service reserves the right to review all aspects of 
any third-party relationship when it becomes aware that the relationship 
poses a threat to meter security under paragraph (b)(2) of this section, 
whether or not that relationship required authorization under paragraph 
(b) of this section.

[68 FR 2698, Jan. 21, 2003]



Sec. 501.23  Distribution controls.

    Each authorized postage meter manufacturer must do the following:
    (a) Hold title permanently to all meters of its manufacture except 
those purchased by the Postal Service.
    (b) On behalf of applicants, transmit electronically copies of 
completed PS Forms 3601-A, Application for a License to Lease and Use 
Postage Meters, to the designated Postal Service central processing 
facility.
    (c) Lease meters only to parties that have valid licenses issued by 
the Postal Service.
    (d) Supply only those meter slogan or ad plates that meet the Postal 
Service requirements for suitable quality and content.
    (e) (1) Have all meters set, sealed (if applicable), and checked 
into service by the appropriate Postal Service representative before 
delivering them to licensees. Meters must be checked into

[[Page 171]]

service at the licensing post office, unless the meter is serviced under 
the on-site meter-setting program.
    (2) The meter manufacturer must present the meter and a completed PS 
Form 3601-C, Postage Meter Installation, Withdrawal, or Replacement, to 
the appropriate Postal Service representative when checking a meter into 
service.
    (3) A meter should show a zero in the descending register before 
being checked into service. If a zero is not shown, the initial payment 
must include the residual amount the locked-out meter could not imprint.
    (f) Notify Computerized Remote Postage Meter Resetting System 
licensees of the dates on which meter examinations are due, and notify 
the licensing post offices of CMRS meters that have not been reset 
during the previous 3 months and/or are due for an annual examination. 
Resetting transactions must not be completed by the manufacturer if the 
meters are not taken to the post office for examination by the due date. 
Licensees who do not bring in their meters after the initial 
manufacturer notification must be approached again within 15 days, 
preferably by personal contact. If a response is not received within 
another 15 days, the Postal Service shall notify the licensee that the 
meter is to be removed from service and the meter license revoked, 
following the procedures for revocation specified by regulation. The 
Postal Service shall notify the manufacturer to remove the meter from 
the licensee's location and present it to the licensing post office to 
be checked out of service within 15 days.
    (g) Check a nonfaulty meter out of service in accordance with the 
procedures that the Postal Service has approved for that meter when the 
meter is to be removed from service for any reason. Ensure that a Postal 
Service employee certifies the register readings and clears the 
descending register when the meter is checked out of service, unless the 
Postal Service has approved other procedures for the specific meter 
model. Complete the checkout process in a timely manner and transmit the 
required data to the appropriate Postal Service information systems. 
Ensure that no employee of the meter manufacturer or any third-party 
changes, interferes with, or performs any element of the Postal Service 
employee's established checkout and withdrawal process for any meter, 
unless approval for the change in procedures is granted in writing by 
the Postal Service.
    (h) Handle faulty meters, including those that are inoperable, those 
that are misregistering or the registers are unreadable, those that 
inaccurately reflect their current status, those that show any evidence 
of tampering or abuse, and those for which there is information or other 
indication that the meter has some mechanical or electrical malfunction 
of any critical security component, such as any component the improper 
operation of which could adversely affect Postal Service revenues, or of 
any memory component, or that affects the accuracy of the registers or 
the accuracy of the value printed, as follows:
    (1) Ensure that all functions required to handle faulty meters are 
completed in a timely manner and in accordance with Postal Service 
regulations and procedures.
    (2) Begin the process to retrieve any faulty meter within 2 business 
days of being notified of a problem.
    (3) Complete PS Form 3601-C, Postage Meter Activity Report, in the 
presence of the licensee and obtain the licensee's signature on the form 
confirming that the information is accurate.
    (i) Include the register information on the form when the registers 
can be read.
    (ii) Print the system report, if available for the meter, and attach 
the report to PS Form 3601-C when the register values cannot be read.
    (iii)Have the licensee provide any original daily usage logs with PS 
Form 3601-C for refund calculation when the register values cannot be 
read.
    (4) Identify and tag the meter as faulty as soon as the manufacturer 
or the manufacturer's agent receives it from the customer. Keep the 
identification tag and the PS Form 3601-C, which was completed under 
paragraph (h)(3) of this section, with the faulty meter until processing 
is completed and the

[[Page 172]]

meter is returned to service or is scrapped.
    (5) Secure all faulty meters and maintain the integrity of the meter 
and of the information residing on the meter. Maintain control of the 
meter until processing is completed.
    (6) Ensure that under no circumstance are registers on a faulty 
meter cleared or any funds refunded or transferred until examination and 
processing are completed, the Postal Service has reviewed and analyzed 
the manufacturer's report and determined the appropriate postage 
adjustment, if any, and approved refund procedures are followed.
    (7) Maintain a record of the faulty meter and all changes in its 
custody, state, and condition (including availability of register 
information) from the time the meter is reported as faulty until 
processing is completed under paragraphs (h)(9), (12), or (14) of this 
section. Make the record available to the Postal Service for its review 
upon request.
    (8) Examine each meter withdrawn for faulty operation as soon it is 
received from the customer to determine if the registers can be read and 
if there is any evidence of tampering.
    (9) When the registers can be read or a summary report of the 
appropriate redundant electronic register memory readouts is available 
using Postal Service-approved methods, and there is no evidence of 
tampering or any problem covered by paragraph (h)(13) of this section:
    (i) Check out the meter and withdraw it from service under paragraph 
(g) of this section.
    (ii) Submit a report to the Postal Service by the 15th of each month 
listing all faulty meters with readable displays and no other problems 
received in the prior month, identifying the meter and including an 
explanation of the meter malfunction.
    (10) Maintain a dedicated, secure facility, approved by the Postal 
Service, for handling faulty meters that cannot be handled under 
paragraph (h)(9) of this section.
    (11) Ship faulty meters not handled under paragraph (h)(9) of this 
section directly to the secure facility described in paragraph (h)(10) 
of this section for processing. Ship these faulty meters via Registered 
Mail service, Express Mail service, or Priority Mail service with 
Delivery Confirmation service.
    (12) If there is no evidence of tampering, if the meter registers 
cannot be read, and if a summary report of the appropriate redundant 
electronic register memory readouts cannot be retrieved:
    (i) Develop other data to support the request for Postal Service 
approval of a postage adjustment amount, such as a manual calculation of 
the estimated value of the descending register based on estimated 
highest average daily usage, or applicable system-generated register 
documentation. Include the original daily usage logs maintained by the 
customer, if any, with the supporting data.
    (ii) Furnish a report explaining the malfunction to the Postal 
Service within 7 days of receiving the meter. Accompany the report with 
a recommendation of the postage adjustment amount that includes all data 
developed to support the recommendation.
    (iii) Maintain control of those meters that have unreadable 
registers and hold them in the manufacturer's dedicated, secure facility 
described in paragraph (h)(10) of this section until a representative of 
the Postal Service approves the postage adjustment amount or verifies 
the condition of the meter before proceeding with the meter repair or 
destruction.
    (13) In some instances, even though the registers can be read, there 
is information or other indication that the meter has some mechanical or 
electrical malfunction that affects the accuracy of the registers or the 
accuracy of the value printed. Handle such meters under paragraph 
(h)(12) of this section.
    (14) If there is evidence or suspicion of tampering:
    (i) Ensure that the meter is handled in a secure manner and 
maintained in its original state until the Postal Service or its agent 
can be present during the examination.
    (ii) After examination, if approved by the Postal Service or its 
agent, process the meter under paragraph (h)(12) of this section.

[[Page 173]]

    (15) Issue the refund of any postage value said to remain in a 
faulty meter, after Postal Service approval of the amount of the refund, 
when the Postal Service requires it. Request reimbursement from the 
Postal Service for these refunds by periodically submitting a 
reimbursement request letter to the Postal Service. Accompany the letter 
with listings and support documentation for each refund and indicate the 
cause of failure for each incident.
    (i) Report promptly the loss or theft of any meter or the recovery 
of any lost or stolen meter. The manufacturer must provide notification 
by the Postal Service with completing a standardized lost and stolen 
meter incident report notifying within 30 calendar days of the 
manufacturer's determination of a meter loss, theft, or recovery. The 
manufacturer must complete all preliminary location activities specified 
in Sec. 501.26 before submitting this report to the Postal Service.
    (j) Provide the designated Postal Service Information Systems 
Service Center (ISSC) with a compatible computer magnetic tape, computer 
diskette, or electronic transmission, listing all licensee meters in 
service, at the close of business each postal quarter. Include in each 
file record the meter serial number, model number, the user's name and 
address, the date that the meter was placed in service, and the ZIP Code 
or finance number of the licensing post office. Manufacturers are 
responsible for reconciling differences and keeping accurate records. 
This reporting includes reconciliation of differences with licensing 
post offices by the manufacturer's branches or dealers, which results 
from meters that are not in Postal Service or manufacturer records.
    (k) Keep at manufacturer's headquarters a complete record by serial 
number of all meters manufactured, showing all movements of each from 
the time that the meter is produced until it is scrapped, and the 
reading of the ascending register each time the meter is checked into or 
out of service through a post office. These records must be available 
for inspection by Postal Service officials at any time during business 
hours. These records must be destroyed 3 years after the meter is 
scrapped.
    (l) Cancel a lease agreement with any lessee whose meter license is 
revoked by the Postal Service, remove the meter within 15 calendar days, 
and have the meter checked out of service.
    (m) Promptly remove from service any meter that the Postal Service 
indicates should be removed from service. When a meter license is 
canceled, all meters in use by the licensee must be removed from 
service.
    (n) Keep a permanent record by serial number of all meter keys 
issued to postmasters, as well as those sections of the manufacturer's 
establishment in which their use of the keys is essential, preferably in 
the form of signed receipt cards. The record must include the date, 
location, and details of any loss, theft, or recovery of such keys.
    (o) Examine each meter withdrawn from service for failure to record 
its operations correctly and accurately, and report to the Postal 
Service the mechanical condition or fault that caused the failure.
    (p) Provide monthly the designated ISSC with a compatible computer 
tape of lost or stolen meters. The file is due on the first of each 
month (for the preceding month's activity).
    (q) Take reasonable precautions in the transportation and storage of 
meters to prevent use by unauthorized individuals. Manufacturers must 
ship all meters by Postal Service registered mail unless given written 
permission by the Postal Service to use another carrier. The 
manufacturer must demonstrate that the alternative delivery carrier 
employs security procedures equivalent to those for registered mail.
    (r) Affix to all meters a cautionary label providing the meter user 
with basic reminders on leasing and meter movement.
    (1) The cautionary label must be placed on all meters in a 
conspicuous and highly visible location. ``PROPERTY OF [NAME OF 
MANUFACTURER]'' as well as the manufacturer's toll-free number must be 
emphasized by capitalized bold type and preferably printed in red. The 
minimum width of the label should be 3.25 inches, and the minimum height 
should be 1.75

[[Page 174]]

inches. The label should read as follows:

                   RENTED POSTAGE METER--NOT FOR SALE

                   PROPERTY OF [NAME OF MANUFACTURER]

                  (800) -
                

    Use of this meter is permissible only under U.S. Postal Service 
authorization. Call [Name of Manufacturer] at (800) 
-  to 
relocate/return this meter.
    WARNING! METER TAMPERING IS A FEDERAL OFFENSE.
    IF YOU SUSPECT METER TAMPERING, CALL POSTAL INSPECTORS AT 1-800-372-
8347
    REWARD UP TO $50,000 for information leading to the conviction of 
any person who misuses postage meters resulting in the Postal Service 
not receiving correct postage payments.

    (2) Exceptions to the formatting of required labeling are determined 
on a case-by-case basis. Any deviation from standardized meter labeling 
requirements must be approved in writing by the Postal Service.
    (s) A demonstration meter is typically used to acquaint a potential 
user with the features of a meter as part of the sales effort. The 
following procedures must be followed to implement controls over 
demonstration meters:
    (1) A demonstration meter may print only specimen indicia and must 
not be used to meter live mail.
    (2) A demonstration meter must be recorded as such on internal 
manufacturer inventory records and must be tracked by model number, 
serial number, and physical location. If the meter's status as a 
demonstration meter changes, the meter must be administered according to 
the procedures that apply to its new status.
    (3) A demonstration meter may be used only for demonstrations by a 
manufacturer's dealer or branch representative and must remain under the 
dealer's or representative's direct control. A demonstration meter may 
not be left in the possession of the potential customer under any 
circumstance.
    (t) A postage meter loaned to a customer for temporary use (a 
``loaner meter'') is typically used to acquaint a potential user with 
the features of a meter as part of the sales effort, or serves as a 
temporary placement while the customer awaits delivery of a new meter. 
The following procedures must be followed to implement controls over 
loaner meters:
    (1) A loaner meter prints valid indicia and may be used to apply 
postage to a mailpiece. Only electronic, remote-set meters may be used 
as loaner meters. The city/state designation in the loaner meter indicia 
must show the location where the user's mail will be deposited.
    (2) A customer may have possession of a loaner meter for a maximum 
of five consecutive business days. When the customer chooses to continue 
the use of a postage meter, the loaner meter must be retrieved and a new 
meter must be installed under the customer's license.
    (3) The manufacturer's dealer or branch representative 
(``representative'') must have a USPS-issued meter user license to place 
a loaner meter. A single license per USPS district can be used to issue 
loaner meters to customers in any of the different Post Office service 
areas within that district.
    (4) Loaner meters must be reported electronically to the USPS meter 
tracking system when activated. A Form 3601-C, Postage Meter Activity 
Report, must be initiated to activate a loaner meter under the 
representative's meter license. The licensee and meter location 
information on the form will show the representative rather than the 
temporary user. However, loaner meters may only be placed with customers 
who have been issued a USPS meter license.
    (5) Representatives must record and verify the accuracy of the 
ascending and descending register readings when a loaner meter is placed 
with the customer. Any discrepancies detected during the verification 
process must be reported immediately to the meter manufacturer, who will 
then notify Postage Technology Management.
    (6) The representative is responsible for resetting the loaner meter 
with postage and must arrange for reimbursement directly with the 
customer.
    (7) The representative maintains full responsibility for the loaner 
meter. As both a manufacturer's representative

[[Page 175]]

and a meter licensee, the representative is subject to the provision of 
Domestic Mail Manual part P030 and Code of Federal Regulations part 501. 
As a licensee, the representative assumes all licensee responsibilities 
under USPS meter regulations and must ensure that loaner meters are 
available for examination by the Postal Service on demand and are 
examined in accordance with Postal Service policy. Any losses incurred 
by the Postal Service as a result of fraudulent use of the loaner meter 
by the customer are the responsibility of the meter licensee, the 
customer, and the manufacturer.
    (8) When the customer returns the meter, the dealer or branch 
representative must record and verify the accuracy of the ascending and 
descending register readings and inspect the meter. Any discrepancies or 
indication of tampering or fraudulent use must be reported immediately 
to the meter manufacturer, who will then notify Postage Technology 
Management. In such circumstance, the meter must not be used and must be 
returned to the manufacturer's QAR department via Registered Mail.
    (9) Loaner meters must be reported electronically to the USPS meter 
tracking system when withdrawn from service. The dealer or branch 
representative must prepare Form 3601-C, Postage Meter Activity Report, 
for each loaner meter withdrawn.

[60 FR 30726, June 9, 1995, as amended at 66 FR 20745, Apr. 25, 2001. 
Redesignated at 66 FR 55097, Nov. 1, 2001, and amended at 67 FR 69138, 
Nov. 15, 2002; 69 FR 55506, Sept. 15, 2004; 70 FR 705, Jan. 5, 2005]



Sec. 501.24  Administrative sanction.

    (a) Meter for purposes of this section means any postage meter 
manufactured by an authorized postage meter manufacturer under Sec. 
501.1 that is not owned or leased by the Postal Service.
    (b) An authorized manufacturer that, without just cause, fails to 
conduct or perform adequately any of the controls in Sec. 501.22, to 
follow standardized lost and stolen meter incident reporting in Sec. 
501.26, or to conduct any of the inspections required by Sec. 501.25 in 
a timely fashion is subject to an administrative sanction based on the 
investigative and administrative costs and documented revenue losses 
(net of any amount collected by the Postal Service from the licensee or 
meter user) with interest per occurrence measured from the date on which 
the cost and/or loss occurred, as determined by the Postal Service. 
Sanctions shall be based on the costs and revenue losses that result 
from the manufacturer's failure to comply with these requirements.
    (c) The Postal Service may impose an administrative sanction under 
this section by issuing a written notice to the manufacturer setting 
forth the facts and reasons on which the determination to impose the 
sanction is based. The Postal Service shall determine all costs and 
losses. The notice shall advise the manufacturer of the date that the 
action shall take effect if a written defense is not presented within 30 
calendar days of receipt of the notice.
    (d) The manufacturer may present to the Postal Service a written 
defense to the proposed action within 30 calendar days of receipt of the 
notice. The defense must include all supporting evidence and state with 
specificity the reasons for which the sanction should not be imposed.
    (e) After receipt and consideration of the written defense, the 
Postal Service shall advise the manufacturer of the decision and the 
facts and reasons for it. The decision shall be effective on receipt 
unless it provides otherwise.
    (f) The manufacturer may submit a written appeal of the decision 
within 30 calendar days of receiving the decision, addressed to the 
manager of Retail and Customer Service, Postal Service Headquarters. The 
appeal must include all supporting evidence and state with specificity 
the reasons that the manufacturer believes that the administrative 
sanction was erroneously imposed. The submission of an appeal stays the 
effectiveness of the sanction.
    (g) The imposition of an administrative sanction under this section 
does not preclude any other criminal or civil statutory, common law, or 
administrative remedy that is available by law to the Postal Service, 
the United States, or any other person or concern.

[60 FR 30726, June 9, 1995. Redesignated at 66 FR 55097, Nov. 1, 2001]

[[Page 176]]



Sec. 501.25  Meter replacement.

    The manufacturer must keep its postage meters in proper operating 
condition for licensees by replacing them when necessary or desirable to 
prevent mechanical breakdown.

[60 FR 30726, June 9, 1995. Redesignated at 66 FR 55097, Nov. 1, 2001]



Sec. 501.26  Inspection of meters in use.

    (a) The manufacturer must have all its meters in service with 
licensees inspected according to the following schedule. A high-volume 
mailer is defined as one who has annual metered postage in excess of 
$12,000.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR09JN95.008

    (b) Manufacturer inspections must be sufficiently thorough to 
determine that each meter is clean, in proper operating condition, and 
recording its operations correctly and accurately. The manufacturers 
must:
    (1) Compare the meter serial number on the meter with the serial 
number on the source document (manufacturer's records).
    (2) Record the ascending and descending register readings and 
calculate the total readings. Record the locking-seal identification 
number.
    (3) Obtain the licensee's PS Form 3602-A, Record of Meter Register 
Readings, or equivalent, and a copy of the most recent PS Form 3603, 
Receipt for Postage Meter Setting, and verify the control total after 
the last setting with the control total calculated during the proof-of-
register procedure.
    (4) Verify the accuracy of postage selection, denomination indicator 
wheels or electronic display, and denomination printing wheels following 
the proof of registers by printing a .00 meter stamp and then comparing 
the register readings with the recorded register readings.
    (5) Check to determine that the post office locking seal is in place 
and properly sealed and that the seal wire is properly wound and tightly 
gripped by the seal-locking mechanism, and tightly pulled up to the lock 
cover or post. Ensure that the locking-seal identification number 
matches the seal number recorded at the time of the last meter 
resetting.
    (6) Check to determine that the lock cover properly protects the 
lock and has not been loosened, bent, or tampered with.
    (7) Complete the following, as applicable to the specific meter 
model:
    (i) Check to ensure that the meter fits properly on the meter base.
    (ii) Check all breakoff screws to determine that no screw is missing 
or loose or shows signs of removal.
    (iii) Operate the dater and meter ad selector dials to test the 
dater, postmark die, and meter ad plate.
    (iv) Check the alignment and condition of engraving on the 
denomination printing wheels, when visible.
    (v) Check the descending register door for damage, pry marks, or 
scarring. Make certain that the door cannot be opened without unlocking 
it.
    (vi) Examine the meter drum for damage, pry marks, or scarring.
    (vii) Examine the meter cover for pry marks or scarring near the 
post office lock or breakoff screws, any drilled holes, or any signs of 
attempted entry into the internal mechanism of the meter.

[[Page 177]]

    (viii) Examine the meter stamp die for excessive wear, damage, 
breakage, or scars from prying, and the postage die retaining screws for 
signs of wear to ensure that none is missing or shows signs of removal.
    (ix) Check the register, counter, and display windows for breakage 
or cloudiness.
    (x) Obtain the signature of the licensee to show that a meter 
inspection has taken place.
    (8) Report immediately to the licensee's licensing postmaster any 
irregularity in the operation of the meter or sign of improper use, and 
take steps to replace or remove the meter.

[60 FR 30726, June 9, 1995. Redesignated at 66 FR 55097, Nov. 1, 2001]



Sec. 501.27  Meters not located.

    Upon learning that one or more of its postage meters in service 
cannot be located, the manufacturer must undertake reasonable efforts to 
locate the meters by following a series of Postal Service-specified 
actions designed to locate the meters. If these efforts are unsuccessful 
and a meter is determined to be lost or stolen, the manufacturer must 
notify the Postal Service within 30 days by submitting a Lost and Stolen 
Meter Incident Report.
    (a) If a licensee cannot be located, the manufacturer must, at a 
minimum, complete the following actions:
    (1) Call the licensee's last known telephone number.
    (2) Call directory assistance for the licensee's new telephone 
number.
    (3) Contact the licensee's local post office for current change of 
address information.
    (4) Contact the local post office for a copy of the applicable PS 
Form 3610 and PS Form 3601-C. Verify the location of the meter or 
licensee currently maintained in those meter records.
    (5) Contact the rental agency responsible for the property where the 
licensee was located, if applicable.
    (6) Visit the licensee's last known address to see whether the 
building superintendent or a neighbor knows the meter licensee's new 
address.
    (7) Check the centralized meter inspection file for change of 
address notation.
    (8) Mail a certified letter with return receipt to the licensee at 
the last known address with the notation ``Forwarding and Address 
Correction Requested.''
    (9) If new address information is obtained during these steps, any 
scheduled meter inspections must be completed promptly.
    (b) If a meter is reported to be lost or stolen by the licensee, the 
manufacturer must, at a minimum, complete the following actions:
    (1) Ensure that the meter licensee has filed a police report and 
that copies have been provided to the appropriate Inspection Service 
Contraband Postage Identification Program (CPIP) specialist.
    (2) Withhold issuance of a replacement meter until the missing meter 
has been properly reported to the police and to the appropriate 
Inspection Service CPIP specialist.
    (c) If the manufacturer later learns that the meter has been located 
and/or recovered, the manufacturer must update lost and stolen meter 
activity records, inspect the meter promptly, initiate a postage 
adjustment or transfer if appropriate, and check the meter out of 
service if a replacement meter has been supplied to the meter licensee.
    (d) If a meter reported to the Postal Service as lost or stolen is 
later located, the manufacturer is responsible for submitting a new Lost 
and Stolen Meter Incident Report that references the initial report and 
outlines the details of how the meter was recovered. This report must be 
submitted to the Postal Service within 30 days of recovery of the meter. 
The meter manufacturer is also responsible for purging lost and stolen 
meter reports that are provided on a periodic basis to the Postal 
Service ISSC for those meters that have been recovered.
    (e) Any authorized manufacturer that fails to comply with 
standardized lost and stolen reporting procedures and instructions is 
subject to an administrative sanction under Sec. 501.23, as determined 
by the Postal Service.

[60 FR 30726, June 9, 1995. Redesignated at 66 FR 55097, Nov. 1, 2001]

[[Page 178]]



Sec. 501.28  Protection and control of internal and security components.

    Any physical or electronic access to the internal components of a 
meter, as well as any access to software or security parameters, must be 
conducted within an approved factory or meter repair facility under the 
manufacturer's direct control and active supervision. The Postal Service 
must have checked a meter out of service before any component, software, 
or security parameter is accessed or modified in any way, or internal 
repairs are undertaken. This does not apply to Postal Service-approved 
user, field, or Postal Service access to a specific internal component 
or software. To prevent unauthorized use, the manufacturer or any third 
party acting on its behalf must keep secure any equipment or other 
component that can be used to open or access the internal, electronic, 
or secure components of a meter.

[68 FR 2699, Jan. 21, 2003]



Sec. 501.29  Computerized remote postage meter resetting.

    (a) Description. The Computerized Remote Postage Meter Resetting 
System (CMRS) permits postal licensees using specially designed postage 
meters to reset their meters at their places of business via telephonic 
communications. Authorized meter manufacturers that offer CMRS services 
are known as meter resetting companies (MRCs). To reset a meter, the 
licensee telephones the MRC and provides identifying data. Before 
proceeding with the setting transaction, the MRC must verify the data 
and ascertain from its own files whether the licensee has sufficient 
funds on deposit with the Postal Service. If the funds are available or 
the manufacturer opts to provide a funds advance in accordance with 
paragraph (b)(5) of this section, the MRC may complete the setting 
transaction.
    (b) Deposits with the Postal Service. (1) Deposits in the Postal 
Service Fund at Treasury are backed in full faith and credit by the U. 
S. Treasury.
    (2) A CMRS licensee is required to have funds available on deposit 
with the Postal Service before resetting a meter or the manufacturer may 
opt to provide a funds advance in accordance with paragraph (b)(4) of 
this section. The details of this deposit requirement are covered within 
the Acknowledgment of Deposit Requirement document. By signing this 
document, the licensee agrees to transfer funds to the Postal Service 
through a lockbox bank, as specified by the MRC, for the purpose of 
prepayment of postage. The MRC representative must provide all new CMRS 
licensees with this document when a new account is established. The 
document must be completed and signed by the licensee and sent to the 
licensing post office by the MRC.
    (3) The MRC is required to incorporate the following language into 
its meter rental agreements:

[fxsp0]_________________________________________________________________

                  Acknowledgment of Deposit Requirement

By signing this meter rental agreement, you represent that you have read 
the Acknowledgment of Deposit Requirement and are familiar with its 
terms. You agree that, upon execution of this Agreement with [the MRC], 
you will also be bound by all terms and conditions of the Acknowledgment 
of Deposit Requirement, as it may be amended from time to time.

[fxsp0]_________________________________________________________________

    (4) The licensee is permitted to make deposits in one of three ways: 
check, electronic funds transfer (or wire transfer), or automated 
clearinghouse (ACH) transfer. These deposits are to be processed by the 
lockbox bank. The lockbox bank must wire daily all available balances to 
the Postal Service.
    (5) If the MRC chooses to offer advancement of funds to licensees, 
the MRC is required to maintain a deposit with the Postal Service equal 
to at least 1 day's average funds advanced. The total amount of funds 
advanced to licensees on any given day may not exceed the amount the 
manufacturer has on deposit with the Postal Service. The MRC is not 
authorized to perform settings in excess of the licensee's balance in 
any other circumstance. The Postal Service shall not be liable for any 
payment made by the MRC on behalf of a licensee that is not reimbursed 
by the licensee because the MRC is solely responsible for the collection 
of advances.

[[Page 179]]

    (c) Revenue protection. The Postal Service shall conduct periodic 
assessments of the revenue protection safeguards of each MRC system and 
shall reserve the right to revoke an MRC's authorization if the CMRS 
system does not meet all requirements set forth by the Postal Service. 
In addition, the Postal Service shall reserve the right to suspend the 
operation of the MRC for any serious operational deficiency that is 
likely to result in the loss of funds to the Postal Service as provided 
in Sec. 501.12.
    (d) Equipment. The meters used in the computerized resetting system 
must conform to the specifications in Sec. 501.6. They must be tested 
under Sec. 501.7 and conform to the safeguards, distribution, and 
maintenance requirements of Sec. Sec. 501.15 through 501.23 to protect 
the Postal Service against loss of revenue from fraud, manipulation, 
misoperation, or breakdown.
    (e) Financial operation. (1) Before the Postal Service's selection 
of a lockbox provider, the MRC must establish a lockbox account in the 
name of the Postal Service at a bank or banks approved by the Postal 
Service to handle the deposits of licensees. The MRC must make 
arrangements with such banks under which the banks are to inform the 
manufacturer of the amounts of licensee funds received each banking day.
    (2) The Postal Service lockbox bank processes the CMRS deposits 
daily, consolidates the data, and performs a direct file transmission to 
each MRC. The daily deposit processing cutoff times and the automated 
file transmission times are coordinated independently with each of the 
MRCs. Manufacturers must ensure that their data center computers are 
programmed to reflect each licensee deposit and track all licensee 
activity.
    (3) The MRC must require each licensee that requests meter resetting 
to provide the meter serial number, the licensee account number, and the 
meter's ascending and descending register readings. The manufacturer 
must verify that the information provided to the licensee is consistent 
with its records. The MRC must also verify that there are sufficient 
funds in the licensee's account to cover the postage setting requested 
before proceeding with the setting transaction (unless the manufacturer 
opts to provide the licensee a funds advance). Immediately following 
each such resetting, the MRC must charge the licensee's account for the 
amount of the postage reset. After the completion of each transaction, 
the manufacturer must promptly provide the licensee with a statement 
documenting the transaction and the balance remaining in the licensee's 
account. As an alternative, the manufacturer may provide a statement 
monthly that documents all transactions for the period and that shows 
the balance in the licensee's account after each transaction.
    (4) Each banking day, the lockbox bank is to transfer, by 10 a.m. 
local time, amounts payable to the Postal Service from the transactions 
during the previous day to a designated Federal Reserve Bank. The MRC 
must maintain licensee service activity data to accept and respond to 
inquiries from licensees concerning the status of their payments. The 
lockbox bank must provide the MRCs with a nationwide, toll-free 
telephone number for licensee service. The Postal Service lockbox bank 
must assign a dedicated senior level licensee service representative to 
handle all inquiries and investigations.
    (5) The Postal Service requires that the MRCs publicize to all CMRS 
licensees the following payment options (listed in order of preference):
    (i) Automated clearinghouse (ACH) debits/credits.
    (ii) Electronic funds transfers (wire transfers).
    (iii) Checks.
    (6) Licensee check deposits must be mailed to a predetermined post 
office box address specified by the lockbox bank and accompanied by a 
preencoded deposit ticket. The Postal Service provides CMRS customers 
with deposit tickets for inclusion with check payments. At the time a 
new account is opened, a licensee not possessing a preencoded deposit 
slip must present the initial payment to the MRC representative who in 
turn assigns the licensee a new account number and manually prepares a 
deposit ticket to be mailed to the lockbox bank for processing.

[[Page 180]]

    (7) If a licensee prefers to use a payment form other than a check, 
the licensee must contact the MRC representative for instructions, and 
the MRC must provide the licensee with the appropriate information 
regarding the use of ACH debits/credits and electronic funds transfers 
(wire transfers).
    (8) Returned checks and ACH debits are the responsibility of the 
Postal Service. In the case of a returned check, the Postal Service 
lockbox bank, after an automatic second presentment, advises the MRC of 
the account in question so that the MRC data file can be locked. The MRC 
must lock the licensee account immediately so that the licensee is 
unable to reset the meter until the Postal Service receives payment in 
full for the check returned. The lockbox bank provides collection 
services for returned checks on behalf of the Postal Service. The Postal 
Service lockbox bank notifies the MRC once this item is paid. The MRC 
then releases the account for activity.
    (f) Refunds. The Postal Service issues a refund to a licensee for 
any unused postage in a meter. Refunds of licensee balances maintained 
by the Postal Service in the Postal Service fund are intended to be made 
directly to the licensee by the lockbox bank within 48 hours after 
receipt of a licensee's request.
    (g) Reports. The manufacturer must provide reports according to the 
following schedule:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Report description                   Content                Frequency                  Medium
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MRC CMRS Daily Activity Report......  Summary of Business     Daily.................  Paper (facsimile).
                                       Activity.
Revenue Allocation Report...........  ZIP Code of Licensing   Postal Accounting       Electronic.
                                       Post Office; Amount     Period.
                                       of Resettings.
Postage Refunds Report..............  Customer ID; ZIP Code;  Daily (by request       Paper.
                                       Amount of Refund.       only).
Funds Advanced Report...............  Customer ID; ZIP Code;  Daily (by request       Paper.
                                       Amount of Funds         only).
                                       Advanced.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (h) Inspection of records and facilities. The manufacturer must make 
its facilities that handle the operation of the computerized resetting 
system and all records about the operation of the system available for 
inspection by representatives of the Postal Service at all reasonable 
times.

[60 FR 30726, June 9, 1995. Redesignated at 66 FR 55097, Nov. 1, 2001]



Sec. 501.30  Licensee information.

    (a) As stated in Sec. 501.22(b) manufacturers must transmit 
electronically, copies of completed PS Forms 3601-A, Application for a 
License to Lease and Use Postage meters, to the designated Postal 
Service central data processing facility.
    (b) The Postal Service may use applicant information in the 
administration of postage meter and metered mail activities, and to 
communicate with customers who may no longer be visiting a traditional 
USPS retail outlet. The Postal Service will also use applicant 
information to communicate with USPS customers through any new retail 
channels, and for the following purposes:
    (1) Issuance (including re-licensing, renewal, transfer, revocation 
or denial, as applicable) of a meter license to a postal patron that 
uses a postage meter, and communications with respect to the status of 
such license.
    (2) Disclosure to a meter manufacturer of the identity of any meter 
required to be removed from service by that meter manufacturer, and any 
related licensee data, as the result of revocation of a meter license, 
questioned accurate registration of that meter, or de-certification by 
the Postal Service of any particular class or model of postage meter.
    (3) Use for the purpose of tracking the movement of meters between a 
meter manufacturer and its customers and communications to a meter 
manufacturer (but not to any third party other than the applicant/
licensee) concerning such movement. The term ``meter manufacturer'' 
includes a meter manufacturer's dealers and agents.
    (4) To transmit general information to all meter customers 
concerning rate

[[Page 181]]

and rate category changes implemented or proposed for implementation by 
the United States Postal Service.
    (5) To advertise Postal Service services relating to the acceptance, 
processing and delivery of, or postage payment for, metered mail.
    (6) To allow the Postal Service to communicate with USPS customers 
on products, services and other information otherwise available to USPS 
customers through traditional retail outlets.
    (7) Any internal use by Postal Service personnel, including 
identification and monitoring activities relating to postage meters, 
provided that such use does not result in the disclosure of applicant 
information to any third party or will not enable any third party to use 
applicant information for its own purposes; except that the applicant 
information may be disclosed to other governmental agencies for law 
enforcement purposes as provided by law.
    (8) Identification of authorized meter manufacturers or 
announcements of de-authorization of an authorized meter manufacturer, 
or provision of currently available public information, where an 
authorized meter manufacturer is identified.
    (9) To promote and encourage the use of postage meters, including 
remotely set postage meters, as a form of postage payment, provided that 
the same information is provided to all meter customers, and no 
particular meter manufacturer will be recommended by the Postal Service.
    (10) To contact meter customers in cases of revenue fraud or revenue 
security except that any meter customer suspected of fraud shall not be 
identified to other meter customers.
    (11) Disclosure to a meter manufacturer of applicant information 
pertaining to that meter manufacturer's customers that the Postal 
Service views as necessary to enable the Postal Service to carry out its 
duties and purposes.
    (12) To transmit to a manufacturer all applicant and postage meter 
information pertaining to that manufacturer's customers and postage 
meters that may be necessary to permit such meter manufacturer to 
synchronize its computer meter database with information contained in 
the computer files of the Postal Service, including but not limited to 
computerized data that reside in Postal Service meter management 
databases.
    (13) Subject to the conditions stated herein, to communicate in oral 
or written form with any or all applicants any information that the 
Postal Service views as necessary to enable the Postal Service to carry 
out its duties and purposes under part 501.

[63 FR 53812, Oct. 7, 1998. Redesignated at 66 FR 55097, Nov. 1, 2001]



PART 551_SEMIPOSTAL STAMP PROGRAM--Table of Contents




Sec.
551.1 Semipostal Stamp Program.
551.2 Semipostal stamps.
551.3 Procedure for selection of causes and recipient executive 
          agencies.
551.4 Submission requirements and selection criteria.
551.5 Frequency and other limitations.
551.6 Pricing.
551.7 Calculation of funds for recipient executive agencies.
551.8 Cost offset policy.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 101, 201, 203, 401, 403, 404, 410, 414, 416.

    Source: 66 FR 31826, June 12, 2001, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 551.1  Semipostal Stamp Program.

    The Semipostal Stamp Program is established under the Semipostal 
Authorization Act, Public Law 106-253, 114 Stat. 634 (2000), as amended 
by Public Law 107-67, section 652, 115 Stat. 514 (2001). The Office of 
Stamp Services has primary responsibility for administering the 
Semipostal Stamp Program. The Office of Accounting, Finance, Controller 
has primary responsibility for the financial aspects of the Semipostal 
Stamp Program.

[67 FR 5215, Feb. 5, 2002]



Sec. 551.2  Semipostal stamps.

    Semipostal stamps are stamps that are sold for a price that exceeds 
the postage value of the stamp. The difference between the price and 
postage value of semipostal stamps, also known as the differential, less 
an offset for reasonable costs, as determined by the

[[Page 182]]

Postal Service, consists of a contribution to fund causes determined by 
the Postal Service to be in the national public interest and 
appropriate. Funds are to be transferred to selected recipient executive 
agencies, as defined under 5 U.S.C. 105. The office of Stamp Services 
determines the print quantities of semipostal stamps. The use of 
semipostal stamps shall be voluntary on the part of postal patrons.



Sec. 551.3  Procedure for selection of causes and recipient executive 
agencies.

    The Postal Service is authorized to select causes and recipient 
executive agencies to receive funds raised through the sale of 
semipostal stamps. The procedure for selection of causes and recipient 
executive agencies is as follows:
    (a) In advance of the issuance of a semipostal stamp, the office of 
Stamp Services will publish a request for proposals in the Federal 
Register inviting interested persons to submit proposals for a cause and 
recipient executive agencies for a future semipostal stamp. The notice 
will specify the beginning and ending dates of the period during which 
proposals may be submitted. The notice will also specify the approximate 
period in which the semipostal stamp for which proposals are solicited 
is to be sold. The office of Stamp Services may publicize the request 
for proposals through other means, as it determines in its discretion.
    (b) Proposals will be received by the office of Stamp Services, 
which will review each proposal under Sec. 551.4.
    (c) Those proposals that the office of Stamp Services determines 
satisfy the requirements of Sec. 551.4 will be forwarded for 
consideration by the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee, which is 
described in Administrative Support Manual (ASM) section 644.5. For 
availability of ASM 644.5, contact the Office of Stamp Services (202) 
268-2319.
    (d) The Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee will review eligible 
proposals forwarded by the office of Stamp Services. Based on the 
proposals submitted, the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee will make 
recommendations on a cause and eligible recipient executive agency(ies) 
to the postmaster general. If no eligible proposals are recommended, the 
Postal Service will solicit additional proposals through publication of 
a notice in the Federal Register and through other means as it 
determines in its discretion.
    (e) Meetings of the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee are closed, 
and deliberations of the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee are 
predecisional in nature.
    (f) The postmaster general will act on the recommendations of the 
Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee. The decision of the postmaster 
general shall consist of the final agency decision.
    (g) The office of Stamp Services will notify the executive 
agency(ies) in writing of a decision designating the agency(ies) as 
recipients of funds from a semipostal stamp.
    (h)(1) A proposal submission may designate one or two recipient 
executive agencies to receive funds, but if more than one executive 
agency is proposed, the proposal must specify the percentage shares of 
differential revenue, net of the Postal Service's reasonable costs, to 
be given to each agency. If percentage shares are not specified, it is 
presumed that the proposal intends that the funds be split evenly 
between the agencies. If more than two recipient executive agencies are 
proposed to receive funds and the proposal is selected, the proposal is 
treated as prescribed by paragraph (h)(3) of this section.
    (2) If more than one proposal is submitted for the same cause, and 
the proposals would have different executive agencies receiving funds, 
the funds would be evenly divided among the executive agencies, with no 
more than two agencies being designated to receive funds, as determined 
by the vice president and consumer advocate.
    (3) Within 10 days of receipt of a notice indicating that it has 
been selected to receive funds, a selected agency could request a 
proportionately larger share if it can demonstrate that its share of 
total funding of the cause from other sources (excluding any additional 
funds available as a result of the semipostal stamp) exceeds that of the

[[Page 183]]

other recipient executive agency. The request must be in writing and 
must be sent to the manager of Stamp Services. In those cases, the 
determination regarding the proportional share to be divided among the 
recipient executive agencies is made by the Postal Service's vice 
president and consumer advocate.
    (i) As either a separate matter, or in combination with 
recommendations on a cause and a recipient executive agency(ies), the 
Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee will recommend to the postmaster 
general a design (i.e., artwork) for the semipostal stamp. The 
postmaster general will make a final determination on the design to be 
featured.



Sec. 551.4  Submission requirements and selection criteria.

    (a) Proposals on recipient executive agencies and causes must 
satisfy the following requirements:
    (1) Interested persons must timely submit an original and 20 copies 
of the proposal. For purposes of this section, interested persons 
include, but are not limited to, individuals, corporations, 
associations, and executive agencies under 5 U.S.C. 105. Interested 
persons submitting proposals are also encouraged to submit an Adobe 
Acrobat (.pdf) file saved on a 3.5 inch diskette or CD-ROM diskette 
containing the entire contents of the submission. In extraordinary 
circumstances, the office of Stamp Services may, in its discretion, 
consider a late-filed proposal.
    (2) The proposal submission must be signed by the individual or a 
duly authorized representative and must provide the mailing address, 
phone number, fax number (if available), and E-mail address (if 
available) of a designated point of contact.
    (3) The submission must describe the cause and the purposes for 
which the funds would be spent.
    (4) The submission must demonstrate that the cause to be funded has 
broad national appeal, and that the cause is in the national public 
interest and furthers human welfare. Respondents are encouraged to 
submit supporting documentation demonstrating that funding the cause 
would benefit the national public interest.
    (5) The submission must be accompanied by a letter from an executive 
agency or agencies on agency letterhead representing that:
    (i) it is an executive agency as defined under 5 U.S.C. 105,
    (ii) it is willing and able to implement the proposal, and
    (iii) it is willing and able to meet the requirements of the 
Semipostal Authorization Act, if it is selected. The letter must be 
signed by a duly authorized representative of the agency.
    (b) Proposal submissions become the property of the Postal Service 
and are not returned to interested persons who submit them. Interested 
persons who submit proposals are not entitled to any remuneration, 
compensation, or any other form of payment, whether their proposal 
submissions are selected or not, for any reason.
    (c) The following persons are disqualified from submitting 
proposals:
    (1) Any contractor of the Postal Service that may stand to benefit 
financially from the Semipostal Stamp Program; or
    (2) Members of the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee and their 
immediate families, and employees or contractors of the Postal Service, 
and their immediate families, who are involved in any decision-making 
related to causes, recipient agencies, or artwork for the Semipostal 
Stamp Program.
    (d) Consideration for evaluation will not be given to proposals that 
request support for the following: Anniversaries; public works; people; 
specific organizations or associations; commercial enterprises or 
products; cities, towns, municipalities, counties, or secondary schools; 
hospitals, libraries, or similar institutions; religious institutions; 
causes that do not further human welfare; or causes determined by the 
Postal Service or the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee to be 
inconsistent with the spirit, intent, or history of the Semipostal 
Authorization Act.
    (e) Artwork and stamp designs should not be submitted with 
proposals.

[[Page 184]]



Sec. 551.5  Frequency and other limitations.

    (a) The Postal Service is authorized to issue semipostal stamps for 
a 10-year period beginning on the date on which semipostal stamps are 
first sold to the public under 39 U.S.C. 416. The 10-year period will 
commence after the sales period of the Breast Cancer Research stamp is 
concluded in accordance with the Stamp Out Breast Cancer Act, and as 
amended by the Semipostal Authorization Act, the Breast Cancer Research 
Stamp Act of 2001, and Public Law 107-67, section 650, 115 Stat. 514. 
The Office of Stamp Services will determine the date of commencement of 
the 10-year period.
    (b) The Postal Service will offer only one semipostal stamp for sale 
at any given time during the 10-year period.
    (c) The sales period for any given semipostal stamp is limited to no 
more than 2 years, as determined by the office of Stamp Services.
    (d) Prior to or after the issuance of a given semipostal stamp, the 
Postal Service reserves the right to withdraw the semipostal stamp from 
sale, or to reduce the sales period, if, inter alia:
    (1) Its sales or revenue statistics are lower than expected,
    (2) The sales or revenue projections are lower than previously 
expected, or
    (3) The cause or recipient executive agency does not further, or 
comply with, the statutory purposes or requirements of the Semipostal 
Authorization Act. The decision to withdraw a semipostal stamp is to be 
made by the postmaster general, after review of supporting documentation 
prepared by the office of Stamp Services.

[66 FR 31826, June 12, 2001, as amended at 67 FR 5215, Feb. 5, 2002]



Sec. 551.6  Pricing.

    (a) The Semipostal Authorization Act, as amended by Public Law 107-
67, section 652, 115 Stat. 514 (2001), prescribes that the price of a 
semipostal stamp is the rate of postage that would otherwise regularly 
apply, plus a differential of not less than 15 percent. The price of a 
semipostal stamp shall be an amount that is evenly divisible by five. 
For purposes of this provision, the First-Class Mail [reg] 
single-piece first-ounce rate of postage will be considered the rate of 
postage that would otherwise regularly apply.
    (b) The prices of semipostal stamps are determined by the Governors 
of the United States Postal Service in accordance with the requirements 
of 39 U.S.C. 416.

[66 FR 31826, June 12, 2001, as amended at 67 FR 5216, Feb. 5, 2002]



Sec. 551.7  Calculation of funds for recipient executive agencies.

    (a) The Postal Service is to determine its reasonable costs in 
executing its responsibilities pursuant to the Semipostal Authorization 
Act, as specified in Sec. 551.8. These costs are offset against the 
revenue received through sale of each semipostal stamp in excess of the 
First-Class Mail single-piece first-ounce rate in effect at the time of 
purchase.
    (b) Any reasonable costs offset by the Postal Service shall be 
retained by it, along with revenue from the sale of the semipostal 
stamps, as recorded by sales units through the use of a specially 
designated account.
    (c) The Postal Service is to pay designated recipient executive 
agency(ies) the remainder of the differential revenue less an amount to 
recover the reasonable costs of the Postal Service, as determined under 
Sec. 551.8.
    (d) The amounts for recipient executive agencies are transferred in 
a manner and frequency determined by mutual agreement, consistent with 
the requirements of 39 U.S.C. 416.



Sec. 551.8  Cost offset policy.

    (a) Postal Service policy is to recover from the differential 
revenue for each semipostal stamp those costs that are determined to be 
attributable to the semipostal stamp and that would not normally be 
incurred for stamps having similar sales; physical characteristics; and 
marketing, promotional, and public relations activities (hereinafter 
``comparable stamps'').
    (b) Overall responsibility for tracking costs associated with 
semipostal stamps will rest with the Office of Accounting, Finance, 
Controller. Individual organizational units incurring

[[Page 185]]

costs will provide supporting documentation to the Office of Accounting, 
Finance, Controller.
    (c) For each semipostal stamp, the Office of Stamp Services, in 
coordination with the Office of Accounting, Finance, Controller, shall, 
based on judgment and available information, identify the comparable 
stamp(s) and create a profile of the typical cost characteristics of the 
comparable stamp(s) (e.g., manufacturing process, gum type), thereby 
establishing a baseline for cost comparison purposes. The determination 
of comparable stamps may change during or after the sales period, and 
different comparable stamp(s) may be used for specific cost comparisons.
    (d) Except as specified, all costs associated with semipostal stamps 
will be tracked by the Office of Accounting, Finance, Controller. Costs 
that will not be tracked include:
    (1) Costs that the Postal Service determines to be inconsequentially 
small, which include those cost items which are less than $3,000 per 
invoice and are not specifically charged to a semipostal finance number.
    (2) Costs for which the cost of tracking or estimation would be 
burdensome (e.g., costs for which the cost of tracking exceeds the cost 
to be tracked);
    (3) Costs attributable to mail to which semipostal stamps are 
affixed (which are attributable to the appropriate class and/or subclass 
of mail); and
    (4) Administrative and support costs that the Postal Service would 
have incurred whether or not the Semipostal Stamp Program had been 
established.
    (e) Cost items recoverable from the differential revenue include, 
but are not limited to, the following:
    (1) Packaging costs in excess of the cost to package comparable 
stamps;
    (2) Printing costs of flyers and special receipts;
    (3) Costs of changes to equipment;
    (4) Costs of developing and executing marketing and promotional 
plans in excess of the cost for comparable stamps;
    (5) Other costs specific to the semipostal stamp that would not 
normally have been incurred for comparable stamps; and
    (6) Costs in paragraph (g) of this section that materially exceed 
those that would normally have been incurred for comparable stamps.
    (f) The Semipostal Stamp Program incorporates the following 
provisions that are intended to maximize differential revenues available 
to the selected causes. These include, but are not limited to, the 
following:
    (1) Avoiding, to the extent practicable, promotional costs that 
exceed those of comparable stamps;
    (2) Establishing restrictions on the number of concurrently issued 
semipostal stamps; and
    (3) Making financial and retail system changes in conjunction with 
regularly scheduled revisions.
    (g) Other costs attributable to semipostals but which would normally 
be incurred for comparable stamps would be recovered through the postage 
component of the semipostal stamp price. Such costs are not recovered, 
unless they materially exceed the costs of comparable stamps. These 
include, but are not limited to, the following:
    (1) Costs of stamp design (including market research);
    (2) Costs of stamp production and printing;
    (3) Costs of stamp shipping and distribution;
    (4) Estimated training costs for field staff, except for special 
training associated with semipostal stamps;
    (5) Costs of stamp sales (including employee salaries and benefits);
    (6) Costs associated with the withdrawal of the stamp issue from 
sale;
    (7) Costs associated with the destruction of unsold stamps; and
    (8) Costs associated with the incorporation of semipostal stamp 
images into advertising for the Postal Service as an entity.

[66 FR 31826, June 12, 2001, as amended at 67 FR 5216, Feb. 5, 2002; 69 
FR 7689, Feb. 19, 2004; 70 FR 6765, Feb. 9, 2005]

[[Page 186]]



      SUBCHAPTER H_PROCUREMENT SYSTEM FOR THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE: 
             INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS OTHER THAN PATENTS





PART 601_PURCHASING OF PROPERTY AND SERVICES--Table of Contents




Sec.
601.100 Purchasing policy.
601.101 Effective date.
601.102 Revocation of prior purchasing regulations.
601.103 Applicability and coverage.
601.104 Postal purchasing authority.
601.105 Business relationships.
601.106 Declining to accept or consider proposals.
601.107 Initial disagreement resolution.
601.108 Ombudsman disagreement resolution.
601.109 Contract claims and disputes.
601.110 Payment of claims.
601.111 Interest on claim amounts.
601.112 Review of adverse decisions.
601.113 Debarment, suspension, and ineligibility.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 401, 404, 410, 411, 2008, 5001-5605.

    Source: 70 FR 20293, Apr. 19, 2005, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 601.100  Purchasing policy.

    It is the policy of the Postal Service to acquire property and 
services in accordance with 39 U.S.C. 410 and all other applicable 
public laws enacted by Congress.



Sec. 601.101  Effective date.

    These regulations are effective May 19, 2005.



Sec. 601.102  Revocation of prior purchasing regulations.

    All previous Postal Service purchasing regulations, including the 
Postal Contracting Manual, Procurement Manual, the Purchasing Manual 
(Issues 1, 2 and 3), and procurement handbooks, circulars, and 
instructions, are revoked and are superseded by the regulations 
contained in this part, except as provided in Sec. 601.103.



Sec. 601.103  Applicability and coverage.

    The regulations contained in this part apply to all Postal Service 
acquisition of property (except real property) and services. 
Solicitations issued and contracts entered into prior to the effective 
date of the regulations in this part will be governed by the regulations 
in effect at the time the contract was signed.



Sec. 601.104  Postal purchasing authority.

    Only the Postmaster General/CEO; the Postal Service's vice president 
of Supply Management; contracting officers with written statements of 
specific authority; and others designated in writing or listed in this 
part have the authority to bind the Postal Service with respect to 
entering into, modifying, or terminating any contract regarding the 
acquisition of property, services, and related purchasing matters. The 
Postal Service's vice president of Supply Management, or his or her 
designee, may also delegate in writing local buying authority throughout 
the Postal Service.



Sec. 601.105  Business relationships.

    A person or organization wishing to enjoy a continuing business 
relationship with the Postal Service in purchasing matters is expected 
to treat the Postal Service in the same manner as it would other valued 
customers of similar size and importance. The Postal Service reserves 
the right to cease accepting or considering proposals from a person or 
organization when that person or organization fails to meet reasonable 
business expectations of high quality, prompt service, and overall 
professionalism.



Sec. 601.106  Declining to accept or consider proposals.

    (a) General. The Postal Service may decline to accept or consider 
proposals from a person or organization that does not meet reasonable 
business expectations or does not provide a high level of confidence 
about current or future business relations. Typically, these sorts of 
unacceptable conduct and business practices will not rise to the level 
of unethical or criminal activities that

[[Page 187]]

could lead to the debarment, suspension, or ineligibility of a supplier. 
Unacceptable conduct or business practices include, but are not limited 
to:
    (1) Marginal or dilatory contract performance;
    (2) Failure to deliver on promises made in the course of dealings 
with the Postal Service;
    (3) Providing false or misleading information as to financial 
condition, ability to perform, or other material matters, including any 
aspect of performance on a contract; and
    (4) Engaging in other questionable or unprofessional conduct or 
business practices.
    (b) Notice. If the Postal Service elects to decline to accept or 
consider proposals from a person or organization, the vice president of 
Supply Management, or his or her designee, will provide a written notice 
to the person or organization explaining:
    (1) The reasons for the decision;
    (2) The effective date of the decision;
    (3) The scope of the decision;
    (4) The duration of the decision (this may be limited to a specified 
length of time or may extend indefinitely); and
    (5) The supplier's right to contest the decision.
    (c) Contesting Decisions. If a person or organization believes the 
decision not to accept or consider proposals is not merited, it may 
contest the matter in accordance with the ombudsman and disagreement-
resolution procedures contained in this part, seek to resolve the matter 
by agreement through alternative dispute resolution, or both. The Postal 
Service may reconsider the matter and, if warranted, rescind or modify 
the decision to decline to accept or consider proposals.



Sec. 601.107  Initial disagreement resolution.

    It is the policy of the Postal Service and in the interest of 
suppliers to resolve potential disagreements by mutual agreement at the 
contracting officer or appropriate management level. Therefore, all 
disputes, protests, claims, disagreements, or demands of whatsoever 
nature (hereinafter ``disagreements'') against the Postal Service 
arising in connection with the purchasing process, except claims that 
arise pursuant to a contract under the Contract Disputes Act or claims 
concerning debarment, suspension, or ineligibility under Sec. 601.113, 
must be lodged with the responsible contracting officer for resolution 
within 10 days of the date the disagreement arose. If the matter is not 
resolved within 10 days following the lodging of the dispute, the 
disagreement may be lodged with the Ombudsman as described in Sec. 
601.108. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures may be used, if 
agreed to by both parties. The Postal Service supports and encourages 
the use of ADR as an effective way to understand, address, and resolve 
disagreements and conflicts. A person or organization disagreeing with a 
Postal Service decision and the Postal Service contracting officer must 
consider the use of ADR to resolve a particular purchasing disagreement, 
regardless of the nature of the disagreement or when it occurs during 
the purchasing process. ADR methods include informal negotiation, 
mediation by a neutral third party, and any other agreed-upon method.



Sec. 601.108  Ombudsman disagreement resolution.

    (a) Policy. From time to time, disagreements may arise between 
suppliers, potential suppliers, and the Postal Service regarding awards 
of contracts and related matters that are not resolved as set forth in 
Sec. 601.107. When a disagreement under Sec.  601.107 is not resolved 
within ten calendar days of when it was lodged with the contracting 
officer, then the disagreement may be lodged with the ombudsman 
established in this part for final resolution. The Postal Service 
desires to resolve all such disagreements quickly and inexpensively in 
keeping with the regulations in this part, 39 U.S.C. 410, and all other 
applicable public laws enacted by Congress. In resolving disagreements, 
non-Postal Service procurement rules or regulations will not govern.
    (b) Scope and Applicability. In order to expeditiously resolve 
disagreements that are not resolved at the contracting officer or 
appropriate management level, to reduce litigation expenses, 
inconvenience, and other costs

[[Page 188]]

for all parties, and to facilitate successful business relationships 
with Postal Service suppliers, the supplier community, and other 
persons, the following procedure is established as the sole and 
exclusive means to resolve disagreements arising in connection with 
awards of contracts for the purchase of property (excluding real 
property) or services and all related matters. All disputes, protests, 
claims, disagreements, or demands of whatsoever nature (hereinafter 
``disagreements'') against the Postal Service arising in connection with 
the purchasing process, except claims that arise pursuant to a contract 
under the Contract Disputes Act or claims concerning debarment, 
suspension, or ineligibility under Sec. 601.113, will be lodged with 
and resolved, with finality, by the ombudsman under and in accordance 
with the sole and exclusive procedure established in this section.
    (c) A disagreement may be lodged with the ombudsman by an 
organization or a person with respect to the Postal Service's decision 
not to accept or consider business proposals or the award of a contract.
    (d) The disagreement must be lodged in writing and must state the 
factual circumstances relating to it, the remedy sought, and the 
rationale for the disagreement. Counsel is not required, but may be 
retained to assist in the disagreement process. The person or 
organization lodging the disagreement must indicate in the disagreement 
whether it is willing to attempt to resolve the matter through informal 
discussions, mediation, or another means of ADR.
    (e) A disagreement must be lodged with the ombudsman within twenty 
calendar days after the time it was presented in Sec. 601.107. The 
ombudsman may grant an extension of time to lodge a disagreement or to 
provide supporting information when warranted. Any request for an 
extension must set forth the reasons for the request, be made in 
writing, and be delivered to the ombudsman on or before the time to 
lodge a disagreement lapses. The address of the ombudsman is: Attn: 
Ombudsman, United States Postal Service Headquarters, 475 L'Enfant 
Plaza, SW., Room 4110, Washington, DC 20260-6200.
    (f) The ombudsman will promptly provide a copy of a disagreement to 
the contracting officer, who will promptly notify other interested 
persons (i.e., actual or prospective offerors whose direct economic 
interests would be affected by the award of, or failure to award, the 
contract). The ombudsman will consider a disagreement and any response 
by other interested persons and appropriate Postal Service officials 
within a time frame established by the ombudsman. The ombudsman may also 
meet individually or jointly with the person or organization lodging the 
disagreement, other interested persons, and/or Postal Service officials, 
and may undertake other activities in order to obtain materials, 
information, or advice that may help to resolve the disagreement. The 
person or organization lodging the disagreement, other interested 
persons, or Postal Service officials must promptly provide all relevant, 
nonprivileged materials and other information requested by the 
ombudsman. After obtaining such information, materials, and advice as 
may be needed, the ombudsman will promptly issue a decision in writing 
resolving a disagreement and will deliver the decision to the person or 
organization lodging the disagreement, other interested persons, and 
appropriate Postal Service officials. If confidential or privileged 
material is needed in order to reach a decision, the ombudsman will 
notify the appropriate party to provide such material to the ombudsman 
only. The confidential material will be held in confidence by the 
ombudsman and will be returned to the party upon request at the 
conclusion of the matter.
    (g) In considering and in resolving a disagreement, the ombudsman 
will be guided by the regulations contained in this part and all 
applicable public laws enacted by Congress. Non-Postal Service 
procurement rules or regulations and revoked Postal Service regulations 
will not apply or be taken into account in resolving disagreements. 
Failure of any party to provide promptly requested information may be 
taken into account by the ombudsman in the decision.
    (h) A decision of the ombudsman will be final and binding on the 
person or

[[Page 189]]

organization lodging the disagreement, other interested persons, and the 
Postal Service. However, the person or organization that lodged the 
disagreement or another interested person may appeal the decision to a 
federal court with jurisdiction over such claims, but only on the 
grounds that the decision:
    (1) Was procured by fraud or other criminal misconduct; or
    (2) Was obtained in violation of the regulations contained in this 
part or an applicable public law enacted by Congress.
    (i) It is intended that this procedure generally will resolve 
disagreements within approximately 30 days after the ombudsman receives 
the disagreement. The time may be shortened or lengthened depending on 
the complexity of the issues and other relevant considerations.



Sec. 601.109  Contract claims and disputes.

    (a) General. This section implements the Contract Disputes Act of 
1978, as amended (41 U.S.C. 601-613).
    (b) Policy. It is Postal Service policy to resolve contractual 
claims and disputes by mutual agreement at the level of an authorized 
contracting officer whenever possible. In addition, the Postal Service 
supports and encourages the use of alternative dispute resolution as an 
effective way to understand, address, and resolve conflicts with 
suppliers. Efforts to resolve differences should be made before the 
issuance of a final decision on a claim, and even when the supplier does 
not agree to use ADR, the contracting officer should consider holding 
informal discussions between the parties in order to resolve the 
conflict before the issuance of a final decision.
    (c) Contractor Claim Initiation. Supplier claims must be submitted 
in writing to the contracting officer for final decision. The 
contracting officer must document the contract file with evidence of the 
date of receipt of any submission that the contracting officer 
determines is a claim. Supplier claims must be submitted within 6 years 
after accrual of a claim unless the parties agreed to a shorter time 
period. The 6-year time period does not apply to contracts awarded prior 
to October 1, 1995.
    (d) Postal Service Claim Initiation. The contracting officer must 
issue a written decision on any Postal Service claim against a supplier, 
within 6 years after accrual of a claim, unless the parties agreed in 
writing to a shorter time period. The 6-year time period does not apply 
to contracts awarded prior to October 1, 1995, or to a Postal Service 
claim based on a supplier claim involving fraud.
    (e) Certified Claims. Each supplier claim exceeding $100,000 must be 
accompanied by a certification in accordance with the supplier's 
contract.
    (f) When the contracting officer determines that the supplier is 
unable to support any part of the claim and there is evidence or reason 
to believe the inability is attributable to either misrepresentation of 
fact or fraud on the supplier's part, the contracting officer must deny 
that part of the claim and refer the matter to the Office of Inspector 
General.
    (g) Decision and Appeal--(1) Contracting Officer's Authority. A 
contracting officer is authorized to decide or settle all claims arising 
under or relating to a contract subject to the Contract Disputes Act, 
except for:
    (i) Claims or disputes for penalties or forfeitures prescribed by 
statutes or regulation that a Federal agency administers; or
    (ii) Claims involving fraud.
    (2) Contracting Officer's Decision. The contracting officer must 
review the facts pertinent to the claim, obtain assistance from assigned 
counsel and other advisors, and issue a final decision in writing. The 
decision must include a description of the claim or dispute with 
references to the pertinent contract provisions, a statement of the 
factual areas of agreement and disagreement, and a statement of the 
contracting officer's decision with supporting rationale.
    (3) Insufficient Information. When the contracting officer cannot 
issue a decision because the supplier has not provided sufficient 
information, the contracting officer must promptly request the required 
information. Further failure to provide the requested information is an 
adequate reason to deny the claim.

[[Page 190]]

    (4) Furnishing Decisions. The contracting officer must furnish a 
copy of the decision to the supplier by Certified Mail, return receipt 
requested, or by any other method that provides evidence of receipt.
    (5) Decisions on Claims for $100,000 or Less. If the supplier has 
asked for a decision within 60 days, the contracting officer must issue 
a final decision on a claim of $100,000 or less within 60 calendar days 
of its receipt. The supplier may consider the contracting officer's 
failure to issue a decision within the applicable time period as a 
denial of its claim, and may file a suit or appeal on the claim.
    (6) Decisions on Certified Claims. For certified claims over 
$100,000, the contracting officer must either issue a final decision 
within 60 calendar days of their receipt or notify the supplier within 
the 60-day period of the time when a decision will be issued. The time 
period established must be reasonable, taking into account the size and 
complexity of the claim, the adequacy of the supplier's supporting data, 
and any other relevant factors.
    (7) Wording of Decisions. The contracting officer's final decision 
must contain the following paragraph: ``This is the final decision of 
the contracting officer pursuant to the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 
and the clause of your contract entitled Claims and Disputes. You may 
appeal this decision to the Postal Service Board of Contract Appeals by 
mailing or otherwise furnishing written notice (preferably in 
triplicate) to the contracting officer within 90 days from the date you 
receive this decision. The notice should identify the contract by 
number, reference this decision, and indicate that an appeal is 
intended. Alternatively, you may bring an action directly in the United 
States Court of Federal Claims within 12 months from the date you 
receive this decision.
    (8) Additional Wording for Decisions of $50,000 or Less. When the 
claim or claims denied total $50,000 or less, the contracting officer 
must add the following to the paragraph: ``In taking an appeal to the 
Board of Contract Appeals, you may include in your notice of appeal an 
election to proceed under the Board's small claims (expedited) 
procedure, which provides for a decision within approximately 120 days, 
or an election to proceed under the Board's accelerated procedure, which 
provides for a decision within approximately 180 days. If you do not 
make an election in the notice of appeal, you may do so by written 
notice anytime thereafter.''
    (9) Additional Wording for Decisions Over $50,000 Up to $100,000. 
When the claim or claims denied total $100,000 or less, but more than 
$50,000, the contracting officer must add the following to the 
paragraph: ``In taking an appeal to the Board of Contract Appeals, you 
may include in your notice of appeal an election to proceed under the 
Board's accelerated procedure, which provides for a decision within 
approximately 180 days. If you do not make an election in the notice of 
appeal, you may do so by written notice anytime thereafter.''
    (10) Contracting officers must have sufficient information available 
at the time a final decision is issued on a claim so resolution of an 
appeal within the period set for an expedited disposition will not be 
delayed. Once an appeal is docketed, and expedited disposition is 
elected, contracting officers must devote sufficient resources to the 
appeal to ensure the schedule for resolution is met. Nothing in this 
part precludes an effort by the parties to settle a controversy after an 
appeal has been filed, although such efforts to settle the controversy 
will not suspend processing the appeal, unless the Board of Contract 
Appeals so directs.



Sec. 601.110  Payment of claims.

    Any claim amount determined in a final decision to be payable, less 
any portion previously paid, should be promptly paid to the supplier 
without prejudice to either party in the event of appeal or action on 
the claim. In the absence of appeal by the Postal Service, a board or 
court decision favorable in whole or in part to the supplier must be 
implemented promptly. In cases when only the question of entitlement has 
been decided and the matter of amount has been remanded to the parties 
for negotiation, a final decision of the contracting officer must be 
issued if agreement is not reached promptly.

[[Page 191]]



Sec. 601.111  Interest on claim amounts.

    Interest on the amount found due on the supplier's claim must be 
paid from the date the contracting officer received the claim (properly 
certified, if required) or from the date payment would otherwise be due, 
if that date is later, until the date of payment. Simple interest will 
be paid at the rate established by the Secretary of the Treasury for 
each 6-month period in which the claim is pending. Information on the 
rate at which interest is payable is announced periodically in the 
Postal Bulletin.



Sec. 601.112  Review of adverse decisions.

    Any party may seek review of an adverse decision of the Board of 
Contract Appeals in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit or in 
any other appropriate forum.



Sec. 601.113  Debarment, suspension, and ineligibility.

    (a) General. Except as provided otherwise in this part, contracting 
officers may not solicit proposals from, award contracts to, or consent 
to subcontracts with debarred, suspended, or ineligible suppliers.
    (b) Definitions--(1) Affiliate. A business, organization, person, or 
individual connected by the fact that one controls or has the power to 
control the other or by the fact that a third party controls or has the 
power to control both. Factors such as common ownership, common 
management, and contractual relationships may be considered. Franchise 
agreements are not conclusive evidence of affiliation if the franchisee 
has a right to profit in proportion to its ownership and bears the risk 
of loss or failure.
    (2) Debarment. An exclusion from contracting and subcontracting for 
a reasonable, specified period of time commensurate with the seriousness 
of the offense, failure, or inadequacy of performance.
    (3) General Counsel. This includes the General Counsel's authorized 
representative.
    (4) Indictment. Indictment for a criminal offense. An information or 
other filing by competent authority charging a criminal offense is given 
the same effect as an indictment.
    (5) Ineligible. An exclusion from contracting and subcontracting by 
an entity other than the Postal Service under statutes, executive 
orders, or regulations, such as the Davis Bacon Act, the Service 
Contract Act, the Equal Employment Opportunity Acts, the Walsh-Healy 
Public Contracts Act, or the Environmental Protection Acts and related 
regulations or executive orders, to which the Postal Service is subject 
or has adopted as a matter of policy.
    (6) Judicial Officer. This includes the acting Judicial Officer.
    (7) Suspension. An exclusion from contracting and subcontracting for 
a reasonable period of time due to specified reasons or the pendency of 
a debarment proceeding.
    (8) Supplier. For the purposes of this part, a supplier is any 
individual, person, or other legal entity that:
    (i) Directly or indirectly (e.g., through an affiliate) submits 
offers for, is awarded, or reasonably may be expected to submit offers 
for or be awarded, a Postal Service contract, including a contract for 
carriage under Postal Service or commercial bills of lading, or a 
subcontract under a Postal Service contract; or
    (ii) Conducts business or reasonably may be expected to conduct 
business with the Postal Service as a subcontractor, an agent, or as a 
representative of another supplier.
    (c) Establishment and Maintenance of Lists. (1) The vice president 
of Supply Management will establish, maintain, and distribute to 
purchasing offices a list of suppliers debarred or suspended by the 
Postal Service.
    (2) The General Services Administration (GSA) compiles and maintains 
a consolidated list of all persons and entities debarred, suspended, 
proposed for debarment, or declared ineligible by Federal agencies or 
the Government Accountability Office. GSA posts the list on the Internet 
and publishes a hardcopy of the list.
    (3) The vice president of Supply Management will notify the GSA of 
any Postal Service debarment, suspension, and change in the status of 
suppliers, including any of their affiliates, on the Postal Service 
list.

[[Page 192]]

    (d) Treatment of Suppliers on Postal Service or GSA Lists. (1) 
Contracting officers will review the Postal Service and GSA lists before 
making a contract award.
    (2) Suppliers on the Postal Service list are excluded from receiving 
contracts and subcontracts, and contracting officers may not solicit 
proposals or quotations from, award contracts to, or, when a contract 
provides for such consent, consent to subcontracts with such suppliers, 
unless the vice president of Supply Management, or his or her designee, 
after consultation with the General Counsel, has approved such action. 
Suppliers on the Postal Service list may not provide goods or services 
to other persons or entities for resale, in whole or part, to the Postal 
Service and such other persons or entities are obligated to obtain and 
review the Postal Service list in order to exclude debarred or suspended 
suppliers from performing any part of a Postal Service contract.
    (3) Suppliers on the GSA list are assigned a code by GSA which is 
related to the basis of ineligibility. The vice president of Supply 
Management maintains a table describing the Postal Service treatment 
assigned to each code. Suppliers on the GSA list who are coded as 
ineligible are excluded from receiving contracts and subcontracts, and 
contracting officers may not solicit proposals or quotations from, award 
contracts to, or, when the contract provides for such consent, consent 
to subcontracts with such suppliers, unless the vice president of Supply 
Management, or designee, after consultation with the General Counsel, 
has approved such action. Suppliers on the GSA list may not provide 
goods or services to other persons or entities for resale, in whole or 
part, to the Postal Service and such other persons or entities are 
obligated to obtain and review the GSA list in order to exclude debarred 
or suspended suppliers from performing any part of a Postal Service 
contract.
    (4) Suppliers on the GSA list are assigned codes for which the table 
provides other Postal Service guidance, and are considered according to 
that guidance. When so indicated on the table, contracting officers must 
obtain additional information from the entity responsible for 
establishing the supplier's ineligibility, if such information is 
available.
    (5) The debarment, suspension, or ineligibility of a supplier does 
not, of itself, affect the rights and obligations of the parties to any 
valid, pre-existing contract. The Postal Service may terminate for 
default a contract with a supplier that is debarred, suspended, or 
determined to be ineligible. Except for service changes under mail 
transportation contracts, contracting officers may not add new work to 
the contract by supplemental agreement, by exercise of an option, or 
otherwise, except with the approval of the vice president of Supply 
Management or designee.
    (e) Causes for Debarment. (1) The vice president of Supply 
Management, with the concurrence of the General Counsel, may debar a 
supplier, including its affiliates, for cause such as the following:
    (i) Conviction of a criminal offense incidental to obtaining or 
attempting to obtain contracts or subcontracts, or in the performance of 
a contract or subcontract.
    (ii) Conviction under a Federal antitrust statute arising out of the 
submission of bids or proposals.
    (iii) Commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, 
falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, tax 
evasion, or receiving stolen property.
    (iv) Violation of a Postal Service contract so serious as to justify 
debarment, such as willful failure to perform a Postal Service contract 
in accordance with the specifications or within the time limit(s) 
provided in the contract; a record of failure to perform or of 
unsatisfactory performance in accordance with the terms of one or more 
Postal Service contracts occurring within a reasonable period of time 
preceding the determination to debar (except that failure to perform or 
unsatisfactory performance caused by acts beyond the control of the 
supplier may not be considered a basis for debarment); violation of a 
contractual provision against contingent fees; or acceptance of a 
contingent fee paid in violation of a contractual provision against 
contingent fees.

[[Page 193]]

    (v) Any other offense indicating a lack of business integrity or 
business honesty.
    (vi) Any other cause of a serious and compelling nature that 
debarment is warranted.
    (2) The existence of a conviction in paragraph (e)(1)(i) or (ii) of 
this section can be established by proof of a conviction in a court of 
competent jurisdiction. If appeal taken from such conviction results in 
a reversal of the conviction, the debarment may be removed upon the 
request of the supplier, unless another cause or another basis for 
debarment exists.
    (3) The existence of any of the other causes in paragraphs 
(e)(1)(iii), (iv), (v), or (vi) of this section can be established by a 
preponderance of the evidence, either direct or indirect, in the 
judgment of the debarring official.
    (4) The criminal, fraudulent, or improper conduct of an individual 
may be imputed to the firm with which he or she is or has been connected 
when an impropriety was committed. Likewise, when a firm is involved in 
criminal, fraudulent, or other improper conduct, any person who 
participated in, knew of, or had reason to know of the impropriety may 
be debarred.
    (5) The fraudulent, criminal, or other improper conduct of one 
supplier participating in a joint venture or similar arrangement may be 
imputed to other participating suppliers if the conduct occurred for or 
on behalf of the joint venture or similar arrangement, or with the 
knowledge, approval, or acquiescence of the supplier. Acceptance of the 
benefits derived from the conduct will be evidence of such knowledge, 
approval, or acquiescence.
    (f) Mitigating Factors. (1) The existence of any cause for debarment 
does not necessarily require that a supplier be debarred. The decision 
to debar is within the discretion of the vice president of Supply 
Management, with the concurrence of the General Counsel, and must be 
made in the best interest of the Postal Service. The following factors 
may be assessed in determining the seriousness of the offense, failure, 
or inadequacy of performance, and may be taken into account in deciding 
whether debarment is warranted:
    (i) Whether the supplier had established written standards of 
conduct and had published internal control systems at the time of the 
activity that constitutes cause for debarment or had adopted such 
procedures prior to any Postal Service investigation of the activity 
cited as a cause for debarment.
    (ii) Whether the supplier brought the activity cited as a cause for 
debarment to the attention of the Postal Service in a prompt, timely 
manner.
    (iii) Whether the supplier promptly and fully investigated the 
circumstances involving debarment and, if so, made the full results of 
the investigation available to appropriate officials of the Postal 
Service.
    (iv) Whether the supplier cooperated fully with the Postal Service 
during its investigation into the matter.
    (v) Whether the supplier paid or agreed to pay all criminal, civil, 
and administrative liability and other costs arising out of the improper 
activity, including any investigative or administrative costs incurred 
by the Postal Service, and made or agreed to make full restitution.
    (vi) Whether the supplier took appropriate disciplinary action 
against the individual(s) responsible for the activity that could cause 
debarment.
    (vii) Whether the supplier implemented and/or agreed to implement 
remedial measures, including those identified by the Postal Service.
    (viii) Whether the supplier instituted and/or agreed to institute 
new and/or revised review and control procedures and ethics programs.
    (ix) Whether the supplier had adequate time to eliminate 
circumstances within the supplier's organization that could lead to 
debarment.
    (x) Whether the supplier's senior officers and mid-level management 
recognize and understand the seriousness of the misconduct giving rise 
to debarment.
    (2) The existence or nonexistence of mitigating factors or remedial 
measures such as those above is not determinative whether or not a 
supplier should be debarred. If a cause for debarment exists, the 
supplier has the burden of demonstrating, to the satisfaction of the 
vice president of Supply

[[Page 194]]

Management that debarment is not warranted or necessary.
    (g) Period of Debarment. (1) When an applicable statute, executive 
order, or controlling regulation of other agencies provides a specific 
period of debarment, that period applies. In other cases, debarment by 
the Postal Service should be for a reasonable, definite, stated period 
of time, commensurate with the seriousness of the offense or the failure 
or inadequacy of performance. Generally, a period of debarment should 
not exceed 3 years. When debarment for an additional period is deemed 
necessary, notice of the proposed additional period of debarment must be 
furnished to the supplier as in the case of original debarment.
    (2) Except as precluded by an applicable statute, executive order, 
or controlling regulation of another agency, debarment may be removed or 
the period may be reduced by the vice president of Supply Management 
when requested by the debarred supplier and when the request is 
supported by a reasonable justification, such as newly discovered 
material evidence, reversal of a conviction, bona fide change of 
ownership or management, or the elimination of the causes for which 
debarment was imposed. The vice president of Supply Management may, at 
his or her discretion, deny any request or refer it to the Judicial 
Officer for a hearing and for findings of fact, which the vice president 
of Supply Management will consider when deciding the matter. When a 
debarment is removed or the debarment period is reduced, the vice 
president of Supply Management must state in writing the reason(s) for 
the removal of the debarment or the reduction of the period of 
debarment.
    (h) Procedural Requirements for Debarment. (1) After securing the 
concurrence of the General Counsel, the vice president of Supply 
Management will initiate a debarment proceeding by sending the supplier 
a written notice of proposed debarment. The notice will be served by 
sending it to the last known address of the supplier by Certified Mail, 
return receipt requested. A copy of the notice will be furnished to the 
Office of Inspector General. The notice will state that debarment is 
being considered; the reason(s) for the proposed debarment; the 
anticipated period of debarment and the proposed effective date; and, 
within 30 days of the notice, the supplier may submit, in person or in 
writing, or through a representative, information and argument in 
opposition to the proposed debarment. In the event a supplier does not 
submit information or argument in opposition to the proposed debarment 
to the vice president of Supply Management within the time allowed, the 
debarment will become final with no further review or appeal.
    (2) If the proposed debarment is based on a conviction or civil 
judgment, the vice president of Supply Management with the concurrence 
of the General Counsel, may decide whether debarment is merited based on 
the conviction or judgment, including any information received from the 
supplier. If the debarment is based on other circumstances or if there 
are questions regarding material facts, the vice president of, Supply 
Management may seek additional information from the supplier and/or 
other persons, and may request the Judicial Officer to hold a fact-
finding hearing on such matters. The hearing will be governed by rules 
of procedure promulgated by the Judicial Officer. The vice president of 
Supply Management may reject any findings of fact, in whole or in part, 
when they are clearly erroneous.
    (3) When the vice president of Supply Management proposes to debar a 
supplier already debarred by another government agency for a period 
concurrent with such debarment, the debarment proceedings before the 
Postal Service may be based entirely upon the record of evidence, facts, 
and proceedings before the other agency, upon any additional facts the 
Postal Service deems relevant, or on the decision of another government 
agency. In such cases, the findings of facts by another government 
agency may be considered as established, but, within 30 days of the 
notice of proposed debarment, the supplier may submit, in person or in 
writing, or through a representative, any additional facts, information, 
or argument to the vice president of Supply Management, and to explain 
why debarment by the Postal Service should not be imposed.

[[Page 195]]

    (4) Questions of fact to be resolved by a hearing before the 
Judicial Office will be based on the preponderance of the evidence.
    (5) After consideration of the circumstances and any information and 
argument submitted by the supplier, the vice president of Supply 
Management, with the concurrence of the General Counsel, will issue a 
written decision regarding whether the supplier is debarred, and, if so, 
for the period of debarment. The decision will be mailed to the supplier 
by Certified Mail, return receipt requested. A copy of the decision will 
be furnished to the Office of the Inspector General. The decision will 
be final and binding, unless:
    (i) The decision was procured by fraud or other criminal misconduct 
or
    (ii) The decision was obtained in violation of the regulations 
contained in this part or an applicable public law enacted by Congress.
    (i) Causes for Suspension. The vice president of Supply Management 
may suspend any supplier, including any of its affiliates, if:
    (1) The supplier commits, is indicted for, or is convicted of fraud 
or a criminal offense incidental to obtaining, attempting to obtain, or 
performing a government contract, violates a Federal antitrust statute 
arising out of the submission of bids and proposals, or commits or 
engages in embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or 
destruction of records, receipt of stolen property, or any other offense 
indicating a lack of business integrity or business honesty; or
    (2) If the Postal Service has notified a supplier of its proposed 
debarment under this Part.
    (j) Period of Suspension. A suspension will not exceed 1 year in 
duration, except a suspension may be extended for reasonable periods of 
time beyond 1 year by the vice president of Supply Management. The 
termination of a suspension will not prejudice the Postal Service's 
position in any debarment proceeding. A suspension will be superseded by 
a decision rendered by the vice president of Supply Management, under 
paragraph (h)(5) of this section.
    (k) Procedural Requirements for Suspension. (1) The vice president 
of Supply Management will notify a supplier of a suspension or an 
extension of a suspension and the reason(s) for the suspension or 
extension in writing sent to the supplier by Certified Mail, return 
receipt requested, within 10 days after the effective date of the 
suspension or extension. A copy of the notice will be furnished to the 
Office of the Inspector General.
    (2) The notice will state the cause(s) for the suspension or 
extension.
    (3) Within 30 days of notice of suspension or an extension, a 
supplier may submit to the vice president of Supply Management in 
writing, any information or reason(s) the supplier believes makes a 
suspension or an extension inappropriate, and the vice president of 
Supply Management in consultation with the General Counsel, will 
consider the supplier's submission, and, in their discretion, may revoke 
a suspension or an extension of a suspension. If a suspension or 
extension is revoked, the revocation will be in writing and a copy of 
the revocation will be sent to the supplier by Certified Mail, return 
receipt requested. A copy of the revocation will be furnished to the 
Office of the Inspector General.



PART 602_INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS OTHER THAN PATENTS--Table of 
Contents




Sec.
602.1 General principles.
602.2 Office of Licensing, Philatelic and Retail Services Department.
602.3 Requests for use.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 401(5).

    Source: 43 FR 42250, Sept. 20, 1978, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 602.1  General principles.

    It is the policy of the Postal Service to secure full ownership 
rights for its intellectual properties other than patents (hereinafter, 
intellectual properties) having significant economic or other business 
value, except when to do so would be contrary to the best interest of 
the Postal Service. Intellectual property rights shall be acquired and 
managed so as to:
    (a) Promote the economic, operational, and competitive well-being of 
the Postal Service;
    (b) Limit restrictions on the use of Postal Service intellectual 
property to

[[Page 196]]

a minimum consistent with its statutory obligations;
    (c) Assure that all potential users are treated fairly;
    (d) Give due regard to other relevant considerations.



Sec. 602.2  Office of Licensing, Philatelic and Retail Services 
Department.

    In accordance with the foregoing policy, the Postal Service Office 
of Licensing, Philatelic and Retail Services Department, formulates the 
program for the management of the Postal Service's rights in 
intellectual property (except patents and technical data rights in 
Postal Service contracts, which is the responsibility of Postal Service 
contracting officers). The Office of Licensing and the contracting 
officers identify intellectual properties in which the Postal Service 
should secure its rights. It receives and makes recommendations for the 
disposition of applications for use of Postal Service intellectual 
property. It periodically reviews the intellectual property rights 
portfolio to determine the extent of the utilization of protected 
properties and to recommend relinquishment of ownership when it 
considers ownership no longer desirable. It is advised by the Office of 
Procurement of performance under license agreements and makes 
recommendations for corrective measures when necessary. In consultation 
with the Law Department, it recommends appropriate action against 
unauthorized use of intellectual property.

[56 FR 58859, Nov. 22, 1991]



Sec. 602.3  Requests for use.

    (a) Inquiries concerning licenses to use Postal Service trademarks 
or service marks, copyright materials and intellectual property other 
than patents and technical data rights in Postal Service contracts must 
be sent to: Office of Licensing, Philatelic and Retail Services 
Department, US Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 
20260-6700.
    (b) Requests for the use of intellectual property should be 
submitted on the form provided by the Office of Licensing to the 
licensing advisor designated by that Office. Each request is considered 
in a timely fashion in accordance with the policy established in this 
section. Requests favorably considered are forwarded to the Office of 
Licensing for approval.
    (c) Approved requests contemplating a permissive (no fee) use of the 
intellectual property are evidenced by a letter of permission furnished 
to the requester.
    (d) Approved requests contemplating a contractual (fee) use of the 
intellectual property are forwarded to the Office of Licensing for the 
negotiation of a satisfactory license agreement.
    (e) Each license agreement is subject to legal review.
    (f) Requesters are promptly advised of unapproved requests.
    A transmittal letter effecting the above changes to the Domestic 
Mail Manual will be published and transmitted automatically to 
subscribers. Notice of issuance of the transmittal letter will be 
published in the Federal Register as provided by 39 CFR 111.3.

[56 FR 58859, Nov. 22, 1991]



                         SUBCHAPTER I [RESERVED]



[[Page 197]]



SUBCHAPTER J_POSTAL SERVICE DEBT OBLIGATIONS; DISBURSEMENT POSTAL MONEY 
                                 ORDERS





PART 760_APPLICABILITY OF TREA- SURY DEPARTMENT REGULATIONS--Table of 
Contents






Sec. 760.1  Treasury Department regulations; applicability to Postal 
Service.

    The provisions of Treasury Department Circular No. 300, 31 CFR part 
306 (other than subpart O), as amended from time to time, shall apply 
insofar as appropriate to obligations of the U.S. Postal Service to the 
extent they are consistent with the Trust Indenture of the Postal 
Service and the agreement between the Postal Service and the Federal 
Reserve Bank of New York acting as Fiscal Agent of the United States on 
behalf of the Postal Service. Definitions and terms used in Treasury 
Department Circular 300 should be read as though modified to effectuate 
the application of the regulations to the U.S. Postal Service.

(39 U.S.C. Secs. 401, 402, 2005)

[37 FR 211, Jan. 7, 1972]



PART 761_BOOK-ENTRY PROCEDURES--Table of Contents




Sec.
761.1 Definition of terms.
761.2 Authority of Reserve Banks.
761.3 Scope and effect of book-entry procedure.
761.4 Transfer or pledge.
761.5 Withdrawal of Postal Service securities.
761.6 Delivery of Postal Service securities.
761.7 Registered bonds and notes.
761.8 Servicing book-entry Postal Service securities; payment of 
          interest, payment at maturity or upon call.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 401, 402, 2005.

    Source: 37 FR 16801, Aug. 19, 1972, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 761.1  Definition of terms.

    In this part, unless the context otherwise requires or indicates:
    (a) Reserve Bank means the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (and any 
other Federal Reserve Bank which agrees to issue Postal Service 
securities in book-entry form) as fiscal agent of the United States 
acting on behalf of the Postal Service and when indicated acting in its 
individual capacity.
    (b) Postal Service security means any obligation of the Postal 
Service issued under 39 U.S.C. 2005, in the form of a definitive Postal 
Service security or a book-entry Postal Service security.
    (c) Definitive Postal Service security means a Postal Service 
security in engraved or printed form.
    (d) Book-entry Postal Service security means a Postal Service 
security in the form of an entry made as prescribed in these regulations 
on the records of a Reserve Bank.
    (e) Pledge includes a pledge of, or any other security interest in, 
Postal Service securities as collateral for loans or advances or to 
secure deposits of public moneys or the performance of an obligation.
    (f) Date of call is the date fixed in the authorizing resolution of 
the Board of Governors of the Postal Service on which the obligor will 
make payment of the security before maturity in accordance with its 
terms.
    (g) Member bank means any national bank, State bank, or bank or 
trust company which is a member of a Reserve bank.



Sec. 761.2  Authority of Reserve Banks.

    Each Reserve Bank is hereby authorized, in accordance with the 
provisions of this part, to (a) issue book-entry Postal Service 
securities by means of entries on its records which shall include the 
name of the depositor, the amount, the loan title (or series) and 
maturity date; (b) effect conversions between book-entry Postal Service 
securities and definitive Postal Service securities; (c) otherwise 
service and maintain book-entry Postal Service securities; and (d) issue 
a confirmation of transaction in the form of a written advice (serially 
numbered or otherwise) which specifies the amount and description of any 
securities; that is, loan title (or series) and maturity date, sold or 
transferred, and the date of the transaction.

[[Page 198]]



Sec. 761.3  Scope and effect of book-entry procedure.

    (a) A Reserve Bank as fiscal agent of the United States acting on 
behalf of the Postal Service may apply the book-entry procedure provided 
for in this part to any Postal Service securities which have been or are 
hereafter deposited for any purpose in accounts with it in its 
individual capacity under terms and conditions which indicate that the 
Reserve Bank will continue to maintain such deposit accounts in its 
individual capacity, notwithstanding application of the book-entry 
procedure to such securities. This paragraph is applicable, but not 
limited, to securities deposited:
    (1) As collateral pledged to a Reserve Bank (in its individual 
capacity) for advances by it;
    (2) By a member bank for its sole account;
    (3) By a member bank held for the account of its customers;
    (4) In connection with deposits in a member bank of funds of States, 
municipalities, or other political subdivisions; or,
    (5) In connection with the performance of an obligation or duty 
under Federal, State, municipal, or local law, or judgments or decrees 
of courts.

The application of the book-entry procedure under this paragraph shall 
not derogate from or adversely affect the relationships that would 
otherwise exist between a Reserve Bank in its individual capacity and 
its depositors concerning any deposits under this paragraph. Whenever 
the book-entry procedure is applied to such Postal Service securities, 
the Reserve Bank is authorized to take all action necessary in respect 
of the book-entry procedure to enable such Reserve Bank in its 
individual capacity to perform its obligations as depository with 
respect to such Postal Service securities.
    (b) A Reserve Bank as fiscal agent of the United States acting on 
behalf of the Postal Service may apply the book-entry procedure to 
Postal Service securities deposited as collateral pledged to the United 
States under Treasury Department Circulars Nos. 92 and 176, both as 
revised and amended, and may apply the book-entry procedure, with the 
approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, to any other Postal Service 
securities deposited with a Reserve Bank as fiscal agent of the United 
States.
    (c) Any person having an interest in Postal Service securities which 
are deposited with a Reserve Bank (in either its individual capacity or 
as fiscal agent of the United States) for any purpose shall be deemed to 
have consented to their conversion to book-entry Postal Service 
securities pursuant to the provisions of this part, and in the manner 
and under the procedures prescribed by the Reserve Bank.
    (d) No deposits shall be accepted under this section on or after the 
date of maturity or call of the securities.



Sec. 761.4  Transfer or pledge.

    (a) A transfer or pledge of book-entry Postal Service securities to 
a Reserve bank (in its individual capacity or as fiscal agent of the 
United States) or to the United States, or to any transferee or pledgee 
eligible to maintain an appropriate book-entry account in its name with 
a Reserve bank under this part, is effected and perfected, 
notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, by a Reserve bank 
making an appropriate entry in its records of the securities transferred 
or pledged. The making of such an entry in the records of a Reserve bank 
shall (1) have the effect of a delivery in bearer form of definitive 
Postal Service securities; (2) have the effect of a taking of delivery 
by the transferee or pledgee; (3) constitute the transferee or pledgee a 
holder; and (4) if a pledge, effect a perfected security interest 
therein in favor of the pledgee. A transfer or pledge of book-entry 
Postal Service securities effected under this paragraph shall have 
priority over any transfer, pledge, or other interest, theretofore or 
thereafter effected or perfected under paragraph (b) of this section or 
in any other manner.
    (b) A transfer or a pledge of transferable Postal Service 
securities, or any interest therein, which is maintained by a Reserve 
bank (in its individual capacity or as fiscal agent of the United 
States) in a book-entry account under this part, including securities in 
book-entry form under Sec. 761.3(a)(3), is effected, and a pledge is 
perfected, by

[[Page 199]]

any means that would be effective under applicable law to effect a 
transfer or to effect and perfect a pledge of the Postal Service 
securities, or any interest therein, if the securities were maintained 
by the Reserve bank in bearer definitive form. For purposes of transfer 
or pledge hereunder, book-entry Postal Service securities maintained by 
a Reserve bank shall, notwithstanding any provision of law to the 
contrary, be deemed to be maintained in bearer definitive form. A 
Reserve bank maintaining book-entry Postal Service securities either in 
its individual capacity or as fiscal agent of the United States is not a 
bailee for purposes of notification of pledges of those securities under 
this paragraph, or a third person in possession for purposes of 
acknowledgment of transfers thereof under this paragraph. Where 
transferable Postal Service securities are recorded on the books of a 
depositary (a bank, banking institution, financial firm, or similar 
party, which regularly accepts in the course of its business Postal 
Service securities as a custodial service for customers, and maintains 
accounts in the names of such customers reflecting ownership of or 
interest in such securities) for account of the pledgor or transferor 
thereof and such securities are on deposit with a Reserve bank in a 
book-entry account hereunder, such depositary shall, for purposes of 
perfecting a pledge of such securities or effecting delivery of such 
securities to a purchaser under applicable provisions of law, be the 
bailee to which notification of the pledge of the securities may be 
given or the third person in possession from which acknowledgment of the 
holding of the securities for the purchaser may be obtained. A Reserve 
bank will not accept notice or advice of a transfer or pledge effected 
or perfected under this paragraph, and any such notice or advice shall 
have no effect. A Reserve bank may continue to deal with its depositor 
in accordance with the provisions of this part, notwithstanding any 
transfer or pledge effected or perfected under this paragraph.
    (c) No filing or recording with a public recording office or officer 
shall be necessary or effective with respect to any transfer or pledge 
of book-entry Postal Service securities or any interest therein.
    (d) A Reserve Bank shall, upon receipt of appropriate instructions, 
convert book-entry Postal Service securities into definitive Postal 
Service securities and deliver them in accordance with such 
instructions; no such conversion shall effect existing interests in such 
Postal Service securities.
    (e) A transfer of book-entry Postal Service securities within a 
Reserve Bank shall be made in accordance with procedures established by 
the Bank not inconsistent with this part.
    (f) All requests for transfer or withdrawal must be made prior to 
the maturity or date of call of the securities.

[37 FR 16801, Aug. 19, 1972, as amended at 38 FR 12919, May 17, 1973]



Sec. 761.5  Withdrawal of Postal Service securities.

    (a) A depositor of book-entry Postal Service securities may withdraw 
them from a Reserve Bank by requesting delivery of like definitive 
Postal Service securities to itself or on its order to a transferee.
    (b) Postal Service securities which are actually to be delivered 
upon withdrawal may be issued either in registered or in bearer form.



Sec. 761.6  Delivery of Postal Service securities.

    A Reserve Bank which has received Postal Service securities and 
effected pledges, made entries regarding them, or transferred or 
delivered them according to the instructions of its depositor is not 
liable for conversion or for participation in breach of fiduciary duty 
even though the depositor had no right to dispose of or take other 
action in respect of the securities. A Reserve Bank shall be fully 
discharged of its obligations under this part by the delivery of Postal 
Service securities in definitive form to its depositor or upon the order 
of such depositor. Customers of a member bank or other depositary (other 
than a Reserve Bank) may obtain Postal Service securities in definitive 
form only by causing the depositor of the Reserve Bank to order the 
withdrawal thereof from the Reserve Bank.

[[Page 200]]



Sec. 761.7  Registered bonds and notes.

    No formal assignment shall be required for the conversion to book-
entry Postal Service securities of registered Postal Service securities 
held by a Reserve Bank (in either its individual capacity or as fiscal 
agent of the United States) on the effective date of this part for any 
purpose specified in Sec. 761.3(a). Registered Postal Service 
securities deposited thereafter with a Reserve Bank for any purpose 
specified in Sec. 761.3 shall be assigned for conversion to book-entry 
Postal Service securities. The assignment, which shall be executed in 
accordance with the provisions of part 760 of this subchapter and 
subpart F of 31 CFR part 306, so far as applicable, shall be to 
``Federal Reserve Bank of ------------ as fiscal agent of the United 
States acting on behalf of the Postal Service for conversion to book-
entry Postal Service securities.''



Sec. 761.8  Servicing book-entry Postal Service securities; payment of 
interest, payment at maturity or upon call.

    Interest becoming due on book-entry Postal Service securities shall 
be charged in the Postal Service Fund on the interest due date and 
remitted or credited in accordance with the depositor's instructions. 
Such securities shall be redeemed and charged in the Postal Service Fund 
on the date of maturity, call or advance refunding, and the redemption 
proceeds, principal and interest, shall be disposed of in accordance 
with the depositor's instructions.



PART 762_DISBURSEMENT POSTAL MONEY ORDERS--Table of Contents




                Subpart A_General, Definitions, Issuance

Sec.
762.11 General.
762.12 Definitions.
762.13 Issuance.
762.14 Amounts for which disbursement postal money orders may be issued.
762.15 Postal Service payments not made by disbursement postal money 
          order.

 Subpart B_Endorsements, Payment, Guaranties, Warranties and Processing 
                   of Disbursement Postal Money Orders

762.21 Scope.
762.22 Definitions.
762.23 General rules.
762.24 Guaranty of endorsements.
762.25 Reclamation of amounts of paid disbursement postal money orders.
762.26 Postal facilities not to cash disbursement postal money orders.
762.27 Processing of disbursement postal money orders by Federal Reserve 
          Banks.
762.28 Release of original disbursement postal money orders.
762.29 Endorsement of disbursement postal money orders by payees.
762.30 Disbursement postal money orders issued to incompetent payees.
762.31 Disbursement postal money orders issued to deceased payees.

 Subpart C_Issuance of Substitutes for Lost, Destroyed, Mutilated, and 
                Defaced Disbursement Postal Money Orders

762.41 Advice of non-receipt or loss, destruction, or mutilation.
762.42 Request for substitute disbursement postal money orders; 
          requirements for undertaking of indemnity.
762.43 Issuance of substitute disbursement postal money order.
762.44 Receipt or recovery of original disbursement postal money order.
762.45 Removal of stoppage of payment.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 401(2), 401(3), 401(4), 401(10), and 404(6).

    Source: 40 FR 52371, Nov. 10, 1975, unless otherwise noted.



                Subpart A_General, Definitions, Issuance



Sec. 762.11  General.

    The Postal Service, at its discretion, issues a specialized postal 
money order, designated a Disbursement Postal Money Order in payment of 
Postal Service obligations. Disbursement Postal Money Orders are 
distinguishable on their face from other postal money orders in the 
following ways:
    (a) Disbursement Postal Money Orders have words of negotiability--
``Pay to the order of''--printed on their face, while other postal money 
orders simply bear the words ``Pay to'' on their face;
    (b) Disbursement Postal Money Orders, unlike other postal money 
orders, bear on their face the phrase, ``This special money order is 
drawn by the Postal Service to pay one of its own obligations.''; and
    (c) The amounts of Disbursement Postal Money Orders are printed in

[[Page 201]]

words as well as numbers, while the amounts of postal money orders 
available at post offices are printed in numbers only.



Sec. 762.12  Definitions.

    As used in part 762 of this chapter, the term:
    (a) Disbursement Postal Money Order means a money order (described 
in Part 762) issued by the Postal Service to pay one of its own 
obligations.
    (b) Federal Reserve Bank means a Federal Reserve Bank or branch 
thereof.
    (c) Financial organization means any bank, savings bank, savings and 
loan association or similar institution, or Federal or State chartered 
credit union.
    (d) Person or persons means an individual or individuals, or an 
organization or organizations, whether incorporated or not, including 
all forms of banking institutions.
    (e) Presenting Bank means a bank or other depositor of a Federal 
Reserve Bank which presents Disbursement Postal Money Orders to and 
receives credit therefor from a Federal Reserve Bank.
    (f) Reclamation means the action taken by the Postal Service to 
obtain refund of the amounts of paid Disbursement Postal Money Orders.
    (g) Postal Service means the U.S. Postal Service.



Sec. 762.13  Issuance.

    Disbursement Postal Money Orders are issued solely by Postal Data 
Centers and solely for the purpose of paying Postal Service obligations. 
Accordingly, Disbursement Postal Money Orders may be issued in lieu of 
U.S. Treasury checks.



Sec. 762.14  Amounts for which disbursement postal money orders may be 
issued.

    Disbursement Postal Money Orders may be issued for any amount 
appropriate to pay Postal Service Obligations. There is no maximum 
amount above which a Disbursement Postal Money Order may not be issued.



Sec. 762.15  Postal Service payments not made by disbursement postal 
money order.

    Postal Service payments not made by Disbursement Postal Money Order 
are made by cash, U.S. Treasury Check, or by regular postal money order, 
and may be made by electronic funds transfer.



 Subpart B_Endorsements, Payment, Guaranties, Warranties and Processing 
                   of Disbursement Postal Money Orders



Sec. 762.21  Scope.

    The regulations in this subpart prescribe the requirements for 
endorsement and the conditions for payment of Disbursement Postal Money 
Orders drawn by the Postal Service.



Sec. 762.22  Definitions.

    For definitions applicable to this subpart see Sec. 762.12 of this 
chapter.



Sec. 762.23  General rules.

    All Disbursement Postal Money Orders drawn by the Postal Service are 
payable without limitation of time. The Postal Service shall have the 
usual right of a drawee to examine Disbursement Postal Money Orders 
presented for payment and refuse payment of any Disbursement Postal 
Money Orders, and shall have a reasonable time to make such examination. 
Disbursement Postal Money Orders shall be deemed to be paid by the 
Postal Service only after first examination has been fully completed. If 
the Postal Service is on notice of a doubtful question of law or fact 
when a Disbursement Postal Money Order is presented for payment, payment 
will be deferred pending settlement by the Postal Service.



Sec. 762.24  Guaranty of endorsements.

    The presenting bank and the endorsers of a Disbursement Postal Money 
Order presented to the Postal Service for payment shall be deemed to 
guarantee to the Postal Service that all prior endorsements are genuine, 
whether or not an express guaranty is placed on the Disbursement Postal 
Money Order. When the first endorsement has been made by one other than 
the payee

[[Page 202]]

personally, the presenting bank and the endorsers shall be deemed to 
guarantee to the Postal Service, in addition to other warranties, that 
the person who so endorsed had unqualified capacity and authority to 
endorse the Disbursement Postal Money Order on behalf of the payee.



Sec. 762.25  Reclamation of amounts of paid disbursement postal money 
orders.

    The Postal Service shall have the right to demand refund from the 
presenting bank of the amount of a paid Disbursement Postal Money Order 
if after payment the Disbursement Postal Money Order is found to bear a 
forged or unauthorized endorsement, or an endorsement by another for a 
deceased payee where the right to the proceeds of such Disbursement 
Postal Money Orders terminated upon the death of the payee, or to 
contain any other material defect or alteration which was not discovered 
upon first examination. If refund is not made, the Postal Service shall 
take such action against the proper parties as may be necessary to 
protect its interests.



Sec. 762.26  Postal facilities not to cash disbursement postal money 
orders.

    Post offices and other postal facilities shall not be expected to 
cash Disbursement Postal Money Orders or to return cash for endorsed 
Disbursement Postal Money Orders offered in payment for postal service 
in amounts less than the value of a Disbursement Postal Money Order. 
However, properly endorsed Disbursement Postal Money Orders may be 
accepted as total or partial payment for postal services.



Sec. 762.27  Processing of disbursement postal money orders by Federal 
Reserve Banks.

    In accordance with an agreement between the Postal Service and the 
Federal Reserve Banks as depositaries and fiscal agents of the United 
States, Federal Reserve Banks will handle Disbursement Postal Money 
Orders as follows:
    (a) Federal Reserve Banks shall not be expected to cash Disbursement 
Postal Money Orders presented directly to them for payment; and
    (b) Each Federal Reserve Bank shall:
    (1) Receive Disbursement Postal Money Orders from its member banks, 
and its other depositors which guarantee all prior endorsements thereon;
    (2) Give immediate credit therefor in accordance with its current 
Time Schedules and charge the amount thereof to the general account of 
the U.S. Treasury, subject to examination and payment by the Postal 
Service; and
    (3) Forward the Disbursement Postal Money Orders to the Postal 
Service.



Sec. 762.28  Release of original disbursement postal money orders.

    An original Disbursement Postal Money Order may be released to a 
responsible endorser only upon receipt of a properly authorized request 
showing the reason it is required.



Sec. 762.29  Endorsement of disbursement postal money orders by payees.

    (a) General requirements. Disbursement Postal Money Orders shall be 
endorsed by the payee or the payees named, or by another on behalf of 
such payee or payees as set forth in this subpart B. The forms of 
endorsement shall conform to those recognized by general principles of 
law and commercial usage for the negotiation, transfer, or collection of 
negotiable instruments.
    (b) Endorsement of disbursement postal money orders by a financial 
organization under the payee's authorization. When a Disbursement Postal 
Money Order is credited by a financial organization to the payee's 
account under his authorization, the financial organization may use an 
endorsement substantially as follows:

    Credit to the account of the within-named payee in accordance with 
payee's or payees' instructions. Absence of endorsement guaranteed.


A financial organization using this form of endorsement shall be deemed 
to guarantee to all subsequent endorsers and to the Postal Service that 
it is acting as an attorney in fact for the payee or payees, under his 
or their authorization.
    (c) Endorsement of disbursement postal money orders drawn in favor 
of financial organizations. All Disbursement Postal

[[Page 203]]

Money Orders drawn in favor of financial organizations, for credit to 
the accounts of persons designating payment so to be made, shall be 
endorsed in the name of the financial organization as payee in the usual 
manner.



Sec. 762.30  Disbursement postal money orders issued to incompetent 
payees.

    (a) If the Disbursement Postal Money Order is endorsed by a legal 
guardian or other fiduciary and presented for payment by a bank it will 
be paid by the Postal Service without submission to the Postal Service 
of documentary proof of authority of the guardian or other fiduciary.
    (b) If a guardian has not been or will not be appointed, the 
Disbursement Postal Money Order shall be forwarded to the Money Order 
Division, Postal Data Center, P.O. Box 14963, St. Louis, MO 63182, with 
a full explanation of the circumstances.



Sec. 762.31  Disbursement postal money orders issued to deceased payees.

    (a) If the Disbursement Postal Money Order is endorsed by an 
Executor or Administrator and presented for payment by a bank it will be 
paid by the Postal Service without submission to the Postal Service of 
documentary proof of the authority of the Executor or Administrator.
    (b) If an Executor or Administrator has not been appointed or if 
there is doubt as to whether the proceeds of the Disbursement Postal 
Money Order pass to the estate of the deceased payee, the instrument 
should be returned to the Money Order Division, Postal Data Center, P.O. 
Box 14963, St. Louis, MO 63182, for determination whether, under 
applicable laws, payment is due, and for reissuance to the appropriate 
payee.



 Subpart C_Issuance of Substitutes for Lost, Destroyed, Mutilated, and 
                Defaced Disbursement Postal Money Orders



Sec. 762.41  Advice of non-receipt or loss, destruction, or mutilation.

    (a) In the event of the non-receipt, loss, or destruction of a 
Disbursement Postal Money Order, or the mutilation or defacement of a 
Disbursement Postal Money Order to an extent which renders it non-
negotiable, the owner should immediately contact the Money Order 
Division, Postal Data Center, P.O. Box 14963, St. Louis, MO 63182, 
describing the Disbursement Postal Money Order, stating the purpose for 
which it was issued, giving, if possible, its date, number, and amount, 
and requesting that payment be stopped. In cases involving mutilated or 
defaced Disbursement Postal Money Orders the owner should enclose the 
mutilated or defaced item with his communication.
    (b) If the Disbursement Postal Money Order, which is the basis of 
the owner's claim, is determined to be outstanding, the Money Order 
Division shall furnish the claimant an appropriate application form for 
obtaining a substitute Disbursement Postal Money Order. However, the 
execution of an application shall not be required in the event the 
original written statement submitted by the claimant substantially meets 
the requirements of the prescribed application form.



Sec. 762.42  Request for substitute disbursement postal money orders; 
requirements for undertaking of indemnity.

    In the case of a request for a substitute Disbursement Postal Money 
Order:
    (a) An undertaking of indemnity in penal sum equal to the amount of 
the Disbursement Postal Money Order shall, unless otherwise provided in 
this section, be executed by the claimant, as may be required by the 
Postal Service, and submitted to the Money Order Division.
    (b) Unless the Postal Service determines that an undertaking of 
indemnity is essential in the public interest, no undertaking of 
indemnity shall be required in the following classes of cases:
    (1) If the Postal Service is satisfied that the loss, theft, 
destruction, mutilation or defacement occurred without fault of the 
owner or holder, and while the Disbursement Postal Money Order was in 
the custody or control of the Postal Service;

[[Page 204]]

    (2) If substantially the entire Disbursement Postal Money Order is 
presented and surrendered by the owner or holder and the Postal Service 
is satisfied as to the identity of the Disbursement Postal Money Order 
presented and that any missing portions are not sufficient to form the 
basis of a valid claim against the Postal Service;
    (3) If the Postal Service is satisfied that the original 
Disbursement Postal Money Order is not negotiable and cannot be made the 
basis of a valid claim against the Postal Service; or
    (4) If the amount of the Disbursement Postal Money Order is not more 
than $200.



Sec. 762.43  Issuance of substitute disbursement postal money order.

    Upon approval of the undertaking of indemnity, application, or 
statement of claim, the Money Order Division shall issue to the claimant 
a substitute Disbursement Postal Money Order showing such information as 
may be necessary to identify the original instrument.



Sec. 762.44  Receipt or recovery of original disbursement postal money 
order.

    (a) If the original Disbursement Postal Money Order is received or 
recovered by the owner after he has requested the Postal Service to stop 
payment on the original but before a substitute has been received, he 
should immediately advise the Money Order Division and hold such 
original Disbursement Postal Money Order until receipt of instructions 
with respect to its negotiability.
    (b) If the original Disbursement Postal Money Order is received by 
the owner after a substitute has been received by him, the original 
shall not be cashed, but shall be immediately forwarded to the Money 
Order Division. Under no circumstances shall both the original and 
substitute be cashed.



Sec. 762.45  Removal of stoppage of payment.

    Requests for removal of stoppage of payment shall be addressed to 
the Money Order Division. No request for removal of stoppage of payment 
shall be accepted after issuance of a substitute Disbursement Postal 
Money Order has been approved.

[[Page 205]]



                 SUBCHAPTER K_ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS





PART 775_NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT PROCEDURES--Table of Contents




Sec.
775.1 Purpose.
775.2 Policy.
775.3 Responsibilities.
775.4 Definitions.
775.5 Classes of actions.
775.6 Categorical exclusions.
775.7 Planning and early coordination.
775.8 Environmental evaluation guidelines.
775.9 Environmental evaluation process.
775.10 Environmental assessments.
775.11 Environmental impact statements.
775.12 Time frames for environmental impact statement actions.
775.13 Public notice and information.
775.14 Hearings.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 401; 42 U.S.C.4321 et seq.; 40 CFR 1500.4.

    Source: 44 FR 63525, Nov. 5, 1979, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 775.1  Purpose.

    These procedures implement the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) regulations (40 CFR part 1500) issued by the Council on 
Environmental Quality (CEQ).

[63 FR 45719, Aug. 27, 1998]



Sec. 775.2  Policy.

    It is the policy of the Postal Service to:
    (a) Interpret and administer applicable policies, regulations, and 
public laws of the United States in accordance with the policies set 
forth in the National Environmental Policy Act, as amended, and the NEPA 
Regulations.
    (b) Make the NEPA process useful to Postal Service decision makers 
and the public.
    (c) Emphasize environmental issues and alternatives in the 
consideration of proposed actions.
    (d) Encourage and facilitate public involvement in decisions which 
affect the quality of the human environment.
    (e) Use the NEPA process to identify and assess reasonable 
alternatives to proposed actions in order to avoid or minimize adverse 
effects on the environment.
    (f) Use all practicable means to protect, restore, and enhance the 
quality of the human environment.
    (g) Reduce paperwork.
    (h) Reduce delay.



Sec. 775.3  Responsibilities.

    (a) The Chief Environmental Officer is responsible for overall 
development of policy regarding NEPA and other environmental policies. 
The officer in charge of the facilities or real estate organization is 
responsible for the development of NEPA policy as it affects real estate 
or acquisition, construction and disposal of postal facilities 
consistent with overall NEPA policy. Each officer with responsibility 
over the proposed program, project, action, or facility is responsible 
for compliance with NEPA as the responsible official.
    (b) Postal managers will designate environmental coordinators to 
assist with compliance with NEPA procedures.

[63 FR 45719, Aug. 27, 1998]



Sec. 775.4  Definitions.

    (a) The definitions set forth in 40 CFR part 1508 apply to this part 
775.
    (b) In addition to the terms defined in 40 CFR part 1508, the 
following definitions apply to this part:
    Approving official means the person or group of persons, who 
authorizes funding as established through the delegations of approval 
authority issued by the finance organization. That person or group of 
persons may not have proposed the action for which financial approval is 
sought.
    Environmental checklist means a Postal Service form that identifies 
potential environmental impacts for proposed actions initiated by postal 
managers.
    Mitigated FONSI means a FONSI which requires the implementation of 
specified mitigation measures in order to ensure that there are no 
significant impacts to the environment.
    Record of environmental consideration means the Postal Service form 
that identifies the Postal Service's review of proposed activities under 
NEPA.

[[Page 206]]

    Responsible official means the person, or designated representative, 
who proposes an action and is responsible for compliance with NEPA. For 
larger projects, that person may not have the financial authority to 
approve such action. The responsible official signs the NEPA documents 
(FONSI, ROD) and the REC.

[63 FR 45719, Aug. 27, 1998]



Sec. 775.5  Classes of actions.

    (a) Actions which normally require an environment impact statement. 
None, however the Postal Service will prepare an EIS when necessary 
based on the factors identified in 40 CFR 1508.27.
    (b) Actions requiring an environmental assessment. Classes of 
actions that will require an environmental assessment unless 
categorically excluded include:
    (1) Any project that includes the conversion, purchase, or any other 
alteration of the fuel source for 25 percent or more of USPS vehicles 
operating with fuel other than diesel or gasoline in any carbon monoxide 
or ozone non-attainment area;
    (2) Any action that would adversely affect a federally listed 
threatened or endangered species or its habitat;
    (3) Any action that would directly affect public health;
    (4) Any action that would require development within park lands, or 
be located in close proximity to a wild or scenic river or other 
ecologically critical area;
    (5) Any action affecting the quality of the physical environment 
that would be scientifically highly controversial;
    (6) Any action that may have highly uncertain or unknown risks on 
the human environment;
    (7) Any action that threatens a violation of applicable federal, 
state, or local law or requirements imposed for the protection of the 
environment;
    (8) New construction of a facility with vehicle maintenance or fuel 
dispensing capabilities, whether owned or leased;
    (9) Acquisition or lease of an existing building involving new uses 
or a change in use to a greater environmental intensity;
    (10) Real property disposal involving a known change in use to a 
greater environmental intensity;
    (11) Postal facility function changes involving new uses of greater 
environmental intensity;
    (12) Reduction in force involving more than 1000 positions;
    (13) Relocation of 300 or more employees more than 50 miles;
    (14) Initiation of legislation.

[63 FR 45719, Aug. 27, 1998]



Sec. 775.6  Categorical exclusions.

    (a) The classes of actions in this section are those that the Postal 
Service has determined do not individually or cumulatively have a 
significant impact on the human environment. To be categorically 
excluded, it must be determined that a proposed action fits within a 
class listed and there are no extraordinary circumstances that may 
affect the significance of the proposal. The action must not be 
connected to other actions with potentially significant impacts or is 
not related to other proposed actions with potentially significant 
impacts. Extraordinary circumstances are those unique situations 
presented by specific proposals, such as scientific controversy about 
the environmental impacts of the proposal, uncertain effects or effects 
involving unique or unknown risks.
    (b) Categorical exclusions relating to general agency actions:
    (1) Policy development, planning and implementation that relate to 
routine activities such as personnel, organizational changes or similar 
administrative functions.
    (2) Routine actions, including the management of programs or 
activities necessary to support the normal conduct of agency business, 
such as administrative, financial, operational and personnel action that 
involve no commitment of resources other than manpower and funding 
allocations.
    (3) Award of contracts for technical support services, management 
and operation of a government owned facility, and personal services.
    (4) Research activities and studies and routine data collection when 
such actions are clearly limited in context and intensity.
    (5) Educational and informational programs and activities.

[[Page 207]]

    (6) Reduction in force resulting from workload adjustments, reduced 
personnel or funding levels, skill imbalances or other similar causes 
that do not affect more than 1,000 positions.
    (7) Postal rate or mail classification actions, address information 
system changes, post office name and zip code changes.
    (8) Property protection, law enforcement and other legal activities 
undertaken by the Postal Inspection Service, the Law Department, the 
Judicial Officer, and the Inspector General.
    (9) Activities related to trade representation and market 
development activities abroad.
    (10) Emergency preparedness planning activities, including 
designation of on-site evacuation routes.
    (11) Minor reassignment of motor vehicles and purchase or deployment 
of motor vehicles to new locations that do not adversely impact traffic 
safety, congestion or air quality.
    (12) Procurement or disposal of mail handling or transport 
equipment.
    (13) Acquisition, installation, operation, removal or disposal of 
communication systems, computers and data processing equipment.
    (14) Postal facility function changes not involving construction, 
where there are no substantial relocation of employees, or no 
substantial increase in the number of motor vehicles at a facility.
    (15) Closure or consolidation of post offices under 39 U.S.C. 
404(b).
    (16) Minor operational changes at an existing facility to minimize 
waste generation and for reuse of materials. These changes include but 
are not limited to, adding filtration and recycling systems to allow 
reuse of vehicle or machine oil, setting up sorting areas to improve 
process efficiency, and segregating waste streams previously mingled and 
assigning new identification codes to the two resulting streams.
    (17) Actions which have an insignificant effect upon the environment 
as established in a previously written Environmental Assessment (EA) and 
Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) or Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS). Such repetitive actions shall be considered ``reference 
actions'' and a record of all decisions concerning these ``reference 
actions'' shall be maintained by the Chief Environmental Officer or 
designee. The proposed action must be essentially the same in context 
and the same or less in intensity or create fewer impacts than the 
``reference action'' previously studied under an EA or EIS in order to 
qualify for this exclusion.
    (18) Rulemakings that are strictly procedural, and interpretations 
and rulings with existing regulations, or modifications or rescissions 
of such interpretations and rulings.
    (c) Categorical exclusions relating to emergency or restoration 
actions:
    (1) Any cleanup, remediation or removal action conducted under the 
provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and 
Liability Act (CERCLA) or the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act 
(RCRA), any asbestos abatement actions regulated under the provisions of 
the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), or the Clean Air Act or 
any PCB transformer replacement or any lead based paint abatement 
actions regulated under the provisions of the Toxic Substances Control 
Act (TSCA), OSHA or RCRA.
    (2) Testing associated with environmental cleanups or site 
investigations.
    (d) Categorical exclusions relating to maintenance or repair actions 
at existing facilities:
    (1) Siting, construction or operation of temporary support buildings 
or support structures.
    (2) Routine maintenance and minor activities, such as fencing, that 
occur in floodplains or state and local wetlands or pursuant to the 
nationwide, regional or general permitting process of the US Army Corps 
of Engineers.
    (3) Routine actions normally conducted to protect and maintain 
properties and which do not alter the configuration of the building.
    (4) Changes in configuration of buildings required to promote 
handicapped accessibility pursuant to the Architectural Barriers Act.
    (5) Repair to, or replacement in kind or equivalent of building 
equipment or components (e.g., electrical distribution, HVAC systems, 
doors, windows, roofs, etc.).

[[Page 208]]

    (6) Internal modifications or improvements to structure, or 
buildings to accommodate mail processing, computer, communication or 
other similar types of equipment or other actions which do not involve 
modification to the external walls of the facility.
    (7) Joint development and/or joint use projects that only involve 
internal modifications to an existing facility.
    (8) Noise abatement measures, such as construction of noise barriers 
and installation of noise control materials.
    (9) Actions which require concurrence or approval of another federal 
agency where the action is a categorical exclusion under the NEPA 
regulations of that federal agency.
    (e) Categorical exclusions relating to real estate actions.
    (1) Obtaining, granting, disposing, or changing of easements, 
licenses and permits, rights-of-way and similar interests.
    (2) Extension, renewal, renegotiation, or termination of existing 
lease agreements.
    (3) Purchase of Postal Service occupied leased property where the 
planned postal uses do not differ significantly from the past uses of 
the site.
    (4) Acquisition or disposal of existing facilities and real property 
where the planned uses do not differ significantly from past uses of the 
site.
    (5) Acquisition of real property not connected to specific facility 
plans or when necessary to protect the interests of the Postal Service 
in advance of final project approval. This categorical exclusion only 
applies to the acquisition. Any subsequent use of the site for a 
facility project must be considered under this part.
    (6) Disposal through sale or outlease of unimproved real property.
    (7) Disposal through sale, outlease, transfer or exchange of real 
property to other federal or state agencies.
    (8) Acquisition and disposal through sale, lease, transfer or 
exchange of real property that does not involve an increase in volumes, 
concentrations, or discharge rates of wastes, air emissions, or water 
effluents, and that under reasonably foreseeable uses, have generally 
similar environmental impacts as compared to those before the 
acquisition or disposal. A determination that the proposed action is 
categorically excluded can be based upon previous ``reference actions'' 
documented under Sec. 775.6(b)(17).
    (9) Acquisition and disposal through sale, lease, transfer, 
reservation or exchange of real property for nature and habitat 
preservation, conservation, a park or wildlife management.
    (10) New construction, Postal Service owned or leased, or joint 
development and joint use projects, of any facility unless the proposed 
action is listed as requiring an EA in Sec. 775.5.
    (11) Expansion or improvement of an existing facility where the 
expansion is within the boundaries of the site or occurs in a previously 
developed area unless the proposed action is listed as requiring an EA 
in Sec. 775.5.
    (12) Construction and disturbance pursuant to a nationwide, regional 
or general permit issued by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
    (13) Any activity in floodplains being regulated pursuant to Sec. 
775.6 and is not listed as requiring an EA in Sec. 775.5.

[63 FR 45720, Aug. 27, 1998]



Sec. 775.7  Planning and early coordination.

    Early planning and coordination among postal functional groups is 
required to properly consider environmental issues that may be 
attributable to the proposed action. Operational and facility personnel 
must cooperate in the early concept stages of a program or project. If 
it is determined that more than one postal organization will be involved 
in any action, a lead organization will be selected to complete the NEPA 
process before any NEPA documents are prepared. If it is determined that 
a project has both real estate and non-real estate actions, the 
facilities functional organization will take the lead.

[63 FR 45721, Aug. 27, 1998]



Sec. 775.8  Environmental evaluation guidelines.

    (a) Approach. When dealing with proposals which may have an impact 
on the human environment, environmental coordinators, planners, decision 
makers, and other officials responsible for actions, will, as 
appropriate:

[[Page 209]]

    (1) Use a systematic approach that integrates natural and social 
sciences and environmental design in planning and making decisions.
    (2) Identify environmental effects and values in detail, and 
appraise them in conjunction with economic and technical analyses.
    (3) Consider environmental documents at all decision points at which 
other planning documents are considered. (Plans and decisions are to 
reflect environmental values. Proposed actions should be assessed as 
soon as their effects can be meaningfully evaluated, to provide the 
bases for early decision on whether detailed environmental impact 
statements must be prepared.)
    (4) Study, develop, describe, and evaluate at all decision points, 
reasonable alternatives to recommended actions which may have a 
significant effect on the environment.
    (b) Proposal requirements. When an environmental impact statement 
has been prepared, it must accompany the proposal through and be used in 
the decision-making process. Any other proposal must refer to applicable 
environmental documents (e.g., determination of categorical exclusion; 
finding of no significant impact; notice of intent to prepare an impact 
statement), and relevant comments and responses.
    (c) Lead agency arrangements. If the Postal Service and another 
Federal agency become involved in a lead agency arrangement for the 
preparation of an environmental impact statement, the Service will 
cooperate fully.

[44 FR 63525, Nov. 5, 1979. Redesignated at 63 FR 45719, Aug. 27, 1998]



Sec. 775.9  Environmental evaluation process.

    (a) All actions--(1) Assessment of actions. An environmental 
checklist may be used to support a record of environmental consideration 
as the determination that the proposed action does not require an 
environmental assessment. An environmental assessment must be prepared 
for each proposed action except that an assessment need not be made if a 
determination is made that:
    (i) The action is one of a class listed in Sec. 775.6, Categorical 
Exclusions, and
    (ii) The action is not affected by extraordinary circumstances which 
may cause it to have a significant environmental effect, or
    (iii) The action is a type that is not a major federal action with a 
significant impact upon the environment.
    (2) Findings of no significant impact. If an environmental 
assessment indicates that there is no significant impact of a proposed 
action on the environment, an environmental impact statement is not 
required. A ``finding of no significant impact'' (FONSI) is prepared and 
published in accordance with Sec. 775.13. When the proposed action is 
approved, it may be accomplished without further environmental 
consideration. A FONSI document briefly presents the reasons why an 
action will not have a significant effect on the human environment and 
states that an environmental impact statement will not be prepared. It 
must refer to the environmental assessment and any other environmentally 
pertinent documents related to it. The assessment may be included in the 
finding if it is short, in which case the discussion in the assessment 
need not be repeated in the finding. The FONSI may be a mitigated FONSI 
in which case the required mitigation factors should be listed in the 
FONSI. The use of a mitigated FONSI is conditioned upon the 
implementation of the identified mitigation measures in the EA that 
support the FONSI. Unless the mitigation measures are implemented by the 
responsible official, the use of an EA in lieu of an EIS is not 
acceptable.
    (3) Impact statement preparation decision and notices. If an 
environmental assessment indicates that a proposed major action would 
have a significant impact on the environment, a notice of intent to 
prepare an impact statement is published (see Sec. 775.13) and an 
environmental impact statement is prepared.
    (4) Role of impact statement in decision making. An environmental 
impact statement is used, with other analyses and materials, to decide 
which alternative should be pursued, or whether a proposed action should 
be abandoned or other courses of action pursued. See Sec. 775.12 for 
restrictions on the timing of this decision.

[[Page 210]]

    (5) Record of decision. For actions requiring environmental impact 
statements, a concise public record of decision is prepared when a 
decision, or a proposal for legislation, is made. The record, which may 
be integrated into any other record, or notice, including that required 
by Postal Service regulations and procedures governing intergovernmental 
review of Postal Service facility project actions, must:
    (i) State what the decision was.
    (ii) Identify all alternatives considered in reaching a decision, 
specifying alternatives considered to be environmentally preferable; 
identify and discuss all significant factors, including any essential 
considerations of national policy, which were weighed in making the 
decision and state how those considerations entered into the decision.
    (iii) State whether all practicable means to avoid or minimize 
environmental harm from the alternative selected have been or will be 
adopted, and if not, why not.
    (6) Actions prohibited prior to issuance of record of decision. 
Until a record of decision is issued, no action may be taken on a 
proposal on which an environmental impact statement is made if the 
action would:
    (i) Have an adverse environmental impact, or
    (ii) Limit the choice of reasonable alternatives.
    (7) Mitigation measures. Practicable mitigation measures identified 
in an environmental assessment must be implemented. Mitigation measures 
described in an environmental impact statement and accepted in a 
decision must be implemented. Upon request, the Postal Service informs 
federal, state, and local agencies and the public of the progress in 
carrying out adopted mitigation measures.
    (b) Additional requirements for facility actions. (1) The 
environmental assessment of any action which involves the construction 
or acquisition of a new mail processing facility must include reasonable 
alternatives to the proposed action and not just consideration of 
contending sites for a facility. This process must be started early in 
the planning of the action. An environmental assessment report, however, 
is not required until the contending project sites have been determined. 
The information contained in the environmental assessment report must be 
used, together with other site planning information, in the selection of 
the final site.
    (2) When an environmental assessment indicates that an environmental 
impact statement may be needed for a proposed facility action, the 
responsible officer will make the decision whether to prepare an 
environmental impact statement for presentation to the Capital 
Investment Committee, and to the Board of Governors if the Board 
considers the proposal.
    (3) If an environmental impact statement is presented to the 
Committee or the Board, and an analysis indicates that it would be more 
cost-effective to proceed immediately with continued control of sites, 
(including advance acquisition, if necessary, and where authorized by 
postal procedures), environmental impact statement preparation, and 
project designs, a budgetary request will include authorization of funds 
to permit:
    (i) The preparation of an impact statement encompassing all 
reasonable alternatives and site alternatives,
    (ii) The continued control of specified competing sites (including 
advance acquisition, if necessary, and where authorized by postal 
procedures), chosen to preserve environmental or other options, and
    (iii) The development of limited designs of facilities for each 
competing site.
    (4) A completed environmental impact statement will be presented to 
the Capital Investment Committee, and to the Board of Governors if the 
Board considers the proposal, for use in deciding whether a proposed 
project should proceed, be restudied, or be abandoned. If the decision 
is to proceed with a proposed project, the Committee, or the Board if it 
considers the proposal, decides which alternative site is to be

[[Page 211]]

used for project development, and authorizes the project.

[44 FR 63525, Nov. 5, 1979, as amended at 48 FR 29378, June 24, 1983; 50 
FR 32411, Aug. 12, 1985; 50 FR 33036, Aug. 16, 1985; 55 FR 10454, Mar. 
21, 1990. Redesignated and amended at 63 FR 45719, 45721, Aug. 27, 1998; 
65 FR 41012, July 3, 2000]



Sec. 775.10  Environmental assessments.

    (a) An environmental assessment must contain:
    (1) A summary of major considerations and conclusions,
    (2) A description of the proposed action,
    (3) For each reasonable alternative, a description of the affected 
environment, the environmental consequences, the mitigation measures, if 
any, and a comparison to all alternatives considered.
    (4) A list of applicable environmental permits necessary to complete 
the proposed action.
    (b) Those preparing an environmental assessment must solicit 
information and views from Federal, State, and local agencies and, where 
there is a substantial likelihood of significant effects on the 
environment, the public. All responsible views and information must be 
considered.

[44 FR 63525, Nov. 5, 1979. Redesignated and amended at 63 FR 45719, 
45722, Aug. 27, 1998]



Sec. 775.11  Environmental impact statements.

    (a) Determining scope. Before an environmental impact statement is 
prepared, the following procedures must be followed to determine what 
issues are to be addressed and in what depth:
    (1) Affected Federal, State, and local agencies and other interested 
persons are invited to participate by furnishing written views and 
information, or at a hearing if appropriate. Notice is given in 
accordance with Sec. 775.13.
    (2) The significance of issues to be analyzed in depth in the 
environmental impact statement is determined through consideration of:
    (i) Actions which are closely related, or similar, or have 
cumulative significant impacts.
    (ii) Alternatives, which must include the ``no action'' alternative, 
other reasonable courses of action, and mitigation measures.
    (iii) Impacts, which may be direct, indirect, or cumulative.
    (3) Issues which are not significant are identified and eliminated.
    (4) The determinations made must be revised if substantial changes 
are made later in the proposed action, or if significant new 
circumstances or information arise which bear on the proposal or its 
impacts.
    (b) Preparation. (1) Except for proposals for legislation, 
environmental impact statements are prepared in two stages:
    (i) Draft environmental impact statement, prepared in accordance 
with the scope decided upon under paragraph (a) of this section.
    (ii) Final environmental impact statement, responding to comments on 
the draft statement and discussing and responding to any responsible 
opposing view which was not adequately discussed in the draft statement.
    (2) Environmental impact statements must:
    (i) Be analytic rather than encyclopedic.
    (ii) Contain discussions of impacts in proportion to their 
significance. Insignificant impacts eliminated during the process under 
Sec. 775.11(a) to determine the scope of issues must be discussed only 
to the extent necessary to state why they will not be significant.
    (iii) Be concise, and not longer than is necessary to comply with 
NEPA. They must not contain repeated statements of the same basic 
points.
    (iv) Contain discussions of alternatives considered and of how 
alternatives chosen will meet the requirements of NEPA and other 
environmental laws and policies.
    (v) Encompass the range of alternatives to be considered by the 
decision makers.
    (vi) Serve to assess the environmental impact of proposed actions, 
rather than to justify decisions already made.
    (3) The text of final environmental impact statements normally 
should be less than 150 pages. Statements on proposals of unusual scope 
or complexity normally should be less than 300 pages.

[[Page 212]]

    (4) Staged or ``tiered'' environmental impact statements must not 
contain repetitive discussions of the same issues. Each document must 
state where each earlier document is available.
    (5) Material may be incorporated into an environmental impact 
statement by reference only when the material is reasonably available 
for inspection by potentially interested persons within the time allowed 
for comment.
    (6) If information relevant to reasonably foreseeable adverse 
impacts cannot be obtained because the overall cost of obtaining it is 
exorbitant or the means to obtain it are not known, the fact that such 
information is incomplete or unavailable must be stated clearly. In 
addition, the relevance of the incomplete or unavailable information to 
the evaluation of the impacts must be stated, and a summary of existing 
credible scientific evidence relevant to evaluation of the impacts must 
be included, as well as an evaluation of such impacts on the basis of 
theoretical approaches or generally accepted research methods. For 
purposes of this subsection, ``reasonably foreseeable'' includes impacts 
which have catastrophic consequences, even if their probability of 
occurrence is low, provided that the analysis of the impacts is 
supported by credible scientific evidence, is not based on pure 
conjecture, and is within the rule of reason.
    (7) If a cost-benefit analysis relevant to the choice among 
environmentally different alternatives was prepared for the proposed 
action, it must be incorporated by reference or appended to the 
statement to aid in evaluating the environmental consequences. The 
relationship between the cost-benefit analysis and any analysis of 
unquantified environmental impacts, values, and amenities must be 
discussed.
    (8) Methods used must be identified, and footnote references must be 
made to scientific and other sources relied on for conclusions. 
Analytical techniques may be incorporated in appendices.
    (9) Permits, licenses, and other authorizations needed to implement 
a proposal must be listed in the draft environmental impact statement 
and the prospects for obtaining them must be assessed. Where there is 
uncertainty as to the need for an authorization it must be indicated.
    (10) An environmental impact statement must contain a discussion of 
any inconsistency between the proposed action and any State or local 
law, ordinance, or approved plan; and must contain a description of the 
manner and extent to which the proposed action will be reconciled with 
the law, ordinance, or approved plan.
    (11) Where State laws or local ordinances impose environmental 
impact statement requirements which are not in conflict with those in 
NEPA, an environmental impact statement made by the Postal Service 
should satisfy pertinent State and local requirements to the extent 
practicable.
    (c) Format. The standard format for environmental statements is:
    (1) Cover Sheet. The cover sheet, not to exceed one page, must 
include:
    (i) A list of the responsible agencies including the lead agency and 
any cooperating agencies.
    (ii) The title of the proposed action that is the subject of the 
statement (and if appropriate, the titles of related cooperating agency 
actions), together with any city, state, and county where the action is 
to take place.
    (iii) The name, address, and telephone number of a person at the 
agency who can supply further information.
    (iv) A designation of the document as a draft or final statement or 
a draft or final supplement.
    (v) A one-paragraph abstract of the statement.
    (vi) The date by which comments must be received.
    (2) Summary. The section should compare and summarize the findings 
of the analyses of the affected environment, the environmental impacts, 
the environmental consequences, the alternatives, and the mitigation 
measures. The summary should sharply define the issues and provide a 
clear basis for choosing alternatives.
    (3) Table of Contents.
    (4) Proposed action. This section should clearly outline the need 
for the EIS and the purpose and description of the proposed action. The 
entire action

[[Page 213]]

should be discussed, including connected and similar actions. A clear 
discussion of the action will assist in consideration of the 
alternatives.
    (5) Alternatives and mitigation. This portion of the environmental 
impact statement is vitally important. Based on the analysis in the 
Affected Environment and Environmental Consequences section (see Sec. 
775.11(c)(6)), the environmental impacts and the alternatives are 
presented in comparative form, thus sharply defining the issues and 
providing a clear basis for choosing alternatives. Those preparing the 
statement must:
    (i) Explore and evaluate all reasonable alternatives, including the 
``no action'' alternative, and briefly discuss the reasons for 
eliminating any alternatives.
    (ii) Devote substantial treatment to each alternative considered in 
detail, including the proposed action, so that reviewers may evaluate 
their comparative merits.
    (iii) Identify the preferred alternative or alternatives in the 
draft and final statements.
    (iv) Describe appropriate mitigation measures not considered to be 
an integral part of the proposed action or alternatives. See Sec. 
775.9(a)(7).
    (6) Affected Environment and Environmental Consequences. For each 
reasonable alternative, each affected element of the environment must be 
described, followed immediately by an analysis of the impacts 
(environmental consequences). The analysis must include, among others, 
the following:
    (i) Any adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided should 
the action be implemented.
    (ii) The relationship between short-term uses of the environment and 
the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity,
    (iii) Any irreversible or irretrievable commitments of resources 
should the action be implemented, and
    (iv) Energy requirements and conservation; and natural, or 
depletable, resource requirements and conservation.
    (7) List of Mitigation Measures.
    (8) List of Preparers. List the names, together with the 
qualifications (expertise, professional disciplines), of persons who 
were primarily responsible for preparing the environmental impact 
statement or significant background papers.
    (9) List of Agencies, Organizations and Persons to Whom Copies of 
the Statement Are Sent.
    (10) Index.
    (11) Appendices. Include comments on draft statement in final 
statement.
    (d) Distribution. (1) Any completed draft environmental impact 
statement which is made the subject of a public hearing, must be made 
available to the public as provided in Sec. 775.12, of this chapter at 
least 15 days in advance of the hearing.
    (2) Draft and final environmental impact statements must be filed 
with the Environmental Protection Agency. Five copies are filed with 
EPA's headquarters addressed to the Office of Federal Activities (A-
104), Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M Street SW., Washington, DC 
20460; five copies are also filed with the responsible EPA region. 
Statements may not be filed with the EPA earlier than they are 
transmitted to commenting agencies and made available to the public.
    (3) Copies of draft and final environmental impact statements must 
be furnished to:
    (i) Any Federal agency which has jurisdiction by law or special 
expertise with respect to any environmental impact involved.
    (ii) Any appropriate Federal, state, or local agency authorized to 
develop and enforce environmental standards.
    (iii) The appropriate review officials identified in the Postal 
Service regulations and procedures governing intergovernmental review of 
Postal Service facility project actions, the State Historic Preservation 
Officer, and, when National Register or eligible properties may be 
affected, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
    (iv) Any person, organization or agency requesting them.
    (4) Copies of final environmental impact statements must be 
furnished to any person who, or organization or agency which, submitted 
substantive comments on the draft.
    (e) Responses to comments. (1) A final statement responds to 
comments on a

[[Page 214]]

draft statement in one or more of the following ways:
    (i) Modification of alternatives, including the proposed action.
    (ii) Development and evaluation of alternatives not previously given 
serious consideration.
    (iii) Supplementation, improvement, or modification of analyses.
    (iv) Correction of facts.
    (v) Explanation of why a comment does not warrant a direct response, 
citing supporting sources, authorities, or reasons. Relevant 
circumstances which may trigger reappraisal or further response must be 
indicated.
    (2) Substantive comments received on a draft statement must be 
attached to the final statement.
    (3) If all of the changes are minor and are confined to responses 
described in paragraphs (e)(1) (iv) and (v) of this section, errata 
sheets may be written, and only the comments and errata sheets need be 
recirculated. In such a case, the draft statement with the comments, 
errata sheets, and a new cover, must be filed as the final statement.
    (f) Supplements. (1) A supplement to a draft or final environmental 
impact statement must be issued if:
    (i) Substantial changes are made in the proposed action that are 
relevant to environmental concerns; or
    (ii) Significant new circumstances or information bearing on 
environmental impacts of the proposed action arise or are discovered.
    (2) The decision on a proposed action involving an environmental 
impact statement, must be delayed until any necessary supplement has 
been circulated and has gone through the commenting period. A supplement 
is prepared, circulated, and filed in the same manner (except for 
determining scope) as draft and final statements, unless alternative 
procedures are approved by CEQ.
    (g) Contracting. A contractor employed to prepare an environmental 
impact statement must certify that it has no financial or other interest 
in the outcome of the project.
    (h) Proposals for Legislation. Legislative environmental impact 
statements must be prepared and transmitted as follows:
    (1) A legislative environmental impact statement is considered part 
of the formal transmittal of a legislative proposal to the Congress. It 
may be transmitted to the Congress up to 30 days after the proposal. The 
statement must be available in time for Congressional hearings and 
deliberations.
    (2) Preparation and processing of a legislative statement must 
conform to the requirements for impact statements, except as follows:
    (i) It is not necessary to determine the scope of issues.
    (ii) A draft is considered to be a final statement. Both draft and 
final statements are needed only when:
    (A) A Congressional committee with jurisdiction over the proposal 
has a rule requiring both.
    (B) Both are specifically required by statute for proposals of the 
type being submitted.
    (3) Comments received on a legislative statement, and the Postal 
Service's responses, must be forwarded to the Congress.

[44 FR 63525, Nov. 5, 1979, as amended at 48 FR 29378, June 24, 1983; 55 
FR 10455; Mar. 21, 1990. Redesignated and amended at 63 FR 45719, 45722, 
Aug. 27, 1998]



Sec. 775.12  Time frames for environmental impact statement actions.

    (a) Each week the EPA publishes in the Federal Register a notice of 
the draft and final environmental impact statements received in that 
office during the preceding week. The minimum time periods for decision 
on an action, specified in paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section, 
are calculated from the date of publication of an EPA notice of receipt 
of the relevant impact statement.
    (b) A decision on a proposed action may not be made or recorded 
until the later of the following dates: 90 days after publication of the 
notice described in paragraph (a) of this section for a draft statement 
or 30 days after publication of the notice for a final statement.
    (c) If a final statement is filed with the EPA within 90 days after 
a draft statement is filed, the 30 day period and the 90 day period may 
run concurrently.

[[Page 215]]

    (d) A minimum of 45 days must be allowed for comments on draft 
statements.

[44 FR 63525, Nov. 5, 1979. Redesignated at 63 FR 45719, Aug. 27, 1998]



Sec. 775.13  Public notice and information.

    (a) Public notice is given of NEPA-related hearings, intent to 
undertake environmental assessments and environmental impact statements, 
and the availability of environmental documents (that is, environmental 
assessments, findings of no significant impact, and environmental impact 
statements), as follows:
    (1) Notices must be mailed to those who have requested them.
    (2) Notices concerning a proposal of national concern must be mailed 
to national organizations reasonably expected to be interested. Any such 
notice must be published in the Federal Register. (See paragraph (a)(4) 
of this section.
    (3) Notices of any proposed action having effects primarily of local 
concern are given as follows:
    (i) Any such notice, including a copy of any pertinent environmental 
document, must be mailed to the appropriate review officials identified 
in the Postal Service regulations and procedures governing 
intergovernmental review of Postal Service facility project actions, to 
the State Historic Preservation Officer, and to local public officials.
    (ii) Any such notice must be published in one or more local 
newspapers.
    (iii) Any such notice must be posted on and near any proposed and 
alternate sites for an action.
    (iv) Any such notice may be mailed to potentially interested 
community organizations, including small business associations.
    (v) Any such notice may be mailed to owners and occupants of nearby 
or affected property.
    (4) A copy of every notice of intent to prepare an environmental 
impact statement must be furnished to the Chief Counsel, Legislative, 
Law Department, who will have it published in the Federal Register.
    (b) All notices must give the name, address, and telephone number of 
a postal official who may be contacted for information. Environmental 
documents are made available to the public on request. Inspection, 
copying, and the furnishing of copies will be in accordance with 39 CFR 
Part 265, ``Release of Information.''

[44 FR 63525, Nov. 5, 1979, as amended at 47 FR 19992, May 10, 1982; 48 
FR 29378, June 24, 1983. Redesignated and amended at 63 FR 45719, 45722, 
Aug. 27, 1998]



Sec. 775.14  Hearings.

    (a) Public hearings must be held whenever there is:
    (1) Substantial environmental controversy concerning a proposed 
action and a request for a hearing by any responsible individual or 
organization;
    (2) A request for a hearing by an agency with jurisdiction over or 
special expertise concerning the proposed action; or
    (3) A reasonable expectation that a hearing will produce significant 
information not likely to be obtained without a hearing.
    (b) The distribution and notice requirements of Sec. Sec. 
775.11(d)(1) and 775.13 must be complied with whenever a hearing is to 
be held.

[44 FR 63525, Nov. 5, 1979. Redesignated and amended at 63 FR 45719, 
45722, Aug. 27, 1998]



PART 776_FLOODPLAIN AND WETLAND PROCEDURES--Table of Contents




                      Subpart A_General Provisions

Sec.
776.1 Purpose and policy.
776.2 Responsibility.
776.3 Definitions.

                     Subpart B_Floodplain Management

776.4 Scope.
776.5 Review procedures.
776.6 Design requirements for construction.
776.7 Lease, easement, right-of-way, or disposal of property to non-
          federal parties.

                      Subpart C_Wetlands Protection

776.8 Scope.
776.9 Review procedures.
776.10 Lease, easement, right-of-way, or disposal of property to non-
          Federal parties.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 401.

    Source: 64 FR 56254, Oct. 19, 1999, unless otherwise noted.

[[Page 216]]



                      Subpart A_General Provisions



Sec. 776.1  Purpose and policy.

    (a) The regulations in this part implement the goals of Executive 
Orders 11990, Protection of Wetlands, and 11988, Floodplain Management, 
and are adopted pursuant to the Postal Reorganization Act, as the Postal 
Service does not meet the definition of the term ``agency'' used in the 
Executive Orders.
    (b) The Postal Service intends to exercise leadership in the 
acquisition and management of real property, construction of facilities, 
and disposal of real property, located in floodplains and wetlands. 
Consistent with the goals of the Executive Orders, the regulations in 
this part are not intended to prohibit floodplain and wetland 
development in all circumstances, but rather to create a consistent 
policy to minimize adverse impacts.



Sec. 776.2  Responsibility.

    The appropriate Manager, Facilities Service Office, or functional 
equivalent within the Postal Service's facilities organization, in 
conjunction with the appropriate Vice President, Area Operations, or 
functional equivalent within the Postal Service's operations 
organization, are responsible for overall compliance with the 
regulations in this part pertaining to facilities projects. The Vice 
President, Area Operations, is responsible for compliance with these 
regulations for those projects within the Vice President's delegated 
authority.



Sec. 776.3  Definitions.

    Construction means construction, alterations, renovations, and 
expansions of buildings, structures and improvements.
    Contending site means a site or existing building for a proposed 
postal facility action, which meets the requirements of the Postal 
Service as determined by the operations organization.
    Facility means any building, appurtenant structures, or associated 
infrastructure.
    Floodplain means the lowland and relatively flat areas adjoining 
inland and coastal waters including flood-prone areas of offshore 
islands, including, at a minimum, that area subject to a one percent or 
greater chance of flooding in any given year (also known as a 100-year 
floodplain).
    Practicable means capable of being accomplished within existing 
constraints. The test of what is practicable depends on the situation 
and includes consideration of many factors, such as environment, cost, 
technology, implementation time, and postal operational needs.
    Preferred area means the specific geographical area proposed for a 
new postal facility, as developed by the operations organization within 
the Postal Service. A preferred area's boundaries are unique for each 
proposed facility based on the operational and customer service needs of 
the Postal Service.
    Preferred site means the most advantageous site for a proposed 
facility, taking into consideration postal operational and customer 
service needs, cost, and availability, as determined by the operations 
organization within the Postal Service.
    Wetlands means those areas that are inundated or saturated by 
surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to 
support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of 
vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. 
Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas.



                     Subpart B_Floodplain Management



Sec. 776.4  Scope.

    (a) The regulations in this subpart are applicable to the following 
proposed postal facility actions located in a floodplain:
    (1) New construction, owned or leased; or
    (2) Construction projects at an existing facility that would 
increase the amount of impervious surface at the site.
    (b) These procedures are not applicable to the following postal 
facility actions:
    (1) Those actions identified in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this 
section, when the entire preferred area, or all

[[Page 217]]

contending sites, for such actions lies within a floodplain;
    (2) Incidental construction, such as construction of athletic 
fields, recreational facilities, sidewalks, and other minor alteration 
projects;
    (3) Construction at existing postal facilities pursuant to the 
Architectural Barriers Act or postal accessibility standards;
    (4) Any facility construction project deemed necessary to comply 
with federal, state, or local health, sanitary, or safety code standards 
to ensure safe working conditions;
    (5) Construction of facilities that are functionally dependent on 
water, such as piers, docks, or boat ramps;
    (6) Maintenance, repair, or renovation of existing facilities; or
    (7) Leasing or other use of space for not more than one year.



Sec. 776.5  Review procedures.

    Officials shall follow the decision-making process outlined in 
paragraphs (a) through (f) of this section, when a facility action may 
involve floodplain issues. Under certain circumstances, this process may 
be carried out with fewer steps if all objectives of the decision-making 
process can be achieved. A general principle underlying this process is 
that a postal facility action requiring construction in a floodplain may 
be considered only when there is no practicable alternative.
    (a) Analysis of alternatives. If a postal facility action would 
involve construction in a floodplain, alternative actions shall be 
considered.
    (b) Early public notice. If a facility action at the contending 
site(s) could require construction in a floodplain, public notice must 
be provided.
    (c) Floodplain location and information. (1) Personnel shall 
determine whether construction would occur within a floodplain. The 
determination shall be made by reference to appropriate Department of 
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) floodplain maps (sometimes referred 
to as Floodplain Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM)), or Federal Emergency 
Management Agency (FEMA) maps, or more detailed maps if available. If 
such maps are not available, floodplain location must be determined 
based on the best available information.
    (2) Once the preferred site has been identified, potential 
floodplain impacts must be determined. As part of this determination 
process, specific floodplain information should be developed, which is 
to consider:
    (i) Whether the proposed action will directly or indirectly support 
floodplain development;
    (ii) Flood hazard and risk to lives and property;
    (iii) Effects on natural and beneficial floodplain values, such as 
water quality maintenance, groundwater recharge, and agriculture; and
    (iv) Possible measures to minimize harm to, or impact on, the 
floodplain.
    (d) Reevaluation. After the above steps have been followed, if the 
determination is that there appears to be no practicable alternative to 
constructing in a floodplain, a further review of alternatives must be 
conducted by the facilities organization in conjunction with the 
operations organization requesting the construction of the facility. The 
further review of alternatives must be conducted by the operations 
organization for projects within the delegated authority of the Vice 
President, Area Operations.
    (e) Final public notice. As a result of the reevaluation, if it is 
determined that there is no practicable alternative to constructing in a 
floodplain, public notice shall be provided as soon as possible for the 
proposed action. The notice should be publicized and should include:
    (1) Identification of the project's location;
    (2) Provision for a 30-day public commenting period before 
irrevocable action is taken by the Postal Service; and
    (3) Name and complete address of a postal contact person responsible 
for providing further information on the decision to proceed with a 
facility action or construction project in a floodplain. Upon request, 
that person shall provide further information as follows:
    (i) A description of why the proposed action must be located in a 
floodplain;
    (ii) A listing of alternative actions considered in making the 
determination; and

[[Page 218]]

    (iii) A statement indicating whether the action conforms to 
applicable state and local floodplain protection standards.
    (f) Distribution. The above public notice will be sent to 
appropriate officials, local newspapers, and other parties who express 
interest in the project.
    (g) NEPA coordination. If either an Environmental Impact Statement 
or an Environmental Assessment is required under the Postal Service's 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations, the above review 
procedures must be incorporated into and evaluated in that document.



Sec. 776.6  Design requirements for construction.

    If structures impact, are located in, or support development in a 
floodplain, construction must conform, at a minimum, to the standards 
and criteria of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), except 
where those standards are demonstrably inappropriate for postal 
purposes.



Sec. 776.7  Lease, easement, right-of-way, or disposal of property to 
non-federal parties.

    When postal property in floodplains is proposed for lease, easement, 
right-of-way, or disposal to non-federal public or private parties, the 
Postal Service shall:
    (a) Reference in the conveyance document that the parcel is located 
in a floodplain and may be restricted in use pursuant to federal, state, 
or local floodplain regulations; or
    (b) Withhold the property from conveyance.



                      Subpart C_Wetlands Protection



Sec. 776.8  Scope.

    (a) The regulations in this subpart are applicable to the following 
proposed postal facility actions located in a wetland:
    (1) New construction, owned or leased; or
    (2) Construction projects at an existing facility that would alter 
the external configuration of the facility.
    (b) These procedures are not applicable to the following postal 
facility actions:
    (1) Construction of foot and bike trails, or boardwalks, including 
signs, the primary purposes of which are public education, 
interpretation, or enjoyment of wetland resources;
    (2) Construction at existing postal facilities pursuant to the 
Architectural Barriers Act or postal accessibility standards;
    (3) Any facility construction project deemed necessary to comply 
with federal, state, or local health, sanitary, or safety code standards 
to ensure safe working conditions;
    (4) Construction of facilities that are functionally dependent on 
water, such as piers, docks, or boat ramps; or
    (5) Maintenance, repair, or renovation of existing facilities.



Sec. 776.9  Review procedures.

    (a) Early public notice. If a facility action at the contending 
site(s) could require construction in a wetland, public notice must be 
provided.
    (b) Finding of no practicable alternative. The Postal Service shall 
avoid construction located in a wetland unless it issues a finding of no 
practicable alternative. The facilities organization, in conjunction 
with the operations organization, or, for projects within the delegated 
authority of the Vice President, Area Operations, the operations 
organization, shall make a written determination that:
    (1) There is no practicable alternative to such construction; and
    (2) The proposed action includes all practicable measures to 
minimize harm to wetlands.
    (c) NEPA coordination. If either an Environmental Impact Statement 
or an Environmental Assessment is required under the Postal Service's 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations, the above review 
procedures must be incorporated into and evaluated in that document.



Sec. 776.10  Lease, easement, right-of-way, or disposal of property to 
non-federal parties.

    When postal-owned wetlands or portions of wetlands are proposed for 
lease, easement, right-of-way, or disposal to non-federal public or 
private parties, the Postal Service shall:

[[Page 219]]

    (a) Reference in the conveyance document that the parcel contains 
wetlands and may be restricted in use pursuant to federal, state, or 
local wetlands regulations; or
    (b) Withhold the property from conveyance.

[[Page 220]]



                    SUBCHAPTER L_SPECIAL REGULATIONS





PART 777_RELOCATION ASSISTANCE AND REAL PROPERTY ACQUISITION POLICIES
--Table of Contents




            Subpart A_General Policy, Purpose and Definitions

Sec.
777.11 General policy.
777.12 Purpose.
777.13 Definitions.
777.14 Certain indirect actions prohibited.

                 Subpart B_Uniform Relocation Assistance

777.21 General procedures.
777.22 Relocation assistance advisory services.
777.23 Moving expenses.
777.24 Replacement housing payments.
777.25 Additional rules for replacement housing payments.
777.26 Mobile homes.
777.27 Last resort housing.
777.28 Claims and appeals.

                          Subpart C_Acquisition

777.31 Acquisition procedures.
777.32 Acquisition of tenant-owned improvements.
777.33 Expenses incidental to transfer of title to the Postal Service.

                    Subpart D_Voluntary Acquisitions

777.41 Acquisition procedures.

                           Subpart E_Donations

777.51 Acceptance of donations.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 401.

    Source: 51 FR 6983, Feb. 27, 1986, unless otherwise noted.



            Subpart A_General Policy, Purpose and Definitions



Sec. 777.11  General policy.

    It is the policy of the Postal Service to comply voluntarily with 
the provisions of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property 
Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (Pub. L. 91-646; 84 Stat. 1894), 
hereinafter referred to as the Act.



Sec. 777.12  Purpose.

    The purpose of these regulations is to update policy and procedures 
for the Postal Service's voluntary compliance with the Act.



Sec. 777.13  Definitions.

    (a) The Act. The Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property 
Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (Pub. L. 91-646; 84 Stat. 1894).
    (b) Business. Any lawful activity, except a farm operation, that is:
    (1) Conducted primarily for the purchase, sale, lease, and/or rental 
of personal and/or real property, and for the manufacturing, processing, 
and/or marketing of products, commodities, and/or any other personal 
property; or
    (2) Conducted primarily for the sale of services to the public; or
    (3) Solely for the purposes of reimbursing moving and related 
expenses, conducted primarily for outdoor advertising display purposes, 
when the display(s) must be moved as a result of the project; or
    (4) Conducted by a nonprofit organization that has established its 
nonprofit status under applicable Federal or State law.
    (c) Small business. A business having at least one but not more than 
500 employees working at the location being acquired.
    (d) Comparable Replacement Dwelling. A dwelling which is:
    (1) Decent, safe, and sanitary.
    (2) Functionally similar to the displacement dwelling with 
particular attention to the number of rooms and living space.
    (3) In an area that is not subject to unreasonably adverse 
environmental conditions, is not generally less desirable than the 
location of the displacement dwelling with respect to public utilities 
and commercial and public facilities, and is reasonably accessible to 
the displaced person's place of employment.
    (4) On a site that is typical in size for residential development 
with normal site improvements including customary landscaping. The site 
need not

[[Page 221]]

include special improvements such as outbuildings, fences, swimming 
pools, and greenhouses.
    (5) Currently available to the displaced person.
    (6) Within the financial means of the displaced person.
    (e) Decent, Safe, and Sanitary Dwelling. A dwelling which meets 
local housing and occupancy codes and the following standards, unless 
they are waived for good cause by the Postal Service. The dwelling must:
    (1) Be structurally sound, weathertight, and in good repair.
    (2) Contain a safe electrical wiring system adequate for lighting 
and other electrical devices.
    (3) Contain a heating system capable of sustaining a healthful 
temperature of approximately 70 degrees except in those areas where 
local climatic conditions do not require such a system.
    (4) Be adequate in size with respect to the number of rooms and 
areas of living space needed to accommodate the displaced persons. There 
shall be a separate, well-lighted and ventilated bathroom that provides 
privacy to the user and contains a bathtub or shower stall, sink, and 
toilet, all in good working order and properly connected to appropriate 
sources of water and to a sewage drainage system. In the case of a 
housekeeping unit--as opposed to, for example, a room in a boarding 
house--there shall be a kitchen area that contains a fully usable sink, 
properly connected to potable hot and cold water and to a sewage 
draining system, and adequate space and utility service connections for 
a stove and a refrigerator.
    (5) Contain unobstructed egress to safe, open space at ground level.
    (6) For displaced persons who are handicapped, be free of any 
barriers which would preclude their reasonable ingress, egress, or use 
of the dwelling.
    (f) Displaced Person. (1) Subject to the additional definitions, 
limitations and exceptions in paragraph (f)(2) of this section, the term 
``displaced person'' is defined as follows. (``Displaced persons'' are 
entitled to receive benefits only as specifically provided for elsewhere 
in these regulations.)
    (i) A person who owns real property, and who is required to move or 
to move personal property from the real property following Postal 
Service action to obtain title to, or a leasehold interest in, such real 
property by the exercise or the threat of the exercise of eminent 
domain.
    (ii) A person who is a tenant and who is required to move or to move 
his or her personal property from real property:
    (A) Following Postal Service action to obtain the tenant's leasehold 
interest in such real property by the exercise or the threat of the 
exercise of eminent domain, or,
    (B) Where the Postal Service acquires a fee interest in the property 
(including long-term leases of 50 years or more), as a result of a 
Postal Service notice of displacement or notice to vacate such real 
property, provided the tenant was lawfully in possession on the date 
title to such property transfers to the Postal Service. (The requirement 
that the tenant occupy such real property on the date title in such real 
property transfers to the Postal Service may be waived for good cause by 
the Postal Service.)
    (C) Where such real property was used to construct a new building 
for the express purpose of leasing to the Postal Service under 
circumstances where such tenant would have been a ``displaced person'' 
hereunder had the Postal Service itself acquired the land and required 
the removal of the tenant to undertake construction of the building for 
Postal Service ownership.
    (iii) Where the Postal Service acquires either a fee interest or a 
leasehold interest in the property, a person who is a residential tenant 
and is or will be required to move or to move his or her property from 
the real property, in order for the Postal Service to accomplish the 
project for which the property was acquired, provided such tenant 
occupies such real property on the date title in such real property 
transfers to the Postal Service or the date the Postal Service leases or 
contracts to lease such property, and further provided such tenant was 
lawfully in possession at the time of the initiation of negotiations. 
(The requirement that the tenant occupy such real property on the date 
title in such real

[[Page 222]]

property transfers to the Postal Service may be waived for good cause by 
the Postal Service.)
    (2) The term ``displaced person'' covers only persons meeting the 
requirements in paragraph (f)(1) of this section. The term ``displaced 
person'' does not cover the following non-exclusive list of examples.
    (i) An owner who voluntarily sells his or her real property to the 
Postal Service, or,
    (ii) A tenant who voluntarily transfers his or her leasehold 
interest to the Postal Service without the exercise or the threat of the 
exercise of eminent domain, or,
    (iii) A tenant who is not lawfully in possession at the times for 
which lawful possession is specified in paragraphs (f)(1)(ii)(B) and 
(f)(1)(iii) of this section. A tenant who was legally required by the 
lease or otherwise to have moved from the property at the times 
specified in such paragraphs shall not be considered to be lawfully in 
possession.
    (iv) A person who, at the determination of the Postal Service, is 
not required to relocate permanently, or,
    (v) A person who, after receiving a notice of displacement or notice 
to vacate by the Postal Service, is notified in writing that he or she 
will not be displaced. Such later notification shall not be issued if 
the person has already moved. If such latter notification is issued, the 
Postal Service shall reimburse the person for any reasonable expenses 
incurred to satisfy any binding contractual relocation obligations 
entered into after the effective date of the notice of displacement or 
the notice to vacate or,
    (vi) A person who is required to temporarily vacate the premises in 
order to permit fumigation, repair, painting, or other maintenance or 
code of enforcement work or,
    (vii) A tenant who is required to move from real property as a 
result of a notice from the Postal Service to vacate such real property 
where such notice to vacate is issued five years or more after the date 
of the acquisition of such real property. A tenant who is given a notice 
to vacate as a result of failure to comply with the terms of his/her 
lease with the Postal Service or failure to renew his/her lease under 
prevailing market conditions is not considered to be a displaced person.
    (viii) A mobile home occupant who owns the site on which the mobile 
home is located and who voluntarily sells the site to the Postal 
Service, regardless of whether such person owns or rents the mobile 
home.
    (ix) A person whose property is acquired through a ``friendly 
condemnation action'' where price is not an issue.
    (g) Displacement Dwelling. The dwelling acquired by the Postal 
Service from which a displaced person is required to move.
    (h) Dwelling. The place of permanent or customary and usual 
residence of a person including a single family house; a single family 
unit in a two-family, multi-family, or multi-purpose property; a unit of 
a condominium or cooperative housing project; a non-housekeeping unit 
(i.e. room in a boarding house); a mobile home; or any other residential 
unit.
    (i) Family. Two or more individuals who are related by blood, 
adoption, marriage, or legal guardianship who live together as a family 
unit. If the Postal Service considers that circumstances warrant, others 
who live together as a family unit may be treated as if they are a 
family for the purpose of determining assistance under these 
regulations.
    (j) Farm Operation. Any activity conducted solely or primarily for 
the production of one or more types of agricultural products or 
commodities, including timber, for sale or home use, and customarily 
producing such products or commodities in sufficient quantity to be 
capable of contributing materially to the operator's support.
    (k) Financial Means. A comparable replacement dwelling is within the 
financial means of the displaced family or individual if the average 
monthly rental or housing cost (e.g., monthly mortgage payments, 
insurance for the dwelling unit, property taxes, and other reasonable 
recurring related expenses) which the displaced person will be required 
to pay does not exceed the greater of 25 percent of the monthly gross 
income of the displaced family or individual or the ratio of the present 
monthly rental or housing cost to the

[[Page 223]]

gross income of the displaced family or individual. (Supplemental 
payments made by public agencies are to be included in gross income for 
purposes of these comparisons.)
    (l) Initiation of Negotiations. In the case where eminent domain is 
neither exercised nor threatened to be exercised, the initiation of 
negotiations is the initial written communication stating a price by the 
owner or the owner's representative to the Postal Service, or by the 
Postal Service to the owner or the owner's representative, regarding a 
proposed acquisition (by purchase or lease) or an interest in a specific 
piece of real property. In the case where eminent domain is either 
exercised or threatened to be exercised, the initiation of negotiations 
is the date the Postal Service makes a written offer of just 
compensation.
    (m) Notice of Displacement. A notice given in writing by the Postal 
Service to a person that he or she will be displaced from his or her 
place of residence, business or farm, as a result of a facility action 
by the Postal Service. A notice of displacement may be combined with or 
in a notice to vacate.
    (n) Notice to Vacate. A notice given in writing by the Postal 
Service to a person that he or she is to vacate postal owned property on 
or before a certain date. A notice to vacate may be combined with or in 
a notice of displacement.
    (o) Owner of Displacement Dwelling. A person is considered to be an 
owner, if, at the initiation of negotiations, the person holds any of 
the following interests in real property acquired for a postal project:
    (1) Fee title, a life estate, a 99-year lease, or a lease, including 
any options for extension, with at least 50 years to run from the date 
of acquisition; or
    (2) An interest other than leasehold interest in a cooperative 
housing project which includes the right to occupy a dwelling; or
    (3) A contract to purchase any of the interests or estates described 
in paragraph (o)(1) or (o)(2) of this section; or
    (4) Any other interest, including a partial interest, which in the 
judgment of the Postal Service, warrants consideration as ownership.
    (p) Person. Any individual, family, partnership, corporation, 
association, business or farm operation.
    (q) Personal Property. Any tangible property, not considered part of 
the real property, for which payment has not been included in the 
acquisition cost.
    (r) Tenant. A person who has the legal right to temporary use and 
occupancy of real property owned by another. In some cases, these 
regulations also use the term ``tenant'' to refer to a person who 
occupies real property owned by another but whose legal right was 
terminated due to a timely notice to vacate the real property used and 
occupied.

[51 FR 6983, Feb. 27, 1986, as amended at 54 FR 10666, Mar. 15, 1989]



Sec. 777.14  Certain indirect actions prohibited.

    Postal employees shall take no indirect, coercive, or deceptive 
actions to cause persons to move from real property in an effort to 
avoid the circumstances under which such persons would be eligible to 
receive relocation benefits as displaced persons under these 
regulations. If a claimant demonstrates that such prohibited action 
caused him or her to move, he or she will be treated as a displaced 
person hereunder, if he or she otherwise meets the definition of a 
displaced person.



                 Subpart B_Uniform Relocation Assistance



Sec. 777.21  General procedures.

    (a) Planning Prior to Site Selection. When acquisition of a site 
under consideration would likely involve displacement of a person 
eligible under Sec. 777.13 for relocation assistance, the Postal 
Service representative shall prepare a relocation needs and availability 
analysis. The Postal Service representative shall include in the 
analysis a complete inventory of persons who may be displaced and 
specifically identify their needs.
    (b) Planning Subsequent to Site Selection. Subsequent to site 
selection, the Postal Service must review the relocation needs and 
availability analysis

[[Page 224]]

and establish a specific plan for providing the assistance covered by 
these regulations to any eligible displaced persons. It will further 
determine the necessity of establishing an on-site relocation office 
which would be accessible to displaced persons and would be staffed with 
relocation personnel qualified to render all relocation services. The 
Postal Service will assure that cost estimates reflect current market 
conditions and that funding is available for all relocation assistance 
and activities.
    (c) Contracting for Relocation Services. When the Postal Service 
determines it to be advantageous, it may enter into a relocation 
assistance service contract with a public agency or private firm having 
expertise in relocation assistance. The contract must require the 
contractor to follow Postal Service relocation assistance regulations.
    (d) Notice to Vacate, Ninety Day Requirement. Postal Service notices 
to vacate must be issued at least 90 days prior to the date the property 
must be vacated. Any such notice must be in writing and delivered in 
person with receipt acknowledged, or by certified mail, return receipt 
requested. The 90-day requirement does not apply to any such notice 
issued subsequent to a valid notice to vacate issued by the prior owner 
of the property. A 90-day notice may be given with, or such notice may 
be combined with, but such notice must not be given before, the notice 
of displacement referred to in paragraph (f) of this section.
    (e) Shorter Notice Period, Unusual Circumstances. An occupant may be 
required to vacate the property on less than 90 days advance written 
notice if the Postal Service determines that a 90-day notice is 
impracticable. An example of such a situation is when the person's 
continued occupancy of the property would constitute a substantial 
danger to the person's health or safety.
    (f) Notice of Displacement. Normally, a notice of displacement will 
be given at the time of acquisition or later. Such notice must not be 
given earlier than the time of contracting, except in the case of 
acquisitions by eminent domain or by the threat of eminent domain. Such 
notice may be given at the time of contracting or between the time of 
contracting and the time of acquisition if the Postal Service considers 
it wise to start the displacement process then and if, in the judgment 
of the Postal Service, it is clear that person will in fact be a 
displaced person.
    (g) Notice of Availability of Advisory Services. The notice of 
displacement will state that relocation assistance advisory services 
will be available to the displaced person and will designate who will 
provide such services.
    (h) Eviction for cause. Any person occupying real property and not 
in unlawful occupancy on the date of initiation of negotiations is 
presumed to be entitled to relocation payments and other assistance 
unless the Postal Service determines that:
    (1) The person received an eviction notice prior to initiation of 
negotiations and, as a result of that notice, is later evicted; or
    (2) The person is evicted after initiation of negotiations for 
serious or repeated violation of material terms of the lease or 
occupancy agreement; and
    (3) In either case the eviction is not undertaken for the purpose of 
evading the obligation to make the relocation payments and other 
assistance available.

[51 FR 6983, Feb. 27, 1986, as amended at 54 FR 10667, Mar. 15, 1989]



Sec. 777.22  Relocation assistance advisory services.

    (a) General. The Postal Service carries out an advisory assistance 
program for displaced persons.
    (b) Relocation Information. The Postal Service must contact each 
displaced person to provide an informational statement outlining the 
assistance available to the particular person. If it is impracticable to 
contact the displaced persons personally, the informational statement 
must be mailed to the persons, certified mail, return receipt requested.
    (c) Time of Initial Contact to Provide Relocation Information. The 
initial contact to provide relocation information must take place by the 
following dates:
    (1) Where acquisition of the property is to occur as a result of the 
exercise or the threat of the exercise of eminent

[[Page 225]]

domain, at the time of initiation of negotiation or within 30 days 
thereafter.
    (2) In any other instance such contact must be made prior to 
acquisition and prior to the notice of displacement or the notice to 
vacate, but it should normally not be made prior to contracting for the 
acquisition.
    (d) Service to be Provided. The advisory program shall include such 
services as may be necessary or appropriate to:
    (1) Provide current information on the availability, purchase 
prices, financing, and rental costs of replacement dwellings.
    (2) For displaced persons eligible for replacement housing payments, 
explain that the displaced person cannot be required to move unless at 
least one comparable replacement dwelling is made available.
    (i) At the request of the displaced person, the Postal Service must 
inform that person, in writing, of the specific comparable replacement 
dwelling used as the basis for the replacement housing payment offer, 
the price or rent used to establish the upper limit of that offer, the 
basis for the determination, and the amount of the replacement housing 
payment to which he or she may be entitled.
    (ii) Where feasible, housing must be inspected by the Postal Service 
representative prior to its being made available to assure that it is a 
comparable replacement dwelling and meets the decent, safe, and sanitary 
standard. The displaced person must be notified that a replacement 
housing payment will not be made unless the replacement dwelling is 
inspected and determined to be decent, safe, and sanitary.
    (iii) Whenever possible, minority displaced persons must be given 
reasonable opportunities to relocate to comparable dwellings, not 
located in an area of minority concentration, that are within their 
financial means. This policy, however, does not require the Postal 
Service to provide a person a larger payment than is necessary to enable 
that person to relocate to a comparable replacement dwelling.
    (iv) All displaced persons, especially the elderly and handicapped, 
must be offered transportation to inspect housing to which they are 
referred.
    (3) Provide current and continuing information on the availability, 
purchase prices, and rental costs of comparable and suitable commercial 
and farm properties and locations, and assist any person displaced from 
a business or farm operation to obtain and become established in a 
suitable replacement location.
    (4) Minimize hardships to displaced persons in adjusting to 
relocation by providing counseling, advice about other sources of 
assistance that may be available, and such other help as may be 
appropriate.
    (5) Supply displaced persons with appropriate information concerning 
Federal, State, and local housing programs, disaster loan and other 
programs administered by the Small Business Administration, and other 
Federal, State, and local programs offering assistance to displaced 
persons.
    (6) Upon selection of a replacement property by a displaced person, 
the Postal Service may arrange for a representative to assist the 
displaced person with necessary arrangements for the move.



Sec. 777.23  Moving expenses.

    (a) Eligibility. (1) Residential displaced persons are entitled to 
benefits under paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section.
    (2) Business and farm displaced persons are entitled to benefits 
under paragraphs (d) through (k) of this section.
    (3) Those business or farm displaced persons who reside on the 
property where the business or farm operation is conducted are eligible 
for applicable benefits both as residents and as business or farm 
displaced persons, but no duplicate payments are allowed.
    (4) Persons who are required to move or to move personal property 
from real property, an interest in which is not acquired by the Postal 
Service, when it is determined by the Postal Service that such move is 
necessary or reasonable because of the Postal Service's having acquired 
an interest in other real property owned or leased by such persons and 
on which such persons conduct a business or farm operation,

[[Page 226]]

under circumstances where such persons are displaced persons with regard 
to such other real property or would have been displaced persons with 
regard to such other real property had they been required to move or to 
move personal property from such other real property, are entitled to 
benefits as residential, business or farm displaced persons under 
paragraphs (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section.
    (5) Eligibility for moving expenses does not depend upon the owner's 
or tenant's actual occupancy of the displacement real property.
    (b) Allowable Expenses, Residential Moves. Allowable moving expenses 
include:
    (1) Transportation of the displaced person and his or her personal 
property. Transportation costs are limited to the costs of a move up to 
a distance of 50 miles unless the Postal Service determines that 
relocation beyond 50 miles is justified.
    (2) Packing, crating, unpacking, and uncrating of the personal 
property.
    (3) Disconnecting, dismantling, removing, reassembling, and 
reinstalling relocated household appliances and other personal property.
    (4) Storage of the personal property not to exceed 12 months unless 
the Postal Service determines that a longer period is necessary.
    (5) Reasonable costs for insurance for the replacement value of the 
personal property being moved or stored.
    (6) When determined to be fair and reasonable by the Postal Service 
the replacement value of property lost, stolen, or damaged in the 
process of moving (not through the fault or negligence of the displaced 
person, his or her agent, or employee), but only where insurance 
covering such loss, theft, or damage is not reasonably available.
    (7) Other moving related expenses that are not listed as non-
allowable under paragraph (l)(3) of this section and which the Postal 
Service determines to be reasonable and necessary.
    (c) Fixed payment for moving expenses. residential moves. Any person 
displaced from a dwelling or a seasonal residence is entitled to receive 
an expense and dislocation allowance as an alternative to a payment for 
actual moving and related expenses. This allowance shall be determined 
according to the applicable schedule approved by the Federal Highway 
Administration. This includes a provision that the expense and 
dislocation allowance to a person with minimal personal possessions who 
is in occupancy of a dormitory style room shared by two or more other 
unrelated persons or a person whose residential move is performed by an 
agency at no cost to the person shall be limited to $50.
    (d) Allowable Expenses, Business and Farm Operations. Allowable 
expenses include:
    (1) The expenses allowed under paragraphs (b) (2), (4), (5) and (6) 
of this section;
    (2) Transportation of personal property. Transportation costs are 
limited to a distance up to 50 miles unless the Postal Service makes a 
finding that relocation beyond 50 miles is justified.
    (3) Disconnecting, dismantling, removing, reassembling, and 
reinstalling relocated machinery, equipment, and other personal 
property, and substitute personal property as described in paragraph 
(d)(8) of this section. This includes connection to utilities available 
at the replacement site or building and minor modifications to personal 
property to adapt it to the replacement site or building. Excluded are 
expenses for providing utilities to or installing utilities at the 
replacement site or building and expenses for repair, alteration, 
improvement or modification of the replacement site or building. This 
exclusion includes, but is not limited to, any repairs, alterations, 
improvements, or modifications required by local code to bring the 
building up to standard.
    (4) Any license, permit, or certification fee required of the 
displaced person by a governmental authority at the replacement 
location. However, this payment is limited to the pro rata value for the 
remaining useful life of any existing license, permit, or certification.
    (5) Reasonable professional services necessary for planning the move 
of the personal property. Such professional services must be approved in 
advance by the Postal Service and shall not exceed the lowest of three 
acceptable bids.

[[Page 227]]

    (6) Relettering signs and replacing stationary on hand at the time 
of displacement that are made obsolete as a result of the move.
    (7) Actual direct loss of tangible personal property incurred as a 
result of moving or discontinuing the business or farm operation. The 
payment will consist of the reasonable costs incurred in attempting to 
sell the item plus the lesser of:
    (i) The fair market value of the item for continued use at the 
displacement site, less the proceeds from its sale. (To be eligible for 
this payment the claimant must make a good faith effort to sell the 
personal property, unless the Postal Service determines that such effort 
is not necessary. When payment for property loss is claimed for goods 
held for sale, the fair market value must be based on the cost of the 
goods to the business, not the potential selling price.); or
    (ii) The estimated cost of moving the item no more than 50 miles, 
but with no allowance for storage.
    (8) If an item of personal property which is used as part of a 
business or farm operation is not moved, is promptly replaced with a 
substitute item that performs a comparable function at the replacement 
site, the displaced person is entitled to payment of the lesser of:
    (i) The cost of the substitute item, including installation costs at 
the replacement site, less any proceeds from the sale. (To be eligible 
for payments under paragraph (d)(8) of this section, the claimant must 
make a good faith effort to sell the personal property, unless the 
Postal Service determines that such effort is not necessary.)
    (ii) The estimated cost of moving and reinstalling the replaced 
item, based on the lowest acceptable bid or estimate obtained by the 
Postal Service for eligible moving and related expenses, but with no 
allowance for storage.
    (9) A displaced business or farm operation is entitled to 
reimbursement for actual expenses, not to exceed $1,000, which the 
Postal Service determines to be reasonable and which are incurred in 
searching for a replacement location. These expenses include 
transportation, meals and lodging away from home, time spent searching 
(based on reasonable salary or earnings) and fees paid to a real estate 
agent or broker to locate a replacement site, exclusive of any fees or 
commissions related to the purchase of such site.
    (10) Other moving-related expenses, not listed as non-allowable 
under paragraph (l)(3) of this section, which the Postal Service 
determines to be reasonable and necessary.
    (e) Fixed Payment in Lieu of Moving Expenses, Business Moves. Any 
displaced business, other than an outdoor advertising display business, 
or a non-profit organization, is eligible for a fixed payment in lieu of 
actual moving and related expenses. This payment must be in an amount 
equal to the average annual net earnings of the business at that 
location, as computed under paragraph (i) of this section, but not less 
than $1,000 nor more than $20,000. For a displaced person to qualify for 
this payment, the Postal Service must determine that:
    (1) The business owns or rents personal property which must be moved 
in connection with such displacement and for which an expense would be 
incurred in such move; and, the business vacates or relocates from its 
displacement site; and
    (2) The business cannot be relocated without a substantial loss of 
its existing patronage (clientele or net earnings). A business is 
assumed to meet this test unless the Postal Service determines that it 
will not suffer a substantial loss of its existing patronage; and
    (3) The business is not part of a commercial enterprise having more 
than three other entities which are not being acquired by the Postal 
Service, and which are under the same ownership and engaged in the same 
or similar business activities.
    (4) The business contributed materially to the income of the 
displaced person during the 2 taxable years prior to displacement (see 
paragraph (h) of this section). However, the Postal Service may waive 
this test for good cause.
    (5) The business is not operated at a displacement dwelling solely 
for the purpose of renting such dwelling to others.

[[Page 228]]

    (f) Determining the Number of Businesses. In determining whether two 
or more displaced legal entities constitute a single business which is 
entitled to only one fixed payment, all pertinent factors shall be 
considered, including the extent to which:
    (1) The same premises and equipment are shared;
    (2) Substantially identical or interrelated business functions are 
carried out and business and financial affairs are commingled;
    (3) The entities are held out to the public, and to those 
customarily dealing with them, as one business; and
    (4) The same person or closely related persons own, control, or 
manage the affairs of the entities.
    (g) Fixed Payment in Lieu of Moving Expenses, Farm Operation. Any 
displaced farm operation may choose a fixed payment in lieu of a payment 
for actual moving and related expenses in an amount equal to its average 
annual net earnings as computed in accordance with paragraph (i) of this 
section, but not less than $1,000 nor more than $20,000. For a displaced 
person to qualify for this payment, the Postal Service must determine 
that the farm operation contributed materially to the income of the 
displaced person during the two taxable years prior to the displacement 
(see paragraph (h) of this section). In the case of acquisition of land 
which was part of a farm operation before the acquisition, the fixed 
payment shall be made only if the Postal Service determines that:
    (1) The acquisition of part of the land caused the operator to be 
displaced from the operation on the remaining land; or
    (2) The partial acquisition caused a substantial change in the 
nature of the farm operation.
    (h) Contributes materially. The term ``contributes materially,'' as 
used in paragraphs (e) and (g) of this section means that, during the 2 
taxable years prior to the taxable year in which displacement occurs, or 
during such other period as the Postal Service determines to be more 
equitable, a business or farm operation:
    (1) Had average annual gross receipts of at least $5,000; or
    (2) Had average annual net earnings of at least $1,000; or
    (3) Contributed at least 33\1/3\ percent of the owner's or 
operator's average annual gross income from all sources.
    (4) If the application of the above criteria creates an inequity or 
hardship in any given case, the Postal Service may approve the use of 
other criteria as determined appropriate.
    (i) Average Annual Net Earnings of a Business or Farm Operation. The 
average annual net earnings of a business or farm operation are one-half 
of its net earnings before Federal, State, and local income taxes during 
the 2 taxable years immediately prior to the taxable year in which it 
was displaced. If the business or farm was not in operation for the full 
2 taxable years prior to displacement, net earnings shall be based on 
the actual period of operation at the displacement site during the 2 
taxable years prior to displacement, projected to an annual rate. 
Average annual net earnings may be based upon a different period of time 
when the Postal Service determines it to be more equitable. Net earnings 
include any compensation obtained from the business or farm operation by 
its owner, the owner's spouse, and dependents. The displaced person 
shall furnish the Postal Service proof of net earnings through income 
tax returns, certified financial statements, or other reasonable 
evidence which the Postal Service determines is satisfactory.
    (j) Nonprofit Organizations. Any displaced nonprofit organization 
may choose a fixed payment in lieu of a payment for actual moving and 
related expenses in an amount of $2,500, if the Postal Service 
determines that it:
    (1) Cannot be relocated without a substantial loss of existing 
patronage (membership or clientele). A nonprofit organization is assumed 
to meet this test, unless the Postal Service demonstrates otherwise; and
    (2) Is not part of an enterprise having at least one other 
establishment engaged in the same or similar activity which is not being 
acquired by the Postal Service.
    (k) Relocation of Outdoor Advertising Signs. The amount of a payment 
for direct loss of an advertising sign which is personal property is the 
lesser of:

[[Page 229]]

    (1) The depreciated replacement cost of the sign, as determined by 
the Postal Service, less the proceeds from its sale; (To be eligible for 
payments under this paragraph (k)(1), the claimant must make a good 
faith effort to sell the sign, unless the Postal Service determines that 
such effort is not necessary.) or
    (2) The estimated cost of moving the sign, no more than 50 miles, 
but with no allowance for storage.
    (l) Payment for actual reasonable reestablishment expenses, 
nonresidential moves. In addition to the payments available as allowable 
expenses for nonresidential moves, a small business, farm or non-profit 
organization may be eligible to receive a payment, not to exceed $10,000 
for expenses actually incurred in relocating and reestablishing such 
small business, farm or non-profit organization at a replacement site.
    (1) Allowable expenses. Reestablishment expenses must be reasonable 
and necessary, as determined by the Postal Service. They may include the 
following:
    (i) Repairs or improvements to the replacement real property as 
required by federal, state, local law, code or ordinance.
    (ii) Modifications to the replacement property to accommodate the 
business operation or make replacement structures suitable for 
occupancy.
    (iii) Construction and installation costs not to exceed $1,500 for 
exterior signing to advertise the business.
    (iv) Installation of security or fire protection devices.
    (v) Provision of utilities from right-of-way to improvements on the 
replacement site.
    (vi) Redecoration or replacement of soiled or worn surfaces at the 
replacement site, such as paint, panelling or carpeting.
    (vii) Licenses, fees and permits when not paid as part of the moving 
expenses.
    (viii) Feasibility surveys, soil testing and marketing studies.
    (ix) Advertisement of replacement location, not to exceed $1,500
    (x) Professional services in connection with the purchase or lease 
of a replacement site.
    (xi) Increased costs of operation during the first two years at the 
replacement site, not to exceed $5,000, for such items as lease or 
rental charges, personal or real property taxes, insurance premiums, 
utility charges including impact fees or one time assessments for 
anticipated heavy utility usage.
    (xii) Other items that the Postal Service considers essential to the 
reestablishment of the business.
    (2) Non-allowable expenses. Following is a non-exclusive listing of 
restablishment expenditures not considered to be reasonable, necessary 
or otherwise allowable.
    (i) Purchase of capital assets such as office furniture, filing 
cabinets, machinery, or trade fixtures.
    (ii) Purchase of manufacturing materials, production supplies, 
product inventory, or other items used in the normal course of the 
business operation.
    (iii) Interior or exterior refurbishment at the replacement site 
which are for cosmetic purposes only.
    (iv) Interest on money borrowed to make the move or purchase the 
replacement property.
    (v) Payment to a part-time business in the home which does not 
contribute materially to the household income.
    (vi) Payment to a person whose sole business at a replacement 
dwelling is the rental of such dwelling to others.
    (m) General Provisions--(1) Self moves. If the displaced person 
elects to take full responsibility for all or a part of the move, the 
Postal Service may approve a payment for the person's moving expenses in 
an amount not to exceed the lowest of three bids acceptable to the 
Postal Service. Bids may be obtained by either the displaced person or 
the Postal Service.
    (2) Transfer of Ownership. Upon request by the Postal Service and in 
accordance with applicable law, the displaced person may transfer to the 
Postal Service ownership of any personal property that is not to be 
moved, sold, or traded-in by executing a disclaimer of all rights or 
interest in the property.
    (3) Non-Allowable Expenses. Except as specifically otherwise 
provided herein, a displaced person is not entitled to payment for:

[[Page 230]]

    (i) The cost of moving any structure or other real property 
improvement.
    (ii) Loss of goodwill.
    (iii) Loss of profits.
    (iv) Loss of trained employees.
    (v) Any additional operating expenses of a business or farm 
operation caused by operating in a new location.
    (vi) Personal injury.
    (vii) Any legal fee or other cost for preparing a claim for a 
relocation payment or for representing the displaced person before the 
Postal Service.
    (viii) Expenses for searching for a replacement dwelling.
    (ix) Costs for storage of personal property on real property owned 
or leased by the displaced person.

[51 FR 6983, Feb. 27, 1986, as amended at 52 FR 48029, Dec. 17, 1987; 54 
FR 10667, Mar. 15, 1989]



Sec. 777.24  Replacement housing payments.

    (a) Residential displaced persons are eligible for replacement 
housing payments as follows:
    (1) Residential displaced persons who lawfully and continuously 
owned and occupied a displacement dwelling for not less than 180 days 
prior to the initiation of negotiations are entitled to the benefits set 
out in paragraph (b) of this section. Such displaced persons may 
alternately choose the benefits under paragraph (f) of this section.
    (2) Residential displaced persons who lawfully and continuously 
owned and occupied, and residential displaced persons who were tenants 
and lawfully and continuously occupied, a displacement dwelling for not 
less than 90 days prior to the initiation of negotiations are entitled 
to the benefits set out in paragraph (e) of this section.
    (3) Where the replacement housing payment provided hereunder does 
not provide for housing within the financial means (see Sec. 777.13(j)) 
of the displaced person, see Sec. 777.27, Last Resort Housing.
    (b) Benefits for 180 Day Owner Occupants. Displaced persons eligible 
under paragraph (a)(1) of this section are entitled to benefits as set 
out below:
    (1) An amount which is the sum of:
    (i) The amount which must be added to the acquisition cost of the 
displacement dwelling to provide a total amount equal to the lesser of:
    (A) The reasonable cost of a comparable replacement dwelling as 
determined by paragraph (c) of this section; or
    (B) The purchase price of a decent, safe and sanitary replacement 
dwelling actually purchased and occupied by the displaced person; plus
    (ii) Interest Cost (see paragraph (d) of this section); plus
    (iii) Incidental Expenses (see paragraph (h) of this section).
    (2) The benefits in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, are limited to 
a maximum payment of $22,500.
    (3) The benefits in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, are available 
only if a decent, safe and sanitary replacement dwelling is purchased 
within 12 months after the latter of:
    (i) The date of acquisition or, in the case of condemnation, the 
date the required amount is deposited in a court for the displaced 
person's benefit, or
    (ii) The date the person moves from the displacement dwelling.
    (c) Determining the Cost of a Comparable Replacement Dwelling. The 
cost of a comparable replacement dwelling for purposes of benefits to be 
paid to 180 day owner occupants will be determined by applying the 
following:
    (1) If available, at least three representative comparable 
replacement dwellings must be examined and the payment offer computed on 
the cost of the fair market value of the dwelling most closely 
comparable to the displacement dwelling.
    (2) To the extent, feasible, comparable replacement dwellings will 
be selected from the neighborhood in which the displacement dwelling was 
located. If this is not possible, comparable replacement dwellings will 
be selected from nearby or similar neighborhoods where housing costs are 
similar.
    (d) Increased Mortgage Interest Costs. The amount to be paid to a 
displaced 180 day owner occupant for increased mortgage interest costs 
is the amount, if any, by which the present value of the interest on the 
mortgage loan(s) on the replacement dwelling plus any other debt service 
costs exceeds the present value of the interest on the

[[Page 231]]

mortgage loan(s) on the displacement dwelling plus purchaser's points 
and loan origination fees, subject to the following:
    (1) The payment must be based only on bona fide mortgages that were 
a valid lien on the displacement dwelling for at least 180 days prior to 
the initiation of negotiations. All such mortgages on the displacement 
dwelling must be used to compute the payment.
    (2) The payment must be based on the unpaid mortgage balance on the 
displacement dwelling or the new mortgage amount, whichever is less.
    (3) The payment must be based on the remaining term of the mortgage 
on the displacement dwelling or the actual term of the new mortgage, 
whichever is shorter.
    (4) The new mortgage must be a bona fide mortgage and its interest 
rate must not exceed the prevailing interest rate currently charged by 
mortgage lending institutions in the area in which the replacement 
dwelling is located.
    (5) The discount rate used to compute the present value of the 
increased interest cost must be the prevailing interest rate paid on 
demand savings deposits by commercial banks in the area in which the 
replacement dwelling is located.
    (6) Purchaser's points and loan origination fees, but not seller's 
points, are reimbursable to the extent they are not paid as incidental 
expenses, they do not exceed rates normal to similar real estate 
transactions in the area, and the Postal Service determines them to be 
necessary. The computation of such points and fees shall be based on the 
unpaid mortgage balance on the displacement dwelling, or the new 
mortgage amount, whichever is less.
    (e) Benefits for 90 Day Owner Occupant and Tenants. Displaced 
persons eligible under paragraph (a)(2) of this section are entitled to 
benefits as set out below:
    (1) Rental assistance benefits, as set out in paragraph (f) of this 
section or downpayment assistance benefits, as set out in paragraph (g) 
of this section.
    (2) The benefits in paragraph (e)(1) of this section, are limited to 
$5,250.
    (3) The benefits in (e)(1) above are available only if a decent, 
safe and sanitary replacement dwelling is purchased or rented within 12 
months after the latter of:
    (i) The date of acquisition or, in the case of condemnation, the 
date the required amount is deposited in the court for the displaced 
person's benefit, or
    (ii) The date the person moves from the displacement dwelling.
    (f) Rental Assistance. The rental assistance benefits, not to exceed 
$5,250, for 90 day owner occupants and tenants will be computed as 
follows:
    (1) The amount which must be added to 42 times the average monthly 
rental paid at the displacement dwelling (or, if the displaced person is 
an owner occupant, the fair market rental value had the displacement 
dwelling been rented) for the three-month period prior to displacement 
to provide a total amount equal to the lesser of:
    (i) 42 times the reasonable monthly rental of a comparable 
replacement dwelling; or
    (ii) 42 times the actual monthly rental cost of the decent, safe, 
and sanitary dwelling actually rented and occupied by the displaced 
person.
    (2) If utilities are included in either the replacement dwelling or 
the displacement dwelling rent, appropriate utilities must be factored 
into both rentals. If utilities are not included in either monthly 
rental then the payment will be computed using the base rental rates.
    (3) If, in the opinion of the Postal Service, the monthly rental at 
the displacement dwelling is significantly below the fair market rent of 
the displacement dwelling, such fair market rent must be used in 
computing the rental assistance payment.
    (4) The payment under this section must be disbursed in a lump-sum 
amount unless the Postal Service determines on a case-by-case basis, for 
good cause, that the payment should be made in installments. Where the 
rental assistance payment exceeds $5,250 under the provisions of Last 
Resort Housing, (Sec. 777.27), installment payments or payments through 
escrow accounts may be considered.
    (g) Downpayment assistance. Downpayment assistance, not to exceed 
$5,250, is available to 90 day owner occupants and 90 day tenants. This 
$5,250

[[Page 232]]

amount may be considered to include the full amount of the required 
downpayment and incidental expenses.
    (h) Incidental Expenses. Incidental expenses covered under paragraph 
(b)(1)(iii) or (g) of this section are those reasonable costs actually 
incurred by the displaced person incident to the purchase of a 
replacement dwelling and customarily paid by the buyer (not to exceed 
the costs of such for a comparable replacement dwelling). They include:
    (1) Legal, closing, and related costs, including those for title 
search and insurance, preparing conveyance instruments, notary fees, 
preparing surveys and plats, and recording fees.
    (2) Lender, FHA, or VA appraisal fees.
    (3) FHA or VA application fee.
    (4) Certification of structural soundness when required by the 
lender.
    (5) Credit report.
    (6) Owner's and mortgagee's evidence or assurance of title.
    (7) Escrow agent's fee.
    (8) State revenue or documentary stamps, sales or transfer taxes.
    (9) Such other costs as the Postal Service determines to be 
incidental to the purchase.

[51 FR 6983, Feb. 27, 1986, as amended at 52 FR 48029, Dec. 17, 1987]



Sec. 777.25  Additional rules for replacement housing payments.

    (a) Multiple Owners. When a single family dwelling is owned by more 
than one person and occupied by only some of the 180 day owners (for 
example, when the dwelling is owned by an estate and only one of the 
heirs is in occupancy), the occupant(s) is (are) eligible to receive a 
maximum total price differential which is the lesser of:
    (1) The difference between (i) the reasonable cost of a comparable 
replacement dwelling, as determined under Sec. 777.24(c) and (ii) the 
acquisition cost of the displacement dwelling; or
    (2) The difference between (i) the occupant's share of the 
acquisition cost of the displacement dwelling and (ii) the purchase 
price of a decent, safe, and sanitary replacement dwelling actually 
purchased and occupied by the displaced person.
    (b) Multiple Occupants of One Displacement Dwelling. If two or more 
occupants of the displacement dwelling move to separate replacement 
dwellings, each occupant is entitled to a reasonable prorated share, as 
determined by the Postal Service, of any relocation payments that would 
have been made if the occupants moved together to a comparable 
replacement dwelling. However, if the Postal Service determines that two 
or more occupants maintained separate households within the same 
dwelling, such occupants have separate entitlements to relocation 
payments.
    (c) Mixed Use and Multi-Family Properties Acquired. If the 
displacement dwelling was part of a property that contained another 
dwelling unit or space used for non-residential purposes, or if it is 
located on a lot larger than that typical for residential purposes, only 
that portion of the acquisition payment which is actually attributable 
to the displacement dwelling and site can be considered its acquisition 
cost when computing the price differential.
    (d) Disaster-Related Insurance Proceeds. To the extent necessary to 
avoid duplicate compensation, the amount of any insurance proceeds 
received by a person in connection with a disaster related loss to the 
displacement dwelling must be included in the acquisition cost of the 
displacement dwelling when computing the price differential.
    (e) Inspection of Replacement Dwelling. Before making a replacement 
housing payment or releasing a payment from escrow, the Postal Service 
must inspect the replacement dwelling and determine that it is a decent, 
safe, and sanitary dwelling.
    (f) Purchase of Replacement Dwelling. A displaced person is 
considered to have met the requirement to purchase a replacement 
dwelling if the person has purchased an existing dwelling; purchased and 
rahabilitated or moved and restored an existing dwelling; or constructed 
a new dwelling, provided in each instance the dwelling is determined to 
be decent, safe and sanitary.

[[Page 233]]

    (g) Conversion of Payment. A displaced person who initially rents a 
replacement dwelling and receives a rental assistance payment may, 
within the required 12 month eligibility period, purchase a decent, safe 
and sanitary replacement dwelling. In such case, he or she is eligible 
to revise his or her original claim, and claim any additional assistance 
for which he or she was originally eligible. However, any portion of the 
rental assistance payment that has been disbursed must be deducted from 
the resultant replacement housing payment or downpayment assistance 
payment.
    (h) Payment After Death. A replacement housing payment is personal 
to the displaced person. Upon his or her death, the undisbursed portion 
of any such payment shall not be paid to the heirs or assigns, except 
that:
    (1) The amount attributable to the displaced person's period of 
actual occupancy of the replacement housing will be paid.
    (2) The full payment must be disbursed in any case in which a member 
of a displaced family dies and other family members continue to occupy 
the replacement dwelling selected in accordance with these regulations.
    (3) Any portion of a replacement housing payment necessary to 
satisfy the legal obligation of an estate in connection with the 
selection of a replacement dwelling by or on behalf of a deceased person 
must be disbursed to the estate.
    (i) 180 Day Owner Retention of Displacement Dwelling. If a 180 day 
owner occupant retains ownership of his or her dwelling or the right to 
move his or her dwelling from the displacement site, and he or she moves 
it and reoccupies it on a replacement site, the cost of the actual 
replacement dwelling to be computed for purposes of Sec. 
777.24(b)(1)(i)(A) (not to exceed the purchase price of a comparable 
replacement dwelling) will be the sum of:
    (1) The expenses of moving and restoring the retained dwelling to a 
condition comparable to that prior to the move; and
    (2) The salvage or other value deducted from the acquisition cost 
for the retained ownership; and
    (3) Additional costs, if necessary, incurred to make the unit a 
decent, safe, and sanitary replacement dwelling; and
    (4) The cost of the replacement site, not to exceed the cost of a 
comparable available and suitable replacement site.
    (j) 90 Day Owner/Retention of Displacement Dwelling. A 90 day owner 
occupant who retains ownership of his or her dwelling or the right to 
remove his or her dwelling may receive the benefits as if he or she were 
a 180 day owner occupant subject, however, to a limitation of $5,250 on 
maximum benefits in lieu of the $22,500 limitation set out in paragraph 
Sec. 777.24(b)(2).

[51 FR 6983, Feb. 27, 1986, as amended at 54 FR 10668, Mar. 15, 1989]



Sec. 777.26  Mobile homes.

    (a) Moving Expenses. Displaced persons who are occupants of mobile 
homes are eligible for moving expenses under Sec. 777.23 subject to the 
following:
    (1) If the person owns the mobile home, moving expenses may, at the 
owner's option, include any reasonable costs incurred to move the mobile 
home to a replacement site, plus the reasonable cost of disassembling, 
moving, and reassembling any attached appurtenances (such as porches, 
decks, skirting, and awnings) which were not acquired, anchoring of the 
unit, and utility ``hook-up charges.''
    (2) If the person rents the mobile home, the Postal Service may 
allow the person moving expense benefits for moving the mobile home as 
if the person were an owner of the mobile home under paragraph (a)(1) of 
this section.
    (3) If costs of moving a mobile home are paid as moving expenses 
under paragraph (a)(1) or (2) of this section, the person may not 
receive housing assistance benefits hereunder, other than any benefits 
to which they are entitled that are limited to the site of the mobile 
home.
    (4) Displaced occupants of mobile homes are eligible for moving 
expenses for personal property other than the mobile home and its 
appurtenances, but only to the extent the Postal Service does not pay 
the costs of moving the mobile home (either as moving expenses or 
replacement housing payments or, if it does pay such costs, the

[[Page 234]]

personal property is of a type that is customarily moved separately from 
the mobile home.)
    (b) Replacement Housing Payments. Displaced persons who are 180 day 
or 90 day occupants of mobile homes qualify for replacement housing 
payments under Sec. 777.24 subject to the following:
    (1) If the displaced person owns the mobile home and owns the site, 
the person is eligible for benefits under either Sec. 777.24 (b) or 
(e).
    (2) If the displaced person rents the mobile home and rents the site 
the person is eligible for benefits under Sec. 777.24(e).
    (3) If the displaced person rents the mobile home and owns the site 
the person is eligible for benefits under Sec. 777.24(e), with regard 
to the mobile home and to benefits under Sec. 777.24(b) with regard to 
the site, subject to a limitation on the home and site benefits combined 
of $22,500. (Persons who voluntarily sell mobile home sites are not 
displaced persons and are not entitled to benefits under Subpart B. See 
Sec. 777.13(e)(2)(viii)).
    (4) If the displaced person owns the mobile home and rents the site 
the person is eligible for benefits under either Sec. 777.24 (b) or (e) 
with regard to the mobile home and to benefits as a tenant under Sec. 
777.24(e) with regard to the site, subject to a limitation on home and 
site benefits combined of $5,250.
    (c) Special Rules for Mobile Homes. (1) In computing replacement 
housing payments for mobile home owners under paragraph (b) of this 
section, apply the terms of Sec. 777.25 (i) and (j) as appropriate, to 
transactions involving moving the mobile home to a new site.
    (2) The acquisition of a portion of a mobile home park may leave a 
remainder that is not adequate to continue the operation of the park. 
When the Postal Service determines that its acquisition of the real 
property has had this effect and that for this reason a mobile home 
occupant located on the remaining part of the property is required to 
move, such occupant shall be considered a displaced person under these 
regulations and shall be entitled to such benefits hereunder as the 
person would otherwise qualify.

[51 FR 6983, Feb. 27, 1986, as amended at 52 FR 48029, Dec. 17, 1987]



Sec. 777.27  Last resort housing.

    (a) Basic Determination to Provide Last Resort Housing. A displaced 
person cannot be required to move from his or her dwelling unless at 
least one comparable replacement dwelling is made available to him or 
her which is within his or her financial means. When such comparable 
replacement dwelling is not available, additional measures may be taken 
to provide for ``last resort'' housing for eligible displaced persons.
    (b) Basic Rights of Persons to be Displaced. The provisions of this 
section do not deprive any displaced person of any rights the person may 
have under these regulations such as the right to accept the maximum 
replacement housing payment available under these regulations and to 
move to a decent, safe and sanitary replacement dwelling even if such 
dwelling is beyond the person's financial means.
    (c) Methods of Providing Replacement Housing. The Postal Service has 
broad latitude in implementing this section, but implementation must be 
on a reasonable cost basis. The Postal Service may provide last resort 
housing using the following methods:
    (1) Rehabilitation of and/or additions to an existing replacement 
dwelling.
    (2) The construction of a new replacement dwelling.
    (3) The provision of a direct loan which requires regular 
amortization or deferred repayment. Terms of such loan will be at the 
discretion of the Postal Service.
    (4) A replacement housing payment in excess of the $5,250 and 
$22,500 limitations contained in Sec. 777.24. A rental subsidy under 
this section may be provided in installments.
    (5) The relocation and any needed rehabilitation of a replacement 
dwelling.
    (6) The purchase or lease of land and/or a replacement dwelling by 
the Postal Service and subsequent sale or lease to, or exchange with, a 
displaced person.
    (7) The removal of barriers to the handicapped.
    (8) Any other method determined by the Postal Service to be 
reasonable.
    (d) Proof of Financial Need. Last Resort Housing benefits exceeding 
the limitations under Sec. 777.24(b)(2) and

[[Page 235]]

Sec. 777.24(e)(2) will not be paid unless required to provide housing 
within the displaced person's financial means. To establish financial 
means, the displaced person must furnish the Postal Service proof of 
gross monthly income through income tax returns, certified financial 
statements or other reasonable evidence which the Postal Service 
determines is satisfactory.

[51 FR 6983, Feb. 27, 1986, as amended at 52 FR 48029, Dec. 17, 1987]



Sec. 777.28  Claims and appeals.

    (a) Preparation of Claim. The relocation representative should 
assist eligible displaced persons in the preparation of claims for 
moving assistance and relocation housing assistance. Preliminary review 
should be conducted in the field by the relocation representative with 
the displaced person, to preclude technical difficulties in processing 
the claim at a higher level.
    (b) Documentation. Any claim for a relocation payment must be 
supported by such documentation as may be required to support the claim, 
for example the length of occupancy at the displacement dwelling, the 
rent paid at the displacement dwelling, expenses incurred in relocating, 
etc. A displaced person must be provided reasonable assistance to 
complete and file any required claim.
    (c) Time for Filing. All claims must be filed with the Postal 
Service within 18 months after the date of the actual move from the 
displacement property.
    (d) Review, Approval and Payment. The Postal Service will review 
claims within 60 days of submission and approve or disapprove payment. 
Upon approval or partial approval of the displaced person's claim, the 
Postal Service will promptly authorize payment of the approved amount. 
The certification that the claimant has occupied decent, safe, and 
sanitary housing must be completed prior to final payment of replacement 
housing payments.
    (e) Relocation Payments Not Considered as Income. Upon approval of 
the claim and delivery of the relocation payment, the displaced person 
must be advised that no relocation payment made under these procedures 
shall be considered as income for the purpose of the Internal Revenue 
Code of 1954, or for the purpose of determining the eligibility or the 
extent of eligibility of any person for assistance under the Social 
Security Act or any other Federal Law.
    (f) Certification. Certification that a person is displaced will be 
provided any agency requiring such information to assist that person 
under any Federal law or program.
    (g) Advance of Funds. If the displaced person cannot arrange for the 
acquisition of a replacement property because of financial problems and 
the problems would be solved by an advance of funds, the Postal Service 
may determine the estimated amount of the actual claim and authorize an 
advance of that amount or a portion thereof. The displaced person will 
be fully informed in writing that his or her final claim will then be 
subject to adjustment. Advance payments should not be made to persons 
with a history of financial irresponsibility.
    (h) Money Owed to the Postal Service. In cases of Postal Service 
leasing the acquired property to a displaced persons, or in cases of 
advance moving cost payments, any monies due the Postal Service by the 
displaced person and not paid before the remainder of the relocation 
payments are made must be deducted from such payments and the relocation 
file so documented.
    (i) Notice of Denial of Claim. If the Postal Service disapproves all 
or part of a payment claimed, of refuses to consider the claim on its 
merits because of untimely filing or other grounds, it must promptly 
notify the claimant in writing of the determination, the basis for the 
determination, and the procedures for appealing the determination.
    (j) Appeal Procedure. If a displaced person wishes to file an 
appeal:
    (1) The appeal must be in writing.
    (2) The appeal must be directed to the General Manager, Real Estate 
Division, and must set forth the displaced person's reasons for the 
appeal. (The General Manager shall not have taken part in the decision 
which led to the appeal. Appeals misdirected to others must be forwarded 
immediately to the General Manager with notification of the forwarding 
to the appellant.)

[[Page 236]]

    (3) The appeal must be submitted within 60 days after the displaced 
person receives written notification of the Postal Service's original 
determination concerning the displacee's claim. The Postal Service may 
extend this time limit for good cause.
    (k) Right of Representation. A displaced person has a right to be 
represented by legal counsel or other representative in connection with 
his or her appeal, but solely at the person's own expense.
    (l) Review of Files by Appellant. The Postal Service must permit a 
person to inspect and copy all materials pertinent to his or her appeal, 
except materials which are confidential. Such inspection will be 
permitted as allowed under the Freedom of Information Act, 39 CFR Part 
265.
    (m) Scope of Review. In deciding an appeal, the Postal Service must 
consider all pertinent justification and other material submitted by the 
displaced person and all other available information that is needed to 
ensure a fair and full review of the appeal.
    (n) Determination and Notification After Appeal. Promptly after 
receipt of all supporting information submitted by the appellant, the 
General Manager, Real Estate Division, must make a written determination 
on the appeal, including the basis on which the decision was made, and 
furnish the appellant a copy. If the full relief requested is not 
granted at the Service Center level, the General Manager, Real Estate 
Division, must advise the person of his or her right to appeal the 
decision to the Director, Office of Real Estate. The rules stated here 
for appeals to the General Manager apply as well as to appeals to the 
Director, Office of Real Estate.

[51 FR 6983, Feb. 27, 1986, as amended at 54 FR 10668, Mar. 15, 1989]



                          Subpart C_Acquisition



Sec. 777.31  Acquisition procedures.

    (a) Policy; Application of Section. The Postal Service, as a matter 
of policy, acquires interests in real property through voluntary 
agreements with owners. Only under unusual and compelling circumstances, 
and on a case-by-case basis, does the Postal Service acquire real 
property through the exercise or the threat of the exercise of eminent 
domain. This policy does not, however, prevent the Postal Service from 
occasionally entering into mutually agreeable condemnation proceedings 
with an owner, where price is not an issue, and for such purposes as to 
clear title or to acquire property from certain elected officials. For 
the purposes of this section, the Postal Service does not consider such 
voluntary and mutually agreeable uses of condemnation proceedings as the 
exercise or the threat of the exercise of eminent domain. The following 
regulations apply only to acquisitions by the exercise or the threat of 
the exercise of eminent domain:
    (1) Notice to Owner. As soon as feasible after deciding to acquire a 
specific property through the exercise of eminent domain, the Postal 
Service must notify the owner of its intent to acquire the property.
    (2) Expeditious Negotiations. The Postal Service must make every 
reasonable effort to acquire real property expeditiously by negotiation.
    (3) Appraisal and Invitation to Owner. Before the initiation of 
negotiations, the real property shall be appraised in accordance with 
Postal Service appraisal standards as outlined in RE-1 and the owner or 
the owner's designated agent shall be given an opportunity to accompany 
the appraiser during the appraiser's inspection of the property.
    (4) Establishment of Offer of Just Compensation. Prior to the 
initiation of negotiations (see Sec. 777.13(k) for definition) the 
Postal Service must establish an amount which it believes is just 
compensation for the real property rights be acquired. The amount must 
not be less than the approved appraisal of the fair market value, 
including damages or benefits to the remaining property. Appraisers 
shall not give consideration to, or include in their real property 
appraisals, any allowances for the benefits provided by title II of the 
Act.
    (5) Summary Statement. Promptly after determining fair market value, 
the Postal Service shall make a written offer to acquire the property 
for the full amount believed to be just compensation. Along with the 
written

[[Page 237]]

purchase offer, the owner must be given a written statement of the basis 
for the offer of just compensation. This statement must include:
    (i) A statement of the amount offered as just compensation. In the 
case of a partial acquisition, the compensation for the real property to 
be acquired and the compensation for damages, if any, must be separately 
stated.
    (ii) The location and description of the real property and the 
interest(s) to be acquired.
    (iii) An identification of the buildings, structures, and other 
improvements (including removable building equipment and trade fixtures) 
which are considered part of the real property for which the offer of 
just compensation is made. Where appropriate, the statement shall 
identify and separately held ownership interest in the improvement(s), 
for example, a tenant-owned improvement.
    (6) Basic Negotiation Procedures. The Postal Service must make every 
reasonable effort to contact the owner or the owner's representative 
and:
    (i) Discuss the Postal Service's offer to purchase the property 
including the basis for the offer of just compensation, and;
    (ii) Explain Postal Service acquisition policies and procedures 
including the provisions for the payment of incidental expenses as 
described under Sec. 777.33.
    (7) Opportunity to Consider Offer. The owner must be given a 
reasonable opportunity to consider the Postal Service's offer, to 
present material which he or she believes is relevant to determining the 
value of the property, and to suggest modification in the proposed terms 
and conditions of the purchase. The Postal Service must consider the 
owner's presentation.
    (8) Updating Offer of Just Compensation. If the information 
presented by the owner or a material change in the character or 
condition of the property indicates the need for new appraisal 
information, or if a significant delay has occurred since the time of 
the appraisal(s) of the property, the Postal Service must have the 
appraisal(s) updated or obtain a new appraisal(s). If the latest 
appraisal information indicates that a change in the purchase offer is 
warranted, the Postal Service must promptly reestablish just 
compensation and offer the revised amount to the owner in writing.
    (9) Contracts and Options. Contracts to purchase shall cover only 
those items related to the acquisition of the property, and not 
incorporate provisions for making payments for relocation costs or 
related costs under title II of these regulations.
    (10) Title II Benefits Not To Be Considered. In the event of 
condemnation, estimated compensation shall be determined solely on the 
basis of the appraised value of the real property with no consideration 
being given to or reference contained therein to the payments to be made 
under title II.
    (11) Coercive Action. The Postal Service shall not advance the time 
of condemnation, or defer negotiations or condemnation, or the deposit 
of funds with the court, or take any other coercive action in order to 
induce an agreement on the price to be paid for the property.
    (12) Inverse Condemnation. If the Postal Service intends to acquire 
any interest in real property by exercise of the power of eminent 
domain, it must institute formal condemnation proceedings and not 
intentionally make it necessary for the owner to institute proceedings 
to prove the fact of the taking of the real property.
    (13) Payment Before Taking Possession. Before requiring the owner to 
surrender possession of the real property, the Postal Service must 
either:
    (i) Pay the agreed purchase price to the owner; or
    (ii) In the case of a condemnation proceeding, deposit with the 
court for the benefit of the owner an amount not less than the amount of 
the approved appraised value of the property or the amount of the award 
of compensation in the condemnation proceeding for the property.
    (14) Right-of-Entry. With the prior approval of the owner, the 
Postal Service may obtain a right-of-entry before making payment to the 
owner.



Sec. 777.32  Acquisition of tenant-owned improvements.

    (a) Acquisition of Improvements. When acquiring any interest in real 
property,

[[Page 238]]

the Postal Service must acquire at least an equal interest in all 
buildings, structures, or other improvements located upon the real 
property. This must include any improvement of a tenant owner who has 
the right or obligation to remove the improvement at the expiration of 
the lease term.
    (b) Special Conditions. Payment for tenant-owned improvements will 
be made to the tenant only if he or she meets the following conditions:
    (1) In consideration for the payment the tenant-owner assigns, 
transfers, and releases to the Postal Service all of the tenant-owner's 
rights, title, and interests in the improvement;
    (2) The owner of the real property on which the improvement is 
located disclaims all interest in the improvement; and
    (3) The payment does not result in the duplication of any 
compensation otherwise authorized by law.
    (c) Preservation of Tenant's Rights. Nothing in this section shall 
be construed to deprive the tenant-owner of any rights to reject payment 
under this section and to obtain payment for such property interests in 
accordance with other applicable law.



Sec. 777.33  Expenses incidental to transfer of title to the Postal 
Service.

    (a) Reimbursement. When property is acquired through the exercise or 
the threat of the exercise of eminent domain, the owner shall be 
reimbursed for all reasonable expenses he or she necessarily incurred in 
conveying the real property to the Postal Service for:
    (1) Recording fees, transfer taxes, documentary stamps, evidence of 
title, boundary surveys, legal descriptions of the real property, and 
similar incidental expenses. However, the Postal Service will not pay 
costs solely required to perfect the owner's title to the real property.
    (2) Penalty costs and other charges for prepayment of any 
preexisting recorded mortgage, entered into in good faith, encumbering 
the real property.
    (3) The pro rata portion of any prepaid real property taxes which 
are allocable to the period after the Postal Service obtains title to 
the property or effective possession of it, whichever is earlier.
    (b) Direct Payment. Whenever feasible the Postal Service must pay 
these costs directly and thus avoid the need for an owner to pay such 
costs and then seek reimbursement from the Postal Service.
    (c) Certain Litigation Expenses. The owner of the real property 
acquired must be reimbursed any reasonable expenses, including 
reasonable attorney, appraisal, and engineering fees which the owner 
actually incurred because of a condemnation proceeding if:
    (1) The final judgment of the court is that the Postal Service 
cannot acquire the real property by condemnation; or
    (2) The condemnation proceeding is abandoned by the Postal Service 
other than under an agreed-upon settlement; or
    (3) The court having jurisdiction renders a judgment in favor of the 
owner in an inverse condemnation proceeding or the Postal Service 
effects a settlement of such a proceeding.



                    Subpart D_Voluntary Acquisitions



Sec. 777.41  Acquisition procedures.

    (a) Voluntary Acquisitions. Acquisition rules for voluntary 
purchases are set out in Handbook RE-1, Realty Acquisition and 
Management and cover such areas as appraisal and negotiation procedures.
    (b) Tenant-Owned Improvements. In general the Postal Service deals 
exclusively with the fee owner on the acquisition of all real property 
interest at the site. The Postal Service may, however, in exceptional 
cases deal directly with a tenant on a leasehold improvements matter. 
Should the Postal Service acquire the fee interest without acquiring 
rights in a leasehold improvement under circumstances in which the 
tenant would be entitled to compensation under Sec. 777.32 of this 
part, if the acquisition were by eminent domain or the under threat 
thereof, the tenant will be entitled to the benefits that would, under 
such circumstances, have been paid under Sec. 777.32 of this part, 
unless the tenant has formally disclaimed further right in the real 
property improvement beyond the time of the expiration of his or her 
tenancy.

[[Page 239]]



                           Subpart E_Donations



Sec. 777.51  Acceptance of donations.

    Nothing in these regulations shall prevent a person from making a 
gift or donation of real property or any part thereof, or any interest 
therein, or of any compensation paid therefor, to the Postal Service. 
The Postal Service may obtain an appraisal of the real property for 
income tax or other purposes if the owner thereof requests the Postal 
Service to do so.



PART 778_INTERGOVERNMENTAL REVIEW OF POSTAL SERVICE FACILITY ACTIONS
--Table of Contents




Sec.
778.1 What is the purpose of these regulations?
778.2 What definitions apply to these regulations?
778.3 What categories of facility project actions of the Postal Service 
          are subject to these regulations?
778.4 What are the Postal Service's general responsibilities under the 
          Order?
778.5 What is the Postal Service's obligation with respect to federal 
          interagency coordination?
778.6 What procedures apply to a state's choice of facility action 
          categories under these regulations?
778.7 How does the Postal Service communicate with state and local 
          officials concerning the Postal Service's facility project 
          actions?
778.8 How does the Postal Service provide states an opportunity to 
          comment on proposed facility project actions?
778.9 How does the Postal Service receive and respond to comments?
778.10 How does the Postal Service make efforts to accommodate 
          intergovernmental concerns?
778.11 What are the Postal Service's obligations in interstate 
          situations?
778.12 [Reserved]
778.13 May the Postal Service waive any provision of these regulations?

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 401.

    Source: 48 FR 29376, June 24, 1983, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 778.1  What is the purpose of these regulations?

    (a) The regulations in this part implement Executive Order 12372, 
``Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs,'' issued July 14, 1982 
and amended on April 8, 1983. These regulations also implement 
applicable provisions of section 401 of the Intergovernmental 
Cooperation Act of 1968, which the Postal Service follows as a matter of 
policy.
    (b) These regulations are intended to foster an intergovernmental 
partnership and a strengthened Federalism by relying on state processes 
and on state, areawide, regional and local coordination for review of 
proposed direct federal development projects.
    (c) These regulations are not intended to create any right or 
benefit enforceable at law by a party against the Postal Service or its 
officers.
    (d) These regulations implement Executive Order 12372 and are 
adopted under the Postal Reorganization Act rather than the statute and 
Executive Order listed in paragraph (a) of this section to the extent 
the statute and Executive Order do not apply to the Postal Service under 
39 U.S.C. 410(a).



Sec. 778.2  What definitions apply to these regulations?

    Order means Executive Order 12372, issued July 14, 1982, and amended 
April 8, 1983, and titled ``Intergovernmental Review of Federal 
Programs.''
    State means any of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the 
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana 
Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or the Trust 
Territory of the Pacific Islands.



Sec. 778.3  What categories of facility project actions of the Postal 
Service are subject to these regulations?

    The Postal Service publishes in the Federal Register a list of its 
categories of facility project actions that are subject to these 
regulations.



Sec. 778.4  What are the Postal Service's general responsibilities 
under the Order?

    (a) The Postal Service provides opportunities for consultation by 
elected officials of those state and local governments that would be 
directly affected by the Postal Service's facility project actions.
    (b) If a state adopts a process under the Order to review and 
coordinate proposed direct Federal development

[[Page 240]]

projects, the Postal Service, to the extent permitted by law:
    (1) Uses the state process to determine official views of state and 
local elected officials;
    (2) Communicates with state and local elected officials as early in 
a facility project action's planning cycle as is reasonably feasible to 
explain specific plans and actions;
    (3) Makes efforts to accommodate state and local elected officials' 
concerns with proposed direct Federal development projects that are 
communicated through the state process; and
    (4)-(5) [Reserved]
    (6) Seeks the coordination of views of affected state and local 
elected officials in one state with those of another state when a 
proposed direct Federal development project has an impact on interstate 
metropolitan urban centers or other interstate areas.



Sec. 778.5  What is the Postal Service's obligation with respect to 
federal interagency coordination?

    The Postal Service, to the extent practicable, consults with and 
seeks advice from other federal departments and agencies substantially 
affected by Postal Service facility project actions covered under these 
regulations.



Sec. 778.6  What procedures apply to a state's choice of facility action 
categories under these regulations?

    (a) A state may select any categories of facility project actions 
published in the Federal Register in accordance with Sec. 778.3 for 
intergovernmental review under these regulations. Each state, before 
selecting categories of facility project actions, shall consult with 
local elected officials.
    (b) Each state that adopts a process shall notify the Postal Service 
of the Postal Service's categories of facility actions selected for that 
process.
    (c) A state may notify the Postal Service of changes in its 
selections at any time. For each change, the state shall submit to the 
Postal Service an assurance that the state has consulted with local 
elected officials regarding the change. The Postal Service may establish 
deadlines by which states are required to inform the Postal Service of 
changes in their facility action category selections.
    (d) The Postal Service uses a state's process as soon as feasible, 
after the Postal Service is notified of the state's selections.



Sec. 778.7  How does the Postal Service communicate with state and local 
officials concerning the Postal Service's facility project actions?

    (a) [Reserved]
    (b) The Postal Service provides notice directly to affected state, 
areawide, regional, and local entities in a state of a proposed direct 
Federal development project if:
    (1) The state has not adopted a process under the Order; or
    (2) The development project involves a facility project action 
category not selected for the state process.

This notice may be made by publication in local newspapers and/or by 
letter.



Sec. 778.8  How does the Postal Service provide states an opportunity 
to comment on proposed facility project actions?

    (a) Except in unusual circumstances, the Postal Service gives state 
processes or directly affected state, areawide, regional and local 
officials and entities:
    (1) [Reserved]
    (2) At least 60 days from the date established by the Postal Service 
to comment on proposed facility project actions (except as noted in 
paragraph (a)(3) of this section).
    (3) For facility project actions in the Washington, DC National 
Capital Region, coordination also is accomplished with the National 
Capital Planning Commission (NCPC). The Postal Service gives the NCPC 90 
days to comment on projects in the Maryland and Virginia portions of the 
National Capital Region.
    (b) This section also applies to comments in cases in which the 
review, coordination, and communication with the Postal Service have 
been delegated.



Sec. 778.9  How does the Postal Service receive and respond to comments?

    (a) The Postal Service follows the procedures in Sec. 778.10 if:

[[Page 241]]

    (1) A state office or official is designated to act as a single 
point of contact between a state process and all federal agencies, and
    (2) That office or official transmits a state process recommendation 
for a facility project action of a category selected under Sec. 778.6.
    (b)(1) The single point of contact is not obligated to transmit 
comments from state, areawide, regional or local officials and entities 
where there is no state process recommendation.
    (2) If a state process recommendation is transmitted by a single 
point of contact, all comments from state, areawide, regional, and local 
officials and entities that differ from it must also be transmitted.
    (c) If a state has not established a process, or does not submit a 
state process recommendation, state, areawide, regional and local 
officials and entities may submit comments directly to the Postal 
Service.
    (d) If a facility project action is not selected for a state 
process, state, areawide, regional and local officials and entities may 
submit comments directly to the Postal Service. In addition, if a state 
process recommendation for a nonselected facility project action is 
transmitted to the Postal Service by the single point of contact, the 
Postal Service follows the procedures of Sec. 778.10.
    (e) The Postal Service considers comments which do not constitute a 
state process recommendation submitted under these regulations and for 
which the Postal Service is not required to apply the procedures of 
Sec. 778.10 when such comments are provided by a single point of 
contact or directly to the Postal Service by a commenting party.



Sec. 778.10  How does the Postal Service make efforts to accommodate 
intergovernmental concerns?

    (a) If a state process provides a state process recommendation to 
the Postal Service through its single point of contact, the Postal 
Service either:
    (1) Accepts the recommendation;
    (2) Reaches a mutually agreeable solution with the state process; or
    (3) Provides the single point of contact with such written 
explanation of its decision as the Postal Service in its discretion 
deems appropriate. The Postal Service may also supplement the written 
explanation by providing the explanation to the single point of contact 
by telephone, other telecommunication, or other means.
    (b) In any explanation under paragraph (a)(3) of this section, the 
Postal Service informs the single point of contact that:
    (1) The Postal Service will not implement its decision for at least 
ten days after the single point of contact receives the explanation; or
    (2) The Postal Service has reviewed the decision and determined that 
because of unusual circumstances, the waiting period of at least ten 
days is not feasible.
    (c) For purposes of computing the waiting period under paragraph 
(b)(1) of this section, a single point of contact is presumed to have 
received written notification 5 days after the date of mailing of such 
notification.



Sec. 778.11  What are the Postal Service's obligations in interstate 
situations?

    (a) The Postal Service is responsible for:
    (1) Identifying proposed direct federal development projects that 
have an impact on interstate areas;
    (2) Notifying appropriate officials and entities in states which 
have adopted a process and which select the Postal Service's facility 
project action for review;
    (3) Making efforts to identify and notify the affected state, 
areawide, regional, and local officials and entities in those states 
that have not adopted a process under the Order or do not select the 
Postal Service's facility project action for review;
    (4) Responding pursuant to Sec. 778.10 if the Postal Service 
receives a recommendation from a designated areawide agency transmitted 
by a single point of contact in cases in which the review, coordination, 
and communication with the Postal Service have been delegated.
    (b) The Postal Service uses the procedures in Sec. 778.10 if a 
state process provides a state process recommendation to the Postal 
Service through a single point of contact.

[[Page 242]]



Sec. 778.12  [Reserved]



Sec. 778.13  May the Postal Service waive any provision of these 
regulations?

    In an emergency, the Postal Service may waive any provision of these 
regulations.



                         SUBCHAPTER M [RESERVED]



[[Page 243]]



                         SUBCHAPTER N_PROCEDURES





Rules of Procedure Before the Office of General Counsel--Table of Contents






PART 912_PROCEDURES TO ADJUDICATE CLAIMS FOR PERSONAL INJURY OR PROPERTY 
DAMAGE ARISING OUT OF THE OPERATION OF THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE--Table 
of Contents




Sec.
912.1 Claims responsibility.
912.2 Applicability of Federal Tort Claims Act.
912.3 Time limit for filing.
912.4 Place of filing.
912.5 Administrative claim; when presented.
912.6 Administrative claim; who may file.
912.7 Evidence and information to be submitted.
912.8 Sufficiency of evidence and information submitted.
912.9 Final denial of claim.
912.10 Action on approved claims.
912.11 Exclusiveness of remedy.
912.12 Review by legal officers.
912.13 Attorneys' fees.
912.14 Conclusiveness of remedy.

    Authority: 28 U.S.C. 2671-2680; 28 CFR 14.1 through 14.11; 39 U.S.C. 
409.



Sec. 912.1  Claims responsibility.

    The General Counsel is responsible for settlement of claims made 
against the U.S. Postal Service under the Federal Tort Claims Act and 39 
U.S.C. 2603, with authority to redelegate the functions to General 
Counsel staff members and other Postal Service employees.

[36 FR 12448, June 30, 1971]



Sec. 912.2  Applicability of Federal Tort Claims Act.

    (a) The provisions of chapter 171 and all other provisions of title 
28, U.S.C., relating to tort claims shall apply to tort claims arising 
out of the activities of the Postal Service. (39 U.S.C. 409(c)).
    (b) Where the General Counsel, or the General Counsel's designee, 
finds a claim for damage to persons or property resulting from operation 
of the U.S. Postal Service to be a proper charge against the United 
States and it is not cognizable under 28 U.S.C. 2672, he may adjust and 
settle it under authority of 39 U.S.C. 2603.

[45 FR 43719, June 30, 1980, as amended at 69 FR 52607, Aug. 27, 2004]



Sec. 912.3  Time limit for filing.

    (a) Claim. A claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act must be 
presented within two years from the date the claim accrues.
    (b) Suit. Suit must be filed within six months after the date of 
mailing by certified or registered mail of notice of final denial of the 
claim by the Postal Service.

[45 FR 43720, June 30, 1980]



Sec. 912.4  Place of filing.

    Claims should be filed with the Tort Claims Coordinator for the 
Postal Service District Office where the accident occurred, but may be 
filed at any office of the Postal Service, or sent directly to the Chief 
Counsel, National Tort Center, U.S. Postal Service, P.O. Box 66640, St. 
Louis, MO 63166-6640.

[69 FR 52607, Aug. 27, 2004]



Sec. 912.5  Administrative claim; when presented.

    (a) For purposes of this part, a claim shall be deemed to have been 
presented when the U.S. Postal Service receives from a claimant, his 
duly authorized agent or legal representative, an executed Standard Form 
95, Claim for Damage or Injury, or other written notification of an 
incident, accompanied by a claim for money damages in a sum certain for 
injury to or loss of property, personal injury, or death alleged to have 
occurred by reason of the incident. A standard Form 95 may be obtained 
from the local District Tort Claims Coordinator, the National Tort 
Center, or online at usa.gov (select Government forms).
    (b) A claim presented in compliance with paragraph (a) of this 
section may be amended by the claimant at any time prior to:
    (1) The claimant's exercise of the option to file a civil action 
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2675(a);

[[Page 244]]

    (2) The Postal Service's issuance of a payment in the full amount of 
the claim; or
    (3) The Postal Service's issuance of a written denial of the claim 
in accordance with Sec. 912.9.

[36 FR 12448, June 30, 1971, as amended at 45 FR 43720, June 30, 1980; 
69 FR 52607, Aug. 27, 2004]



Sec. 912.6  Administrative claim; who may file.

    (a) A claim for injury to or loss of property may be presented by 
the owner of the property, his duly authorized agent, or legal 
representative.
    (b) A claim for personal injury may be presented by the injured 
person, his duly authorized agent, or legal representative.
    (c) A claim based on death may be presented by the executor or 
administrator of the decedent's estate, or by any other person legally 
entitled to assert such a claim in accordance with applicable State law.
    (d) A claim for loss wholly compensated by an insurer with the 
rights of a subrogee may be presented by the insurer. A claim for loss 
partially compensated by an insurer with the rights of a subrogee may be 
presented by the parties individually as their respective interests 
appear, or jointly.
    (e) A claim presented by an agent or legal representative shall be 
presented in the name of the claimant, be signed by the agent or legal 
representative, show the title or legal capacity of the person signing, 
and be accompanied by evidence of his authority to present a claim on 
behalf of the claimant as agent, executor, administrator, parent, 
guardian, or other representative.

[36 FR 12448, June 30, 1971, as amended at 45 FR 43720, June 30, 1980]



Sec. 912.7  Evidence and information to be submitted.

    (a) Death. In support of a claim based on death, the claimant may be 
required to submit the following evidence or information:
    (1) An authenticated death certificate or other competent evidence 
showing cause of death, date of death, and age of the decedent.
    (2) Decedent's employment or occupation at time of death, including 
monthly or yearly salary or earnings, if any, and the duration of his 
last employment or occupation.
    (3) Full names, addresses, birth dates, kinship, and marital status 
of the decedent's survivors, including identification of those survivors 
who were dependent for support upon the decedent at the time of his 
death.
    (4) Degree of support afforded by the decedent to each survivor 
dependent upon him for support at the time of his death.
    (5) Decedent's general physical and mental condition before death.
    (6) Itemized bills for medical and burial expenses incurred by 
reason of the incident causing death, or itemized receipts of payment 
for such expenses.
    (7) If damages for pain and suffering prior to death are claimed, a 
physician's detailed statement specifying the injuries suffered, 
duration of pain and suffering, any drugs administered for pain, and the 
decedent's physical condition in the interval between injury and death.
    (8) Any other evidence or information which may have a bearing on 
either the responsibility of the United States for the death or the 
damages claimed.
    (b) Personal injury. In support of a claim for personal injury, 
including pain and suffering, the claimant may be required to submit the 
following evidence or information:
    (1) A written report by his attending physician or dentist setting 
forth the nature and extent of the injury, nature and extent of 
treatment, any degree of temporary or permanent disability, the 
prognosis, period of hospitalization, and any diminished earning 
capacity. In addition, the claimant may be required to submit to a 
physical or mental examination by a physician employed by the agency or 
another Federal agency. A copy of the report of the examining physician 
shall be made available to the claimant upon the claimant's written 
request, provided that he has, upon request, furnished the report 
referred to in the first sentence of this paragraph and has made, or 
agrees to make available to the agency or another Federal agency. A copy 
previously or thereafter made of the physical or mental condition which 
is the subject matter of his claim.

[[Page 245]]

    (2) Itemized bills for medical, dental, and hospital expenses 
incurred, or itemized the report referred to in the first expenses.
    (3) If the prognosis reveals the necessity for future treatment, a 
statement of expected expenses for such treatment.
    (4) If a claim is made for loss of time for employment, a written 
statement from his employment, whether he is a full- or part-time 
employee, and wages or salary actually lost.
    (5) If a claim is made for loss of income and the claimant is self-
employed, documentary evidence showing the amount of earnings actually 
lost.
    (6) Any other evidence or information which may have a bearing on 
either the responsibility of the United States for the personal injury 
or the damages claimed.
    (c) Property damage. In support of a claim for injury to or loss of 
property, real or personal, the claimant may be required to submit the 
following evidence or information:
    (1) Proof of ownership.
    (2) A detailed statement of the amount claimed with respect to each 
item of property.
    (3) An itemized receipt of payment for necessary repairs or itemized 
written estimates of the cost of such repairs.
    (4) A statement listing date of purchase, purchase price and salvage 
value, where repair is not economical.

[36 FR 12449, June 30, 1971]



Sec. 912.8  Sufficiency of evidence and information submitted.

    In order to exhaust the administrative remedy provided, a claimant 
shall submit substantial evidence to prove the extent of any losses 
incurred and any injury sustained, so as to provide the Postal Service 
with sufficient evidence for it to properly evaluate the claim.

[45 FR 43720, June 30, 1980]



Sec. 912.9  Final denial of claim.

    (a) Final denial of an administrative claim shall be in writing and 
sent to the claimant, his attorney, or legal representative by certified 
or registered mail. The notification of final denial may include a 
statement of the reasons for the denial and shall include a statement 
that, if the claimant is dissatisfied with the agency action, he may 
file suit in an appropriate U.S. District Court not later than 6 months 
after the date of mailing of the notation.
    (b) Prior to the commencement of suit and prior to the expiration of 
the 6 month period provided in 28 U.S.C. 2401(b), a claimant, his duly 
authorized agent, or legal representative, may file a written request 
with the postal official who issued the final denial or with the Chief 
Counsel, National Tort Center, U.S. Postal Service, P.O. Box 66640, St. 
Louis, MO 63166-6640, for a reconsideration of a final denial of a claim 
under paragraph (a) of this section. Upon the timely filing of a request 
for reconsideration, the Postal Service shall have 6 months from the 
date of filing in which to make a disposition of the claim and the 
claimant's option under 28 U.S.C. 2675(a) shall not accrue until 6 
months after the filing of a request for reconsideration. Final Postal 
Service action on a request for reconsideration shall be effected in 
accordance with this part.
    (c) For purposes of this section, a request for reconsideration of a 
final denial of a claim shall be deemed to have been filed when received 
in the office of the official who issued the final denial or in the 
office of the Chief Counsel, National Tort Center, U.S. Postal Service, 
P.O. Box 66640, St. Louis, MO 63166-6640.
    (d) Only one request for reconsideration of a final denial may be 
filed. A claimant shall have no right to file a request for 
reconsideration of a final denial issued in response to a request for 
reconsideration.

(28 U.S.C. 2671-2680; 28 CFR 14.1-14.11; 39 U.S.C. 401, 409, 2008)

[36 FR 12448, June 30, 1971, as amended at 38 FR 16868, June 27, 1973; 
49 FR 19478, May 8, 1984; 69 FR 52607, Aug. 27, 2004]



Sec. 912.10  Action on approved claims.

    In any case where the General Counsel or the General Counsel's 
designee, upon consideration of all the evidence submitted, finds that 
compensation is due a claimant, payment will be made by the U.S. Postal 
Service and in due

[[Page 246]]

course a settlement check will be forwarded to the claimant or his 
representative.

[36 FR 12450, June 30, 1971, as amended at 69 FR 52607, Aug. 27, 2004]



Sec. 912.11  Exclusiveness of remedy.

    The provisions of 28 U.S.C. 2679(b) provide that the remedy against 
the United States, as provided by sections 1346(b) and 2672 of title 28, 
for injury or loss or personal injury or death resulting from the 
operation by an employee of the Government of any motor vehicle while 
acting within the scope of his employment is exclusive of any other 
civil action or proceeding by reason of the same subject matter against 
the employee or his estate whose act or omission gave rise to the claim.

[45 FR 43720, June 30, 1980]



Sec. 912.12  Review by legal officers.

    The authority of the Postal Service to adjust, determine, 
compromise, and settle a claim under the provisions of the Federal Tort 
Claims Act shall, if the amount of a proposed compromise, settlement, or 
award exceeds $5,000, be exercised only after review by a legal officer 
of the Postal Service.

[45 FR 43720, June 30, 1980, as amended at 69 FR 52607, Aug. 27, 2004]



Sec. 912.13  Attorneys' fees.

    The provisions of 28 U.S.C. 2678 should be consulted in determining 
the amount of the attorneys' fees.

[36 FR 12448, June 30, 1971. Redesignated at 45 FR 43720, June 30, 1980]



Sec. 912.14  Conclusiveness of remedy.

    Payment by the Postal Service of the full amount claimed or 
acceptance by the claimant, his agent, or legal representative, of any 
award, compromise, or settlement made pursuant to the provisions of the 
Federal Tort Claims Act, shall be final and conclusive on the claimant, 
his agent, or legal representative, and any other person on whose behalf 
or for whose benefit the claim has been presented, and shall constitute 
a complete release of any claim against the United States and against 
any employee of the Government whose act or omission gave rise to the 
claim by reason of the same subject matter.

[45 FR 43720, June 30, 1980]



PART 913_PROCEDURES FOR THE ISSUANCE OF ADMINISTRATIVE SUBPOENAS UNDER 
39 U.S.C. 3016--Table of Contents




Sec.
913.1 Subpoena authority.
913.2 Service.
913.3 Enforcement.
913.4 Disclosure.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 204, 401, 404, 3005, 3016.

    Source: 65 FR 31266, May 17, 2000, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 913.1  Subpoena authority.

    (a) General. The General Counsel by delegation from the Postmaster 
General is responsible for the issuance of subpoenas in investigations 
conducted under 39 U.S.C. 3005(a), with authority to delegate that 
function to a Deputy General Counsel.
    (b) Production of records. A subpoena issued by the General Counsel 
may require the production of any records (including computer records, 
books, papers, documents, and other tangible things which constitute or 
contain evidence) which the General Counsel considers relevant or 
material to an investigation.
    (c) Requirements. No subpoena shall be issued until a specific case 
(identifying the individual or entity that is the subject) has been 
opened and an appropriate supervisory and legal review of a subpoena 
request have been performed.
    (d) Requests for subpoenas. (1) A request for a subpoena shall be 
submitted to the Office of the General Counsel by a Postal Inspector, 
Inspector Attorney, or other Inspector specifically authorized by the 
Postal Inspection Service to submit such a request, after appropriate 
review by an Inspector In Charge or that person's designee.
    (2) A request for a subpoena shall state the specific case, with an 
individual or entity identified as the subject, in which the subpoena is 
requested.
    (3) A request for a subpoena shall contain a specific description of 
the

[[Page 247]]

records requested, and shall state how they are relevant or material to 
the investigation.
    (4) The General Counsel, in his or her discretion, may issue or deny 
the requested subpoena, or require the requesting individual to provide 
additional information. The General Counsel, in his or her discretion, 
may also honor requests to amend or supplement a request for a subpoena.
    (e) Form and issuance. Every subpoena shall cite 39 U.S.C. 3016 as 
the authority under which it is issued, and shall command each person to 
whom it is directed to produce specified records at a time and place 
therein specified. The General Counsel shall sign the subpoena and enter 
the name of the individual or entity to whom it is directed.



Sec. 913.2  Service.

    (a) Service within the United States. A subpoena issued under this 
section may be served by a person designated under section 3061 of title 
18 at any place within the territorial jurisdiction of any court of the 
United States.
    (b) Foreign service. Any such subpoena may be served upon any person 
who is not to be found within the territorial jurisdiction of any court 
of the United States, in such manner as the Federal Rules of Civil 
Procedure describe for service in a foreign country. To the extent that 
the courts of the United States may assert jurisdiction over such person 
consistent with due process, the United States District Court for the 
District of Columbia shall have the same jurisdiction to take any action 
respecting compliance with this section by such person that such court 
would have if such person were personally within the jurisdiction of 
such court.
    (c) Service on business persons. Service of any such subpoena may be 
made upon a partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity 
by--
    (1) Delivering a duly executed copy thereof to any partner, 
executive officer, managing agent, or general agent thereof, or to any 
agent thereof authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of 
process on behalf of such partnership, corporation, association, or 
entity;
    (2) Delivering a duly executed copy thereof to the principal office 
or place of business of the partnership, corporation, association, or 
entity; or
    (3) Depositing such copy in the United States mails, by registered 
or certified mail, return receipt requested, duly addressed to such 
partnership, corporation, association, or entity at its principal office 
or place of business.
    (d) Service on natural persons. Service of any subpoena may be made 
upon any natural person by--
    (1) Delivering a duly executed copy to the person to be served; or
    (2) Depositing such copy in the United States mails, by registered 
or certified mail, return receipt requested, duly addressed to such 
person at his residence or principal office or place of business.
    (e) Verified return. A verified return by the individual serving any 
such subpoena setting forth the manner of such service shall be proof of 
such service. In the case of service by registered or certified mail, 
such return shall be accompanied by the return post office receipt of 
delivery of such subpoena.



Sec. 913.3  Enforcement.

    (a) In general. Whenever any person, partnership, corporation, 
association, or entity fails to comply with any subpoena duly served 
upon him, the General Counsel may request that the Attorney General seek 
enforcement of the subpoena in the district court of the United States 
for any judicial district in which such person resides, is found, or 
transacts business (or in the case of a person outside the territorial 
jurisdiction of any district court, the district court for the District 
of Columbia), and serve upon such person a petition for an order of such 
court for the enforcement of this part.
    (b) Jurisdiction. Whenever any petition is filed in any district 
court of the United States under this section, such court shall have 
jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter so presented, and to enter 
such order or orders as may be required to carry into effect the 
provisions of this section. Any final order entered shall be subject to 
appeal under section 1291 of title 28, United States Code. Any 
disobedience of any

[[Page 248]]

final order entered under this section by any court may be punished as 
contempt.



Sec. 913.4  Disclosure.

    Any documentary material provided pursuant to any subpoena issued 
under this section shall be exempt from disclosure under section 552 of 
title 5, United States Code.

                           PART 916 [RESERVED]



Rules of Procedure Before the Mail Processing Department--Table of 
Contents






PART 927_RULES OF PROCEDURE RELATING TO FINES, DEDUCTIONS, AND DAMAGES
--Table of Contents




Sec
927.1 Noncontractual carriage of international mail by vessel.
927.2 Noncontractual air service for international and military mail.
927.3 Other remedies.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 401, 2601 Chap. 56 Section 5604; 49 U.S.C. 
1357, 1471.

    Source: 67 FR 50353, Aug. 2, 2002, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 927.1  Noncontractual carriage of international mail by vessel.

    (a) Report of infraction. Where evidence is found or reported that a 
carrier of mail by vessel which has transported mail pursuant to the 
provisions of Chapter 4, USPS Purchasing Manual, has unreasonably or 
unnecessarily delayed the mails, or committed other delinquencies in the 
transportation of mail, has failed to carry the mail in a safe and 
secure manner, or has caused loss or damage to the mail, the facts will 
be reported to International Network Operations, Headquarters.
    (b) Review, investigation, recommendation. International Network 
Operations will investigate the matter, record findings of fact, make a 
recommendation concerning the need for imposition of fine or penalty 
with reasons for the recommendation, and will advise the carrier of the 
recommendation.
    (c) Penalty action. International Network Operations, upon review of 
the record, may impose a fine or penalty against a carrier for any 
irregularity properly documented, whether or not penalty action has been 
recommended. A tentative decision of International Network Operations to 
take penalty action will be set forth in detail the facts and reasons 
upon which the determination is based. International Network Operations 
will send the tentative decision, including notice of the irregularities 
found and the amount of fine or penalty proposed, to the carrier. The 
carrier may present a written defense to the proposed action within 21 
days after receipt of the tentative decision. International Network 
Operations will advise the carrier of the final decision.
    (d) Appeal. If the final decision includes a penalty International 
Network Operations will advise the carrier that it may, within 30 days, 
appeal the action in writing to the Vice President, Network Operations 
Management, U.S. Postal Service Headquarters and that its written appeal 
should include all facts and arguments upon which the carrier relies in 
support of the appeal. If an appeal is not received, International 
Network Operations will close the record. When an appeal is taken, the 
Vice President, Network Operations Management will review the complete 
record the decide the appeal. He will advise the carrier of the decision 
in writing and will take actions consistent with that decision. The Vice 
President, Network Operations Management, may sustain, rescind, or 
compromise a fine or penalty. The decision of the Vice President, 
Network Operations Management on appeal shall be the final decision of 
the Postal Service. The Postal Service may, in its discretion, deduct 
from payment otherwise due the carrier an amount necessary to satisfy 
the penalty action taken under this section.
    (e) Details of administration. For further administrative details, 
see USPS Purchasing Manual, chapter 4.



Sec. 927.2  Noncontractual air service for international and military 
mail.

    (a) Report of infraction. Each mail handling irregularity will be 
reported in the prescribed format by the cognizant postal official or 
designated representative. As soon as possible the reporting authority 
will ask the local

[[Page 249]]

representative of the air carrier to provide an explanation of the 
irregularity. A summary of the explanation, if any, will be entered in 
the record. A copy of the report will be provided to the local station 
manager of the air carrier concerned at the close of each tour or not 
less frequently than each 24 hours.
    (b) Carrier conferences. At least one a month, postal officials will 
schedule meetings with the local representatives of the affected air 
carriers to discuss the reported irregularities. The carrier's 
representative will be advised of any irregularity for which the 
reporting authority will recommend penalty action. The carrier's 
representative will be offered the opportunity to comment on any 
irregularity, and any comments will be attached and/or be made part of 
the record. The reports on which penalty action is recommended will then 
be processed by International Network Operations, Postal Headquarters.
    (c) Review, investigation, penalty action. International Network 
Operations will review the matter and advise the carrier of the 
recommendations. The carrier has 21 days from receipt of notice to 
dispute the recommended penalties. In those instances which the carrier 
has disputed the facts alleged by the reporting authority, International 
Network Operations will investigate the matter to resolve the 
differences. International Network Operations, upon review of the 
record, may impose a fine or penalty against an air carrier for any 
irregularity properly documented, whether or not penalty action has been 
recommended. International Network Operations will send the decision, 
including notice of the irregularities alleged and the amount of fine or 
penalty proposed to the carrier. The Postal Service may, in its 
discretion, deduct from payment otherwise due the air carrier an amount 
necessary to satisfy the penalty action taken under this section.
    (d) Appeal. If the final decision includes a penalty, International 
Network Operations will advise the carrier that it may, within 30 days, 
appeal the action in writing to the Vice President, Network Operations 
Management, Postal Headquarters, and that its written appeal should 
include all facts and arguments upon which the carrier relies in support 
of the appeal. If an appeal is not received, International Network 
Operations will close the file. When an appeal is taken, the Vice 
President, Network Operations Management, will review the complete 
record and decide the appeals. He will advise the carrier of the 
decision in writing and will take action consistent with that decision. 
The Vice President, Network Operations Management, may sustain, rescind, 
or compromise a fine or penalty. The decision of the Vice President, 
Network Operations Management, on appeal shall be the final decision of 
the Postal Service. The Postal Service, may, in its discretion, deduct 
from pay otherwise due the air carrier an amount necessary to satisfy 
the penalty action taken under this section.
    (e) Details of administration. For further administrative details, 
forms, and other implementing materials adapted to the respective modes 
of transportation, see International Mail Operations, Handbook T-5, 
chapter 5.



Sec. 927.3  Other remedies.

    The procedures and other requirements of this part apply only where 
the Postal Service proposes to assess penalties, fines, deductions, or 
damages. This part does not limit other remedies available to the Postal 
Service, including such remedies as summary action to withhold tender of 
mail to protect the public interest in the event of major irregularities 
such as theft, deliberate loss, damage, abandonment of the mail or 
service failures by the air carrier.



PART 931_RULES OF PROCEDURE GOVERNING THE COMPROMISE OF OBLIGATIONS
--Table of Contents






Sec. 931.1  Compromise of obligations.

    Any proposition of compromise shall be submitted in writing, and the 
amount offered in compromise shall be deposited with the Manager, 
Accounting Division or the appropriate postal data center. If the offer 
in compromise is rejected the amount deposited will

[[Page 250]]

be returned. The amount of a compromise offer must be tendered 
unconditionally for deposit pending the consideration of acceptance. 
Checks and drafts cannot be accepted as offers in compromise when they 
bear endorsements or instructions to the effect that the acceptance of 
such checks or drafts constitutes settlement in full of the claim, fine, 
penalty, or liability in connection with which the offer is made, except 
that such checks or drafts may be accepted when they are accompanied 
with a written waiver of the endorsements or instructions printed 
thereon. Offers in compromise should be transmitted or delivered to the 
office or officer of the Postal Service from whom demand is received for 
payment of the amount due.

(39 U.S.C. 401)

[26 FR 11662, Dec. 6, 1961. Redesignated at 33 FR 6291, April 25, 1968]



Rules of Procedure Before the Postal Inspection Service--Table of Contents






PART 946_RULES OF PROCEDURE RELATING TO THE DISPOSITION OF STOLEN MAIL 
MATTER AND PROPERTY ACQUIRED BY THE POSTAL INSPECTION SERVICE FOR USE 
AS EVIDENCE--Table of Contents




Sec.
946.1 Scope of part.
946.2 Disposition of property of apparent owners.
946.3 Contraband and property subject to court order.
946.4 Disposition of property of unknown owners.
946.5 Disposition of property having a value of less than $200.
946.6 Disposition of abandoned property; additional period for filing 
          claims.
946.7 Submission of claims.
946.8 Determination of claims.
946.9 Reconsideration of claims.
946.10 Record retention.
946.11 Disposition of property declared abandoned.

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a); 39 U.S.C. 401(2), (5), (8), 404(a)(7), 
2003, 3001.

    Source: 53 FR 6986, Mar. 4, 1988, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 946.1  Scope of part.

    This part prescribes procedures governing the disposition of 
recovered stolen mail matter and any other property (real, personal, 
tangible or intangible) obtained by the Postal Inspection Service for 
possible use as evidence after the need to retain such property no 
longer exists. Property obtained by Postal Inspectors which appears to 
have been loose in the mails but is not retained for use as evidence, 
except unlawful matter, must be treated in accordance with postal 
regulations concerning disposition of dead mail (see Domestic Manual 
(DMM) 159.4). Unlawful matter must be disposed of in accordance with 
Sec. 946.3.



Sec. 946.2  Disposition of property of apparent owners.

    Where an apparent owner of property subject to this part is known, 
the Chief Postal Inspector or delegate will mail, by certified mail to 
the apparent owner's last known address, written notice describing the 
property and the procedure for filing a claim for its return (see 
Sec. Sec. 946.3 and 946.7). Such claims must be filed within 30 days 
from the date the notice is postmarked. If the apparent owner of the 
property fails to file a timely claim, the property is considered 
abandoned and must be disposed of as provided in Sec. 946.6.



Sec. 946.3  Contraband and property subject to court order.

    Claims submitted with respect to property subject to this part, 
possession of which is unlawful, must be denied, in writing, by 
certified mail and the person submitting the claim must be accorded 45 
days from the postmarked date to institute judicial proceedings to 
challenge the denial. If judicial proceedings are not instituted within 
45 days, or any extension of time for good cause shown, the contraband 
property must be destroyed unless the Chief Postal Inspector or delegate 
determines that it should be placed in official use by the Postal 
Inspection Service. Property subject to this part, the disposition of 
which is involved in litigation or is subject to an order of court, must 
be disposed of as determined by the court.

[[Page 251]]



Sec. 946.4  Disposition of property of unknown owners.

    (a) Where no apparent owner of property subject to this part is 
known, except property described in Sec. 946.3, and the Chief Postal 
Inspector or delegate estimates that the fair market value of the 
property exceeds $200, and the property is not needed as evidence, the 
Chief Postal Inspector or delegate must publish notice providing the 
following information:
    (1) A description of the property including model or serial numbers, 
if known;
    (2) The name, address, and telephone number of the Postal Inspector 
in Charge who has custody of the property; and
    (3) A statement inviting any person who believes that he or she is 
fully entitled to the property to submit a claim for its return with the 
Postal Inspector in Charge who is identified in the notice. Such claim 
must be submitted within 30 days from the date of first publication of 
the notice (See Sec. 946.7).
    (b) The notice under Sec. 946.4(a) must be published once a week 
for three consecutive weeks in a publication of general circulation 
within the judicial district where the Postal Inspection Service took 
possession of the property.



Sec. 946.5  Disposition of property having a value of less than $200.

    Where the owner of property subject to this part is unknown and the 
Chief Postal Inspector or delegate estimates that fair market value of 
such property is $200 or less, title to the property vests in the United 
States Postal Service, subject to the right of the owner to submit a 
valid claim as provided in Sec. 946.6.



Sec. 946.6  Disposition of abandoned property; additional period for 
filing claims.

    (a) Upon expiration of the time provided in Sec. Sec. 946.2 and 
946.4(a)(3) for the filing of claims or any extension thereof, and 
without the receipt of a timely claim, the property described in the 
notice is considered abandoned and becomes the property of the United 
States Postal Service. However, if the owner satisfies the requirements 
of Sec. 946.6(b), except for property described in Sec.  946.3, such 
abandoned property must be returned to the owner if a valid claim is 
filed within 3 years from the date the property became abandoned, with 
the following qualifications:
    (1) Where property has been placed in official use by the Postal 
Inspection Service, a person submitting a valid claim under this section 
must be reimbursed the fair market value of the property at the time 
title vested in the United States Postal Service, less costs incurred by 
the Postal Service in returning or attempting to return such property to 
the owner and;
    (2) Where property has been sold, a person submitting a valid claim 
under this section must be reimbursed the same amount as the last 
appraised value of the property prior to the sale of such property.
    (b) In order to present a valid claim under Sec. 946.6(a), the 
claimant must establish that he or she had no actual or constructive 
notice prior to the date the property became abandoned that he or she 
was entitled to file a claim pursuant to Sec. 946.2 or Sec.  946.4. 
Publication of notice pursuant to Sec. 946.4 provides constructive 
notice unless a claimant can demonstrate circumstances which reasonably 
precluded his access to the published notice.

[53 FR 6986, Mar. 4, 1988, as amended at 63 FR 8126, Feb. 18, 1998]



Sec. 946.7  Submission of claims.

    Claims submitted pursuant to this part must be submitted on Postal 
Service Form 1503 which may be obtained from the Inspector in Charge who 
has custody of the property.



Sec. 946.8  Determination of claims.

    Upon receipt of a claim under this part, the Postal Inspection 
Service must conduct an investigation to determine the merits of the 
claim. The results of the investigation must be submitted to the Chief 
Postal Inspector or delegate who must approve or deny the claim by 
written decision, a copy of which must be forwarded to the claimant by 
certified mail. If the claim is approved, the procedures to be followed 
by the claimant to obtain return of the property, or its determined 
value, must

[[Page 252]]

be stated. If the claim is denied, the decision must state the reasons 
therefor.



Sec. 946.9  Reconsideration of claims.

    A written request for reconsideration of denied claims may be 
submitted within 10 days of the postmarked date of the mailing denying 
the claim. Such requests must be addressed to the Chief Postal Inspector 
or delegate and must be based on evidence recently developed or not 
previously presented.



Sec. 946.10  Record retention.

    Records regarding property subject to this part will be retained for 
a period of 3 years following return of the property to its owner or a 
determination that the property is abandoned.



Sec. 946.11  Disposition of property declared abandoned.

    Property declared abandoned, including cash, and proceeds from the 
sale of property subject to this part may be shared by the Postal 
Inspection Service with federal, state, or local law enforcement 
agencies. Unless the Chief Postal Inspector determines that cash or the 
proceeds of the sale of the abandoned property are to be shared with 
other law enforcement agencies, such cash or proceeds shall be deposited 
in the Postal Service Fund established by 39 U.S.C. 2003. The authority 
to make this determination may be delegated by the Chief Postal 
Inspector.

[59 FR 29372, June 7, 1994]



Rules of Procedure Before the Judicial Officer--Table of Contents






PART 951_PROCEDURE GOVERNING THE ELIGIBILITY OF PERSONS TO PRACTICE 
BEFORE THE POSTAL SERVICE--Table of Contents




Sec.
951.1 Authority for rules.
951.2 Eligibility to practice.
951.3 Persons ineligible for admission to practice.
951.4 Authorization of appearance may be required.
951.5 Complaint of misconduct.
951.6 Censure, suspension or disbarment; grounds.
951.7 Notice of disbarment; exclusion from practice.
951.8 Ex parte communications.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 204, 401.

    Source: 36 FR 11562, June 16, 1971, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 951.1  Authority for rules.

    The Judicial Officer promulgates these rules pursuant to authority 
delegated by the Postmaster General.



Sec. 951.2  Eligibility to practice.

    (a) Any individual who is a party to any proceeding before the 
Judicial Officer, the Board of Contract Appeals or an Administrative Law 
Judge may appear for himself or by an attorney at law.
    (b) The head of any department of the Postal Service may establish 
such special rules and regulations pertaining to eligibility to practice 
before such department as he may deem to be necessary or desirable.
    (c) Generally, except as provided in Sec. 951.3, any attorney at 
law who is a member in good standing of the Bar of the Supreme Court of 
the United States or of the highest court of any State, District, 
Territory, Protectorate or Possession of the United States, or of the 
District of Columbia, and is not under any order of any court or 
executive department of one of the foregoing governmental entities 
suspending, enjoining, restraining, disbarring, or otherwise restricting 
him in the practice of law may represent others before the U.S. Postal 
Service.
    (d) When any person acting in a representative capacity appears in 
person or signs a paper in practice before the Postal Service his 
personal appearance or signature shall constitute a representation to 
the Postal Service that under the provisions of this part and the law he 
is authorized and qualified to represent the particular party in whose 
behalf he acts. The Postal Service does not generally take formal action 
or issue any certificate to show that an individual is eligible to 
practice before it. (See Sec. 951.4.)



Sec. 951.3  Persons ineligible for admission to practice.

    (a) No person disbarred from practice before the Postal Service or 
in any other executive department of any of the governmental entities 
mentioned

[[Page 253]]

in Sec. 951.2(c) will be eligible to practice before the Postal Service 
until said order of disbarment shall have been revoked.
    (b) Any person who, subsequently to being admitted to practice 
before the Postal Service, is disbarred by any governmental entity 
mentioned in Sec. 951.2(c) shall be deemed suspended from practice 
before the Postal Service during the pendency of said order or 
disbarment.
    (c) No person who has been an attorney, officer, clerk, or employee 
in the Postal Service will be recognized as attorney for prosecuting 
before it or any office thereof any case or matter which he was in 
anywise connected while he was such attorney, officer, clerk, or 
employee.
    (d) No person coming within the prohibitions of 18 U.S.C. 203, 205, 
or 207, will be recognized as attorney before the Postal Service or any 
office thereof.



Sec. 951.4  Authorization of appearance may be required.

    The Judicial Officer, the head of any department of the Postal 
Service or any Administrative Law Judge may require any person to 
present satisfactory evidence of his authority to represent the person 
for whom he appears.



Sec. 951.5  Complaint of misconduct.

    (a) If the head of any department of the Postal Service has reason 
to believe, or if complaint be made to him, that any person is guilty of 
conduct subjecting him to suspension or disbarment, the head of such 
office shall report the same to the Judicial Officer.
    (b) Whenever any person submits to the Judicial Officer a complaint 
against any person who has practiced, is practicing or holding himself 
out as entitled to practice before the Postal Service, the Judicial 
Officer may refer such complaint to the Chief Inspector for a complete 
investigation and report.
    (c) At any time, the Judicial Officer may refer the complaint to the 
General Counsel for the preparation of formal charges to be lodged 
against and served upon the person against whom the complaint has been 
made.



Sec. 951.6  Censure, suspension or disbarment; grounds.

    (a) The Judicial Officer may censure, suspend or disbar any person 
against whom a complaint has been made and upon whom charges have been 
served as provided in Sec. 951.5 if he finds that such person:
    (1) Does not possess the qualifications required by Sec. 951.2;
    (2) Has failed to conform to standards of ethical conduct required 
of practitioners at the Bar of any court of which he is a member;
    (3) Represents, as an associate, an attorney who, known to him, 
solicits practice by means of runners or other unethical methods;
    (4) By use of his name, personal appearance, or any device, aids or 
abets an attorney to practice during the period of his suspension or 
disbarment, such suspension or disbarment being known to him;
    (5) Displays toward the Judicial Officer, Board of Contract Appeals 
or any Administrative Law Judge assigned to the Postal Service, conduct 
which, if displayed toward any court of any State, the United States, 
any of its Territories or the District of Columbia, would be cause for 
censure, suspension or disbarment; or
    (6) Is otherwise guilty of misconduct or lacking in character or 
professional integrity.
    (b) Before any person shall be censured, suspended or disbarred, he 
shall be afforded an opportunity to be heard by the Judicial Officer on 
the charges made against him. The General Counsel or his designee shall 
prosecute such cases.
    (c) In the event the Judicial Officer is unavailable for any reason, 
he may assign complaints of misconduct to the Associate Judicial 
Officer, an Administrative Law Judge appointed pursuant to the 
provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, an Administrative Judge 
appointed pursuant to the provisions of the Contract Disputes Act of 
1978, or some other disinterested member of the headquarters staff of 
the Postal Service recommended by the Deputy Postmaster General, for the 
determinations required by Sec. 951.5, the

[[Page 254]]

conduct of the hearings, and the decision to censure, suspend, or debar 
persons as provided herein.

[36 FR 11562, June 16, 1971, as amended at 51 FR 16517, May 5, 1986]



Sec. 951.7  Notice of disbarment; exclusion from practice.

    Upon the disbarment of any person, notice thereof will be given to 
the heads of the departments of the Postal Service and to the other 
Executive Departments, and thereafter, until otherwise ordered, such 
disbarred persons will not be entitled to practice before the Postal 
Service or any department thereof.



Sec. 951.8  Ex parte communications.

    The provisions of 5 U.S.C. 551(14), 556(d) and 557(d) prohibiting ex 
parte communications are made applicable to proceedings under these 
rules of practice.

[42 FR 5357, Jan. 28, 1977]



PART 952_RULES OF PRACTICE IN PROCEEDINGS RELATIVE TO FALSE 
REPRESENTATION AND LOTTERY ORDERS--Table of Contents




Sec.
952.1 Authority for rules.
952.2 Scope of rules.
952.3 Informal dispositions.
952.4 Office business hours.
952.5 Complaints.
952.6 Interim impounding.
952.7 Notice of answer and hearing.
952.8 Service.
952.9 Filing documents for the record.
952.10 Answer.
952.11 Default.
952.12 Amendment of pleadings.
952.13 Continuances and extensions.
952.14 Hearings.
952.15 Change of place of hearings.
952.16 Appearances.
952.17 Presiding officers.
952.18 Evidence.
952.19 Subpoenas.
952.20 Witness fees.
952.21 Depositions, interrogatories, requests for admission of fact and 
          production of documents.
952.22 Transcript.
952.23 Proposed findings and conclusions.
952.24 Decisions.
952.25 Exceptions to initial decision or tentative decision.
952.26 Judicial Officer.
952.27 Motion for reconsideration.
952.28 Orders.
952.29 Modification or revocation of orders.
952.30 Supplemental orders.
952.31 Computation of time.
952.32 Official record.
952.33 Public information.
952.34 Ex parte communications.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 204, 401, 3005, 3012, 3016.

    Source: 36 FR 11563, June 16, 1971, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 952.1  Authority for rules.

    These rules of practice are issued by the Judicial Officer of the 
U.S. Postal Service (See Sec. 952.26) pursuant to authority delegated 
by the Postmaster General.



Sec. 952.2  Scope of rules.

    These rules of practice shall be applicable in all formal 
proceedings before the Postal Service, 39 U.S.C. 3005, including such 
cases instituted under prior rules of practice pertaining to these or 
predecessor statutes, unless timely shown to be prejudicial to the 
respondent.

[36 FR 11563, June 16, 1971, as amended at 52 FR 36763, Oct. 1, 1987]



Sec. 952.3  Informal dispositions.

    These rules do not preclude the disposition of any matter by 
agreement between the parties either before or after the filing of a 
complaint when time, the nature of the proceeding, and the public 
interest permit.



Sec. 952.4  Office business hours.

    The offices of the officials mentioned in these rules are located at 
2101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 600, Arlington, VA 22201-3078, and are open 
Monday through Friday except holidays from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

[63 FR 66050, Dec. 1, 1998]



Sec. 952.5  Complaints.

    When the General Counsel of the Postal Service or his designated 
representative believes that a person is using the mails in a manner 
requiring formal administrative action under 39 U.S.C. 3005, he shall 
prepare and file with the Recorder a complaint which names the person 
involved; states the

[[Page 255]]

name, address and telephone number of the attorney representing 
Complainant; states the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the 
proceeding is initiated; states the facts in a manner sufficient to 
enable the person named therein to make answer thereto; and requests the 
issuance of an appropriate order or orders and/or the assessment of 
civil penalties. Complainant shall attach to the complaint a copy of the 
order or orders requested which may, at any time during the proceedings, 
be modified. The person named in the complaint shall be known as the 
``Respondent'', and the General Counsel shall be known as the 
``Complainant.''

The term ``person'' (1 U.S.C. 1) shall include any name, address, number 
or other designation under or by use of which the Respondent seeks 
remittances of money or property through the mail.

[48 FR 55126, Dec. 9, 1983, as amended at 65 FR 32027, May 22, 2000; 67 
FR 62179, Oct. 4, 2002]



Sec. 952.6  Interim impounding.

    In preparation for or during the pendency of a proceeding initiated 
under 39 U.S.C. 3005, mail addressed to a respondent may be impounded 
upon obtaining an appropriate order from a U.S. District Court, as 
provided in 39 U.S.C. 3007.



Sec. 952.7  Notice of answer and hearing.

    (a) When a complaint is filed against a Respondent whose mailing 
address is within the United States, the Recorder shall issue a notice 
of answer and hearing stating the date for filing an answer which shall 
not exceed 15 days from the service of the complaint, the time and place 
of the hearing and a reference to the effect of failure to file an 
answer or appear at the hearing. (See Sec. Sec. 952.10 and 952.11.) 
Whenever practicable, the hearing date shall be within 30 days of the 
date of the notice.
    (b) Where a complaint is filed against a Respondent whose mailing 
address is not within the United States, the Judicial Officer shall 
review the complaint and any supporting information and determine 
whether a prima facie showing has been made that Respondent is engaged 
in conduct warranting issuance of the orders authorized by 39 U.S.C. 
3005(a) and/or the assessment of civil penalties authorized by 39 U.S.C. 
3012. Where he concludes that a prima facie showing has not been made he 
shall dismiss the complaint. Where he concludes that a prima facie 
showing has been made, he shall issue a tentative decision and orders 
which: set forth findings of fact and conclusions of law; direct 
Respondent to cease and desist from engaging in conduct warranting the 
issuance of an order authorized by 39 U.S.C. 3005(a); direct that postal 
money orders drawn to the order of Respondent not be paid for 45 days 
from date of the tentative decision; direct that mail addressed to 
Respondent be forwarded to designated facilities and detained for 45 
days from the date of the tentative decision subject to survey by 
Respondent and release of mail unrelated to the matter complained of; 
tentatively assess such civil penalties as he considers appropriate 
under applicable law; and provide that unless Respondent presents, 
within 45 days of the date of the tentative decision, good cause for 
dismissing the complaint, or modifying the tentative decision and 
orders, the tentative decision and orders shall become final. The 
Judicial Officer may, upon a showing of good cause made within 45 days 
of the date of the tentative decision, hold a hearing to determine 
whether the tentative decision and orders should be revoked, modified or 
allowed to become final. Should a hearing be granted, the Judicial 
Officer may modify the tentative decision and orders to extend the time 
during which the payment of postal money orders payable to Respondent is 
suspended and mail addressed to Respondent is detained.

[44 FR 61959, Oct. 29, 1979, as amended at 48 FR 55126, Dec. 9, 1983; 65 
FR 32027, May 22, 2000]



Sec. 952.8  Service.

    (a) Where the Respondent's mailing address is within the United 
States, the Recorder shall cause a notice of answer and hearing and a 
copy of the complaint to be transmitted to the postmaster at any office 
of address of the Respondent or to the inspector in

[[Page 256]]

charge of any division in which the Respondent is doing business, which 
shall be delivered to the Respondent or his agent by said postmaster or 
a supervisory employee of his post office or a postal inspector. A 
receipt acknowledging delivery of the notice shall be secured from the 
Respondent or his agent and forwarded to the Recorder, U.S. Postal 
Service, 2101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 600, Arlington, VA 22201-3078, to 
become a part of the official record.
    (b) If, after 5 days, the postmaster or his agent can find no person 
to accept service of the notice of answer and hearing and complaint 
pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, the notice may be delivered 
in the usual manner as other mail addressed to the respondent. A 
statement, showing the time and place of delivery, signed by the postal 
employee who delivered the notice of answer and hearing and complaint 
shall be forwarded to the Recorder and such statement shall constitute 
evidence of service.
    (c) Where the only address against which Complainant seeks relief is 
outside the United States, a copy of the complaint, the tentative 
decision, and a copy of these rules of practice shall be sent by 
registered air mail, return receipt requested, by the Recorder to the 
address cited in the complaint. A written statement by the Recorder 
noting the time and place of mailing shall be accepted as evidence of 
service in the event a signed return receipt is not returned to the 
Recorder.

[36 FR 11563, June 16, 1971, as amended at 37 FR 7321, Apr. 13, 1972; 44 
FR 61959, Oct. 29, 1979; 44 FR 65399, Nov. 13, 1979; 63 FR 66050, Dec. 
1, 1998]



Sec. 952.9  Filing documents for the record.

    (a) Each party shall file with the Recorder pleadings, motions, 
proposed orders and other documents for the record. The Recorder shall 
cause copies to be delivered promptly to other parties to the proceeding 
and to the presiding officer.
    (b) The parties shall submit four copies of all documents unless 
otherwise ordered by the presiding officer. One copy shall be signed as 
the original.
    (c) Documents shall be dated and state the docket number and title 
of the proceeding. Any pleading or other document required by order of 
the presiding officer to be filed by a specified date shall be delivered 
to the Recorder on or before such date. The date of filing shall be 
entered thereon by the Recorder.

[36 FR 11563, June 16, 1971, as amended at 44 FR 61960, Oct. 29, 1979]



Sec. 952.10  Answer.

    (a) The answer shall contain a concise statement admitting, denying, 
or explaining each of the allegations set forth in the complaint.
    (b) Any facts alleged in the complaint which are not denied or are 
expressly admitted in the answer may be considered as proved, and no 
further evidence regarding these facts need be adduced at the hearing.
    (c) The answer shall be signed personally by an individual 
respondent, or in the case of a partnership by one of the partners, or, 
in the case of a corporation or association, by an officer thereof.
    (d) The answer shall set forth the Respondent's address and 
telephone number or the name, address and telephone number of its 
attorney.
    (e) The answer shall affirmatively state whether the respondent will 
appear in person or by counsel at the hearing.
    (f) If the respondent does not desire to appear at the hearing in 
person or by counsel he may request that the matter be submitted for 
determination pursuant to paragraph (b) of Sec. 952.11.

[36 FR 11563, June 16, 1971, as amended at 44 FR 61960, Oct. 29, 1979]



Sec. 952.11  Default.

    (a) If the Respondent fails to file an answer within the time 
specified in the notice of answer and hearing, he shall be deemed in 
default, and to have waived hearing and further procedural steps. The 
Judicial Officer shall thereafter issue orders and/or assess civil 
penalties without further notice to the Respondent.
    (b) If the Respondent files an answer but fails to appear at the 
hearing, the

[[Page 257]]

Respondent may, unless timely indications to the contrary are received, 
be deemed to have abandoned the intention to present a defense to the 
charges of the complaint, and the Judicial Officer, without further 
notice to Respondent, may issue the orders and/or assess civil penalties 
sought in the complaint.

[48 FR 55126, Dec. 9, 1983, as amended at 65 FR 32027, May 22, 2000]



Sec. 952.12  Amendment of pleadings.

    (a) Amendments proposed prior to the hearing shall be filed with the 
Recorder. Amendments proposed thereafter shall be filed with the 
presiding officer.
    (b) By consent of the parties a pleading may be amended at any time. 
Also, a party may move to amend a pleading at any time prior to the 
close of the hearing and, provided that the amendment is reasonably 
within the scope of the proceeding initiated by the complaint, the 
presiding officer shall make such ruling on the motion as he deems to be 
fair and equitable to the parties.
    (c) When issues not raised by the pleadings but reasonably within 
the scope of the proceedings initiated by the complaint are tried by 
express or implied consent of the parties, they shall be treated in all 
respects as if they had been raised in the pleadings. Such amendments as 
may be necessary to make the pleadings conform to the evidence and to 
raise such issues shall be allowed at any time upon the motion of any 
party.
    (d) If a party objects to the introduction of evidence at the 
hearing on the ground that it is not within the issues made by the 
pleadings, but fails to satisfy the presiding officer that an amendment 
of the pleadings would prejudice him on the merits, the presiding 
officer may allow the pleadings to be amended and may grant a 
continuance to enable the objecting party to rebut the evidence 
presented.
    (e) The presiding officer may, upon reasonable notice and upon such 
terms as are just, permit service of a supplemental pleading setting 
forth transactions, occurrences, or events which have happened since the 
date of the pleading sought to be supplemented and which are relevant to 
any of the issues involved.

[36 FR 11563, June 16, 1971, as amended at 44 FR 61960, Oct. 29, 1979]



Sec. 952.13  Continuances and extensions.

    Continuances and extensions will not be granted by the presiding 
officer except for good cause shown.



Sec. 952.14  Hearings.

    Hearings are held at 2101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 600, Arlington, VA 
22201-3078, or other locations designated by the presiding officer.

[63 FR 66050, Dec. 1, 1998]



Sec. 952.15  Change of place of hearings.

    Not later than the date fixed for the filing of the answer, a party 
may file a request that a hearing be held to receive evidence in his 
behalf at a place other than that designated for hearing in the notice. 
He shall support his request with a statement outlining:
    (a) The evidence to be offered in such place;
    (b) The names and addresses of the witnesses who will testify;
    (c) The reasons why such evidence cannot be produced at Arlington, 
VA. The presiding officer shall give consideration to the convenience 
and necessity of the parties and the relevancy of the evidence to be 
offered.

[36 FR 11563, June 16, 1971, as amended at 63 FR 66050, Dec. 1, 1998]



Sec. 952.16  Appearances.

    (a) A respondent may appear and be heard in person or by attorney.
    (b) An attorney may practice before the Postal Service in accordance 
with applicable rules issued by the Judicial Officer. See part 951 of 
this chapter.
    (c) When a respondent is represented by an attorney, all pleadings 
and other papers subsequent to the complaint shall be mailed to the 
attorney.
    (d) A respondent must promptly file a notice of change of attorney.



Sec. 952.17  Presiding officers.

    (a) The presiding officer at any hearing shall be an Administrative 
Law Judge qualified in accordance with law or the Judicial Officer (39 
U.S.C. 204). The Chief Administrative Law Judge

[[Page 258]]

shall assign cases to Administrative Law Judges upon rotation so far as 
practicable. The Judicial Officer may, for good cause shown, preside at 
the reception of evidence in proceedings where expedited hearings are 
requested by either party.
    (b) The presiding officer shall have authority to:
    (1) Administer oaths and affirmations;
    (2) Examine witnesses;
    (3) Rule upon offers of proof, admissibility of evidence and matters 
of procedure;
    (4) Order any pleading amended upon motion of a party at any time 
prior to the close of the hearing;
    (5) Maintain discipline and decorum and exclude from the hearing any 
person acting in an indecorous manner;
    (6) Require the filing of briefs or memoranda of law on any matter 
upon which he is required to rule;
    (7) Order prehearing conferences for the purpose of the settlement 
or simplification of issues by the parties;
    (8) Order the proceeding reopened at any time prior to his decision 
for the receipt of additional evidence;
    (9) Render an initial decision, which becomes the final Agency 
decision unless a timely appeal is taken: The Judicial Officer may issue 
a tentative or a final decision;
    (10) Rule upon applications and requests filed under Sec. 952.19 
and Sec. 952.21.

[36 FR 11563, June 16, 1971, as amended at 38 FR 17216, June 29, 1973; 
38 FR 20263, July 30, 1973; 44 FR 61960, Oct. 29, 1979; 65 FR 32027, May 
22, 2000]



Sec. 952.18  Evidence.

    (a) Except as otherwise provided in these rules, the Federal Rules 
of Evidence shall govern. However, such rules may be relaxed to the 
extent that the presiding officer deems proper to insure a fair hearing. 
The presiding officer shall exclude irrelevant, immaterial or 
repetitious evidence.
    (b) Testimony shall be under oath or affirmation and witnesses shall 
be subject to cross-examination.
    (c) Agreed statements of fact may be received in evidence.
    (d) Official notice or knowledge may be taken of the types of 
matters of which judicial notice or knowledge may be taken.
    (e) Authoritative writings of the medical or other sciences, may be 
admitted in evidence but only through the testimony of expert witnesses 
or by stipulation.
    (f) Lay testimonials will not be received in evidence as proof of 
the efficacy or quality of any product or thing sold through the mails.
    (g) The written statement of a competent witness may be received in 
evidence provided that such statement is relevant to the issues, that 
the witness shall testify under oath at the hearing that the statement 
is in all respects true, and, in the case of expert witnesses, that the 
statement correctly states his opinion or knowledge concerning the 
matters in question.
    (h) A party who objects to the admission of evidence shall make a 
brief statement of the grounds for the objection. Formal exceptions to 
the rulings of the presiding officer are unnecessary.

[36 FR 11563, June 16, 1971, as amended at 44 FR 61960, Oct. 29, 1979]



Sec. 952.19  Subpoenas.

    (a) General. Upon written request of either party filed with the 
Recorder or on his own initiative, the presiding officer may issue a 
subpoena requiring:
    (1) Testimony at a deposition. The deposing of a witness in the city 
or county where the witness resides or is employed or transacts business 
in person, or at another location convenient for the witness that is 
specifically determined by the presiding officer;
    (2) Testimony at a hearing. The attendance of a witness for the 
purpose of taking testimony at a hearing; and
    (3) Production of records. In addition to paragraphs (a)(1) and 
(a)(2) of this section, the production by the witness at the deposition 
or hearing of records designated in the subpoena.
    (b) Voluntary cooperation. Each party is expected:
    (1) To cooperate and make available witnesses and evidence under its 
control as requested by the other party, without issuance of a subpoena, 
and
    (2) To secure voluntary production of desired third-party records 
whenever possible.

[[Page 259]]

    (c) Requests for subpoenas. (1) A request for a subpoena shall to 
the extent practical be filed:
    (i) At the same time a request for deposition is filed; or
    (ii) 15 days before a scheduled hearing where the attendance of a 
witness at a hearing is sought.
    (2) A request for a subpoena shall state the reasonable scope and 
general relevance to the case of the testimony and of any records 
sought.
    (3) The presiding officer, in his discretion, may honor requests for 
subpoenas not made within the time limitations specified in this 
paragraph.
    (d) Requests to quash or modify. Upon written request by the person 
subpoenaed or by a party, made within 10 days after service but in any 
event not later than the time specified in the subpoena for compliance, 
the presiding officer may:
    (1) Quash or modify the subpoena if it is unreasonable and 
oppressive or for other good cause shown, or
    (2) require the person in whose behalf the subpoena was issued to 
advance the reasonable cost of producing subpoenaed records. Where 
circumstances require, the presiding officer may act upon such a request 
at any time after a copy has been served upon the opposing party.
    (e) Form; issuance. (1) Every subpoena shall state the title of the 
proceeding, shall cite 39 U.S.C. 3016(a)(2) as the authority under which 
it is issued, and shall command each person to whom it is directed to 
attend and give testimony, and if appropriate, to produce specified 
records at a time and place therein specified. In issuing a subpoena to 
a requesting party, the presiding officer shall sign the subpoena and 
may, in his discretion, enter the name of the witness and otherwise 
leave it blank. The party to whom the subpoena is issued shall complete 
the subpoena before service.
    (2) The party at whose instance a subpoena is issued shall be 
responsible for the payment of fees and mileage of the witness and of 
the officer who serves the subpoena. The failure to make payment of such 
charges on demand may be deemed by the presiding officer as sufficient 
ground for striking the testimony of the witness and the evidence the 
witness has produced.
    (f) Service--(1) In general. The party requesting issuance of a 
subpoena shall arrange for service.
    (2) Service within the United States. A subpoena issued under this 
section may be served by a person designated under 18 U.S.C. 3061 or by 
a United States marshal or deputy marshal, or by any other person who is 
not a party and not less than 18 years of age at any place within the 
territorial jurisdiction of any court of the United States.
    (3) Foreign Service. Any such subpoena may be served upon any person 
who is not to be found within the territorial jurisdiction of any court 
of the United States, in such manner as the Federal Rules of Civil 
Procedure prescribe for service in a foreign country. To the extent that 
the courts of the United States may assert jurisdiction over such person 
consistent with due process, the United States District Court for the 
District of Columbia shall have the same jurisdiction to take any action 
respecting compliance with this section by such person that such court 
would have if such person were personally within the jurisdiction of 
such court.
    (4) Service on Business Persons. Service of any such subpoena may be 
made upon a partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity 
by:
    (i) Delivering a duly executed copy thereof to any partner, 
executive officer, managing agent, or general agent thereof, or to any 
agent thereof authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of 
process on behalf of such partnership, corporation, association, or 
entity;
    (ii) Delivering a duly executed copy thereof to the principal office 
or place of business of the partnership, corporation, association, or 
entity; or
    (iii) Depositing such copy in the United States mails, by registered 
or certified mail, return receipt requested, duly addressed to such 
partnership, corporation, association, or entity at its principal office 
or place of business.
    (5) Service on Natural Persons. Service of any subpoena may be made 
upon any natural person by:

[[Page 260]]

    (i) delivering a duly executed copy to the person to be served; or
    (ii) depositing such copy in the United States mails, by registered 
or certified mail, return receipt requested, duly addressed to such 
person at his residence or principal office or place of business.
    (6) Verified Return. A verified return by the individual serving any 
such subpoena setting forth the manner of such service shall be proof of 
service. In the case of service by registered or certified mail, such 
return shall be accompanied by the return post office receipt of 
delivery of such subpoena.
    (g) Contumacy or refusal to obey a subpoena. In the case of 
contumacy or refusal to obey a subpoena, the Judicial Officer may 
request the Attorney General to petition the district court for any 
district in which the person receiving the subpoena resides, is found, 
or conducts business (or in the case of a person outside the territorial 
jurisdiction of any district court, the district court for the District 
of Columbia) to issue an appropriate order for the enforcement of such 
subpoena. Any failure to obey such order of the court may be punishable 
as contempt.

[65 FR 32027, May 22, 2000]



Sec. 952.20  Witness fees.

    The Postal Service does not pay fees and expenses for respondent's 
witnesses or for depositions requested by respondent.



Sec. 952.21  Depositions, interrogatories, requests for admission of 
fact and production of documents.

    (a) Not later than 5 days after the filing of Respondent's answer, 
any party may file application with the Recorder for the taking of 
testimony by deposition. In support of such application the applicant 
shall submit under oath or affirmation a statement setting out the 
reasons why such testimony should be taken by deposition, the time and 
the place, and the name and address of the witness whose deposition is 
desired, the subject matter of the testimony of each witness and its 
relevancy.
    (b) If the application is granted, the order for the taking of the 
deposition will specify the time and place thereof, the name of the 
witness, and require that the deposition be taken before a person 
authorized to administer oaths as required by paragraph (f) of this 
section.
    (c) Each witness testifying upon deposition shall be duly sworn, and 
the adverse party shall have the right to cross-examine. The questions 
and answers together with all objections, shall be reduced to writing 
and, unless waived by stipulation of the parties, shall be read to and 
subscribed by the witness in the presence of the deposition officer who 
shall certify it in the usual form. The deposition officer shall file 
the testimony taken by deposition as directed in the order. The 
deposition officer shall put the witness on oath. All objections made at 
the time of examination shall be noted by the deposition officer and the 
evidence objected to shall be taken subject to the objections. In lieu 
of participating in the oral examination, a party may transmit written 
interrogatories to the officer, who shall propound them to the witness 
and record the answers verbatim. Objections to relevancy or materiality 
of testimony, or to errors and irregularities occurring at the oral 
examination in the manner of taking the deposition, in the form of the 
questions or answers, in the oath or affirmation, or in the conduct of 
the parties and errors of any kind which might be obviated, cured or 
removed if promptly presented, are waived unless timely objection is 
made at the taking of the deposition.
    (d) At the hearing any part or all of the deposition may be offered 
in evidence by any party who was present or represented at the taking of 
the deposition or who had notice thereof. If the deposition is not 
offered and received in evidence, it shall not be considered as a part 
of the record in the proceeding. The admissibility of depositions or 
parts thereof shall be governed by the rules of evidence.
    (e) The party requesting the deposition shall pay all fees required 
to be paid to witnesses and the deposition officer, and shall provide an 
original and one copy of the deposition for the official record, and 
shall serve one copy upon the opposing party.
    (f) Within the United States or within a territory or insular 
possession,

[[Page 261]]

subject to the dominion of the United States, depositions or 
interrogatories may be taken or certified before an officer authorized 
to administer oaths by the laws of the United States or of the place 
where the examination is held; within a foreign country, depositions or 
interrogatories may be taken or certified before a secretary of an 
embassy or legation, consul general, vice consul or consular agent of 
the United States, or any other person designated in the order for the 
taking of a deposition.
    (g) Depositions may also be taken and submitted on written 
interrogatories in substantially the same manner as depositions taken by 
oral examination. When a deposition is taken upon written 
interrogatories and cross-interrogatories, none of the parties except a 
witness who is a party shall be present or represented, and no person, 
other than the witness, a stenographic reporter, and the officer shall 
be present at the examination of the witness, which fact shall be 
certified by the officer, who shall propound the interrogatories and 
cross-interrogatories to the witness in their order and reduce the 
testimony to writing in the witness' own words. For good cause shown or 
by stipulation of the parties, written interrogatories and cross-
interrogatories propounding questions of fact may be answered by the 
witness in writing, without the presence of an officer and without being 
recorded by a stenographic reporter, provided the answers are sworn to 
by the witness before a person authorized to administer an oath 
prescribed by paragraph (f).
    (h) Not later than 5 days after the filing of Respondent's answer, 
any party may serve on the other party a request for the admission of 
specified facts. In the event the party served refuses timely to respond 
to the request for admissions, the presiding officer for good cause 
shown may require the party served to admit or deny each requested fact. 
The factual propositions set out in the request shall be deemed admitted 
upon the failure of a party to respond to the presiding officer's order 
for admission or denial.
    (i) Not later than 5 days after the filing of Respondent's answer, 
either party may file an application for the production of documents or 
objects. The application shall state the cause therefor and specifically 
identify the documents or objects and their relevance and materiality to 
the cause or causes in issue. The presiding officer may order the other 
party to produce and permit the inspection and photographing of any 
designated documents or objects not privileged which are reasonably 
calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. If the 
parties cannot themselves agree thereon, the presiding officer shall 
specify such terms and conditions in making the inspection and taking 
the copies and photographs.
    (j) Failure of a party to comply with an order pursuant to this rule 
may result in the presiding officer's ruling that the disobedient party 
may not support or oppose designated charges or defenses or may not 
introduce designated matters in evidence. The presiding officer may also 
infer from the disobedient party's failure to comply with the order that 
the facts to which the order related would, if produced or admitted, be 
adverse to such party's interests. The admissibility of matter adduced 
by operation of Sec. 952.21 shall be governed by Sec.  952.18.

[36 FR 11563, June 16, 1971, as amended at 44 FR 61960, Oct. 29, 1979; 
44 FR 65399, Nov. 13, 1979]



Sec. 952.22  Transcript.

    (a) Hearings shall be stenographically reported by a contract 
reporter of the Postal Service under the supervision of the assigned 
presiding officer. Argument upon any matter may be excluded from the 
transcript by order of the presiding officer. A copy of the transcript 
shall be a part of the record and the sole official transcript of the 
proceeding. Copies of the transcript shall be supplied to the parties to 
the proceeding by the reporter at rates not to exceed the maximum rates 
fixed by contract between the Postal Service and the reporter. Copies of 
parts of the official record including exhibits admitted into evidence, 
other than the transcript, may be obtained by the Respondent from the 
Recorder upon the payment of reasonable copying charges. Items that 
cannot reasonably be photocopied may be photographed

[[Page 262]]

and furnished in that form to Respondent.
    (b) Changes in the official transcript may be made only when they 
involve errors affecting substance and then only in the manner herein 
provided. No physical changes shall be made in or upon the official 
transcript, or copies thereof, which have been filed with the record. 
Within 10 days after the receipt by any party of a copy of the official 
transcript, or any part thereof, he may file a motion requesting 
correction of the transcript. Opposing counsel shall, within such time 
as may be specified by the presiding officer, notify the presiding 
officer in writing of his concurrence or disagreement with the requested 
corrections. Failure to interpose timely objection to a proposed 
correction shall be considered to be concurrence. Thereafter, the 
presiding officer shall by order specify the corrections to be made in 
the transcript. The presiding officer on his own initiative may order 
corrections to be made in the transcript with prompt notice to the 
parties of the proceeding. Any changes ordered by the presiding officer 
other than by agreement of the parties shall be subject to objection and 
exception.

[36 FR 11563, June 16, 1971, as amended at 44 FR 61961, Oct. 29, 1979]



Sec. 952.23  Proposed findings and conclusions.

    (a) Each party to a proceeding, except one who fails to answer the 
complaint or, having answered, either fails to appear at the hearing or 
indicates in the answer that he does not desire to appear, may, unless 
at the discretion of the presiding officer such is not appropriate, 
submit proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, orders and 
supporting reasons either in oral or written form in the discretion of 
the presiding officer. The presiding officer may also require parties to 
any proceeding to submit proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, 
orders, and supporting reasons. Unless given orally, the date set for 
filing of proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, orders and 
supporting reasons shall be within 15 days after the delivery of the 
official transcript to the Recorder who shall notify both parties of the 
date of its receipt. The filing date for proposed findings of fact, 
conclusions of law, orders and supporting reasons shall be the same for 
both parties. If not submitted by such date, or unless extension of time 
for the filing thereof is granted, they will not be included in the 
record or given consideration.
    (b) Except when presented orally before the close of the hearing, 
proposed findings of fact shall be set forth in serially numbered 
paragraphs and shall state with particularity all evidentiary facts in 
the record with appropriate citations to the transcript or exhibits 
supporting the proposed findings. Each proposed conclusion shall be 
separately stated.
    (c) Except when presented orally before the close of the hearing, 
proposed orders shall state the statutory basis of the order and, with 
respect to orders proposed to be issued pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 
3005(a)(3), shall be set forth in serially numbered paragraphs stating 
with particularity the representations Respondent and its 
representatives shall cease and desist from using for the purpose of 
obtaining money or property through the mail.

[48 FR 55126, Dec. 9, 1983]



Sec. 952.24  Decisions.

    (a) Initial decision by Administrative Law Judge. A written initial 
decision shall be rendered by an Administrative Law Judge with all due 
speed. The initial decision shall include findings and conclusions with 
the reasons therefor upon all the material issues of fact or law 
presented on the record, and the appropriate orders or denial there