[Title 39 CFR ]
[Code of Federal Regulations (annual edition) - July 1, 2017 Edition]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



[[Page i]]

          

          Title 39

Postal Service

                         Revised as of July 1, 2017

          Containing a codification of documents of general 
          applicability and future effect

          As of July 1, 2017
                    Published by the Office of the Federal Register 
                    National Archives and Records Administration as a 
                    Special Edition of the Federal Register

[[Page ii]]

          U.S. GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL EDITION NOTICE

          Legal Status and Use of Seals and Logos
          
          
          The seal of the National Archives and Records Administration 
              (NARA) authenticates the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) as 
              the official codification of Federal regulations established 
              under the Federal Register Act. Under the provisions of 44 
              U.S.C. 1507, the contents of the CFR, a special edition of the 
              Federal Register, shall be judicially noticed. The CFR is 
              prima facie evidence of the original documents published in 
              the Federal Register (44 U.S.C. 1510).

          It is prohibited to use NARA's official seal and the stylized Code 
              of Federal Regulations logo on any republication of this 
              material without the express, written permission of the 
              Archivist of the United States or the Archivist's designee. 
              Any person using NARA's official seals and logos in a manner 
              inconsistent with the provisions of 36 CFR part 1200 is 
              subject to the penalties specified in 18 U.S.C. 506, 701, and 
              1017.

          Use of ISBN Prefix

          This is the Official U.S. Government edition of this publication 
              and is herein identified to certify its authenticity. Use of 
              the 0-16 ISBN prefix is for U.S. Government Publishing Office 
              Official Editions only. The Superintendent of Documents of the 
              U.S. Government Publishing Office requests that any reprinted 
              edition clearly be labeled as a copy of the authentic work 
              with a new ISBN.

              
              
          U . S . G O V E R N M E N T P U B L I S H I N G O F F I C E

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

          U.S. Superintendent of Documents   Washington, DC 20402-
              0001

          http://bookstore.gpo.gov

          Phone: toll-free (866) 512-1800; DC area (202) 512-1800

[[Page iii]]




                            Table of Contents



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

  Title 39:
          Chapter I--United States Postal Service                    3
          Chapter III--Postal Regulatory Commission                357
  Finding Aids:
      Table of CFR Titles and Chapters........................     505
      Alphabetical List of Agencies Appearing in the CFR......     525
      List of CFR Sections Affected...........................     535

[[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, 2017), 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 
exercised by the user in determining the actual effective date. In 
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.

PAST PROVISIONS OF THE CODE

    Provisions of the Code that are no longer in force and effect as of 
the revision date stated on the cover of each volume are not carried. 
Code users may find the text of provisions in effect on any given date 
in the past by using the appropriate List of CFR Sections Affected 
(LSA). For the convenience of the reader, a ``List of CFR Sections 
Affected'' is published at the end of each CFR volume. For changes to 
the Code prior to the LSA listings at the end of the volume, consult 
previous annual editions of the LSA. For changes to the Code prior to 
2001, consult the List of CFR Sections Affected compilations, published 
for 1949-1963, 1964-1972, 1973-1985, and 1986-2000.

``[RESERVED]'' TERMINOLOGY

    The term ``[Reserved]'' is used as a place holder within the Code of 
Federal Regulations. An agency may add regulatory information at a 
``[Reserved]'' location at any time. Occasionally ``[Reserved]'' is used 
editorially to indicate that a portion of the CFR was left vacant and 
not accidentally dropped due to a printing or computer error.

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.
    What if the material incorporated by reference cannot be found? If 
you have any problem locating or obtaining a copy of material listed 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, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001, 
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 Authorities 
and Rules. A list of CFR titles, chapters, subchapters, and parts and an 
alphabetical list of agencies publishing in the CFR are also included in 
this volume.

[[Page vii]]

    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.

REPUBLICATION OF MATERIAL

    There are no restrictions on the republication of material appearing 
in the Code of Federal Regulations.

INQUIRIES

    For a legal interpretation or explanation of any regulation in this 
volume, contact the issuing agency. The issuing agency's name appears at 
the top of odd-numbered pages.
    For inquiries concerning CFR reference assistance, call 202-741-6000 
or write to the Director, Office of the Federal Register, National 
Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 
20740-6001 or e-mail [email protected]

SALES

    The Government Publishing Office (GPO) processes all sales and 
distribution of the CFR. For payment by credit card, call toll-free, 
866-512-1800, or DC area, 202-512-1800, M-F 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. e.s.t. or 
fax your order to 202-512-2104, 24 hours a day. For payment by check, 
write to: US Government Publishing Office - New Orders, P.O. Box 979050, 
St. Louis, MO 63197-9000.

ELECTRONIC SERVICES

    The full text of the Code of Federal Regulations, the LSA (List of 
CFR Sections Affected), The United States Government Manual, the Federal 
Register, Public Laws, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United 
States, Compilation of Presidential Documents and the Privacy Act 
Compilation are available in electronic format via www.ofr.gov. For more 
information, contact the GPO Customer Contact Center, U.S. Government 
Publishing Office. Phone 202-512-1800, or 866-512-1800 (toll-free). E-
mail, [email protected]
    The Office of the Federal Register also offers a free service on the 
National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) World Wide Web 
site for public law numbers, Federal Register finding aids, and related 
information. Connect to NARA's web site at www.archives.gov/federal-
register.
    The e-CFR is a regularly updated, unofficial editorial compilation 
of CFR material and Federal Register amendments, produced by the Office 
of the Federal Register and the Government Publishing Office. It is 
available at www.ecfr.gov.

    Oliver A. Potts,
    Director,
    Office of the Federal Register.
    July 1, 2017.

                                
                                      
                            

  

[[Page ix]]



                               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, 2017.

    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 this volume, Bonnie Fritts was Chief Editor. The Code of Federal 
Regulations publication program is under the direction of John Hyrum 
Martinez, assisted by Stephen J. Frattini.

[[Page 1]]



                        TITLE 39--POSTAL SERVICE




  --------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    Part

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

chapter iii--Postal Regulatory Commission...................        3000

[[Page 3]]



                 CHAPTER I--UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE




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

     SUBCHAPTER A--THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE
Part                                                                Page
                    BYLAWS OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS
1               Postal policy [Article I]...................           9
2               General and technical provisions [Article 
                    II].....................................           9
3               Board of Governors [Article III]............          10
4               Officials [Article IV]......................          14
5               Committees [Article V]......................          16
6               Meetings [Article VI].......................          16
7               Public observation [Article VII]............          18
8-9             [Reserved]

10              Rules of conduct for Postal Service 
                    Governors [Article X]...................          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
121             Service standards for market-dominant mail 
                    products................................          28
122             Service standards for market-dominant 
                    special services products...............          35
              SUBCHAPTER D--ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION
211             Application of regulations..................          37
221             General organization........................          38
222             Delegations of authority....................          41
223             Relationships and communication channels....          42
                     INSPECTION SERVICE REQUIREMENTS
230             Office of Inspector General.................          43

[[Page 4]]

231             Protection of post offices..................          52
232             Conduct on postal property..................          53
233             Inspection Service authority................          56
235             Defense Department liaison..................          88
               POST OFFICE ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION
241             Establishment classification, and 
                    discontinuance..........................          89
242             Change of site..............................         100
243             Conduct of offices..........................         100
                      GENERAL POSTAL ADMINISTRATION
254             Postal Service standards for facility 
                    accessibility pursuant to the 
                    Architectural Barriers Act..............         101
255             Access of persons with disabilities to 
                    Postal Service programs, activities, 
                    facilities, and electronic and 
                    information technology..................         102
259             Services performed for other agencies.......         107
                         RECORDS AND INFORMATION
261             Records and information management..........         109
262             Records and information management 
                    definitions.............................         110
263             Records retention and disposition...........         113
264             Vital records...............................         113
265             Production or disclosure of material or 
                    information.............................         114
266             Privacy of information......................         141
267             Protection of information...................         152
268             Privacy of information--employee rules of 
                    conduct.................................         155
273             Administration of Program Fraud Civil 
                    Remedies Act............................         156
                DAMAGE TO OR DESTRUCTION OF FIRM MAILINGS
281             Firm mailings damaged or destroyed through 
                    transportation accidents or catastrophes         161
        SUBCHAPTER E--RESTRICTIONS ON PRIVATE CARRIAGE OF LETTERS
310             Enforcement of the private express statutes.         163
320             Suspension of the private express statutes..         167
                         SUBCHAPTER F--PERSONNEL
447             Rules of conduct for postal employees.......         174
491             Garnishment of salaries of employees of the 
                    Postal Service and the Postal Rate 
                    Commission..............................         178

[[Page 5]]

492             Administrative wage garnishment from non-
                    postal sources..........................         181
                     SUBCHAPTER G--POSTAGE PROGRAMS
501             Authorization to manufacture and distribute 
                    postage meters..........................         182
551             Semipostal stamp program....................         199
     SUBCHAPTER H--PROCUREMENT SYSTEM FOR THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE: 
             INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS OTHER THAN PATENTS
601             Purchasing of property and services.........         204
602             Intellectual property rights other than 
                    patents.................................         214
                         SUBCHAPTER I [RESERVED]
SUBCHAPTER J--POSTAL SERVICE DEBT OBLIGATIONS; DISBURSEMENT POSTAL MONEY 
                                 ORDERS
760             Applicability of Treasury Department 
                    regulations.............................         216
761             Book-entry procedures.......................         216
762             Disbursement postal money orders............         219
                 SUBCHAPTER K--ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS
775             National Environmental Policy Act procedures         224
776             Floodplain and wetland procedures...........         234
                    SUBCHAPTER L--SPECIAL REGULATIONS
777             Relocation assistance and real property 
                    acquisition policies....................         239
778             Intergovernmental review of Postal Service 
                    facility actions........................         258
                         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         262
913             Procedures for the issuance of 
                    administrative subpoenas under 39 U.S.C. 
                    3016....................................         265

[[Page 6]]

916             [Reserved]

        RULES OF PROCEDURE BEFORE THE MAIL PROCESSING DEPARTMENT
927             Rules of procedure relating to fines, 
                    deductions, and damages.................         267
931             Rules of procedure governing the compromise 
                    of obligations..........................         269
         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..         269
             RULES OF PROCEDURE BEFORE THE JUDICIAL OFFICER
951             Procedure governing the eligibility of 
                    persons to practice before the Postal 
                    Service.................................         271
952             Rules of practice in proceedings relative to 
                    false representation and lottery orders.         273
953             Rules of practice in proceedings relative to 
                    mailability.............................         284
954             Rules of practice in proceedings relative to 
                    the denial, suspension, or revocation of 
                    periodicals mail privileges.............         287
955             Rules of practice before the Postal Service 
                    Board of Contract Appeals...............         293
956             [Reserved]

957             Rules of practice in proceedings relative to 
                    debarment from contracting..............         305
958             Rules of practice in proceedings relative to 
                    civil penalties, clean-up costs and 
                    damages for violation of hazardous 
                    material regulations....................         308
959             Rules of practice in proceedings relative to 
                    the private express statutes............         314
960             Rules relative to implementation of the 
                    Equal Access to Justice Act in Postal 
                    Service proceedings.....................         322
961             Rules of practice in proceedings under 
                    section 5 of the Debt Collection Act....         328
962             Rules of practice in proceedings relative to 
                    the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act....         332
963             Rules of practice in proceedings relative to 
                    violations of the pandering 
                    advertisements statute, 39 U.S.C. 3008..         340
964             Rules of practice governing disposition of 
                    mail withheld from delivery pursuant to 
                    39 U.S.C. 3003, 3004....................         344

[[Page 7]]

965             Rules of practice in proceedings relative to 
                    mail disputes...........................         349
966             Rules of practice in proceedings relative to 
                    administrative offsets initiated against 
                    former employees of the Postal Service..         351
967-999         [Reserved]

[[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.

    Source: 73 FR 78983, Dec. 24, 2008, 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 1970, Public Law 
91-375, 84 Stat. 719, as amended by the Postal Accountability and 
Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA), Public Law 109-435, 120 Stat. 3198, 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); 5 U.S.C. 
552b(f), (g).

    Source: 73 FR 78983, Dec. 24, 2008, 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 and responsibilities.



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] TR24DE08.013

    (b) The location and description of the Postal Service emblem is 
described at 39 CFR 221.7.



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  Composition and responsibilities of Board.
3.2  Compensation of Board.
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.
3.9  Establishment of rates and classes of competitive products of 
          general applicability.
3.10  Establishment of rates and classes of competitive products not of 
          general applicability.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 202, 203, 205, 401 (2), (10), 402, 404(b), 414, 
416, 1003, 2005, 2011, 2802-2804, 3013, 3622, 3632, 3642, 3652, 3654, 
3691; 5 U.S.C. 552b(g), (j); 5 U.S.C. App.; Pub. L. 107-67, 115 Stat. 
514 (2001).

    Source: 73 FR 78983, Dec. 24, 2008, unless otherwise noted.

[[Page 11]]



Sec. 3.1  Composition and 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 
are specifically vested by statute 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)(1) 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) Adoption of, and amendments to, the bylaws of the Board.
    (b) (1) Approval of the annual Postal Service Finance Plan;
    (2) Approval of the annual Postal Service Operating Plan;
    (3) Approval of the annual Postal Service Capital Plan.
    (c) 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.
    (d) Authorization of the Postal Service, in consultation with the 
Postal Regulatory Commission, to establish service standards under 39 
U.S.C. 3691.
    (e) Authorization of the Postal Service to request that the Postal 
Regulatory Commission 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.
    (f) Approval of any use of the authority of the Postal Service to 
borrow money under 39 U.S.C. 2005 and 39 U.S.C. 2011, except for short-
term borrowings, having maturities of one year or less, assumed in the 
normal course of business.
    (g) Approval of the terms and conditions of each series of 
obligations issued by the Postal Service under 39 U.S.C. 2005 and 39 
U.S.C. 2011, 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.
    (h) 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).
    (i) 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.
    (j) Compensation and benefits of officers of the Postal Service 
whose positions are included in Level II of the Postal Career Executive 
Service.
    (k) 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.
    (l) 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.
    (m) Approval and transmittal to the President and the Congress of 
the annual report of the Postmaster General under 39 U.S.C. 2402.
    (n) Approval and transmittal to the Congress of the annual report of 
the Board under 5 U.S.C. 552b(j).
    (o) Approval of the annual comprehensive statement of the Postal 
Service to Congress under 39 U.S.C. 2401(e).
    (p) Approval and transmittal to the Congress of the semi-annual 
report of

[[Page 12]]

the Postmaster General under 39 U.S.C. 3013, summarizing the 
investigative activities of the Postal Service.
    (q) 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.
    (r) All other matters that the Board may consider appropriate to 
reserve for its decision.



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, 39 U.S.C. 202(a)(1), and Vice Chairman 
of the Board of Governors.
    (d) Establishment of rates and classes of competitive products of 
both general and not of general applicability under 39 U.S.C. 3632 in 
accordance with the procedures set out in sections 3.9 and 3.10 of these 
bylaws.
    (e) Authorization of the Postal Service to adjust the rates and fees 
for market dominant products under 39 U.S.C. 3622.
    (f) Authorization of the Postal Service to request that the Postal 
Regulatory Commission, under 39 U.S.C. 3642, change the lists of market 
dominant and competitive products by adding a product, removing a 
product, or transferring a product.
    (g) Authorization of the Postal Service to file a notice with the 
Postal Regulatory Commission of substantive modifications to the product 
descriptions in the Mail Classification Schedule.
    (h) Authorization of the Postal Service to file a request with the 
Postal Regulatory Commission for adjustment of rates on an expedited 
basis due to extraordinary or exceptional circumstances, as provided in 
39 U.S.C. 3622(d)(1)(E).
    (i) Appointment and removal of the Inspector General under 39 U.S.C. 
202(e).
    (j) Exercise of the authority of the Governors under 5 U.S.C. App. 
8G(f)(3)(A).
    (k) The Governors shall meet annually in closed session to discuss 
compensation and benefits, term of service, and appointment/removal of 
the Board Secretary and other necessary staff.
    (l) Transmittal to the Congress of the semi-annual report of the 
Inspector General under section 5 of the Inspector General Act.
    (m) Establishment of the price of the breast cancer research special 
postage stamp under 39 U.S.C. 414 and any semipostal stamp under 39 
U.S.C. 416.
    (n) 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).



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.

    (a) 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:
    (1) Mail volume by class;
    (2) Income and expense by principal categories;

[[Page 13]]

    (3) Balance sheet information;
    (4) service quality measurements;
    (5) productivity measurements (reflecting workload and resource 
utilization); and
    (6) changes in postal costs.
    (b) 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 adjustments and the progress of any pending 
matters before the Postal Regulatory Commission 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. These 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: 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'' means a project anticipated to have a notable or 
conspicuous impact on corporate visibility or 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 or potential 
liability involved.



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 or regulatory 
decision significantly impacting the Postal Service or involving a new, 
novel, or potentially controversial issue.
    (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) Major or significant financial, operational and compliance 
reports or studies the Postal Service is required by statute or 
regulation to prepare.

[[Page 14]]

    (g) Other matters having important policy implications.



Sec. 3.9  Establishment of rates and classes of competitive products
of general applicability.

    This section relates to changes in rates or classes of competitive 
products of general applicability.
    (a) Prior to establishing changes in rates or classes of competitive 
products of general applicability, postal management shall furnish to 
the Governors the following:
    (1) The proposed rate and classification changes; and
    (2) Management analysis demonstrating compliance with the standards 
of 39 U.S.C. 3633(a).
    (b) Pursuant to Sec. 6.6(f) of these bylaws, the Governors shall 
issue a written decision on any changes in rates or classes of 
competitive products of general applicability, which shall include a 
statement as to when the decision becomes effective.
    (c) The Secretary shall certify that the vote of the Governors met 
the condition set forth in section 6.6(f) of these bylaws.
    (d) The Secretary shall cause the decision of the Governors and its 
attached analysis, along with the record of the Governors' proceedings 
in connection with such decision, to be published in the Federal 
Register at least 30 days before the effective date of the changes in 
rates or classes of competitive products of general applicability. The 
record of the proceedings of the Governors consists of the certification 
by the Secretary of the vote of the Governors.



Sec. 3.10.  Establishment of rates and classes of competitive products
not of general applicability.

    This section relates to changes in rates and classes of competitive 
products not of general applicability.
    (a) Prior to establishing rates or classes of competitive products 
not of general applicability, postal management shall furnish to the 
Governors the following:
    (1) The proposed changes in rates or ranges of rates, along with the 
proposed changes in classes; and
    (2) Management analysis demonstrating compliance with the standards 
of 39 U.S.C. 3633(a).
    (b) Pursuant to Sec. 6.6(f) of these bylaws, the Governors shall 
issue a written decision on any changes in rates or classes of 
competitive products not of general applicability, which shall include a 
statement as to when the decision becomes effective.
    (c) The Secretary shall certify that the vote of the Governors met 
the condition set forth in Sec. 6.6(f) of these bylaws.
    (d) The Secretary shall cause any decision of the Governors under 
this section, along with the record of any proceedings of the Governors, 
and any supporting documentation required by 39 CFR Part 3015, to be 
filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission. The record of the 
proceedings of the Governors consists of the certification by the 
Secretary of the vote of the Governors.
    (e) Postal management is authorized to conclude agreements with 
customers concerning any rates or classes of competitive products not of 
general applicability, provided that any such rates are within the 
range, or such classes are within the scope, of a decision of the 
Governors then in effect.



PART 4_OFFICIALS (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, 3686.

    Source: 73 FR 78983, Dec. 24, 2008, 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 be elected at the Board's regularly scheduled November 
meeting for a term that commences on December 1 of the calendar year in 
which the

[[Page 15]]

election occurred, or upon the death, departure or resignation of the 
current Chairman, whichever occurs first, and expires upon the election 
and installation of a successor Chairman;
    (2) Shall preside at all regular and special meetings of the Board, 
and shall set the agenda for such meetings;
    (3) Shall select and appoint the chairman, vice chairman (if any), 
and members of any committee properly established by the Board.
    (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.
    (c) In the event of the Chairman's death, departure or resignation 
prior to the election of a successor, the Board, as soon as practicable, 
shall elect a new Chairman who shall serve a term that commences 
immediately upon election and expires upon the election and installation 
of a successor Chairman.
    (d)(1) Upon the election and installation of a new Chairman of the 
Board, the immediate past Chairman shall become Chairman Pro Tempore of 
the Board, to preside during the absence of the Chairman and Vice 
Chairman at any meeting of the Board during the year or years following 
the immediate past Chairman's tenure as Chairman and until another 
Chairman has been elected.
    (2) The Chairman Pro Tempore shall, at the request of the Chairman 
or Vice Chairman, serve as the representative of the Board of Governors 
at conferences, trade shows, ceremonial functions and other meetings 
important to Postal Service business.

[77 FR 17333, Mar. 26, 2012]



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 
is elected at the Board's regularly scheduled November meeting for a 
term that commences on December 1 of the calendar year in which the 
election occurred or upon the death, departure or resignation of the 
current Vice Chairman, whichever occurs first, and expires upon the 
election and installation of a successor Vice Chairman. In the event of 
the Vice Chairman's death, departure or resignation prior to the 
election of a successor, the Board, as soon as practicable, shall elect 
a new Vice Chairman who shall serve a term that commences immediately 
upon election and expires upon the election and installation of a 
successor Vice Chairman.

[77 FR 17333, Mar. 26, 2012]



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 compensation and benefits 
of the Postmaster General by resolution, subject to 39 U.S.C. 1003(a) 
and 3686.



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 compensation and benefits of the Deputy 
Postmaster General, subject to 39 U.S.C. 1003(a) and 3686.



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

[[Page 16]]

any such notification the reasons for such removal or transfer.



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.



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.

    Source: 73 FR 78983, Dec. 24, 2008, 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, vice chairman (if any), 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 these bylaws, and meets as provided in its rules. A majority of the 
members of a committee constitute a quorum.



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.
6.7  Notation voting.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 202, 205, 401(2), (10), 1003, 3622, 3632; 5 
U.S.C. 552b(e), (g).

    Source: 73 FR 78983, Dec. 24, 2008, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 6.1  Regular meetings, annual meeting.

    The Board shall meet regularly on a schedule established by the 
Board. The first regular meeting of each calendar year is designated as 
the annual meeting. Consistent with the provisions of Secs. 6.6 and 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.



Sec. 6.2  Special meetings.

    Consistent with the provisions of Secs. 6.6 and 7.5 of these bylaws, 
the Chairman 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. Consistent with the

[[Page 17]]

provisions of Secs. 6.6 and 7.5 of these bylaws, 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, written, or 
e-mail 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 or e-mail notice. Written notice to 
a member may be delivered by mail addressed to the member's mailing 
address of record filed with the Secretary. Notice by e-mail may be 
addressed to the member's e-mail address of record filed with the 
Secretary. Except for written or e-mail notice confirming a previous 
oral notice, a written or e-mail notice must be sent in sufficient time 
to reach the address of record 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. No notice--whether oral, written, or e-mail--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.

    For regularly scheduled meetings of the Board, members are expected 
to attend in person. Unless prohibited by law or by these bylaws, 
however, a member of the Board, under exceptional circumstances, 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 a member of the Board may be paid for his or her 
participation provided such meeting addresses substantive, as opposed to 
procedural or administrative, matters on which the Board has 
decisionmaking authority.



Sec. 6.5  Minutes of meetings.

    The Secretary shall preserve the minutes of Board meetings prepared 
under Sec. 4.6 of these bylaws. After the minutes of any meeting are 
approved by the Board, the Secretary shall promptly make available to 
the public, in the Corporate 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), and except for routine, non-
controversial, and administrative matters considered through the 
notation voting process described in Sec. 6.7, the Board acts by 
resolution upon a majority vote of those members who attend a meeting in 
person or by teleconference. 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 and benefits 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 and benefits of the Secretary, Assistant Secretary, or 
other necessary staff, a favorable vote of an absolute majority of the 
Governors in office is required;

[[Page 18]]

    (d) 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
    (e) 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.
    (f) In establishing rates or classes of competitive products of both 
general and not of general applicability in Secs. 3.9 and 3.10 of these 
bylaws, 39 U.S.C. 3632(a) requires the concurrence of a majority of all 
of the Governors then holding office.
    (g) In removing the Inspector General for cause, 39 U.S.C. 202(e) 
requires the written concurrence of at least 7 Governors.

[73 FR 78983, Dec. 24, 2008, as amended at 77 FR 17334, Mar. 26, 2012]



Sec. 6.7  Notation voting.

    (a) General. Notation voting consists of the circulation of written 
memoranda and voting sheets to each member of the Board simultaneously 
and the tabulation of submitted responses. Notation voting may be used 
only for routine, non-controversial, and administrative matters.
    (b) Administrative Responsibility. The Secretary of the Board is 
responsible for:
    (1) Distributing notation voting memoranda and voting sheets;
    (2) Establishing deadlines for notation voting sheets to be 
completed and returned;
    (3) Processing and tabulating all notation voting sheets; and
    (4) Determining whether further action is required.
    (c) Veto of notation voting. In view of the public policy for 
openness reflected in the Government in the Sunshine Act and in these 
bylaws, each Board member is authorized to veto the use of notation 
voting for the consideration of any matter. If a Board member vetoes the 
use of notation voting, the Secretary must notify all members of such 
action, and must promptly take action to place the particular matter on 
the agenda of the next regularly scheduled Board meeting following the 
date of the veto, or to schedule a teleconference to consider the 
matter, as appropriate.
    (d) Disclosure of result. The Secretary shall maintain all records 
pertaining to Board actions taken pursuant to the notation voting 
process, and shall make such records available for public inspection, 
consistent with the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

[77 FR 17334, Mar. 26, 2012]



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. 410; 5 U.S.C. 552b(a)-(m).

    Source: 73 FR 78983, Dec. 24, 2008, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 7.1  Definitions.

    For purposes of Secs. 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. 6.6 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 Secs. 6.1, 6.2, 7.4, 
or 7.5 of the bylaws in this chapter, or the notation voting process 
described in Sec. 6.7 of the bylaws in this chapter.

[73 FR 78983, Dec. 24, 2008, as amended at 77 FR 17334, Mar. 26, 2012]

[[Page 19]]



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 Secs. 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 Part 232, 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 Secs. 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

[[Page 20]]

intelligence investigation, confidential information 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.



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 21]]

    (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 Corporate 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 Corporate 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 against the plaintiff only if the court

[[Page 22]]

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.

                          PARTS 8	9 [RESERVED]



PART 10_RULES OF CONDUCT FOR POSTAL SERVICE GOVERNORS (ARTICLE X)
--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(2), (10).

    Source: 73 FR 78983, Dec. 24, 2008, 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.



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.



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 section 10.2(b).



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

[[Page 23]]

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.



PART 11_ADVISORY BOARDS (ARTICLE XI)--Table of Contents



    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 202, 205, 401(2), (10), 402, 403.



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.

[73 FR 78983, Dec. 24, 2008]

[[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); 13 U.S.C. 301-307; 18 U.S.C. 1692-1737; 
39 U.S.C. 101, 401, 403, 404, 407, 414, 416, 3001-3011, 3201-3219, 3403-
3406, 3621, 3622, 3626, 3632, 3633, and 5001.

    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 and 39 U.S.C. 
410(b)(1), and as provided in this part, the Postal Service hereby 
incorporates by reference its International Mail Manual (IMM), issued 
January 22, 2017. 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 Table 1:

                        Table 1 to Paragraph (b)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
      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.
Issue 35.............................  May 12, 2008.
Issue 36.............................  May 11, 2009.
IMM..................................  April 17, 2011.
IMM..................................  June 24, 2012.
IMM..................................  January 26, 2015.
IMM..................................  July 11, 2016.
IMM..................................  January 22, 2017.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[75 FR 34017, June 16, 2010, as amended at 76 FR 50414, Aug. 15, 2011; 
77 FR 64724, Oct. 23, 2012; 80 FR 13493, Mar. 16, 2015; 81 FR 66822, 
Sept. 29, 2016; 82 FR 29005, June 27, 2017]



Sec. 20.2  Effective date of the International Mail Manual.

    The provisions of the International Mail Manual issued January 22, 
2017, are applicable with respect to the international mail services of 
the Postal Service.

[82 FR 29005, June 27, 2017]



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,

[[Page 25]]

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.



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); 13 U.S.C. 301-307; 18 U.S.C. 1692-1737; 
39 U.S.C. 101, 401, 403, 404, 414, 416, 3001-3011, 3201-3219, 3403-3406, 
3621, 3622, 3626, 3632, 3633, and 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.
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.

[[Page 28]]

 
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.
Issue 300.......................  January 8, 2006...  73 FR 25509.
Issue 300.......................  July 15, 2007.....  73 FR 25509.
Issue 300.......................  May 12, 2008......  75 FR 31702.
Issue 300.......................  May 11, 2009......  75 FR 31702.
Issue 300.......................  May 7, 2008.......  73 FR 25508.
Issue 300.......................  May 11, 2009......  75 FR 31702.
DMM 300.........................  July 5, 2011......  76 FR 48722.
DMM 300.........................  June 24, 2012.....  77 FR 45246.
DMM 300.........................  January 25, 2015..  80 FR 13492.
DMM 300.........................  July 11, 2016.....  81 FR 66822.
DMM.............................  January 22, 2017..  82 FR 28559.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[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 at www.fdsys.gov.



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 June 23, 2017.

(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; 73 
FR 25509, May 7, 2008; 75 FR 31702, June 4, 2010; 76 FR 48722, Aug. 9, 
2011; 77 FR 45247, July 31, 2012; 81 FR 66823, Sept. 29, 2016; 82 FR 
28560, June 23, 2017]



Sec. 111.5  [Reserved]



PART 121_SERVICE STANDARDS FOR MARKET-DOMINANT MAIL PRODUCTS--
Table of Contents



Sec.
121.1  First-Class Mail.
121.2  Periodicals.
121.3  Standard Mail.
121.4  Package Services.

Appendix A to Part 121--Service Standard Day Range Tables

    Authority: 39 U.S.C., 101, 401, 403, 404, 1001, 3691.

    Source: 72 FR 72228, Dec. 19, 2007, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 121.1  First-Class Mail.

    (a)(1) Until January 5, 2015, a 1-day (overnight) service standard 
is applied to intra-Sectional Center Facility (SCF) domestic First-Class 
Mail pieces properly accepted before the day-zero Critical 
Entry Time (CET), except for mail between Puerto Rico and the U.S. 
Virgin Islands, mail between American Samoa and Hawaii, and mail 
destined to the following 3-digit ZIP Code areas in Alaska (or 
designated portions thereof): 995 (5-digit ZIP Codes 99540 through 
99599), 996, 997, 998, and 999.
    (2) On and after January 5, 2015, a 1-day (overnight) service 
standard is applied to intra-SCF domestic Presort First-Class Mail 
pieces properly accepted at the SCF before the day-zero CET, except for 
mail between Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and mail destined 
to American Samoa and the following 3-digit ZIP Code areas in Alaska (or 
designated portions thereof): 995 (5-digit ZIP Codes 99540 through 
99599), 996, 997, 998, and 999.
    (b)(1) Until January 5, 2015, a 2-day service standard is applied to 
inter-SCF domestic First-Class Mail pieces properly accepted before the 
day-zero CET if the drive time between the origin Processing & 
Distribution Center or Facility (P&DC/F) and destination Area 
Distribution Center (ADC) is 6 hours or less; or if the origin and 
destination are separately in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; 
or if the origin or destination is in American Samoa or one of the 
following 3-digit ZIP Code areas in Alaska (or designated portions 
thereof): 995 (5-digit ZIP Codes 99540 through 99599), 996, 997, 998, 
and 999.
    (2) On and after January 5, 2015, a 2-day service standard is 
applied to intra-SCF single piece domestic First-Class Mail properly 
accepted before the day-zero CET, inter-SCF domestic First-Class Mail 
pieces properly accepted before the day-zero CET if the drive time 
between the origin P&DC/F and destination SCF is 6 hours or less, 
Presort First-Class Mail properly accepted before the day-zero CET with 
an origin and destination that are separately in Puerto Rico and the 
U.S. Virgin Islands, and intra-SCF Presort

[[Page 29]]

First-Class Mail properly accepted before the day-zero CET with an 
origin or destination that is in American Samoa or one of the following 
3-digit ZIP Code areas in Alaska (or designated portions thereof): 995 
(5-digit ZIP Codes 99540 through 99599), 996, 997, 998, and 999.
    (c) A 3-day service standard is applied to domestic First-Class Mail 
pieces properly accepted before the day-zero CET, if the 1-day and 2-day 
service standards do not apply, and:
    (1) Both the origin and the destination are within the contiguous 48 
states;
    (2) The origin is in the contiguous 48 states, and the destination 
is in any of the following: the city of Anchorage, Alaska (5-digit ZIP 
Codes 99501 through 99539); the 968 3-digit ZIP Code area in Hawaii; or 
the 006, 007, or 009 3-digit ZIP Code areas in Puerto Rico;
    (3) The origin is in the 006, 007, or 009 3-digit ZIP Code areas in 
Puerto Rico, and the destination is in the contiguous 48 states;
    (4) The origin is in Hawaii, and the destination is in Guam, or vice 
versa;
    (5) The origin is in Hawaii, and the destination is in American 
Samoa, or vice versa; or
    (6) Both the origin and destination are within Alaska.
    (d) A 4-day service standard is applied to domestic First-Class Mail 
pieces properly accepted before the day-zero CET, if the 1-day, 2-day, 
and 3-day service standards do not apply, and:
    (1) The origin is in the contiguous 48 states and the destination is 
in any of the following: any portion of Alaska other than the city of 
Anchorage (5-digit ZIP Codes 99501 through 99539); any portion of Hawaii 
other than the 968 3-digit ZIP Code area; or the U.S. Virgin Islands;
    (2) The destination is in the contiguous 48 states and the origin is 
in Alaska, Hawaii, or the U.S. Virgin Islands; or
    (3) The origin and destination are in different non-contiguous 
states or territories, excluding mail to and from Guam and mail between 
Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
    (e) A 5-day service standard is applied to all remaining domestic 
First-Class Mail pieces properly accepted before the day-zero CET.
    (f) The service standard for Outbound Single-Piece First-Class Mail 
International \TM\; pieces properly accepted before the day-zero CET is 
equivalent to the service standard for domestic First-Class Mail pieces 
originating from the same 3-digit ZIP Code area and destined to the 3-
digit ZIP Code area in which the designated International Service Center 
is located.
    (g) The service standard for Inbound Single-Piece First-Class Mail 
International pieces properly accepted before the day-zero CET is 
equivalent to the service standard for domestic First-Class Mail pieces 
destined to the same 3-digit ZIP Code area and originating from the 3-
digit ZIP Code area in which the designated International Service Center 
is located.

[77 FR 31196 May 25, 2012, as amended at 79 FR 4080, Jan. 24, 2014; 79 
FR 44701, Aug. 1, 2014]



Sec. 121.2  Periodicals.

    (a) End-to-End. (1)(i) Until January 5, 2015, a 2- to 4-day service 
standard is applied to Periodicals pieces properly accepted before the 
day-zero Critical Entry Time (CET) and merged with First-Class Mail 
pieces for surface transportation (as per the Domestic Mail Manual 
(DMM)), with the standard specifically equaling the sum of 1 day plus 
the applicable First-Class Mail service standard;
    (ii) On and after January 5, 2015, a 3- to 4-day service standard is 
applied to Periodicals pieces properly accepted before the day-zero CET 
and merged with First-Class Mail pieces for surface transportation (as 
per the DMM), with the standard specifically equaling the sum of 1 day 
plus the applicable First-Class Mail service standard.
    (2) A 3-day service standard is applied to Periodicals pieces 
properly accepted before the day-zero CET if: the origin and destination 
are separately in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; or if the 
origin is in Alaska, the service standards set forth in paragraphs 
(a)(1)(i) and (ii) do not apply, and the destination is in the following 
3-digit ZIP Code areas in Alaska (or designated portions thereof): 995 
(5-digit

[[Page 30]]

ZIP Codes 99540 through 99599), 996, 997, 998, and 999.
    (3) A 4-day service standard is applied to Periodicals pieces 
properly accepted before the day-zero CET if: the origin and destination 
are separately in Hawaii and Guam; or the origin and destination are 
separately in Hawaii and American Samoa.
    (4)(i) A 5- to 8-day service standard is applied to Periodicals 
pieces properly accepted before the day-zero CET if they originate and 
destinate within the contiguous 48 states, they are not merged with 
First-Class Mail pieces for surface transportation (as per the DMM), and 
the Area Distribution Center (ADC) and Sectional Center Facility (SCF) 
are co-located, with the standard specifically equaling the sum of 4 
days plus the number of additional days (from 1 to 4) required for 
surface transportation between the applicable 3-digit ZIP Code origin-
destination pairs;
    (ii) A 6- to 9-day service standard is applied to Periodicals pieces 
properly accepted before the day-zero CET if they originate and 
destinate within the contiguous 48 states, they are not merged with 
First-Class Mail pieces for surface transportation (as per the DMM), and 
the ADC and SCF are not co-located, with the standard specifically 
equaling the sum of 5 days plus the number of additional days (from 1 to 
4) required for surface transportation between the applicable 3-digit 
ZIP Code origin-destination pairs;
    (5) A 12- to 26-day service standard is applied to all remaining 
Periodicals pieces properly accepted before the day-zero CET, with the 
standard specifically equaling the sum of 5 days plus the number of 
additional days (from 7 to 21) required for intermodal (highway, boat, 
air-taxi) transportation outside the contiguous 48 states for the 
applicable 3-digit ZIP Code origin-destination pairs.
    (b) Destination Entry. (1) Destination Delivery Unit (DDU) Entered 
Mail. A 1-day (overnight) service standard is applied to Periodicals 
pieces that qualify for a DDU rate and are properly accepted before the 
day-zero CET at the designated DDU.
    (2) Destination Sectional Center Facility (DSCF) Entered Mai.l (i) A 
1-day (overnight) service standard is applied to Periodicals pieces that 
qualify for a DSCF rate and are properly accepted before the day-zero 
CET at the designated DSCF, except for mail entered at the SCF in Puerto 
Rico and destined to the U.S. Virgin Islands, mail entered at the SCF in 
Hawaii and destined to American Samoa, and mail destined to the 
following 3-digit ZIP Code areas in Alaska (or designated portions 
thereof): 995 (5-digit ZIP Codes 99540 through 99599), 996, 997, 998, 
and 999;
    (ii) A 3-day service standard is applied to Periodicals pieces that 
qualify for a DSCF rate and are properly accepted before the day-zero 
CET at the designated DSCF, if the they are entered at the DSCF in 
Puerto Rico and destined to the U.S. Virgin Islands, entered at the DSCF 
in Hawaii and destined to American Samoa, or destined to the following 
3-digit ZIP Code areas in Alaska (or designated portions thereof): 995 
(5-digit ZIP Codes 99540 through 99599), 996, 997, 998, and 999.
    (3) Destination Area Distribution Center (DADC) Entered Mail. (i) A 
1-day (overnight) service standard is applied to Periodicals pieces that 
qualify for a DADC rate and are properly accepted before the day-zero 
CET at the designated DADC, if the DADC and DSCF are co-located;
    (ii) A 2-day service standard is applied to Periodicals pieces that 
qualify for a DADC rate and are properly accepted before the day-zero 
CET at the designated DADC, if the DADC and DSCF are not co-located, 
unless the mail is entered at a DADC within the contiguous 48 states and 
destined outside the contiguous 48 states, or entered at the DADC in 
Puerto Rico and destined to the U.S. Virgin Islands, or destined to 
either American Samoa or the following 3-digit ZIP Code areas in Alaska 
(or designated portions thereof): 995 (5-digit ZIP Codes 99540 through 
99599), 996, 997, 998, and 999;
    (iii) A 4-day service standard is applied to Periodicals pieces that 
qualify for a DADC rate and are properly accepted before the day-zero 
CET at the designated DADC, if they are entered at the DADC in Puerto 
Rico and destined to the U.S. Virgin Islands, or if they are destined to 
American Samoa or the following 3-digit ZIP Code areas

[[Page 31]]

in Alaska (or designated portions thereof): 995 (5-digit ZIP Codes 99540 
through 99599), 996, 997, 998, and 999;
    (iv) An 11-day service standard is applied to Periodicals pieces 
that qualify for a DADC rate, are properly accepted before the day-zero 
CET at the designated DADC in the contiguous 48 states, and are destined 
to the 998 or 999 3-digit ZIP Code areas in Alaska.
    (4) Destination Network Distribution Center (DNDC)/Auxiliary Service 
Facility (ASF) Entered Mail. (i) A 2-day service standard is applied to 
Periodicals pieces that qualify for a DADC containerized rate, are 
properly accepted before the day-zero CET at the designated DNDC or ASF 
in the contiguous 48 states, and are destined within the contiguous 48 
states, if the DADC and DSCF are co-located;
    (ii) A 3-day service standard is applied to Periodicals pieces that 
qualify for a DADC containerized rate, are properly accepted before the 
day-zero CET at the designated DNDC or ASF in the contiguous 48 states, 
and are destined within the contiguous 48 states, if the DADC and DSCF 
are not co-located;
    (iii) An 8- to 10-day service standard is applied to Periodicals 
pieces that qualify for a DADC containerized rate, are properly accepted 
before the day-zero CET at the designated DNDC or ASF in the contiguous 
48 states, and are destined outside the contiguous 48 states, if the 
DADC and DSCF are co-located, with the specific standard being based on 
the number of days required for transportation outside the contiguous 48 
states;
    (iv) A 9- to 11-day service standard is applied to Periodicals 
pieces that qualify for a DADC containerized rate, are properly accepted 
before the day-zero CET at the designated DNDC or ASF in the contiguous 
48 states, and are destined outside the contiguous 48 states, if the 
DADC and DSCF are not co-located, with the specific standard being based 
on the number of days required for transportation outside the contiguous 
48 states.

[77 FR 31196, May 25, 2012, as amended at 79 FR 4080, Jan. 24, 2014; 79 
FR 44701, Aug. 1, 2014]



Sec. 121.3  Standard Mail.

    (a) End-to-End. (1) The service standard for Sectional Center 
Facility (SCF) turnaround Standard Mail pieces accepted at 
origin before the day-zero Critical Entry Time is 3 days when the origin 
Processing & Distribution Center/Facility (OPD&C/F) and the SCF are the 
same building, except for mail between the territories of Puerto Rico 
and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
    (2) The service standard for Area Distribution Center (ADC) 
turnaround Standard Mail pieces accepted at origin before the day-zero 
Critical Entry Time is 4 days when the OPD&C/F and the ADC are the same 
building, unless the ADC is in the contiguous 48 states and the delivery 
address is not, or the mail is between Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin 
Islands, or the mail is between Hawaii and American Samoa.
    (3) The service standard for intra-Network Distribution Center (NDC) 
Standard Mail pieces accepted at origin before the day-zero Critical 
Entry Time is 5 days for each remaining 3-digit ZIP Code origin-
destination pair within the same Network Distribution Center service 
area if the origin and destination are within the contiguous 48 states; 
the same standard applies to mail that is intra-Alaska or between the 
state of Hawaii and the territory of Guam or American Samoa.
    (4) For each remaining 3-digit ZIP Code origin-destination pair 
within the contiguous 48 states, the service standard for Standard Mail 
pieces accepted at origin before the day-zero Critical Entry Time is the 
sum of 5 or 6 days plus the number of additional days (from 1 to 4) 
required for surface transportation between each 3-digit ZIP Code 
origin-destination pair.
    (5) For each remaining 3-digit ZIP Code origin-destination pair, the 
service standard for Standard Mail pieces accepted at origin before the 
day-zero Critical Entry Time is the sum of 5 or 6 days plus the number 
of additional days (from 7 to 21) required for intermodal (highway, 
boat, air-taxi) transportation outside the contiguous 48 states for each 
3-digit ZIP Code origin-destination pair.
    (b) Destination Entry. (1) Standard Mail pieces that qualify for a 
Destination Delivery Unit (DDU) rate and that

[[Page 32]]

are accepted before the day-zero Critical Entry Time at the proper DDU 
have a 2-day service standard.
    (2) Standard Mail pieces that qualify for a DSCF rate and that are 
accepted before the day-zero Critical Entry Time at the proper DSCF have 
a 3-day service standard when accepted on Sunday through Thursday and a 
4-day service standard when accepted on Friday or Saturday, except for 
mail dropped at the SCF in the territory of Puerto Rico and destined to 
the territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands, or mail destined to American 
Samoa.
    (3) Standard Mail pieces that qualify for a Destination Sectional 
Center Facility (DSCF) rate and that are accepted before the day zero 
Critical Entry Time at the SCF in the territory of Puerto Rico and 
destined for the territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands, or are destined 
to American Samoa, have a 4-day service standard when accepted on Sunday 
through Thursday and a 5-day service standard when accepted on Friday or 
Saturday.
    (4) Standard Mail pieces that qualify for a Destination Network 
Distribution Center (DNDC) rate, and that are accepted before the day-
zero Critical Entry Time at the proper DNDC have a 5-day service 
standard, if both the origin and the destination are in the contiguous 
48 states.
    (5) Standard Mail pieces that qualify for a Destination Network 
Distribution Center (DNDC) rate, and that are accepted before the day-
zero Critical Entry Time at the proper DNDC in the contiguous 48 states 
for delivery to addresses in the states of Alaska or Hawaii or the 
territories of Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin 
Islands, have a service standard of 12-14 days, depending on the 3-digit 
origin-destination ZIP Code pair. For each such pair, the applicable day 
within the range is based on the number of days required for 
transportation outside the contiguous 48 states.

[77 FR 31197, May 25, 2012, as amended at 79 FR 12393, Mar. 5, 2014]



Sec. 121.4  Package Services.

    (a) End-to-End. (1) The service standard for Sectional Center 
Facility (SCF) turnaround Package Services mail accepted at the origin 
SCF before the day-zero Critical Entry Time is 2 days when the origin 
Processing & Distribution Center/Facility and the SCF are the same 
building, except for mail between the territories of Puerto Rico and the 
U.S. Virgin Islands, and mail destined to American Samoa.
    (2) The service standard for intra-Network Distribution Center (NDC) 
Package Services mail accepted at origin before the day-zero Critical 
Entry Time is 3 days, for each remaining (non-intra-SCF) 3-digit ZIP 
Code origin-destination pair within a Network Distribution Center 
service area, where the origin and destination is within the contiguous 
48 states and is not served by an Auxiliary Service Facility; and for 
mail between the territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, 
and for mail destined to American Samoa.
    (3) The service standard for intra-Network Distribution Center (NDC) 
Package Services mail accepted at origin before the day-zero Critical 
Entry Time is 4 days for each remaining 3-digit ZIP Code origin-
destination pair within a Network Distribution Center service area, 
where the destination delivery address is served by an Auxiliary Service 
Facility; the same standard applies to all remaining intra-Alaska mail 
and mail between the state of Hawaii and the territory of Guam, and mail 
destined to American Samoa.
    (4) For each remaining 3-digit ZIP Code origin-destination pair 
within the contiguous 48 states, the service standard for Package 
Services mail accepted at origin before the day-zero Critical Entry Time 
is between 5 and 8 days. For each such 3-digit ZIP Code origin-
destination pair, this is the sum of 4 days, plus the number of 
additional days (from 1 to 4) required for surface transportation 
between each 3-digit ZIP Code origin-destination pair, plus an 
additional day if the destination delivery address is served by an 
Auxiliary Service Facility.
    (5) For each remaining 3-digit ZIP Code origin-destination pair for 
which either the origin or the destination is outside the contiguous 48 
states, the service standard for Package Services mail accepted at 
origin before the day-zero Critical Entry Time is between 10 and 26 
days. For each such 3-digit ZIP

[[Page 33]]

Code origin-destination pair, this represents the sum of 3 to 4 days, 
plus the number of days (ranging from 7 to 22) required for intermodal 
(highway, boat, air-taxi) transportation between each 3-digit ZIP Code 
origin-destination pair.
    (6) The service standard for Inbound Surface Parcel Post 
pieces (subject to Universal Postal Union rates) is the same as the 
service standard for domestic Package Services mail from the 3-digit ZIP 
Code area in which the International Network Distribution Center is 
located in the 3-digit ZIP Code in which the delivery address is 
located.
    (b) Destination Entry. (1) Package Services mail that qualifies for 
a Destination Delivery Unit (DDU) rate, and that is accepted before the 
day-zero Critical Entry Time at the proper DDU, has a 1-day (overnight) 
service standard.
    (2) Package Services mail that qualifies for a Destination Sectional 
Center Facility (DSCF) rate, and that is accepted before the day-zero 
Critical Entry Time at the proper DSCF, has a 2-day service standard, 
except for mail dropped at the SCF in the territory of Puerto Rico and 
destined to the territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and mail destined 
to American Samoa.
    (3) Package Services mail that qualifies for a Destination Sectional 
Center Facility (DSCF) discount, is accepted before the day-zero 
Critical Entry Time at the SCF, and is destined to either American Samoa 
or the U.S. Virgin Islands, has a 3-day service standard.
    (4) Package Services mail that qualifies for a Destination Network 
Distribution Center (DNDC) rate, and is accepted before the day-zero 
Critical Entry Time at the proper DNDC or Destination Auxiliary Service 
Facility, and originates and destinates in the contiguous 48 states, has 
a 3-day service standard.
    (5) Package Services mail that qualifies for a Destination Network 
Distribution Center (DNDC) rate, and that is accepted before the day-
zero Critical Entry Time at the proper DNDC in the contiguous 48 states 
for delivery to addresses in the states of Alaska or Hawaii, or the 
territories of Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin 
Islands has a service standard of either 11 or 12 days, depending on the 
3-digit ZIP Code origin-destination pair. For each such pair, the 
applicable day within the range is based on the number of days required 
for transportation outside the contiguous 48 states.

[77 FR 31198, May 25, 2012]



   Sec. Appendix A to Part 121--Tables Depicting Service Standard Day 
                                 Ranges

    The following tables reflect the service standard day ranges 
resulting from the application of the business rules applicable to the 
market-dominant mail products referenced in Secs. 121.1 through 121.4:
    Table 1. Prior to January 5, 2015, end-to-end service standard day 
ranges for mail originating and destinating within the contiguous 48 
states and the District of Columbia.

                        Contiguous United States
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            End-to-end
                       Mail class                          range (days)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
First-Class Mail........................................             1-3
Periodicals.............................................             2-9
Standard Mail...........................................            3-10
Package Services........................................             2-8
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Table 2. On and after January 5, 2015, end-to-end service standard 
day ranges for mail originating and destinating within the contiguous 48 
states and the District of Columbia.

                        Contiguous United States
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            End-to-end
                       Mail class                          range (days)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
First-Class Mail........................................             1-3
Periodicals.............................................             3-9
Standard Mail...........................................            3-10
Package Services........................................             2-8
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Table 3. Prior to January 5, 2015, end-to-end service standard day 
ranges for mail originating and/or destinating in non-contiguous states 
and territories.

[[Page 34]]



                                                          Non-Contiguous States and Territories
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                         End-to-end
                                                                  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      Intra state/territory        To/from contiguous 48       To/from states of Alaska
                                                                  -----------------------------            states                and Hawaii, and the
                                                                                               ----------------------------- territories of Guam, Puerto
                                                                                                                               Rico and the U.S. Virgin
                            Mail class                                       Hawaii,                                                   Islands
                                                                              Guam &    Puerto            Hawaii,    Puerto ----------------------------
                                                                    Alaska   American   Rico &   Alaska   Guam, &    Rico &            Hawaii,
                                                                              Samoa      USVI             American    USVI             Guam, &    Puerto
                                                                                                           Samoa              Alaska   American   Rico &
                                                                                                                                        Samoa      USVI
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
First-Class Mail.................................................      1-3        1-3      1-2      3-4        3-5      3-4      4-5        4-5      4-5
Periodicals......................................................      2-4        2-4      2-3    13-19      12-22    11-16    21-25      21-26    23-26
Standard Mail....................................................      3-5        3-5      3-4    14-20      13-23    12-17    23-26      23-27    24-27
Package Services.................................................    * 2-4        2-4      2-3    12-18      11-21    10-15    21-26      20-26   20-24
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Excluding bypass mail.

    Table 4. On and after January 5, 2015, end-to-end service standard 
day ranges for mail originating and/or destinating in non-contiguous 
states and territories.

                                                          Non-Contiguous States and Territories
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                         End-to-end
                                                                  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      Intra state/territory        To/from contiguous 48       To/from states of Alaska
                                                                  -----------------------------            states                and Hawaii, and the
                                                                                               ----------------------------- territories of Guam, Puerto
                                                                                                                               Rico and the U.S. Virgin
                            Mail class                                       Hawaii,                                                   Islands
                                                                              Guam &    Puerto            Hawaii,    Puerto ----------------------------
                                                                    Alaska   American   Rico &   Alaska   Guam, &    Rico &            Hawaii,
                                                                              Samoa      USVI             American    USVI             Guam, &    Puerto
                                                                                                           Samoa              Alaska   American   Rico &
                                                                                                                                        Samoa      USVI
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
First-Class Mail.................................................      1-3        1-3      1-2      3-4        3-5      3-4      4-5        4-5      4-5
Periodicals......................................................      3-4        3-4        3    13-19      12-22    11-16    21-25      21-26    23-26
Standard Mail....................................................      3-5        3-5      3-4    14-20      13-23    12-17    23-26      23-27    24-27
Package Services.................................................    * 2-4        2-4      2-3    12-18      11-21    10-15    21-26      20-26   20-24
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Excluding bypass mail.

    Table 5. Destination-entry service standard day ranges for mail to 
the contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia.

 Table 5--Destination Entry Service Standard Day Ranges For Mail to the Contiguous 48 States and the District Of
                                                    Columbia
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                           CONTIGUOUS UNITED STATES
                                                             ---------------------------------------------------
                         Mail class                               Destination entry (at appropriate facility)
                                                             ---------------------------------------------------
                                                               DDU (Days)   SCF (Days)   ADC (Days)   NDC (Days)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Periodicals.................................................            1            1          1-2          2-3
Standard Mail...............................................            2          3-4  ...........            5
Package Services............................................            1            2  ...........            3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Table 6. Destination entry service standard day ranges for mail to 
non-contiguous states and territories.

                        Table 6--Destination Entry Service Standard Day Ranges for Mail to Non-Contiguous States and Territories.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   Destination entry (at appropriate facility)
                                                        ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                          SCF (Days)                    ADC (Days)                    NDC (Days)
                                                                ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       Mail class                          DDU             Hawaii,                        Hawaii,                      Hawaii,
                                                         (Days)            Guam, &    Puerto              Guam, &    Puerto            Guam, &    Puerto
                                                                  Alaska   American   Rico &    Alaska    American   Rico &   Alaska   American   Rico &
                                                                            Samoa      USVI                Samoa      USVI              Samoa      USVI
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Periodicals............................................       1      1-3          1      1-3   1-4 (AK)     1 (HI)      1-4    10-11         10     8-10
                                                                                               11 (JNU)     2 (GU)
                                                                                               11 (KTN)

[[Page 35]]

 
Standard Mail..........................................       2      3-4        3-5      3-5  .........  .........  .......       14         13       12
Package Services.......................................       1        2        2-3      2-3  .........  .........  .......       12         11      11
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AK = Alaska 3-digit ZIP Codes 995-997; JNU = Juneau AK 3-digit ZIP Code 998; KTN = Ketchikan AK 3-digit
ZIP Code 999; HI = Hawaii 3-digit ZIP Codes 967 and 968; GU = Guam 3-digit ZIP Code 969.


[77 FR 31198, May 25, 2012, as amended at 79 FR 4080, Jan. 24, 2014; 79 
FR 12393, Mar. 5, 2014; 79 FR 14401, Mar. 14, 2014; 79 FR 44701, Aug. 1, 
2014]



PART 122_SERVICE STANDARDS FOR MARKET-DOMINANT SPECIAL SERVICES 
PRODUCTS--Table of Contents



Sec.
122.1  Ancillary special services.
122.2  Stand-alone special services.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 101, 401, 403, 404, 1001, 3691.

    Source: 72 FR 72228, Dec. 19, 2007, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 122.1  Ancillary special services.

    (a) For the market-dominant mail products identified above in part 
121, mailers may purchase various ancillary special services products, 
which are designed to provide electronic access to information regarding 
delivery-related events or forwarding addresses for individual 
mailpieces.
    (1) For the following special services, the service standard for the 
electronic provision of delivery-related information is that it be made 
available to the sender no later than 24 hours after the time of the 
recorded delivery-related scan performed by the Postal Service on mail 
for which the following special services have been purchased: Domestic 
Certified Mail \TM\ service, domestic Delivery Confirmation \TM\ 
service, domestic and inbound international Registered Mail \TM\ 
service, domestic Collect On Delivery, domestic electronic Return 
Receipt, and domestic Signature Confirmation \TM\ scans.
    (2) For domestic electronic Address Correction Service, the service 
standard for the electronic provision of address change information is 
that it be made available to the sender no later than 24 hours after the 
time of the scan of the mailpiece by the Postal Automated Redirection 
System.
    (b) For the market-dominant mail products identified above in part 
121, mailers may purchase insurance from the Postal Service \TM\ to 
provide indemnity against loss or damage to the contents of a mailpiece. 
The service standard for the administrative resolution of domestic 
insurance claims is that a final agency decision must be transmitted to 
the claimant no later than 30 calendar days after the date on which the 
Postal Service has received all information from the claimant necessary 
for analysis of the claim.



Sec. 122.2  Stand-alone special services.

    (a) The service standard for P. O. Box \TM\ service is that mail be 
available for pickup at the box each delivery day no later than the 
daily ``up-time'' publicly posted at the Post Office \TM\ location that 
includes the box section.
    (b) The service standard for completion of Address List Services 
(change-of-address information for election boards and registration 
commissions, correction and ZIP Code placement of mailing lists, and 
address sequencing) is transmission of the corrected addresses within 15 
business days of receipt to the requester, except for the period from 
November 16 through January 1.
    (c) For the domestic market-dominant mail products identified above 
in part 121, CONFIRM  service allows subscribing customers 
to obtain electronic information regarding when and

[[Page 36]]

where mailpieces undergo barcode scans in mail processing operations. 
The service standard for the electronic provision of CONFIRM service 
scan information is that it be made available to the sender no later 
than 24 hours after the recorded time of the CONFIRM scan performed by 
the Postal Service.
    (d) The service standard for Postal Money Order Inquiry service is 
transmission of a response to the customer's completed inquiry within 15 
business days of receipt of the inquiry by the Postal Service, excluding 
designated postal holidays.
    (e) The service standards for Stamp Fulfillment Services order 
fulfillment service is shipment of orders within the following 
timeframes, based from the time of order receipt within SFS systems, 
excluding designated postal holidays.

  Stamp Fulfillment Services--Service Standards for Fulfillment Process
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Customer order                    Service standard \1\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Internet Orders: Non-Philatelic/Non-Custom  2 Business Days.
Business Level Orders.....................  5 Business Days.
Philatelic/Custom and All Other Order       10 Business Days.
 Sources.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[72 FR 72228, Dec. 19, 2007, as amended at 76 FR 61053, Oct. 3, 2011]

[[Page 37]]



              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 38]]

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 39]]

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 40]]

    (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 41]]

 
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 42]]

    (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 43]]



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.
230.6  Contractor requirements.

  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?

Subpart C_Rules of Procedure Relating to the Disposition of Stolen Mail 
Matter and Property Acquired by the Office Of Inspector General for Use 
                               as Evidence

230.30  Scope.
230.31  Definitions.
230.32  Disposition of property of apparent owners where property is 
          valued over $200.
230.33  Disposition of property of apparent owners where property is 
          valued at $200 or less.
230.34  Disposition of property of unknown owners where property is 
          valued over $200.
230.35  Disposition of property of unknown owners where property is 
          valued at $200 or less.
230.36  Contraband and property subject to court order.
230.37  Determination of type of property.
230.38  Disposition of abandoned property; additional period for filing 
          claims.
230.39  Submission of claims.
230.40  Determination of claims.
230.41  Reconsideration of claims.
230.42  Disposition of property declared abandoned where title vests in 
          the government.

    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.

[[Page 44]]

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, including, investigating all allegations of violations 
of postal laws or misconduct by postal employees, including mail theft, 
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 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.

[67 FR 16025, Apr. 4, 2002, as amended at 72 FR 39011, July 17, 2007]



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).

[[Page 45]]



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. 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.



Sec. 230.6  Contractor requirements.

    (a) The Office of Inspector General shall be the exclusive judge of 
its contractors' qualifications.
    (b) The Office of Inspector General shall award contracts to and 
make purchases from only responsible contractors. In order to award a 
contract, a contracting officer must make an affirmative determination 
of responsibility.
    (c) A responsible prospective contractor is one who:
    (1) Has the financial and logistical resources to perform the 
contract;
    (2) Has the necessary organization, experience, and technical 
ability to perform the contract;
    (3) Is able to comply with the delivery and performance schedules 
established by the Office of Inspector General;
    (4) Has a satisfactory performance record (although a lack of 
relevant performance history shall not disqualify a prospective 
contractor from award);
    (5) Has a satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics; and,

[[Page 46]]

    (6) Is otherwise qualified and eligible to receive an award under 
applicable federal laws and regulations.

[77 FR 6676, Feb. 9, 2012]



  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.



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

[[Page 47]]

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 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

[[Page 48]]

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.
    (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

[[Page 49]]

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 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

[[Page 50]]

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.



Subpart C_Rules of Procedure Relating to the Disposition of Stolen Mail 
Matter and Property Acquired by the Office Of Inspector General for Use 
                               as Evidence

    Source: 81 FR 50624, Aug. 2, 2016, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 230.30  Scope.

    This subpart prescribes procedures governing the disposition of any 
property (real, personal, tangible, or intangible) obtained by the 
United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General (Office of 
Inspector General) for possible use as evidence after the need to retain 
such property no longer exists.



Sec. 230.31  Definitions.

    The following definitions apply to this subpart:
    (a) Apparent. That which is clear, plain, and evident.
    (b) Owner. The person recognized by the law as having ultimate 
control over and the right to use property.
    (c) Claimant. A person who submits a claim for abandoned or other 
unclaimed property.
    (d) Ruling official. The official who has the authority to grant or 
deny a claim for abandoned or other unclaimed property, typically the 
Executive Special Agent in Charge of the Area Field Office where the 
property is located, or a designee.



Sec. 230.32  Disposition of property of apparent owners where property
is valued over $200.

    Where an apparent owner of property subject to this subpart is 
known, and the estimated value of the property exceeds $200, the owner 
shall be notified by certified mail at his last known address. The 
written notice shall describe the property and the procedure for filing 
a claim for its return (see, Secs. 230.36 and 230.39). Such claims must 
be filed within 30 days from the date the written 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. 230.38.

[[Page 51]]



Sec. 230.33  Disposition of property of apparent owners where property
is valued at $200 or less.

    Where an apparent owner of property subject to this subpart is 
known, and the estimated value of the property is $200 or less, the 
Executive Special Agent in Charge, or a designee, should attempt to 
return the property to the owner. If successful, the Executive Special 
Agent in Charge shall request the owner sign a Hold Harmless Agreement. 
If not, the Executive Special Agent in Charge shall vest title in the 
Government.



Sec. 230.34  Disposition of property of unknown owners where property
is valued over $200.

    (a) Where no apparent owner of property subject to this subpart is 
known, except property described in Sec. 230.36, and the estimated value 
of the property exceeds $200, the Executive Special Agent in Charge, or 
a designee, must publish notice providing the following information:
    (1) A description of the property, including model or serial 
numbers, if known;
    (2) A statement of the location where the property was found;
    (3) The name, address, and telephone number of the Executive Special 
Agent in Charge who has custody of the property; and
    (4) A statement inviting any person who believes he or she is fully 
entitled to the property to submit a claim for its return with the 
Executive Special Agent in Charge identified in the notice. Such claim 
must be submitted within 30 days from the date of first publication of 
the notice.
    (b) The notice under paragraph (a) of this section must be published 
for three consecutive weeks on the Office of Inspector General's Web 
site.



Sec. 230.35  Disposition of property of unknown owners where property
is valued at $200 or less.

    Where the owner of property subject to this subpart is unknown and 
the estimated value of the property is $200 or less, no notice is 
required, and the Executive Special Agent in Charge, or a designee, 
should vest title in the Government, subject to the rights of the owner 
to submit a valid claim as provided in Sec. 230.38.



Sec. 230.36  Contraband and property subject to court order.

    Claims submitted with respect to property subject to this subpart, 
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 Executive Special Agent in Charge, 
or a designee, determines that it should be placed in official use by 
the Office of Inspector General. 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.



Sec. 230.37  Determination of type of property.

    If the Office of Inspector General is unable to determine whether 
the personal property in its custody is abandoned or voluntarily 
abandoned, it shall contact the Office of Inspector General, Office of 
General Counsel for such a determination.



Sec. 230.38  Disposition of abandoned property; additional period
for filing claims.

    (a) Upon expiration of the time provided in Secs. 230.32 and 230.34 
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 Government. 
However, if the owner satisfies the requirements of paragraph (b) of 
this section, except for property described in Sec. 230.36, such 
abandoned property must be returned to the owner if a valid claim is 
filed within three years from the date the property became abandoned, 
with the following qualifications:
    (1) Where property has been placed in official use by the Office of 
Inspector General, a person submitting a valid

[[Page 52]]

claim under this section must be reimbursed the fair market value of the 
property at the time title vested in the Office of Inspector General, 
less costs incurred in returning or attempting to return such property 
to the owner; or
    (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 paragraph (a) of this 
section, the claimant must establish he or she had no actual or 
constructive notice that he or she was entitled to file a claim pursuant 
to Sec. 230.32 or Sec. 230.34 prior to the date the property became 
abandoned. Publication of a notice pursuant to Sec. 230.34 provides 
constructive notice, unless a claimant can demonstrate circumstances 
that reasonably precluded his or her access to the published notice.



Sec. 230.39  Submission of claims.

    Claims submitted pursuant to this subpart must be submitted on 
Postal Service Form 1503, which may be obtained from the Executive 
Special Agent in Charge who has custody of the property.



Sec. 230.40  Determination of claims.

    Upon receipt of a claim under this subpart, the Office of Inspector 
General must conduct an investigation to determine the merits of the 
claim. The results of the investigation must be submitted to the ruling 
official, 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 granted, the conditions of relief and the procedures to be 
followed to obtain the relief shall be set forth. If the claim is 
denied, the claimant shall be advised of the reason for such denial. For 
claims involving firearms or contraband, the ruling official shall 
consult with the Office of Inspector General, Office of General Counsel 
prior to rendering a decision.



Sec. 230.41  Reconsideration of claims.

    A written request for reconsideration of denied claims must be based 
on evidence recently developed or not previously presented. It must be 
submitted within 10 days of the postmarked date of the letter denying 
the claim. The ruling official shall advise the Asset Forfeiture 
Coordinator if a timely reconsideration of the denial is made. The 
Office of Inspector General, Office of General Counsel shall rule on the 
reconsideration request.



Sec. 230.42  Disposition of property declared abandoned where title
vests in the government.

    Property declared abandoned, including cash and proceeds from the 
sale of property subject to this part, may be shared with federal, 
state, or local law enforcement agencies. Abandoned property may also be 
destroyed, sold, or placed into official use. However, before abandoned 
property can be shared with another agency, sold, or placed into 
official use, the Executive Special Agent in Charge must confer with the 
Office of Inspector General, Office of General Counsel. Abandoned 
property that is not shared with other agencies shall be converted into 
a monetary instrument and deposited into the Postal Service Fund 
established by 39 U.S.C. 2003. The Executive Special Agent in Charge of 
Headquarters Operations, or a designee, in consultation with the Office 
of General Counsel, shall determine which accounts within the Postal 
Service Fund will receive the proceeds of abandoned property.



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.
    (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]

[[Page 53]]



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, 3571; 21 U.S.C. 802, 844; 39 U.S.C. 
401, 403(b)(3), 404(a)(7), 1201(2).



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.
    (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

[[Page 54]]

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. In accordance with 20 U.S.C. 107a(a)(5), 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.
    (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 under Executive Order 12353, of March 23, 1982.
    (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 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.

[[Page 55]]

    (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. Notwithstanding the provisions of any 
other law, rule or regulation, 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, or disability, 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 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,

[[Page 56]]

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. 501.
    (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 a fine as provided in 18 
U.S.C. 3571 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 or 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 the powers provided by 18 U.S.C. 3061(c)(2) and 
shall be responsible for enforcing the regulations in this section in a 
manner that will protect Postal Service property and persons thereon.
    (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]

    Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting Sec. 232.1, 
see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids 
section of the printed volume and at www.fdsys.gov.



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 seizures based on 
          violations involving the possession of personal use quantities 
          of a controlled substance.
233.9  Regulations governing remission or mitigation of administrative, 
          civil, and criminal forfeitures.
233.10  [Reserved]
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

[[Page 57]]

U.S.C. 3401-3422; 18 U.S.C. 981, 983, 1956, 1957, 2254, 3061; 21 U.S.C. 
881; Sec. 662, Pub. L. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009-378.



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. With the exception of enforcing laws 
related to the mails:
    (i) The Office of Inspector General will investigate all allegations 
of violations of postal laws or misconduct by postal employees, 
including mail theft; and
    (ii) The Inspection Service will investigate all allegations of 
violations of postal laws or misconduct by all other persons.
    (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; 72 FR 39011, July 17, 2007]



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 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.

[[Page 58]]

    (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
    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

[[Page 59]]

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,
    (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 that under postal laws and regulations is 
included

[[Page 60]]

within a class of mail maintained by the Postal Service for the 
transmission of letters sealed against inspection. Sealed mail includes: 
First-Class Mail; Priority Mail; Priority Mail Express; Outbound 
International Expedited Services (Priority Mail Express International; 
as well as Global Express Guaranteed items containing only documents); 
Outbound Single-Piece First-Class Package International Service; 
International Priority Airmail, except M-bags; International Surface Air 
Lift, except M-bags; Outbound Single-Piece First-Class Mail 
International; Global Bulk Economy Contracts, except M-bags; and 
International Transit Mail.
    (4) Unsealed mail is mail that under postal laws or regulations is 
not included within a class of mail maintained by the Postal Service for 
the transmission of letters sealed against inspection. Unsealed mail 
includes: Periodicals; Standard Mail (Commercial and Nonprofit); Package 
Services; incidental First-Class Mail attachments and enclosures; Parcel 
Select; Parcel Return Service; First Class Package Service; USPS Retail 
Ground; Global Express Guaranteed items containing non-documents; 
Outbound Priority Mail International; International Direct Sacks--M-
bags; and all items sent via ``Free Matter for the Blind or 
Handicapped'' under 39 U.S.C. 3403 and ``Free Matter for the Blind'' 
under International Mail Manual 270.
    (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.

[[Page 61]]

    (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,
    (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

[[Page 62]]

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 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; 74 
FR 18297, Apr. 22, 2009; 81 FR 74308, Oct. 26, 2016]



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

[[Page 63]]

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]



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

[[Page 64]]

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 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) Scope of regulations. (1) The regulations in this section apply 
to all forfeitures administered by the United States Postal Service with 
the exception of seizures and forfeitures under the statutes listed in 
18 U.S.C. 983(i). The authority to conduct administrative forfeitures 
derives from the procedural provisions of the Customs laws (19 U.S.C. 
1602-1618) where those provisions are incorporated by reference in the 
substantive forfeiture statutes.
    (2) The regulations in this section will apply to all forfeiture 
actions commenced on or after May 31, 2012.
    (b) Designation of officials having administrative forfeiture 
authority. (1) Administrative forfeiture authority. The Chief Postal 
Inspector is authorized to conduct administrative forfeitures under the 
statutes identified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, following, 
where applicable, the procedures provided by the customs laws of the 
United States (19 U.S.C. 1602-1618) and to pay valid liens and mortgages 
against property that has been so forfeited.
    (2) Authority of the Chief Postal Inspector. The Chief Postal 
Inspector is authorized to perform all duties and responsibilities 
necessary on behalf of the Postal Service and the Office of Inspector 
General to enforce 18 U.S.C. 981, 983, 2254; 21 U.S.C. 863(c), 881; and 
31 U.S.C. 5317; following, where applicable, the procedures provided by 
the Customs laws of the United States (19 U.S.C. 1602-1618), and to pay 
valid liens and mortgages against property that has been so forfeited. 
The Chief Postal Inspector is authorized 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

[[Page 65]]

as may be necessary to carry out this authority.
    (3) State adoption. The seizure of property by a state or local law 
enforcement agency or other entity or individual may be adopted for 
forfeiture by the Postal Inspection Service, as appropriate under its 
seizure authority pursuant to paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section.
    (c) Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall 
have the meanings specified:
    (1) Administrative forfeiture means the process by which property 
may be forfeited by the Postal Inspection Service rather than through 
judicial proceedings. Administrative forfeiture has the same meaning as 
nonjudicial forfeiture, as that term is used in 18 U.S.C. 983.
    (2) Appraised value means the estimated market value of property 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.
    (3) Appropriate official means the Chief Postal Inspector or that 
person's designee, or where the term ``appropriate official'' means the 
office or official identified in the notice published or personal 
written notice in accordance with paragraph (j) of this section.
    (4) Contraband means:
    (i) Any controlled substance, hazardous raw material, equipment or 
container, plants, or other property subject to summary forfeiture 
pursuant to sections 511(f) or (g) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 
U.S.C. 881(f) or (g)); or
    (ii) Any controlled substance imported into the United States, or 
exported out of the United States, in violation of law.
    (5) Civil forfeiture proceeding means a civil judicial forfeiture 
action as that term is used in 18 U.S.C. 983.
    (6) Domestic value means the same as the term appraised value as 
defined in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.
    (7) Expense means all costs incurred to detain, inventory, 
safeguard, maintain, advertise, sell, or dispose of property under 
seizure, detained, or forfeited pursuant to any law.
    (8) File or filed has the following meanings:
    (i) A claim or any other document submitted in an administrative 
forfeiture proceeding is not deemed filed until actually received by the 
appropriate official identified in the personal written notice and the 
published notice specified in paragraph (i) of this section. A claim is 
not considered filed if it is received by any other office or official. 
In addition, a claim in an administrative forfeiture proceeding is not 
considered filed if received only by an electronic or facsimile 
transmission.
    (ii) For purposes of computing the start of the 90-day period set 
forth in 18 U.S.C. 983(a)(3), an administrative forfeiture claim is 
filed on the date when the claim is received by the designated official, 
even if the claim is received from an incarcerated pro se prisoner.
    (9) Interested party means any person who reasonably appears to have 
an interest in the property, based on the facts known to the Postal 
Inspection Service before a declaration of forfeiture is entered.
    (10) Judicial forfeiture means either a civil or a criminal 
proceeding in a United States District Court that may result in a final 
judgment and order of forfeiture.
    (11) Mail includes regular or certified U.S. mail, and mail and 
package transportation and delivery services provided by other private 
or commercial interstate carriers.
    (12) Nonjudicial forfeiture has the same meaning as administrative 
forfeiture. See paragraph (b)(1) of this section.
    (13) Person means an individual, partnership, corporation, joint 
business enterprise, estate, or other legal entity capable of owning 
property.
    (14) Property subject to administrative forfeiture means any 
personal property of the kinds described in 19 U.S.C. 1607(a)(1)(4).
    (15) Property subject to forfeiture refers to all property that 
Federal law authorizes to be forfeited to the United States of America 
in any administrative forfeiture proceeding, in any civil judicial 
forfeiture proceeding, or in any criminal forfeiture proceeding.
    (d) Seizing property subject to forfeiture--(1) Authority to seize 
property. Postal Inspectors may seize assets under any Federal statute 
over which

[[Page 66]]

the Postal Inspection Service has investigative or forfeiture 
jurisdiction.
    (2) Turnover of assets seized by state and local agencies. (i) 
Property that is seized by a state or local law enforcement agency and 
transferred to the Postal Inspection Service for administrative or civil 
forfeiture may be adopted for administrative forfeiture without the 
issuance of any Federal seizure warrant or other Federal judicial 
process.
    (ii) Where a state or local law enforcement agency maintains custody 
of property pursuant to process issued by a state or local judicial 
authority, and notifies the Postal Inspection Service of the impending 
release of such property, the Postal Inspection Service may seek and 
obtain a Federal seizure warrant in anticipation of a state or local 
judicial authority releasing the asset from state process for purposes 
of Federal seizure, and may execute such seizure warrant when the state 
or local law enforcement agency releases the property as allowed or 
directed by its judicial authority.
    (e) Inventory. The Postal Inspection Service shall prepare an 
inventory of any seized property.
    (f) Custody. (1) All property seized by Postal Inspectors for 
forfeiture shall be delivered to the custody of the U.S. Marshals 
Service, or custodian approved by the U.S. Marshals Service, as soon as 
possible after seizure, unless it is retained as evidence.
    (2) Seized U.S. currency (and to the extent practicable seized 
foreign currency and negotiable instruments) must be deposited promptly 
in the Holding Account--Seizure and Forfeiture under the control of the 
Postal Inspection Service pending forfeiture. Provisional exceptions to 
this requirement may be granted as follows:
    (i) If the seized currency has a value less than $5,000, and a 
supervisory official within the U.S. Attorney's Office determines in 
writing that the currency is reasonably likely to serve a significant, 
independent, tangible, evidentiary purpose, or that retention is 
necessary while the potential evidentiary significance of the currency 
is being determined by scientific testing or otherwise, or
    (ii) The seized currency has a value greater than $5,000, and the 
Chief, Asset Forfeiture Money Laundering Section (AFMLS) determines in 
writing that the currency is reasonably likely to serve a significant, 
independent, tangible, evidentiary purpose, or that retention is 
necessary while the potential evidentiary significance of the currency 
is being determined by scientific testing or otherwise.
    (3) Seized currency has a significant independent, evidentiary 
purpose as those terms are used in paragraphs (f)(2)(i) and (f)(2)(ii) 
of this section if, for example, it bears fingerprint evidence, is 
packaged in an incriminating fashion, or contains a traceable amount of 
narcotic residue or some other substance of evidentiary significance. If 
only a portion of the seized currency has evidentiary value, only that 
portion should be retained; the balance should be deposited.
    (g) Appraisal. The Postal Inspection Service shall determine the 
domestic value of the seized property as soon as practicable following 
seizure.
    (h) Release before claim. (1) After seizure for forfeiture and prior 
to the filing of any claim, the appropriate official is authorized to 
release property seized for forfeiture provided:
    (i) The property is not contraband, evidence of a violation of law, 
or any property, the possession of which by the claimant, petitioner, or 
the person from whom it was seized is prohibited by state or Federal 
law, and does not have a design or other characteristic that 
particularly suits it for use in illegal activities; and
    (ii) The appropriate official determines within 10 days of seizure 
that there is an innocent party with the right to immediate possession 
of the property or that the release would be in the best interest of 
justice or the Government.
    (2) Further, at any time after seizure and before any claim is 
filed, such seized property may be released if the appropriate official 
determines that there is an innocent party with the right to immediate 
possession of the property or that the release would be in the best 
interest of justice or the Government.

[[Page 67]]

    (i) Commencing an administrative forfeiture. An administrative 
forfeiture proceeding begins when notice is first published in 
accordance with paragraph 233.7(i)(1), or the first personal written 
notice is sent in accordance with paragraph 233.7(i)(2), whichever 
occurs first.
    (j) Notice of administrative forfeiture--(1) Notice by publication. 
(i) After seizing property subject to administrative forfeiture, the 
Appropriate Official shall select from the following options a means of 
publication reasonably calculated to notify potential claimants of the 
seizure and intent to forfeit and sell or otherwise dispose of the 
property:
    (A) Publication once each week for at least three successive weeks 
in a newspaper generally circulated in the judicial district where the 
property was seized; or
    (B) Posting a notice on an official Government Internet site for at 
least 30 consecutive days.
    (ii) The published notice shall:
    (A) Describe the seized property;
    (B) State the date, statutory basis, and place of seizure;
    (C) State the deadline for filing a claim when personal written 
notice has not been received, at least 30 days after the date of final 
publication of the notice of seizure; and
    (D) State the identity of the appropriate official of the Postal 
Inspection Service and address where the claim must be filed.
    (2) Personal written notice--(i) Manner of providing notice. After 
seizing property subject to administrative forfeiture, the Postal 
Inspection Service, in addition to publishing notice, shall send 
personal written notice of the seizure to each interested party in a 
manner reasonably calculated to reach such parties.
    (ii) Content of personal written notice. The personal written notice 
sent by the Postal Inspection Service shall:
    (A) State the date when the personal written notice is sent;
    (B) State the deadline for filing a claim, at least 35 days after 
the personal written notice is sent;
    (C) State the date, statutory basis, and place of seizure;
    (D) State the identity of the appropriate official of the Postal 
Inspection Service and the address where the claim must be filed; and
    (E) Describe the seized property.
    (3) Timing of notice--(i) Date of personal notice. Personal written 
notice is sent on the date when the Postal Inspection Service causes it 
to be placed in the mail, or otherwise sent by means reasonably 
calculated to reach the interested party. The personal written notice 
required by paragraph (i)(2) of this section shall be sent as soon as 
practicable, and in no case more than 60 days after the date of seizure 
(or 90 days after the date of seizure by a state or local law 
enforcement agency if the property was turned over to the Postal 
Inspection Service for the purpose of forfeiture under Federal law).
    (ii) Civil judicial forfeiture. If, before the time period for 
sending notice expires, the Government files a civil judicial forfeiture 
action against the seized property and provides notice of such action as 
required by law, personal notice of administrative forfeiture is not 
required under this paragraph.
    (iii) Criminal indictment. If, before the time period for sending 
notice under this paragraph expires, no civil judicial forfeiture action 
is filed, but a criminal indictment or information is obtained 
containing an allegation that the property is subject to forfeiture, the 
seizing agency shall either:
    (A) Send timely personal written notice and continue the 
administrative forfeiture proceeding; or
    (B) After consulting with the U.S. Attorney, terminate the 
administrative forfeiture proceeding and notify the custodian to return 
the property to the person having the right to immediate possession 
unless the U.S. Attorney takes steps necessary to maintain custody of 
the property as provided in the applicable criminal forfeiture statute.
    (4) Subsequent Federal seizure. If property is seized by a state or 
local law enforcement agency, but personal written notice is not sent to 
the person from whom the property is seized within the time period for 
providing notice under paragraph (j)(3)(i) of this section, then

[[Page 68]]

any administrative forfeiture proceeding against the property may 
commence if:
    (i) The property is subsequently seized or restrained by the Postal 
Inspection Service pursuant to a Federal seizure warrant or restraining 
order and the Postal Inspection Service sends notice as soon as 
practicable, and in no case more than 60 days after the date of the 
Federal seizure; or
    (ii) The owner of the property consents to forfeiture of the 
property.
    (5) Tolling. (i) In states or localities where orders are obtained 
from a state court authorizing the turnover of seized assets to the 
Postal Inspection Service, the period from the date an application or 
motion is presented to the state court for the turnover order through 
the date when such order is issued by the court shall not be included in 
the time period for providing notice under paragraph (j)(3)(i) of this 
section.
    (ii) If property is detained at an international border or port of 
entry for the purpose of examination, testing, inspection, obtaining 
documentation, or other investigation relating to the importation of the 
property into, or the exportation of the property from the United 
States, such period of detention shall not be included in the period 
described in paragraph (j)(3)(i) of this section. In such cases, the 60-
day period shall begin to run when the period of detention ends, if a 
seizing agency seizes the property for the purpose of forfeiture to the 
United States.
    (6) Identity of interested party. If the Postal Inspection Service 
determines the identity or interest of an interested party after the 
seizure or adoption of the property, but before entering a declaration 
of forfeiture, the Postal Inspection Service shall send written notice 
to such interested party under paragraph 3(i) not later than 60 days 
after determining the identity of the interested party or the interested 
party's interest.
    (7) Extending deadline for notice. The Chief Counsel for the Postal 
Inspection Service may extend the period for sending personal written 
notice under these regulations in a particular case for a period not to 
exceed 30 days (which period may not be further extended except by a 
court pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 983(a)(1)(C), (D)), if the Chief Counsel for 
the Postal Inspection Service determines, and states in writing, that 
there is reason to believe that notice may have an adverse result, 
including: Endangering the life or physical safety of an individual; 
flight from prosecution; destruction of or tampering with evidence; 
intimidation of potential witnesses; or otherwise seriously jeopardizing 
an investigation, or unduly delaying a trial.
    (8) Certification. The Chief Counsel for the Postal Inspection 
Service shall provide the written certification required under 18 U.S.C. 
983(a)(1)(C) when the Government requests it and the conditions 
described in 18 U.S.C. 983(a)(1)(D) are present.
    (k) Claims--(1) Filing. In order to contest the forfeiture of seized 
property in Federal court, any person asserting an interest in seized 
property subject to an administrative forfeiture proceeding under these 
regulations must file a claim with the appropriate official, after the 
commencement of the administrative forfeiture proceeding as defined in 
paragraph (h) of this section, and not later than the deadline set forth 
in a personal notice letter sent pursuant to paragraph (i)(2) of this 
section. If personal written notice is sent but not received, then the 
intended recipient must file a claim with the appropriate official not 
later than 30 days after the date of the final publication of the notice 
of seizure.
    (2) Contents of claim. A claim shall:
    (i) Identify the specific property being claimed;
    (ii) Identify the claimant and state the claimant's interest in the 
property; and
    (iii) Be made under oath by the claimant, not counsel for the 
claimant, and recite that it is made under the penalty of perjury, 
consistent with the requirements of 28 U.S.C. 1746. An acknowledgement, 
attestation, or certification by a notary public alone is insufficient.
    (3) Availability of claim forms. The claim need not be made in any 
particular form. However, the Postal Inspection Service will make claim 
forms generally available on request. Such

[[Page 69]]

forms shall be written in easily understandable language. A request for 
a claim form does not extend the deadline for filing a claim. Any person 
may obtain a claim form by requesting one in writing from the 
appropriate official.
    (4) Cost bond not required. Any person may file a claim under 
paragraph 233.7(k)(1) without posting bond, except in forfeitures under 
statutes listed in 18 U.S.C. 983(i).
    (5) Referral of claim. Upon receipt of a claim that meets the 
requirements of paragraphs (k)(1) and (2) of this section, the Postal 
Inspection Service shall return the property or suspend the 
administrative forfeiture proceeding and promptly transmit the claim, 
together with a description of the property and a complete statement of 
the facts and circumstances surrounding the seizure, to the appropriate 
U.S. Attorney for commencement of judicial forfeiture proceedings. Upon 
making the determination that the seized property will be released, the 
Postal Inspection Service shall promptly notify the person with a right 
to immediate possession of the property, informing that person to 
contact the property custodian within a specified period for release of 
the property, and further informing that person that failure to contact 
the property custodian within the specified period for release of the 
property will result in abandonment of the property pursuant to 
applicable regulations. The Postal Inspection Service shall notify the 
property custodian of the identity of the person to whom the property 
should be released. The property custodian shall have the right to 
require presentation of proper identification and/or to take other steps 
to verify the identity of the person who seeks the release of property, 
or both.
    (6) Premature filing. If a claim is filed with the appropriate 
official after the seizure of the property, but before the commencement 
of the administrative forfeiture proceeding as defined in paragraph (i) 
of this section, the claim shall be deemed filed on the 30th day after 
the commencement of the administrative forfeiture proceeding. If such 
claim meets the requirements of paragraph (k)(2) of this section, the 
Postal Inspection Service shall suspend the administrative forfeiture 
proceedings and promptly transmit the claim, together with a description 
of the property and a complete statement of the facts and circumstances 
surrounding the seizure to the appropriate U.S. Attorney for 
commencement of judicial forfeiture proceedings.
    (7) Defective claims. If the Postal Inspection Service determines 
that an otherwise timely claim does not meet the requirements of 
paragraph (k)(2) of this section, the Postal Inspection Service may 
notify the claimant of this determination and allow the claimant a 
reasonable time to cure the defect(s) in the claim. If, within the time 
allowed by the Postal Inspection Service, the requirements of paragraph 
(k)(2) of this section are not met, the claim shall be void and the 
forfeiture proceedings shall proceed as if no claim had been submitted. 
If the claimant timely cures the deficiency, then the claim shall be 
deemed filed on the date when the appropriate official receives the 
cured claim.
    (l) Interplay of administrative and criminal judicial forfeiture 
proceedings. An administrative forfeiture proceeding pending against 
seized or restrained property does not bar the Government from alleging 
that the same property is forfeitable in a criminal case. 
Notwithstanding the fact that an allegation of forfeiture has been 
included in a criminal indictment or information, the property may be 
administratively forfeited in a parallel proceeding.
    (m) Requests for hardship release of seized property. (1) Under 
certain circumstances, a claimant may be entitled to immediate release 
of seized property on the basis of hardship.
    (2) Any person filing a request for hardship release must also file 
a claim to the seized property pursuant to paragraph (k) of this section 
and as defined in 18 U.S.C. 983(a).
    (3) The timely filing of a valid claim pursuant to paragraph (k) of 
this section does not entitle the claimant to possession of the seized 
property, but a claimant may request immediate release of the property 
while forfeiture is pending, based on hardship.

[[Page 70]]

    (4) A claimant seeking release of property under 18 U.S.C. 983(f) 
and these regulations must file a written request with the appropriate 
official. The request must establish that:
    (i) The claimant has a possessory interest in the property;
    (ii) The claimant has sufficient ties to the community to provide 
assurance that the property will be available at the time of trial;
    (iii) The continued possession by the Government pending the final 
disposition of forfeiture proceedings will cause substantial hardship to 
the claimant, such as preventing the functioning of a business, 
preventing an individual from working, or leaving an individual 
homeless;
    (iv) The claimant's likely hardship from the continued possession by 
the Government of the seized property outweighs the risk that the 
property will be destroyed, damaged, lost, concealed, or transferred if 
it is returned to the claimant during the pendency of the proceeding; 
and
    (v) The property is not:
    (A) Contraband, any property, the possession of which by the 
claimant, petitioner, or person from whom it was seized is prohibited by 
state or Federal law, currency, or other monetary instrument, or 
electronic funds unless such currency or other monetary instrument or 
electronic funds constitutes the assets of a legitimate business which 
has been seized;
    (B) Intended to be used as evidence of a violation of law;
    (C) By reason of design or other characteristic, particularly suited 
for use in illegal activities; or
    (D) Likely to be used to commit additional criminal acts if returned 
to the claimant.
    (5) A hardship release request pursuant to this paragraph shall be 
deemed to have been made on the date when it is received by the 
appropriate official as defined in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, or 
the date the claim was deemed filed under paragraph (k) of this section. 
If the request is ruled on and denied by the appropriate official or the 
property has not been released within the 15-day time limit period, the 
claimant may file a petition in Federal district court pursuant to 18 
U.S.C. 983(f)(3). If a petition is filed in Federal district court, the 
claimant must send a copy of the petition to the appropriate official to 
whom the hardship petition was originally submitted and to the U.S. 
Attorney in the judicial district where the judicial petition was filed.
    (6) If a civil forfeiture complaint is filed on property and the 
claimant files a claim with the court pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 983(a)(4)(A) 
and Rule G(5) of the Supplemental Rules for Certain Admiralty and 
Maritime Claims, a hardship petition may be submitted to the individual 
identified in the public or personal notice of the civil forfeiture 
action.
    (n) Disposition of property before forfeiture. (1) Whenever it 
appears to the Postal Inspection Service that any seized property is 
liable to perish or to waste, or to be greatly reduced in value during 
its detention for forfeiture, or that the expense of keeping the 
property is or will be disproportionate to its value, the Chief Counsel 
for the Postal Inspection Service may order destruction, sale, or other 
disposition of such property prior to forfeiture. In addition, the owner 
may obtain release of the property by posting a substitute monetary 
amount with the Postal Inspection Service to be held subject to 
forfeiture proceedings in place of the seized property to be released. 
Upon approval by the Chief Counsel for the Postal Inspection Service, 
the property will be released to the owner upon the payment of an amount 
equal to the Government appraised value of the property if the property 
is not evidence of a violation of law, is not contraband, and has no 
design or other characteristics that particularly suit it for use in 
illegal activities. This payment must be in the form of a money order, 
an official bank check, or a cashier's check made payable to the Postal 
Inspection Service. A bond in the form of a cashier's check or official 
bank check will be considered as paid once the check has been accepted 
for payment by the financial institution that issued the check. If a 
substitute amount is posted and the property is administratively 
forfeited, the Postal Inspection Service will forfeit the substitute 
amount in lieu of the property. The pre-forfeiture

[[Page 71]]

destruction, sale, or other disposition of seized property pursuant to 
this subsection shall not extinguish any person's rights to the value of 
the property under applicable law. The authority vested in the Chief 
Counsel for the Postal Inspection Service under this subsection may not 
be delegated.
    (2) The Postal Inspection Service shall commence forfeiture 
proceedings, regardless of the disposition of the property under this 
paragraph. A person with an interest in the property that was destroyed 
or otherwise disposed of under this paragraph may file a claim to 
contest the forfeiture of the property or a petition for remission or 
mitigation of the forfeiture. No employee of the Postal Inspection 
Service shall be liable for the destruction or other disposition of 
property made pursuant to this paragraph. The destruction or other 
disposition of the property does not impair in rem jurisdiction.
    (o) Declaration of administrative forfeiture. If the Postal 
Inspection Service commences a timely proceeding against property 
subject to administrative forfeiture, and no valid and timely claim is 
filed, the appropriate official shall declare the property forfeited. 
The declaration of forfeiture shall have the same force and effect as a 
final decree and order of forfeiture in a Federal judicial forfeiture 
proceeding.
    (p) Return of property. (1) If, under 18 U.S.C. 983(a)(3), the 
Postal Inspection Service is notified by the U.S. Attorney in charge of 
the matter that the 90-day deadline was not met, the Postal Inspection 
Service is required to release the seized property. Under this 
subsection, the Postal Inspection Service is not required to return 
property for which it has an independent basis for continued custody 
including, but not limited to, contraband or evidence of a violation of 
law.
    (2) Upon becoming aware that the seized property must be released, 
the Postal Inspection Service shall promptly notify the person with a 
right to immediate possession of the property, informing that person to 
contact the property custodian within a specified period for release of 
the property, and further informing that person that failure to contact 
the property custodian within the specified period for release of the 
property may result in the initiation of abandonment proceedings against 
the property pursuant to 39 CFR part 946. The property custodian will be 
notified of the identity of the person to whom the property should be 
released.
    (3) The property custodian shall have the right to require 
presentation of proper identification or to verify the identity of the 
person who seeks the release of property.
    (q) 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 that is not required to be destroyed by law 
and that 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.
    (r) Attorney fees and costs. The Postal Inspection Service is not 
liable for attorney fees or costs in any administrative forfeiture 
proceeding, including such proceedings in which a claim is filed, the 
matter is referred to the U.S. Attorney, and the U.S. Attorney declines 
to commence judicial forfeiture proceedings.

[77 FR 25596, May 1, 2012]



Sec. 233.8  Expedited forfeiture proceedings for property seizures 
based on violations involving the possession of personal use quantities
of a controlled  substance.

    (a) Purpose and scope. (1) The following definitions, regulations, 
and criteria are designed to establish and implement procedures required 
by section

[[Page 72]]

6079 of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, Public Law 100-690, 102 Stat. 
4181. They are intended to supplement existing law and procedures 
relative to the forfeiture of property under the identified statutory 
authority. These regulations do not affect the existing legal and 
equitable rights and remedies of those with an interest in property 
seized for forfeiture, nor do these provisions relieve interested 
parties from their existing obligations and responsibilities in pursuing 
their interests through such courses of action. These regulations are 
intended to reflect the intent of Congress to minimize the adverse 
impact on those entitled to legal or equitable relief occasioned by the 
prolonged detention of property subject to forfeiture due to violations 
of law involving personal use quantities of controlled substances. The 
definition of personal use quantities of a controlled substance as 
contained herein is intended to distinguish between those small 
quantities, which are generally considered to be possessed for personal 
consumption and not for further distribution, and those larger 
quantities generally considered to be subject to further distribution.
    (2) In this regard, for violations involving the possession of 
personal use quantities of a controlled substance, section 6079(b)(2) 
requires either that administrative forfeiture be completed within 21 
days of the seizure of the property, or alternatively, that procedures 
are established that provide a means by which an individual entitled to 
relief may initiate an expedited administrative review of the legal and 
factual basis of the seizure for forfeiture. Should an individual 
request relief pursuant to these regulations and be entitled to the 
return of the seized property, such property shall be returned 
immediately following that determination, but not later than 20 days 
after filing of a petition for expedited release by an owner, and the 
administrative forfeiture process shall cease. Should the individual not 
be entitled to the return of the seized property, however, the 
administrative forfeiture of that property shall proceed. The owner may, 
in any event, obtain release of property pending the administrative 
forfeiture by submitting to the agency making the determination property 
sufficient to preserve the Government's vested interest for purposes of 
the administrative forfeiture.
    (b) Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall 
have the meanings specified:
    (1) Commercial fishing industry vessel means a vessel that:
    (i) Commercially engages in the catching, taking, or harvesting of 
fish or an activity that can reasonably be expected to result in the 
catching, taking, or harvesting of fish;
    (ii) Commercially prepares fish or fish products other than by 
gutting, decapitating, gilling, skinning, shucking, icing, freezing, or 
brine chilling; or
    (iii) Commercially supplies, stores, refrigerates, or transports 
fish, fish products, or materials directly related to fishing or the 
preparation of fish to or from a fishing, fish processing, or fish 
tender vessel or fish processing facility.
    (2) Controlled substance has the meaning given in 21 U.S.C. 802(6).
    (3) Normal and customary manner means that inquiry suggested by 
particular facts and circumstances that would customarily be undertaken 
by a reasonably prudent individual in a like or similar situation. 
Actual knowledge of such facts and circumstances is unnecessary, and 
implied, imputed, or constructive knowledge is sufficient. An 
established norm, standard, or custom is persuasive but not conclusive 
or controlling in determining whether an owner acted in a normal and 
customary manner to ascertain how property would be used by another 
legally in possession of the property. The failure to act in a normal 
and customary manner as defined herein will result in the denial of a 
petition for expedited release of the property and is intended to have 
the desirable effect of inducing owners of the property to exercise 
greater care in transferring possession of their property.
    (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

[[Page 73]]

that another person had dominion and control over the property.
    (5) Personal use quantities means those amounts of controlled 
substances in possession in circumstances where there is no other 
evidence of an intent to distribute, or to facilitate the manufacturing, 
compounding, processing, delivering, importing, or exporting of any 
controlled substance.
    (i) Evidence that possession of quantities of a controlled substance 
is for other than personal use may include, for example:
    (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 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) Circumstances or reliable information indicating that the 
controlled substance is related to large amounts of cash or any amount 
of prerecorded Government funds;
    (E) Circumstances or reliable information indicating that the 
controlled substance is a sample intended for distribution in 
anticipation of a transaction involving large quantities, or is part of 
a larger delivery;
    (F) Statements by the possessor, or otherwise attributable to the 
possessor, including statements of conspirators, that indicate 
possession with intent to distribute; or
    (G) The fact that the controlled substance was recovered from 
sweepings.
    (ii) Possession of a controlled substance shall be 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 
above--and the amounts do not exceed the following quantities:
    (A) One gram of a mixture or substance containing a detectable 
amount of heroin;
    (B) One gram of a mixture or substance containing a detectable 
amount of the following:
    (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 that contains any quantity 
of any of the substances referred to in (ii)(B)(1) through (ii)(B)(3) of 
this definition;
    (C) One-tenth gram of a mixture or substance described in (ii)(B) of 
this definition that contains cocaine base;
    (D) One-tenth gram of a mixture or substance containing a detectable 
amount of phencyclidine (PCP);
    (E) Five hundred micrograms of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD);
    (F) One ounce of a mixture or substance containing a detectable 
amount of marijuana;
    (G) 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 isomers.
    (iii) The possession of a narcotic, a depressant, a stimulant, a 
hallucinogen or a 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 (ii)(B) 
of this definition.
    (6) Property means property subject to forfeiture under 21 U.S.C. 
881(a)(4), (6), or (7); 19 U.S.C. 1595a; or 49 U.S.C. 80303.
    (7) Seizing agency means the Federal agency that has seized the 
property or adopted the seizure of another agency and has the 
responsibility for administratively forfeiting the property;
    (8) Statutory rights or defenses to the forfeiture means all legal 
and equitable rights and remedies available to a claimant of property 
seized for forfeiture.
    (c) Petition for expedited release in an administrative forfeiture 
proceeding. (1)

[[Page 74]]

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) Where property described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section is 
a commercial fishing industry vessel proceeding to or from a fishing 
area or intermediate port of call or actually engaged in fishing 
operations, which would be subject to seizure for administrative 
forfeiture for a violation of law involving controlled substances in 
personal use quantities, a summons to appear shall be issued in lieu of 
a physical seizure. The vessel shall report to the port designated in 
the summons. The Postal Inspection Service shall be authorized to effect 
administrative forfeiture as if the vessel had been physically seized. 
Upon answering the summons to appear on or prior to the last reporting 
date specified in the summons, the owner of the vessel may file a 
petition for expedited release pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of this 
section, and the provisions of paragraph (c)(1) and other provisions in 
this section pertaining to a petition for expedited release shall apply 
as if the vessel had been physically seized.
    (3) The owner filing the petition for expedited release shall 
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 of 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.
    (4) In addition to those factors listed in paragraph (c)(3) of this 
section, if an owner can demonstrate that the owner has other statutory 
rights or defenses that would cause the owner to prevail on the issue of 
forfeiture, such factors shall also be considered in ruling on the 
petition for expedited release.
    (5) A petition for expedited release must be received by the Postal 
Inspection Service within 20 days from the date of the first publication 
of the notice of seizure in ordered to be considered by the Postal 
Inspection Service. The petition must be executed and sworn to by the 
owner, and both the envelope and the request must be clearly marked 
``PETITION FOR EXPEDITED RELEASE.'' Such petition shall be filed with 
the appropriate office or official identified in the personal written 
notice and the publication notice.
    (6) The petition shall 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 shall 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.
    (d) Ruling on petition for expedited release in an administrative 
forfeiture proceeding. (1) If a final administrative determination of 
the case, without regard to the provisions of this section, is made 
within 21 days of the seizure, the Postal Inspection Service need take 
no further action under this section on a petition for expedited release 
received pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section.
    (2) If no such final administrative determination is made within 21 
days of the seizure, the following procedure shall apply. The Postal 
Inspection Service shall, within 20 days after the receipt of the 
petition for expedited release, determine whether the petition filed by 
the owner has established the factors listed in paragraph (c)(3) of this 
section and:
    (i) If the Postal Inspection Service determines that those factors 
have been established, it shall terminate the administrative proceedings 
and return the property to the owner (or in the case of a commercial 
fishing industry vessel for which a summons has been issued shall 
dismiss the summons), except where it is evidence of a violation of law; 
or

[[Page 75]]

    (ii) If the Postal Inspection Service determines that those factors 
have not been established, the agency shall proceed with the 
administrative forfeiture.
    (e) Posting of substitute monetary amount in an administrative 
forfeiture proceeding. (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 
monetary amount with the Postal Inspection Service to be held subject to 
forfeiture proceedings in place of the seized property to be released. 
The property will be released to the owner upon the payment of an amount 
equal to the Government-appraised value of the property if the property 
is not evidence of a violation of law and has no 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 Inspection 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 that issued the check.
    (2) If a substitute monetary amount is posted and the property is 
administratively forfeited, the Postal Inspection Service will forfeit 
the substitute amount in lieu of the property.
    (f) Notice provisions. At the time of seizure of property defined in 
paragraph (b)(6) of this section for violations involving the possession 
of personal use quantities of a controlled substance, the Postal 
Inspection Service must provide written notice to the possessor of the 
property specifying the procedures for filing of a petition for 
expedited release and for the posting of a substitute monetary bond as 
set forth in section 6079 of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 and 
implementing regulations.

[77 FR 25600, May 1, 2012]



Sec. 233.9  Regulations governing remission or mitigation of 
administrative, civil, and criminal forfeitures.

    (a) Purpose, authority, and scope--(1) 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 Inspection Service. The purpose of 
these regulations is to provide a basis for 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, the regulations provide for partial or 
total mitigation of the forfeiture and imposition of alternative 
conditions in appropriate circumstances.
    (2) Authority to grant remission and mitigation. (i) Remission and 
mitigation functions in administrative forfeitures under the 
jurisdiction of the Postal Inspection Service are performed by the Chief 
Counsel.
    (ii) Remission and mitigation functions in judicial cases are 
performed by the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. Within 
the Criminal Division, authority to grant remission and mitigation is 
delegated to the Chief, Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section.
    (iii) The powers and responsibilities delegated by the regulations 
in this section may be re-delegated to attorneys or managers working 
under the supervision of the Chief Counsel.
    (3) Scope. This section governs any petition for remission filed 
with the Postal Inspection Service and supersedes any Postal Service 
regulation governing petitions for remission, to the extent such 
regulation is inconsistent with this section.
    (4) Applicability. The time periods and internal requirements 
established in this section 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. The regulations will apply to all 
forfeiture actions commenced on or after May 1, 2012.

[[Page 76]]

    (b) Definitions. As used in this section:
    (1) Administrative forfeiture means the process by which property 
may be forfeited by the Postal Inspection Service rather than through 
judicial proceedings. Administrative forfeiture has the same meaning as 
``nonjudicial forfeiture,'' as that term is used in 18 U.S.C. 983.
    (2) 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.
    (3) Assets Forfeiture Fund means the Department of Justice Assets 
Forfeiture Fund, Department of the Treasury Assets Forfeiture Fund, or 
the Postal Service's Assets Forfeiture Fund, depending upon the identity 
of the seizing agency.
    (4) Attorney General means the Attorney General of the United States 
or that official's designee.
    (5) Beneficial owner means a person with actual use of, as well as 
an interest in, the property subject to forfeiture.
    (6) Chief, Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, and Chief, 
refer to the Chief of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, 
Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice.
    (7) 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.
    (8) Judgment creditor means one who has obtained a judgment against 
the debtor but has not yet received full satisfaction of the judgment.
    (9) Judicial forfeiture means either a civil or a criminal 
proceeding in a United States District Court that may result in a final 
judgment and order of forfeiture.
    (10) 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:
    (i) Was established by operation of law or contract;
    (ii) Was created as a result of an exchange of money, goods, or 
services; and
    (iii) Is perfected against the specific property forfeited for which 
remission or mitigation is sought (e.g., a real estate mortgage; a 
mechanic's lien).
    (11) Net equity means the amount of a lienholder's monetary interest 
in the 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.
    (12) Nonjudicial forfeiture has the same meaning as administrative 
forfeiture as defined in this section.
    (13) Owner means the person in who 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 (b)(22) of this section, may also be an owner if 
that person 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 that person is not its beneficial owner.
    (14) Person means an individual, partnership, corporation, joint 
business enterprise, estate, or other legal entity capable of owning 
property.
    (15) Petition means a petition for remission or mitigation of 
forfeiture under the regulations in this part. This definition includes 
a petition for restoration of the proceeds of sale of forfeited property 
and a petition for the

[[Page 77]]

value of the forfeited property placed into official use.
    (16) Petitioner means the person applying for remission, mitigation, 
restoration of the proceeds of sale, or for the appraised value of 
forfeited property, under this part. A petitioner may be an owner as 
defined in paragraph (b)(13) of this section, a lienholder as defined in 
paragraph (b)(10), or a victim as defined in paragraph (b)(22), subject 
to the limitations of paragraph (h) of this section.
    (17) Property means real or personal property of any kind capable of 
being owned or possessed.
    (18) 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 10 years of the acquisition of the property subject to 
forfeiture, or two convictions for a related crime at any time in the 
past.
    (19) Related crime as used in paragraphs (b)(18) and (f) 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 relating to 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.
    (20) Related offense as used in paragraph (h) of this section means:
    (i) Any predicate offense charged in a Federal Racketeer Influenced 
and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) count for which forfeiture was 
ordered; or
    (ii) 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 forfeiture was ordered.
    (21) Ruling Official means any official to whom decision making 
authority has been delegated pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of this 
section.
    (22) Seizing agency means any Federal agency that seized the 
property or adopted the seizure of another agency for Federal 
forfeiture.
    (23) 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; provided however, that if a victim has received 
compensation from insurance or any other source with respect to a 
pecuniary loss, remission may be granted to the third party who provided 
compensation, up to the amount of the victim's pecuniary loss as defined 
in paragraph (h)(3) of this section.
    (24) Violator means the person whose use or acquisition of the 
property in violation of the law subjected such property to seizure for 
forfeiture.
    (c) Petitions in administrative forfeiture cases. (1) 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 30 
days of the date they receive the notice in order to facilitate 
processing. Petitions shall be considered any time after notice until 
the property has been forfeited, except in cases involving petitions to 
restore the proceeds from the sale of forfeited property. A notice of 
seizure shall include the Ruling Official, the mailing and street 
address of the official to whom petitions should be sent, and an asset 
identifier number.
    (2) Persons who may file. (i) A petition for remission or mitigation 
must be filed by a petitioner as defined in paragraph (b)(16) of this 
section, or as prescribed in paragraph (i)(7) and (8) of this section. A 
person or person acting on their behalf may not file a petition if, 
after notice or knowledge of the fact that a warrant or process has been 
issued for his apprehension, in order to avoid criminal prosecution the 
person:
    (A) Purposely leaves the jurisdiction of the United States;
    (B) Declines to enter or reenter the United States to submit to its 
jurisdiction; or

[[Page 78]]

    (C) Otherwise evades the jurisdiction of the court in which a 
criminal matter is pending against the person.
    (ii) Paragraph (c)(2)(i)(A) of this section applies to a petition 
filed by a corporation if any majority shareholder, or individual filing 
the claim on behalf of the corporation:
    (A) Purposely leaves the jurisdiction of the United States;
    (B) Declines to enter or reenter the United States to submit to its 
jurisdiction; or
    (C) Otherwise evades the jurisdiction of the court in which a 
criminal case is pending against the person.
    (3) Contents of petition. (i) All petitions must include the 
following information in clear and concise terms:
    (A) 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;
    (B) The name of the seizing agency, the asset identifier number, and 
the date and place of seizure;
    (C) A complete description of the property, including make, model, 
and serial numbers, if any; and
    (D) 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. Such documentation includes evidence establishing the source 
of funds for seized currency or the source of funds used to purchase the 
seized asset.
    (ii) Any factual recitation or documentation of any type in a 
petition must be supported by a declaration under penalty of perjury 
that meets the requirements of 28 U.S.C. 1746.
    (4) Releases. In addition to the contents of the petition for 
remission or mitigation set forth in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, 
upon request, 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.
    (5) Filing a petition. (i) A petition for remission or mitigation 
subject to administrative forfeiture is to be sent to the official 
address provided in the notice of seizure and 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 (i)(7).
    (ii) If the notice of seizure does not provide an official address, 
the petition shall be addressed to the Asset Forfeiture Unit at the 
following address: Asset Forfeiture Unit, Criminal Investigations, U.S. 
Postal Inspection Service, P.O. Box 44373, Washington, DC 20026-4373.
    (iii) Submission by facsimile or other electronic means will not be 
accepted.
    (6) 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.
    (7) Ruling. Upon receipt of the petition and the agency report, the 
Ruling Official for the Postal Inspection Service shall review the 
petition and the report, if any, and shall rule on the merits of the 
petition. No hearing shall be held.
    (8) Petitions granted. If the Ruling Official grants a remission or 
mitigation of the forfeiture, a copy of the decision shall be mailed to 
the petitioner or, if represented by an attorney, to the petitioner's 
attorney. A copy 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.
    (9) Petitions denied. If the Ruling Official denies a petition, a 
copy of the decision shall be mailed 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 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

[[Page 79]]

may be submitted to the Ruling Official in accordance with paragraph 
(c)(10) of this section.
    (10) Request for reconsideration. (i) A request for reconsideration 
of the denial of the petition shall be considered if:
    (A) It is postmarked or received by the office of the Ruling 
Official within 10 days from the receipt of the notice of denial of the 
petition by the petitioner; and
    (B) 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.
    (ii) In no event shall a request for reconsideration be decided by 
the same Ruling Official who ruled on the original petition.
    (iii) Only one request for reconsideration of a denial of a petition 
shall be considered.
    (11) Restoration of proceeds from sale. (i) 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:
    (A) Did not know of the seizure prior to the entry of a declaration 
of forfeiture; and
    (B) Could not reasonably have known of the seizure prior to the 
entry of a declaration of forfeiture.
    (ii) Such a petition shall be submitted pursuant to paragraphs 
(c)(2) through (c)(5) of this section within 90 days of the date the 
property is sold or otherwise disposed of.
    (d) Petitions in judicial forfeiture cases--(1) 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 30 days of the 
date they receive the notice in order to facilitate processing. 
Petitions shall be considered any time after notice until such time as 
the forfeited property is placed in official use, sold, or otherwise 
disposed of according to law, except in cases involving petitions to 
restore property. A notice of seizure shall include the title of the 
Ruling Official and the mailing and street address of the official to 
whom petitions should be sent, the name of the agency seizing the 
property, an asset identifier number, and the district court docket 
number.
    (2) Persons who may file. A petition for remission or mitigation 
must be filed by a petitioner as defined in paragraph (b)(16) of this 
section, or as prescribed in paragraph (i)(7) and (8) of this section.
    (3) Contents of petition. (i) All petitions must include the 
following information in clear and concise terms:
    (A) 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;
    (B) The name of the seizing agency, the asset identifier number, and 
the date and place of seizure;
    (C) The district court docket number;
    (D) A complete description of the property, including the address or 
legal description of real property, and make, model, and serial numbers 
of personal property, if any; and
    (E) A description of the petitioner's interest in the property as 
owner, lienholder, or otherwise, supported by original or certified 
bills of sale, contracts, mortgages, deeds, or other documentary 
evidence.
    (ii) Any factual recitation or documentation of any type in a 
petition must be supported by a declaration under penalty of perjury 
that meets the requirements of 28 U.S.C. 1746.
    (4) Releases. In addition to the content of the petition for 
remission or mitigation set forth in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, 
the petitioner, upon request, also shall 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 the interest in 
such property.
    (5) Filing petition with Department of Justice. 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

[[Page 80]]

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 forth in paragraph (i)(7) of this section; and shall be submitted 
to the U.S. Attorney for the district in which the judicial forfeiture 
proceedings are brought.
    (6) Agency investigation and recommendation; U.S. Attorney's 
recommendation. Upon receipt of a petition, the U.S. Attorney shall 
direct the seizing agency to investigate the merits of the petition 
based on the information provided by the petitioner and the totality of 
the agency's investigation of the underlying basis for forfeiture. The 
agency shall submit to the U.S. Attorney a report of its investigation 
and its recommendation on whether the petition should be granted or 
denied. Upon receipt of the agency's report and recommendation, the U.S. 
Attorney shall forward to the Chief, Asset Forfeiture and Money 
Laundering Section, the petition, the seizing agency's report and 
recommendation, and the U.S. Attorney's recommendation on whether the 
petition should be granted or denied.
    (7) Ruling. The Chief shall rule on the petition. No hearing shall 
be held. The Chief shall not rule on any petition for remission if such 
remission was previously denied by the administrative agency pursuant to 
paragraph (c) of this section.
    (8) Petitions granted. If the Chief grants a remission or mitigates 
the forfeiture, the Chief shall mail a copy of the decision to the 
petitioner (or, if represented by an attorney, to the petitioner's 
attorney), and shall mail or transmit electronically a copy of the 
decision to the appropriate U.S. Attorney, the U.S. Marshals Service or 
other property custodian, and the seizing agency. 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. The 
Chief shall advise the petitioner or the petitioner's attorney to 
consult with the U.S. Attorney as to such terms and conditions. The U.S. 
Attorney shall confer with the seizing agency regarding the release and 
shall coordinate disposition of the property with that office and the 
U.S. Marshals Service or other property custodian.
    (9) Petitions denied. If the Chief denies a petition, a copy of that 
decision shall be mailed to the petitioner (or, if represented by an 
attorney, to the petitioner's attorney of record), and mailed or 
transmitted electronically to the appropriate U.S. Attorney, the U.S. 
Marshals Service or other property custodian, and the seizing agency. 
The 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 Chief at the 
address provided in the decision, in accordance with paragraph (d)(10) 
of this section.
    (10) Request for reconsideration. (i) A request for reconsideration 
of the denial shall be considered if:
    (A) It is postmarked or received by the Asset Forfeiture and Money 
Laundering Section at the address contained in the decision denying the 
petition within 10 days from the receipt of the notice of denial of the 
petition by the petitioner;
    (B) A copy of the request is also received by the appropriate U.S. 
Attorney within 10 days of the receipt of the denial by the petitioner; 
and
    (C) 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.
    (ii) In no event shall a request for reconsideration be decided by 
the Ruling Official who ruled on the original petition.
    (iii) Only one request for reconsideration of a denial of a petition 
shall be considered.
    (iv) Upon receipt of the request for reconsideration of the denial 
of a petition, disposition of the property will be delayed pending 
notice of the decision at the request of the Chief. lf the request for 
reconsideration is not received within the prescribed period, the U.S. 
Marshals Service may dispose of the property.

[[Page 81]]

    (11) Restoration of proceeds from sale. (i) 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:
    (A) Did not know of the seizure prior to the entry of a final order 
of forfeiture; and
    (B) Could not reasonably have known of the seizure prior to the 
entry of a final order of forfeiture.
    (ii) Such a petition must be submitted pursuant to paragraphs (d)(2) 
through (d)(5) of this section within 90 days of the date the property 
was sold or otherwise disposed of.
    (e) Criteria governing administrative and judicial remission and 
mitigation--(1) Remission. (i) The Ruling Official shall not grant 
remission of a forfeiture unless the petitioner establishes that the 
petitioner has a valid, good faith, and legally cognizable interest in 
the seized property as owner or lienholder as defined in this part and 
is an innocent owner within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. 983(d)(2)(A) or 
(d)(3)(A).
    (ii) For purposes of this paragraph (e), the knowledge and 
responsibilities of a petitioner's representative, agent, or employee 
are imputed to the petitioner where the representative, agent, or 
employee was acting in the course of that person's employment and in 
furtherance of the petitioner's business.
    (iii) 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.
    (iv) The Ruling Official shall presume a valid forfeiture and shall 
not consider whether the evidence is sufficient to support the 
forfeiture.
    (v) 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.
    (2) Mitigation. (i) The Ruling Official may grant mitigation to a 
party not involved in the commission of the offense underlying 
forfeiture:
    (A) 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 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
    (B) 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.
    (ii) The Ruling Official may as a matter of discretion grant 
mitigation to a 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.
    (iii) Mitigation may take the form of a monetary condition or the 
imposition

[[Page 82]]

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 Inspection Service's 
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 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.
    (f) Special rules for specific petitioners--(1) General creditors. A 
general creditor may not be granted remission or mitigation of 
forfeiture unless that person otherwise qualifies as petitioner under 
this part.
    (2) Rival claimants. If the beneficial owner of the forfeited 
property and the owner of a security interest in the same property each 
files a petition, and if both petitions are found to be meritorious, the 
claims of the beneficial owner shall take precedence.
    (3) Voluntary bailments. A petitioner who allows another to use the 
petitioner's 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 (e) of this section.
    (4) 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 (e) of this section.
    (5) Straw owners. A petition by any person who has acquired a 
property interest recognizable under this part, 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 the regulations 
in this part, 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 (b)(19), 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 (e) 
of this section.
    (6) Judgment creditors. (i) A judgment creditor will be recognized 
as a lienholder if:
    (A) The judgment was duly recorded before the seizure of the 
property for forfeiture;
    (B) 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
    (C) 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.
    (ii) 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 property). A judgment creditor is entitled under this part 
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.
    (iii) A judgment creditor's lien must be registered in the district 
where the property is located if the judgment was obtained outside the 
district.
    (g) Terms and conditions of remission and mitigation--(1) Owners. 
(i) 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.
    (ii) If a civil judicial forfeiture action against the property is 
pending, release

[[Page 83]]

of the property must await an appropriate court order.
    (iii) 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, as a matter of discretion, may waive the deduction of 
costs and expenses incident to the forfeiture.
    (iv) 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.
    (2) Lienholders. (i) 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:
    (A) In the case of remission, the lien is satisfied as determined 
through the petition process; or
    (B) 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 of foreign 
government.
    (ii) When the forfeited property is not retained for official use or 
transferred to another agency or foreign government pursuant to law, the 
lienholder shall be notified by the Ruling Official of the right to 
select either of the following alternatives:
    (A) 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, as a matter of 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 division or field office responsible for the seizure and custody of 
the property or, if applicable, to the U.S. Marshals Service, who shall 
thereafter release the property to the lienholder; or
    (B) Sale of Property and Payment to Lienholder. Subject to the 
provisions of paragraph (i)(1) 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, as a matter of 
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 in this paragraph 
(g)(2)(ii) within 20 days of the receipt of notification, the Ruling 
Official shall direct the division or field office responsible for the 
seizure or custody, or if applicable, the U.S. Marshals Service, 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 
received payment as a result of the granting of remission or mitigation, 
the lienholder shall reimburse the Postal Service Forfeiture 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.
    (h) Remission procedures for victims. This section applies 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

[[Page 84]]

do not have a present ownership interest in the forfeited property that 
is clearly superior to that of other petitioner victims). This section 
applies only with respect to property forfeited pursuant to statutes 
that explicitly authorize restoration or remission of forfeited property 
to victims. A victim requesting remission under this section may 
concurrently request remission as an owner, pursuant to the regulations 
set forth in paragraphs (c), (d), and (g) of this section. The claims of 
victims granted remission as both an owner and victim shall, like other 
owners, have priority over the claims of any non-owner victims whose 
claims are recognized under this section.
    (1) Remission procedure for victims--(i) Where to file. Persons 
seeking remission as victims shall file petitions for remission with the 
appropriate deciding official as described in paragraph (c)(5) 
(administrative forfeiture) or (d)(5) (judicial forfeiture) of this 
section.
    (ii) Time of decision. The Ruling Official or that person's designee 
as described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section may consider petitions 
filed by persons claiming eligibility for remission as victims at any 
time prior to the disposal of the forfeited property in accordance with 
law.
    (iii) Request for reconsideration. Persons denied remission under 
this section may request reconsideration of the denial, in accordance 
with paragraph (c)(10) (administrative forfeiture) or (d)(10) (judicial 
forfeiture) of this section.
    (2) Qualification to file. A victim, as defined in paragraph (b)(22) 
of this section, may be granted remission, if in addition to complying 
with the other applicable provisions of this paragraph (h), the victim 
satisfactorily demonstrates that:
    (i) A pecuniary loss of a specific amount has been directly caused 
by the criminal offense, or related offense, that was the underlying 
basis for the forfeiture, and that the loss is supported by documentary 
evidence including invoices and receipts;
    (ii) The pecuniary loss is the direct result of the illegal acts and 
is not the result of otherwise lawful acts that were committed in the 
course of a criminal offense;
    (iii) The victim did not knowingly contribute to, participate in, 
benefit from, or act in a willfully blind manner towards commission of 
the offense, or related offense, that was the underlying basis of the 
forfeiture;
    (iv) The victim has not in fact been compensated for the wrongful 
loss of the property by the perpetrator or others; and
    (v) The victim does not have recourse reasonably available to other 
assets from which to obtain compensation for the wrongful loss of the 
property.
    (3) 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 victim was deprived as of the date of 
the occurrence of the loss. No allowance shall be made for interest 
forgone or for collateral expenses incurred to recover lost property or 
to seek other recompense.
    (4) 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.
    (5) Denial of petition. As a matter of discretion, the Ruling 
Official may decline to grant remission where:
    (i) There is substantial difficulty in calculating the pecuniary 
loss incurred by the victim or victims;
    (ii) 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
    (iii) The total number of victims is large and the monetary amount 
of the remission so small as to make its granting impractical.
    (6) Pro rata basis. In granting remission to multiple victims 
pursuant to this section, the Ruling Official should generally grant 
remission on a pro rata 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:

[[Page 85]]

    (i) The specificity and reliability of the evidence establishing a 
loss;
    (ii) The fact that a particular victim is suffering an extreme 
financial hardship;
    (iii) The fact that a particular victim has cooperated with the 
Government in the investigation related to the forfeiture or to a 
related persecution or civil action; and
    (iv) 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.
    (7) Reimbursement. Any petitioner granted remission pursuant to this 
part shall reimburse the Postal Service Forfeiture Fund for the amount 
received, to the extent the individual later receives compensation for 
the loss of property from any other source. The petitioner shall 
surrender the reimbursement upon payment from any secondary source.
    (8) Claims of financial institution regulatory agencies. In cases 
involving property forfeitable under 18 U.S.C. 981(a)(1)(C) or (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 petitioner and claims of the financial institution 
regulatory agencies pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 981(e)(3) or (7). Generally, 
claims of financial institution regulatory agencies pursuant to 18 
U.S.C. 981(e)(3) or (7) shall take priority over claims of victims.
    (9) Amount of remission. Consistent with the Assets Forfeiture Fund 
statute (28 U.S.C. 524(c)), the amount of remission shall not exceed the 
victim's share of the net proceeds of the forfeitures associated with 
the activity that caused the victim's loss. The calculation of net 
proceeds includes, but is not limited to, the deduction of allowable 
Government expenses and valid third-party claims.
    (i) Miscellaneous provisions--(1) Priority of payment. Except where 
otherwise provided in this part, costs incurred by the Postal Inspection 
Service, the U.S. Marshals 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 (i)(3) of this section, investigative or prosecutorial 
costs specially incurred incident to the particular forfeiture, and 
costs incurred incident to the processing of petitions 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 or priority, except that the 
Ruling Official may exercise discretion in determining the priority 
between petitioners belonging to classes described in paragraph 
(i)(1)(iii) and (iv) of this section in exceptional circumstances:
    (i) Owners;
    (ii) Lienholders;
    (iii) Federal financial institution regulatory agencies (pursuant to 
paragraph (i)(5) of this section), not constituting owners or 
lienholders; and
    (iv) Victims not constituting owners or lienholders pursuant to 
paragraph (h) of this part.
    (2) 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 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:
    (i) Payment of the Government's expenses incurred incident to the 
forfeiture and sale, including court costs and storage charges, if any;
    (ii) Payment to the petitioner of an amount up to that person's 
interest in the property;

[[Page 86]]

    (iii) Payment to the Postal Service Forfeiture Fund of all other 
costs and expenses incident to the forfeiture;
    (iv) In the case of victims, payment of any amount up to the amount 
of that person's loss; and
    (v) Payment of the balance remaining, if any, to the Postal Service 
Forfeiture Fund.
    (3) Trustees and other assistants. As a matter of discretion, the 
Ruling Official, with the approval of the Chief Postal Inspector, 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.
    (4) 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 this part 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 any 
applicable provisions of paragraphs (c) through (e) of this section. The 
decision to make such transfer shall be made in writing by the Ruling 
Official.
    (5) 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.
    (6) 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).
    (7) Filing by attorneys. (i) A petition for remission or mitigation 
may be filed by a petitioner or by that person's 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:
    (A) The attorney has the authority to represent the petitioner in 
this proceeding;
    (B) The petitioner has fully reviewed the petition; and
    (C) The petition is truthful and accurate in every respect.
    (ii) 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.
    (8) 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 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 
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 (b)(22) of this section, may 
also file a petition on behalf of 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 (b)(20), 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 remission must be transferred to the other petitioners, not 
the party filing the petition; although, as a matter of discretion, the 
Ruling Official may use the actual petitioner as an intermediary for 
transferring the amounts authorized as a remission to the other 
petitioners.

[77 FR 25602, May 1, 2012]

[[Page 87]]



Sec. 233.10  [Reserved]



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.

    (a) False representations and lottery orders. Under 39 U.S.C. 
3005(a)(1)-(3), the Postal Service may issue administrative orders 
prohibiting persons from using the mail to obtain money through false 
representations or lotteries. Persons who evade, attempt to evade, or 
fail to comply with an order to stop such prohibited practices may be 
liable to the United States for a civil penalty under 39 U.S.C. 3012(a). 
As adjusted under Public Law 114-74, the penalties are as follows: 
$69,463 for each mailing less than 50,000 pieces, $138,925 for each 
mailing of 50,000 to $100,000 pieces, and $13,893 for each additional 
10,000 pieces above 100,000 not to exceed $2,778,505.
    (b) False representation and lottery penalties in lieu of or as part 
of an order. In lieu of or as part of an order issued

[[Page 88]]

under 39 U.S.C. 3005(a)(1)-(3), the Postal Service may assess a civil 
penalty payable under 39 U.S.C. 3012(c)(1). As adjusted under Public Law 
114-74, the penalties are as follows: $34,731 for each mailing that is 
less than 50,000 pieces, $69,463 for each mailing of 50,000 to 100,000 
pieces, and an additional $6,946 for each additional 10,000 pieces above 
100,000 not to exceed $1,389,252.
    (c) Misleading references to the United States Government; 
Sweepstakes and deceptive mailings. Persons sending certain deceptive 
mail matter described in 39 U.S.C. 3001(h)-(k), including:
    (1) Solicitations making false claims of Federal Government 
connection or approval;
    (2) Certain solicitations for the purchase of a product or service 
that may be obtained without cost from the Federal Government;
    (3) Solicitations containing improperly prepared ``facsimile 
checks''; and
    (4) Solicitations for ``skill contests'' and ``sweepstakes'' sent to 
individuals who, in accordance with 39 U.S.C. 3017(d), have requested 
that such materials not be mailed to them; may be liable to the United 
States for a civil penalty under 39 U.S.C. 3012(d). As adjusted under 
Public Law 114-74, this penalty is not to exceed $13,893 for each 
mailing.
    (d) Commercial use of lists of persons electing not to receive skill 
contest or sweepstakes mailings. Under 39 U.S.C. 3017(g)(2), the Postal 
Service may impose a civil penalty against a person who provides 
information for commercial use about individuals who, in accordance with 
39 U.S.C. 3017(d), have elected not to receive certain sweepstakes and 
contest information. As adjusted under Public Law 114-74, the penalty 
may not exceed $2,778,505 per violation.
    (e) Reckless mailing of skill contest or sweepstakes matter. Under 
39 U.S.C. 3017(h)(1)(A), any promoter who recklessly mails nonmailable 
skill contest or sweepstakes matter may be liable to the United States 
for a civil penalty for each mailing to an individual. As adjusted under 
Public Law 114-74, the penalty is $13,893 per violation.
    (f) Hazardous material. Under 39 U.S.C. 3018(c)(1)(A), the Postal 
Service may impose a civil penalty payable into the Treasury of the 
United States on a person who knowingly mails nonmailable hazardous 
materials or fails to follow postal laws on mailing hazardous materials. 
As adjusted under Public Law 114-74, the penalty is at least $300, but 
not more than $119,786 for each violation.

[81 FR 42533, June 30, 2016, as amended at 82 FR 6277, Jan. 19, 2017]



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

[[Page 89]]

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 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 USPS-operated retail facilities.
241.4  Relocating retail services; adding new retail service facilities.

    Authority: 39 U.S.C. 101, 401, 403, 404, 410, 1001.



Sec. 241.1  Post offices.

    Post Offices are established and maintained at locations deemed 
necessary to ensure that regular and effective postal services are 
available to all customers within specified geographic boundaries. A 
Post Office may be operated or staffed by a postmaster or by another 
type of postal employee at the direction of the postmaster, including 
when the postmaster is not physically present. A Remotely Managed Post 
Office (RMPO) is a Post Office that offers part-time window service 
hours, is staffed by a Postal Service employee under the direction of a 
postmaster, and reports to an Administrative Post Office. A Part-Time 
Post Office (PTPO) is a Post Office that offers part-time window service 
hours, is staffed by a Postal Service employee, and reports to a 
district office. Unless otherwise specified, all references to ``Post 
Office'' include RMPOs and PTPOs.

[77 FR 46950, Aug. 7, 2012]



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

[[Page 90]]

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 USPS-operated retail facilities.

    (a) Introduction--(1) Coverage. (i) This section establishes the 
rules governing the Postal Service's consideration of whether an 
existing retail Post Office, station, or branch should be discontinued. 
The rules cover any proposal to:
    (A) Replace a USPS-operated Post Office, station, or branch with a 
contractor-operated retail facility;
    (B) Combine a USPS-operated Post Office, station, or branch with 
another USPS-operated retail facility; or
    (C) Discontinue a USPS-operated Post Office, station, or branch 
without providing a replacement facility.
    (ii) The conversion of a Post Office into, or the replacement of a 
Post Office with, another type of USPS-operated retail facility is not a 
discontinuance action subject to this section. A change in the staffing 
of a Post Office such that it is staffed only part-time by a postmaster, 
or not staffed at all by a postmaster, but rather by another type of 
USPS employee, is not a discontinuance action subject to this section.
    (iii) The regulations in this section are mandatory only with 
respect to discontinuance actions for which initial feasibility studies 
have been initiated on or after July 14, 2011. Unless otherwise provided 
by responsible personnel, the rules under Sec. 241.3 as in effect prior 
to July 14, 2011, shall apply to discontinuance actions for which 
initial feasibility studies have been initiated prior to July 14, 2011. 
Discontinuance actions pending as of December 1, 2011, that pertain to 
the conversion of a Post Office to another type of USPS-operated 
facility are no longer subject to these regulations.
    (2) Definitions. As used in this section, the terms listed below are 
defined as follows:
    (i) ``USPS-operated retail facility'' includes any Postal Service 
employee-operated Post Office, station, or branch, but does not include 
any station, branch, community Post Office, or other retail facility 
operated by a contractor.
    (ii) ``Contractor-operated retail facility'' includes any station, 
branch, community Post Office, or other facility, including a private 
business, offering retail postal services that is operated by a 
contractor, and does not include any USPS-operated retail facility.
    (iii) ``Closing'' means an action in which Post Office operations 
are permanently discontinued without providing a replacement facility in 
the community.
    (iv) ``Consolidation'' means an action that converts a Postal 
Service-operated retail facility into a contractor-operated retail 
facility. The resulting contractor-operated retail facility reports to a 
Postal Service-operated retail facility.
    (v) ``Discontinuance'' means either a closure or a consolidation.
    (vi) A ``Remotely Managed Post Office'' (RMPO) is a Post Office that 
offers part-time window service hours, is staffed by a Postal Service 
employee at the direction of a postmaster, and reports to an 
Administrative Post Office. Unless otherwise specified, all references 
to ``Post Office'' include RMPOs. The classification of a Post Office as 
an RMPO is not a discontinuance action under this section.
    (vii) A ``Part-Time Post Office'' (PTPO) is a Post Office that 
offers part-time window service hours, is staffed by a Postal Service 
employee, and reports to a district office. Unless otherwise

[[Page 91]]

specified, all references to ``Post Office'' include PTPOs. The 
classification of a Post Office as a PTPO is not a discontinuance action 
under this section.
    (3) Requirements. A District Manager or the responsible Headquarters 
Vice President, or a designee of either, may initiate a feasibility 
study of a USPS-operated facility for possible discontinuance. Any 
decision to close or consolidate a USPS-operated retail facility may be 
effected only upon the consideration of certain factors. These include 
the effect on the community served; the effect on employees of the USPS-
operated retail facility; 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 USPS-operated retail facility to evaluate 
the proposal and provide comments.
    (ii) After public comments are received and taken into account, any 
final determination to close or consolidate a USPS-operated retail 
facility 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 USPS-operated retail facility 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 a Post Office subject to 
discontinuance may appeal the decision to the Postal Regulatory 
Commission. Where persons regularly served by another type of USPS-
operated retail facility subject to discontinuance file an appeal with 
the Postal Regulatory Commission, the General Counsel reserves the right 
to assert defenses, including the Commission's lack of jurisdiction over 
such appeals. For purposes of determining whether an appeal is filed 
within the 30-day period, receipt by the Commission is based on the 
postmark of the appeal, if sent through the mail, or on other 
appropriate documentation or indicia, if sent through another lawful 
delivery method.
    (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 to make any determination subject to 
39 U.S.C. 404(d)(5) within the 120 days specified by statute.
    (vii) The following table summarizes the notice and appeal periods 
defined by statute.

                        Public Notice of Proposal

60-day notice

                  Public Notice of Final Determination

30 days for filing any appeal; up to 120    Wait at least 60 days from
 days for appeal consideration and           first day after posting
 decision.                                   final determination before
                                             closing or consolidating
                                             USPS-operated retail
                                             facility.
 

    (4) 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 to discontinuance of a particular USPS-operated 
retail facility are fully articulated and disclosed at a stage that 
enables customer participation to make a helpful contribution toward the 
final decision.
    (5) Initial feasibility study. A district manager, the responsible 
Headquarters vice president, or a designee of either may initiate a 
feasibility study of a USPS-operated retail facility's potential 
discontinuance, in order to assist the district manager in determining 
whether to proceed with a written proposal to discontinue the facility.
    (i) Permissible circumstances. The initial feasibility study may be 
based upon circumstances including, but not limited to, the following:

[[Page 92]]

    (A) A postmaster vacancy;
    (B) Emergency suspension of the USPS-operated retail facility due to 
cancellation of a lease or rental agreement when no suitable alternate 
quarters are available in the community, a fire or natural disaster, 
irreparable damage when no suitable alternate quarters are available in 
the community, challenge to the sanctity of the mail, or similar 
reasons;
    (C) Earned workload below the minimum established level for the 
lowest level RMPO;
    (D) Insufficient customer demand, evidenced by declining or low 
volume, revenue, revenue units, local business activity, or local 
population trends;
    (E) The availability of reasonable alternate access to postal 
services for the community served by the USPS-operated retail facility; 
or
    (F) The incorporation of two communities into one or other special 
circumstances.
    (ii) Impermissible circumstances. The following circumstances may 
not be used to justify initiation of an initial feasibility study:
    (A) Any claim that the continued operation of a building without 
handicapped modifications is inconsistent with the Architectural 
Barriers Act (42 U.S.C. 4151 et seq.);
    (B) The absence of running water or restroom facilities;
    (C) Compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 
(29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.); or
    (D) In the absence of any circumstances identified in paragraph 
(a)(5)(i) of this section, the operation of a small Post Office at a 
deficit.
    (iii) Notice to customers. Local management must provide 
notification and questionnaires to customers at the USPS-operated retail 
facility under study. Local management may determine whether 
notification is appropriate through media outlets. In addition, the 
following customers that receive delivery service from the USPS-operated 
retail facility must receive notification and questionnaires by mail:
    (A) Post Office Box customers at the USPS-operated retail facility 
under study;
    (B) Customers whose delivery carrier is stationed out of the USPS-
operated retail facility under study;
    (C) Customers in the delivery area of the same ZIP Code as the 
retail facility under study, regardless of whether the delivery carriers 
for those customers are stationed out of the retail facility under study 
or out of a nearby facility; and
    (D) Customers whom the retail facility under study serves for allied 
delivery services such as mail pickup.
    (iv) Initial feasibility study due to emergency suspension. Wherever 
possible when an initial feasibility study is to be initiated under 
Sec. 241.3(a)(5)(i)(B) (for example, when it is anticipated that a lease 
or rental agreement will be cancelled with no suitable alternate 
quarters available in the community), responsible personnel should 
initiate the initial feasibility study sufficiently in advance of the 
circumstance prompting the emergency suspension to allow a meaningful 
opportunity for public input to be taken into account. If public input 
cannot be sought sufficiently in advance of the end date of the lease or 
rental agreement, responsible personnel should endeavor, to the extent 
possible, to continue operation of the USPS-operated retail facility for 
the duration necessary to gather public input and make a more fully 
informed decision on whether to proceed with a discontinuance proposal. 
Customers formerly served by the suspended facility should receive 
notice under paragraph (a)(5)(iii) of this section, including by mail, 
to the same extent that they would have if the facility were not in 
suspended status at the time of the initial feasibility study, proposal, 
or final determination.
    (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 USPS-operated retail facility should be 
kept, wherever practical. In some cases, the ZIP Code originally 
assigned to the discontinued USPS-operated retail facility may be 
changed if the responsible District Manager receives approval from his 
or her Vice President, Area Operations,

[[Page 93]]

before any proposal to discontinue the USPS-operated retail facility is 
posted.
    (i) In a consolidation, the ZIP Code for the replacement contractor-
operated retail facility is the ZIP Code originally assigned to the 
discontinued facility.
    (ii) If the ZIP Code is changed and the parent or gaining USPS-
operated retail facility covers several ZIP Codes, the ZIP Code must be 
that of the delivery area within which the facility is located.
    (3) USPS-operated retail facility's city name in address. If all the 
delivery addresses using the city name of the USPS-operated retail 
facility being discontinued continue to use the same ZIP Code, customers 
may continue to use the discontinued facility's city name in their 
addresses, instead of that of the new delivering USPS-operated retail 
facility.
    (4) Name of facility established by consolidation. If a USPS-
operated retail facility is consolidated by establishing in its place a 
contractor-operated facility, the replacement unit can be given the same 
name of the facility that is replaced, if appropriate in light of the 
nature of the contract and level of service provided.
    (c) Initial proposal--(1) In general. If a District Manager believes 
that the discontinuance of a USPS-operated retail facility within his or 
her responsibility may be warranted, the District Manager:
    (i) Must use the standards and procedures in Sec. 241.3(c) and (d).
    (ii) Must investigate the situation.
    (iii) May propose the USPS-operated retail facility be discontinued.
    (2) Consolidation. The proposed action may include a consolidation 
of USPS-operated retail facilities. A consolidation arises when a USPS-
operated retail facility is replaced with a contractor-operated retail 
facility.
    (3) Views of postmasters. Whether the discontinuance under 
consideration involves a consolidation or not, the District Manager must 
discuss the matter with the postmaster (or the officer in charge) of the 
USPS-operated retail facility considered for discontinuance, and with 
the postmaster of any other USPS-operated retail facility affected by 
the change. The District Manager should make sure that these officials 
are invited to submit written comments and suggestions as part of the 
record when the proposal is reviewed.
    (4) Preparation of written proposal. The District Manager, or a 
designee, must gather and preserve for the record all documentation used 
to assess the proposed change. If the District Manager thinks the 
proposed action is warranted, he or she, or a designee, must prepare a 
document titled ``Proposal to (Close) (Consolidate) the (Facility 
Name).'' 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 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 postmasters and other employees of the 
USPS-operated retail facility considered for discontinuance.
    (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

[[Page 94]]

that the District Manager 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 notices:
    (A) Supporting materials. ``Copies of all materials on which this 
proposal is based are available for public inspection at (Facility Name) 
during normal office hours.''
    (B) Nature of posting. ``This is a proposal. It is not a final 
determination to (close) (consolidate) this facility.''
    (C) Posting of final determination. ``If a final determination is 
made to close or consolidate this facility, after public comments on 
this proposal are received and taken into account, a notice of that 
final determination will be posted in this facility.''
    (D) Appeal rights. ``The final determination will contain 
instructions on how affected customers may appeal a decision to close or 
consolidate a post office to the Postal Regulatory Commission. Any such 
appeal must be received by the Commission within 30 days of the posting 
of the final determination.'' The notice in this clause is provided when 
the USPS-operated retail facility under study is a post office. For 
purposes of this clause, the date of receipt by the Commission is based 
on the postmark of the appeal, if sent through the mail, or on other 
appropriate documentation or indicia, if sent through another lawful 
delivery method.
    (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, with additional copies to be 
given to customers upon request, in the following locations:
    (i) The USPS-operated retail facility under study, unless service at 
the facility has been suspended;
    (ii) The USPS-operated retail facility proposed to serve as the 
supervising facility;
    (iii) Any USPS-operated retail facility likely to serve a 
significant number of customers of the USPS-operated retail facility 
under study; and
    (iv) If service at the facility under study has been suspended, any 
USPS-operated retail facility providing alternative service for former 
customers of the facility under study.
    (2) Contents of comment notice. 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 USPS-operated retail 
facilities.
    (iii) Provide a name and telephone number to call for information.
    (3) Other steps. In addition to providing notice and inviting 
comment, the District Manager must take any other steps necessary to 
ensure that the persons served by affected USPS-operated retail 
facilities understand the nature and implications of the proposed 
action. A community meeting must be held to provide outreach and gain 
public input after the proposal is posted, unless otherwise instructed 
by the responsible Headquarters Vice President or the applicable Vice 
President, Area Operations. Authorization to forgo a community meeting 
should issue only where exceptional circumstances make a community 
meeting infeasible, such as where the community no longer exists because 
of a natural disaster or because residents have moved elsewhere.
    (i) If oral contacts develop views or information not previously 
documented, whether favorable or unfavorable to the proposal, the 
District Manager 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 
may not rely on communications received from

[[Page 95]]

anyone unless submitted in writing for the record.
    (4) Record. The District Manager must keep, as part of the record 
for consideration and review, all documentation gathered about the 
proposed change.
    (i) The record must include all information that the District 
Manager considered, and the decision must stand on the record. No 
written 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 USPS-operated retail 
facilities where the proposal was posted under paragraph (d)(1) of this 
section, beginning no later than the date on which notice is posted and 
extending through the posting period. When appropriate, certain 
personally identifiable information, such as individual names or 
residential addresses, may be redacted from the publicly accessible copy 
of the record.
    (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 
chapter 4 of Handbook AS-353, Guide to Privacy, the Freedom of 
Information Act, and Records Management.
    (e) Consideration of public comments and final local 
recommendation--(1) Analysis of comments. The District Manager or a 
designee 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 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 decides 
against the proposed discontinuance, he or she must post, in the USPS-
operated retail facilities where the proposal was posted under paragraph 
(d)(1) of this section, a notice stating that the proposed closing or 
consolidation is not warranted.
    (ii) Discontinuance warranted. If the District Manager 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 District Manager 
must:
    (A) Transmit the revised proposal and the entire record to the 
responsible Headquarters Vice President.
    (B) Certify that all documents in the record are originals or true 
and correct copies.
    (f) Postal Service decision--(1) In general. The responsible 
Headquarters Vice President or a designee must review the proposal of 
the District Manager and decide on the merits of the proposal. This 
review and the decision must be based on and supported by the record 
developed by the District Manager. The responsible Headquarters Vice 
President 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 responsible Headquarters Vice President or a 
designee may approve the proposed discontinuance, with or without 
further revisions. If approved without further revision, the term 
``Final Determination'' is substituted for ``Proposal'' in the title. A 
copy of the Final Determination

[[Page 96]]

must be provided to the District Manager. The Final Determination 
constitutes the Postal Service determination for the purposes of 39 
U.S.C. 404(d).
    (i) Supporting materials. The Final Determination must include the 
following notice: ``Copies of all materials on which this Final 
Determination is based are available for public inspection at the 
(Facility Name) during normal office hours.''
    (ii) Appeal rights. If the USPS-operated retail facility subject to 
discontinuance is a post office, the Final Determination must include 
the following notice: ``Pursuant to Public Law 94-421 (1976), this Final 
Determination to (close) (consolidate) the (Facility Name) may be 
appealed by any person served by that office to the Postal Regulatory 
Commission, 901 New York Avenue, NW., Suite 200, Washington, DC 20268-
0001. Any appeal must be received by the Commission within 30 days of 
the first day this Final Determination was posted. If an appeal is 
filed, copies of appeal documents prepared by the Postal Regulatory 
Commission, or the parties to the appeal, must be made available for 
public inspection at the (Facility Name) during normal office hours.''
    (3) Disapproval. The responsible Headquarters Vice President or a 
designee may disapprove the proposed discontinuance and return it and 
the record to the District Manager with written reasons for disapproval. 
The District Manager or a designee must post, in each affected USPS-
operated retail facility where the proposal was posted under paragraph 
(d)(1) of this section, a notice that the proposed closing or 
consolidation has been determined to be unwarranted.
    (4) Return for further action. The responsible Headquarters Vice 
President or a designee may return the proposal of the District Manager 
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 responsible Headquarters Vice President 
must be placed on file in the Postal Service Headquarters library.
    (g) Implementation of final determination--(1) Notice of final 
determination to discontinue USPS-operated retail facility. The District 
Manager must:
    (i) Provide notice of the Final Determination by posting a copy 
prominently in the USPS-operated retail facilities in each affected 
USPS-operated retail facilities where the proposal was posted under 
paragraph (d)(1) of this section, including the USPS-operated retail 
facilities likely to be serving the affected customers. The date of 
posting must be noted on the first page of the posted copy as follows: 
``Date of posting.''
    (ii) Ensure that a copy of the completed record is available for 
public inspection during normal business hours at each USPS-operated 
retail facility 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 chapter 4 of Handbook AS-353, Guide to 
Privacy, the Freedom of Information Act, and Records Management.
    (2) Implementation of determinations not appealed. If no appeal is 
filed, the official closing date of the office must be published in the 
Postal Bulletin and effective, at the earliest, 60 days after the first 
day that Final Determination was posted. A District Manager may request 
a different date for official discontinuance in the Retail Change 
Announcement document submitted to the responsible Headquarters Vice 
President or a designee. However, the USPS-operated retail facility may 
not be discontinued sooner than 60 days after the first day of 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 responsible Headquarters Vice President may 
direct a discontinuance before disposition of the appeal. However, the 
USPS-operated retail facility may not be permanently discontinued sooner 
than 60 days after the first day of the posting of the notice required 
by paragraph (g)(1) of this section.

[[Page 97]]

    (ii) Display of appeal documents. The Office of General Counsel must 
provide the District Manager 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 USPS-operated retail facilities where the Final Determination was 
posted under paragraph (g)(1)(i) of this section. If the operation of 
that USPS-operated retail facility has been suspended, the District 
Manager must ensure that copies are displayed in the USPS-operated 
retail facilities likely to be serving the affected customers.
    (B) All documents except the Postal Regulatory 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 at the USPS-
operated retail facility to be discontinued for 30 days or until the 
effective date of the discontinuance, whichever is earlier. The final 
order and opinion must be displayed for 30 days in all other USPS-
operated retail facilities where the Final Determination was posted 
under paragraph (g)(1)(i) of this section.
    (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 anytime after the Commission renders 
its opinion, if not previously implemented under Sec. 241.3(g)(3)(i). 
However, the USPS-operated retail facility may not be discontinued 
sooner than 60 days after the first day of 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 responsible 
Headquarters Vice President 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 
responsible Headquarters Vice President may provide.

[76 FR 41420, July 14, 2011; 76 FR 43898, July 22, 2011, as amended at 
76 FR 66187, Oct. 26, 2011; 77 FR 46950, Aug. 7, 2012]



Sec. 241.4  Relocating retail services; adding new retail service 
facilities.

    (a) Application. (1) Except as otherwise provided, this section 
applies when the Postal Service makes a tentative decision to relocate 
all retail services from a retail service facility to a separate 
existing physical building, or to add a new retail service facility for 
a community. As used in this section, ``retail services'' means the 
single-piece mail services offered to individual members of the public 
on a walk-in basis at a retail service facility, and a ``retail service 
facility'' is a physical building where Postal Service employees provide 
such retail services.
    (2) The rules of this paragraph (a)(2) apply to temporary additions 
of retail service facilities, temporary or emergency relocations of 
retail services, and to provisional relocations of retail services.
    (i) The Postal Service may implement temporary additions or 
relocations without undertaking the process in paragraph (c) of this 
section when necessary to support Postal Service business for holidays, 
special events, or overflow business. Temporary additions and 
relocations normally 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 or his designee.
    (ii) The Postal Service may implement emergency relocations without 
first undertaking the process in paragraph (c) of this section when the 
Postal Service determines relocation is required to protect Postal 
Service business due to events such as earthquakes, floods, fire, 
potential or actual OSHA violations, safety factors, environmental 
causes, other business disrupting events, or as necessary to protect 
employees, customers, or the security of the mail. Following an 
emergency relocation, as soon as the Postal Service determines it is 
feasible to identify the long-term location for the retail services, the 
Postal Service will

[[Page 98]]

make a tentative decision to remain in the emergency relocation site on 
a long-term basis, to return to the original retail service facility (if 
feasible), or to relocate to another site. Unless the decision is to 
return to the original retail service facility, the Postal Service then 
will follow the process in paragraph (c) of this section with respect to 
collecting and considering community input on a proposal to implement 
that decision.
    (iii) The Postal Service may implement provisional relocations in 
connection with lease terminations or expirations, or in connection with 
a lessor exercising a right to require the Postal Service to move to 
alternate premises, when the Postal Service has not already undertaken 
the process in paragraph (c) of this section for such relocations. Not 
later than 180 days following a provisional relocation, the Postal 
Service will make a tentative decision to remain in the provisional 
relocation site on a long-term basis or to relocate to another site. 
After that decision, the Postal Service will follow the process in 
paragraph (c) of this section with respect to collecting and considering 
community input on a proposal to implement that decision.
    (3) This section applies to tentative decisions described in 
paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) made on or after March 23, 2015. The rules 
under Sec. 241.4 in effect prior to that date shall apply to projects 
described in paragraph (a) of this section undertaken prior to that 
date.
    (b) Purpose. The purpose of this section is to provide opportunities 
for community members and their elected local officials to appeal Postal 
Service tentative decisions described in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of 
this section and to give input on proposals for implementing those 
decisions (each a ``proposal''), and to require the Postal Service to 
consider any appeals and input in arriving at final decisions to proceed 
with, modify, or cancel proposals.
    (c) Collecting and considering community input. When the Postal 
Service makes a tentative decision described in paragraphs (a)(1) and 
(a)(2) of this section, a Postal Service representative will take the 
following steps:
    (1) Identify the community and engage local elected officials. The 
Postal Service representative will identify the community the Postal 
Service anticipates would be affected by implementing the proposal, 
taking into account such factors as the Postal Service determines are 
appropriate for the proposal. The Postal Service representative then 
will deliver to one or more local elected public officials a written 
outline of the proposal and offer to discuss the proposal with them. The 
Postal Service representative may elect to conduct that discussion 
either in person or using any other appropriate communication tool, 
including electronic communications. If the officials accept the offer, 
then the Postal Service representative will identify the need and 
outline the proposal 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 input from the local officials 
regarding the proposal.
    (2) Notify the community and arrange for public presentation. The 
Postal Service will send an initial news release outlining the proposal 
to one or more news media serving the community and, if the community 
has a retail service facility, then the Postal Service also will post a 
copy of the information given to local officials or the news release in 
the public lobby of that retail service facility. If the proposal 
concerns relocating retail services from a leased facility, then, using 
the most current notice address information in the Postal Service's file 
for the site, the Postal Service will deliver to the lessor a copy of 
the information given to local officials, provided, however, that no 
such notice will be required when the lessor has terminated the Postal 
Service's lease or has declined to renew the Postal Service lease on 
terms acceptable to the Postal Service. Additionally, the Postal Service 
representative will ask the local officials to place a Postal Service 
presentation of the proposal on the regular agenda of the next scheduled 
public meeting, or will schedule a separate Postal Service public 
meeting concerning the proposal. At least 15 days

[[Page 99]]

prior to the meeting, the Postal Service will advertise the date, time, 
and location of the public meeting in a local news medium and, if the 
community has an existing retail service facility, then the Postal 
Service also will post in the public lobby of that retail service 
facility a notice of the date, time, and location of the public meeting.
    (3) Present the proposal to the community. At the public meeting, 
the Postal Service will identify the need, e.g., to replace an expiring 
lease or to serve a new population center; identify the tentative 
decision, e.g., to relocate retail services or add a retail service 
facility; outline the proposal to meet the need; invite questions; 
solicit written input on the proposal; and provide an address to which 
the community and local officials may send written appeals of the 
tentative decision and comments on the proposal for a period of 30 days 
following the public meeting. Under exceptional circumstances that would 
prevent a Postal Service representative from attending or conducting a 
public meeting to present the proposal within a reasonable time, the 
Postal Service, in lieu of a public meeting, will mail written 
notification of the tentative decision and the proposal to customers 
within the community and post a notice of the proposal in the retail 
service facility that would be affected by the proposal, seeking their 
written input on the proposal and providing an address to which the 
community and local officials may send written appeals of the tentative 
decision and comments on the proposal during the 30 days following that 
notification. An example of exceptional circumstances would be a 
proposal that would be implemented in a sparsely populated area remote 
from the seat of local government or any forum where the public meeting 
reasonably could be held.
    (i)(A) If the proposal concerns relocation, then the Postal Service 
will:
    (1) Discuss the reasons for relocating;
    (2) Identify the site or area, or both, to which the Postal Service 
anticipates relocating the retail services; and
    (3) Describe the anticipated size of the retail service facility for 
the relocated retail services, and the anticipated services to be 
offered at that site or in that area.
    (B) The Postal Service may identify more than one potential 
relocation site and/or area, for example, when the Postal Service has 
not selected among competing sites.
    (ii)(A) If the proposal concerns adding a new retail service 
facility for a community, then the Postal Service will:
    (1) Discuss the reasons for the addition;
    (2) Identify the site or area, or both, to which the Postal Service 
anticipates adding the retail service facility;
    (3) Describe the anticipated size of the added retail service 
facility, and the anticipated services to be offered; and
    (4) Outline any anticipated construction (e.g., of a stand-alone 
building or interior improvements to an existing building (or portion 
thereof) that will be leased by the Postal Service).
    (B) The Postal Service may identify more than one potential site 
and/or area, for example, when the Postal Service has not selected yet 
among competing sites.
    (4) Consider comments and appeals. After the 30-day comment and 
appeal period, the Postal Service will consider the comments and appeals 
received that identify reasons why the Postal Service's tentative 
decision and proposal (e.g., to relocate to the selected site, or to add 
a new retail service facility) is, or is not, the optimal solution for 
the identified need. Following that consideration, the Postal Service 
will make a final decision to proceed with, modify, or cancel the 
proposal. The Postal Service then will inform local officials in writing 
of its final decision and send an initial news release announcing the 
final decision to local news media. If the community has a retail 
service facility, then the Postal Service also will post a copy of the 
information given to local officials or the news release in the public 
lobby of that retail service facility. The Postal Service then will 
implement the final decision.
    (5) Identify any new site or area. After the public meeting under 
paragraph (c)(3) of this section, if the Postal Service decides to use a 
site or area that it

[[Page 100]]

did not identify at the public meeting, and this section applies with 
respect to that new site or area, then the Postal Service will undertake 
the steps in paragraphs (c)(2) through (4) of this section with regard 
to the new site or area.
    (d) Effect on other obligations and policies. (1) Nothing in this 
section shall add to, reduce, or otherwise modify the Postal Service's 
legal obligations or policies for compliance with:
    (i) Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, 16 U.S.C. 
470, Executive Order 12072, and Executive Order 13006;
    (ii) 39 U.S.C. 404(d) and 39 CFR 241.3; or
    (iii) 39 U.S.C. 409(f);
    (2) These are independent policies or obligations of the Postal 
Service that are not dependent upon a relocation or addition of a retail 
service facility.

[80 FR 9193, Feb. 20, 2015]



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 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

[[Page 101]]

office, where the employee will be called in and service made. Section 
265.11 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; 82 FR 12921, Mar. 8, 2017]



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.
    (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

[[Page 102]]

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.
    (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

[[Page 103]]

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, 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.

[[Page 104]]



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.



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

[[Page 105]]

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.
    (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

[[Page 106]]

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 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,

[[Page 107]]

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 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

[[Page 108]]

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:
    (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.

[[Page 109]]

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.

    Under 39 U.S.C. 410, as enacted by the Postal Reorganization Act, 
the U.S. Postal Service is not 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 of this chapter are to provide the basis for an 
organization-wide records and information management program affecting 
all Postal Service organizational components having the custody of any 
form of information and records.

[80 FR 45065, July 29, 2015]



Sec. 261.2  Authority.

    (a) As provided in 39 U.S.C. 401(5), 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) Under Sec. 262.2 of this chapter, the Postal Service Privacy and 
Records Office, located under the Associate General Counsel and Chief 
Ethics and Compliance Officer, is responsible for the retention, 
security, and privacy of Postal Service records and is empowered 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.

[80 FR 45065, July 29, 2015]



Sec. 261.3  Policy.

    It is the policy of the Postal Service:
    (a) To, as appropriate, create, preserve, protect and disclose 
records 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 Chief Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Officer, whose 
duties are performed by the Associate General Counsel and Chief Ethics 
and Compliance Officer, is responsible for:
    (1) Overseeing Postal Service compliance with the FOIA.
    (2) Making recommendations to the Postmaster General regarding the 
Postal Service's FOIA program.
    (3) Monitoring and reporting on FOIA implementation and performance 
for the Postal Service.
    (b) The Chief Privacy Officer, under the Associate General Counsel 
and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, is responsible for 
administering records and information management policies, and the 
privacy of information programs, and for the compliance of all 
handbooks, directives, and instructions in support of these policies and 
programs.
    (c) The Deputy Chief FOIA Officer, under the Privacy and Records 
Office, administers the Postal Service release of information program 
with the assistance of FOIA Coordinators in Headquarters departments and 
area and district offices.
    (d) Freedom of Information Act Public Liaisons are responsible for:
    (1) Managing FOIA Requester Service Centers (RSCs).
    (2) Receiving concerns of requesters about the service provided by 
the FOIA RSC following an initial response.

[[Page 110]]

    (3) Ensuring a service-oriented response to requests and FOIA-
related inquiries.
    (4) Reporting to the Chief FOIA Officer on their activities.
    (e) Freedom of Information Act Requester Service Centers are 
responsible for:
    (1) Facilitating communication between the Postal Service and FOIA 
requesters.
    (2) Providing information to requesters concerning the status of 
FOIA requests and information about responses to such requests.
    (f) Freedom of Information Act Coordinators fill an ad hoc position 
located within each Headquarters department, and Area and District 
office, and are responsible for:
    (1) Coordinating and tracking FOIA requests referred to or received 
by their functional or geographical area.
    (2) Providing procedural guidance, upon request, to records 
custodians.
    (3) Assisting the Deputy Chief FOIA Officer with national reporting 
activities, such as annual reporting of local FOIA and Privacy Act 
activities.
    (g) Records Custodians are responsible for ensuring that records 
within their facilities or organizations are managed according to Postal 
Service policies. Vice presidents or their designees are the custodians 
of records maintained at Headquarters. In the field, the Records 
Custodian is the head of a Postal Service facility such as an area, 
district, Post Office, or other Postal Service installation or designee 
that maintains Postal Service records. Senior medical personnel are the 
custodians of restricted medical records maintained within Postal 
Service facilities. The Custodian of Employee Assistance Program (EAP) 
records is the Postal Service counselor, a supplier, or the public 
health service, whichever provided the services.
    (h) 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.

[80 FR 45065, July 29, 2015]



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. The CPO has the power to 
authorize the disclosure of such records. Additionally, the CPO is 
responsible for establishing procedures and guidelines to ensure that 
record management practices are in compliance with the Privacy Act and 
FOIA. The CPO directs the activities of the Privacy and Records Office 
and may also delegate or take appropriate action if policies are not 
adhered to or if questions of interpretation or procedures arise.
    (b) Deputy Chief FOIA Officer. The Deputy Chief FOIA Officer, under 
the Privacy and Records Office, administers the Postal Service release 
of information program and has the power to authorize the disclosure of 
records. The Deputy Chief FOIA Officer oversees FOIA Requester Service 
Centers (RSCs).
    (c) Records Custodian. The Records Custodian is 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

[[Page 111]]

custodians of restricted medical records maintained within postal 
facilities.
    (d) Information System Executive. This is the Postal Service 
official, usually a vice president, who prescribes the existence of and 
the policies for an information system.
    (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.

[80 FR 45066, July 29, 2015]



Sec. 262.3  Information.

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

[[Page 112]]

    (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.
    (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.

[[Page 113]]

    (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 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

[[Page 114]]

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 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_PRODUCTION OR DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL OR INFORMATION--
Table of Contents



  Subpart A_Procedures for Disclosure of Records Under the Freedom of 
                             Information Act

Sec.
265.1  General provisions.
265.2  Proactive disclosure of Postal Service records.
265.3  Procedure for submitting a FOIA request.
265.4  Responsibility for responding to requests.
265.5  Timing of responses to requests.
265.6  Responses to requests.
265.7  Confidential commercial information obtained from submitters.
265.8  Administrative appeals.
265.9  Fees.

   Subpart B_Production or Disclosure in Federal and State Proceedings

265.11  Compliance with subpoenas 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 Postal Inspection Service where the 
          Postal Service, the United States, or any other Federal agency 
          is not a party.

                    Subpart C_Availability of Records

265.14  Rules concerning specific categories of records.

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552; 5 U.S.C. App. 3; 39 U.S.C. 401, 403, 410, 
1001, 2601; Pub. L. 114-185.

    Source: 81 FR 86271, Nov. 30, 2016, unless otherwise noted.



  Subpart A_Procedures for Disclosure of Records Under the Freedom of 
                             Information Act



Sec. 265.1  General provisions.

    (a) This subpart contains the regulations that implement the Freedom 
of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552, insofar as the Act applies to 
the Postal Service. These rules should be read in conjunction with the 
text of the FOIA and the Uniform Freedom of Information Fee Schedule and 
Guidelines published by the Office of Management and Budget, (OMB 
Guidelines), 52 FR 10012 (Mar.

[[Page 115]]

27, 1987). The Postal Service FOIA Requester's Guide, an easy-to-read 
guide for making Postal Service FOIA requests, is available at http://
about.usps.com/who-we-are/foia/welcome.htm.
    (b) Requests made by individuals for records about themselves under 
the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, are processed under Part 266 as 
well as under this subpart.
    (c) 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 
of those records that are covered by the requirements of the FOIA, 
subject only to the specific exemptions required or authorized by law. 
The exemptions from mandatory disclosure for various types of records 
provided by 5 U.S.C. 552(b) and 39 U.S.C. 410(c) 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 rather than by requiring their disclosure. This Postal 
Service policy does not create any right enforceable in court.
    (d) As referenced in this subpart, component means any department or 
facility within the Postal Service that maintains records; the Office of 
Inspector General; and the Postal Inspection Service. Postal Service 
refers to all such components collectively.
    (e) Nothing in this subpart shall be construed to entitle any 
person, as of right, to any service or to the disclosure of any record 
to which such person is not entitled under the FOIA.



Sec. 265.2  Proactive disclosure of Postal Service records.

    (a) In general. The Postal Service is responsible for determining 
which of its records must be made publicly available, for identifying 
additional records of interest to the public that are appropriate for 
public disclosure, and for posting and indexing such records. The Postal 
Service's FOIA Requester Service Centers (RSCs) and FOIA Public Liaisons 
can assist individuals in locating Postal Service records. Descriptions 
of, and contact information for, the various FOIA RSCs can be found at 
http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/foia/welcome.htm.
    (b) Records available in an electronic format. Records that the FOIA 
requires the Postal Service to make available for public inspection in 
an electronic format pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2) and that are exempt 
from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(3), may be accessed through the 
Postal Service's Web site at http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/foia/
welcome.htm. The Postal Service must ensure that its Web site of posted 
records and indices is reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. Such 
records available for public inspection in an electronic format include 
the following:
    (1) 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 
supplier disagreement 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 Web site at http://
about.usps.com/who-we-are/foia/welcome.htm.
    (2) Administrative manuals and instructions. 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 Postal 
Service's Web site at http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/foia/welcome.htm. 
Copies of publications which are not listed as for sale or as available 
free of charge may be requested on an individual basis in accordance 
with the procedures provided in Sec. 265.3.

[[Page 116]]

    (3) Previously released records. Copies of all records, regardless 
of form or format, that have been released to any person pursuant to the 
FOIA; and that because of the nature of their subject matter, the Postal 
Service determines have become or are likely to become the subject of 
subsequent requests for substantially the same records; or that have 
been requested 3 or more times, as well as a general index of such 
records. Records processed and disclosed after March 31, 1997, 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 Web site identified at 
Sec. 265.2(b). Records described in this paragraph that were not created 
by, or on behalf of, the Postal Service generally will not be available 
at the 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 exemptions indicated in accordance with 
Sec. 265.6(d).
    (4) Public index. (i) A public index is maintained in the 
Headquarters Library and at the 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 (b) 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. 265.3.
    (iv) Copies of the public index and of matters listed in the public 
index may be requested through the procedures described in Sec. 265.3, 
with payment of any applicable fees.
    (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 Web site at http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/foia/
welcome.htm.



Sec. 265.3  Procedure for submitting a FOIA request.

    (a) To whom submitted. A request must be submitted to the 
appropriate FOIA Requester Service Center (RSC). Descriptions of, and 
contact information for, the various FOIA RSCs can be found at http://
about.usps.com/who-we-are/foia/welcome.htm. For assistance in 
determining the appropriate FOIA RSC, requesters may contact the USPS HQ 
FOIA Requester Service Center, Privacy and Records Office, U.S. Postal 
Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20260, telephone (202) 
268-2608. Requests for listings of postal employee names should also be 
sent to the USPS HQ FOIA Requester Service Center.
    (b) Form of request. A request to inspect or to obtain a copy of an 
identifiable Postal Service record must 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, both on the letter and on the envelope or 
other cover. Requests for records that are labeled incorrectly may be 
delayed in reaching the appropriate FOIA RSC. A requester must provide 
his or her full name and mailing address. A requester may also provide a 
daytime telephone number or email address to facilitate communication 
regarding his or her request.
    (c) Content of request. Requesters must describe the records sought 
in sufficient detail to enable Postal Service personnel to locate them 
with a reasonable amount of effort. Whenever possible, requesters should 
include specific information about each record sought, such as the type 
of record (e.g., contract, report, memorandum, etc.); the title or case 
number of a specific document or report; the topic or subject matter; 
the name of the office, facility, functional unit or employees most 
likely to possess the record; the geographical location, such as a city

[[Page 117]]

and state, where the records are thought to exist; the date or general 
timeframe of the record's creation; and any details related to the 
purpose of the record. Requests for email records should specify the 
likely senders and recipients, keywords, and a range of dates. If 
seeking information about a company, requesters should provide the exact 
name and address of the company (many companies use similar names). 
Before submitting requests, requesters may contact the relevant Postal 
Service FOIA Requester Service Center to discuss the records they are 
seeking and to receive assistance in describing the records. The request 
may state the maximum amount of fees for which the requester is willing 
to accept liability without prior notice. If no amount is stated, the 
requester will be deemed willing to accept liability for fees not to 
exceed $25.00. See paragraph (e)(2) of Sec. 265.9.The request may also 
specify the preferred form or format (including electronic formats) of 
the requested records.
    (d) First-party requests. A requester who is making a request for 
records about himself must provide verification of identity sufficient 
to satisfy the component as to his identity prior to release of the 
record. For Privacy Act-protected records, the requester must further 
comply with the procedures set forth in 39 CFR 266.6.
    (e) Third-party requests. Where a FOIA request seeks disclosure of 
records that pertain to a third party, a requester may receive greater 
access by submitting a written authorization signed by that individual 
authorizing disclosure of the records to the requester, or by submitting 
proof that the individual is deceased (e.g., a copy of a death 
certificate or an obituary). As an exercise of administrative 
discretion, each component can require a requester to supply a notarized 
authorization, a declaration, or other additional information if 
necessary in order to verify that a particular individual has consented 
to disclosure.
    (f) Improper requests. A request that does not reasonably describe 
the records sought, or does not comply with the published rules 
regarding the procedures to be followed for submitting a request, will 
be deemed to be an improper FOIA request. If after receiving a request, 
the Postal Service determines that it is improper, the Postal Service 
will inform the requester as to why the request is improper. If the 
requester fails to respond to the Postal Service's request for 
clarification or additional information within 30 calendar days, the 
Postal Service will assume the requester is no longer interested in 
pursuing the request and close its file. The FOIA Requester Service 
Centers and the FOIA Public Liaisons are available to assist requesters 
in correcting a request that does not reasonably describe the records 
sought.



Sec. 265.4  Responsibility for responding to requests.

    (a) In general. When a request is received, the FOIA RSC will either 
respond to the request, or refer the request to the appropriate FOIA RSC 
or records custodians. The FOIA RSC will advise the requester of any 
such referral. The Postal Service, the Office of Inspector General of 
the Postal Service, and the Postal Inspection Service, respectively, are 
responsible for responding to requests they receive for records they 
maintain. Records responsive to a request ordinarily will include only 
records in the Postal Service's possession as of the date of the search. 
If any other date is used, the Postal Service shall inform the requester 
of that date. A record that is excluded from the requirements of the 
FOIA pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(c) is not considered responsive to the 
request.
    (b) Authority to grant or deny requests. The records custodian of 
the requested record, or his designee, is authorized to grant or to deny 
the request. FOIA RSC staff may also grant or deny requests.
    (c) Receipt and tracking of requests. FOIA RSCs are responsible for 
the initial receipt and tracking of FOIA requests.
    (d) Acknowledgments of requests. FOIA RSCs must acknowledge the 
request in writing and assign it an individualized tracking number if it 
will take longer than 10 working days to process. The acknowledgement of 
the request must include a brief description of the records sought to 
allow requesters to

[[Page 118]]

more easily keep track of their requests.

[81 FR 86271, Nov. 30, 2016, as amended at 82 FR 15139, Mar. 27, 2017]



Sec. 265.5  Timing of responses to requests.

    (a) In general. Requests will ordinarily be responded to according 
to their order of receipt. A request that is not initially submitted to 
the appropriate FOIA RSC will be deemed to have been received by the 
Postal Service at the time that it is actually received by the 
appropriate FOIA RSC or at the time the request is referred to the 
appropriate records custodian by a FOIA RSC, but in any case a request 
will be deemed to have been received no later than 10 business days 
after the request is first received by a FOIA RSC.
    (b) Multitrack processing. (1) Unless expedited processing has been 
granted, the Postal Service places each request in simple or complex 
tracks based on the amount of work and time involved in processing the 
request. Factors considered in assigning a request into the complex 
track may include one or more of the following factors:
    (i) The request involves voluminous documents;
    (ii) The complexity of the material;
    (iii) The request involves record searches at multiple facilities or 
locations;
    (iv) The request requires consultation among components or other 
agencies;
    (v) The number of open requests submitted by the same requester.
    (2) Within each track, the Postal Service processes requests in the 
order in which they are received. When appropriate, the FOIA RSC or the 
component will notify the requester if it has placed the request in the 
``Complex'' track, and provide the requester with an opportunity to 
limit the scope of the request. If the requester limits the scope of the 
request, it may result in faster processing.
    (c) Expedited processing. (1) Requests and appeals shall be 
processed on an expedited basis whenever it is determined that they 
involve:
    (i) Circumstances in which the lack of expedited processing could 
reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or 
physical safety of an individual;
    (ii) An urgency to inform the public about an actual or alleged 
Federal Government activity, if made by a person who is primarily 
engaged in disseminating information.
    (2) A requester who seeks expedited processing must submit a 
statement, certified to be true and correct, explaining in detail the 
basis for making the request for expedited processing. For example, 
under paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section, a requester who is not a 
full-time member of the news media must establish that the requester is 
a person whose primary professional activity or occupation is 
information dissemination, though it need not be the requester's sole 
occupation. Such a requester also must establish a particular urgency to 
inform the public about the government activity involved in the 
request--one that extends beyond the public's right to know about 
government activity generally. The existence of numerous articles 
published on a given subject can be helpful in establishing the 
requirement that there be an ``urgency to inform'' the public on the 
topic. As a matter of administrative discretion, a component may waive 
the formal certification requirement.
    (3) A component shall notify the requester within 10 calendar days 
of the receipt of a request for expedited processing of its decision 
whether to grant or deny expedited processing. If expedited processing 
is granted, the request shall be given priority, placed in the 
processing track for expedited requests, and shall be processed as soon 
as practicable. If a request for expedited processing is denied, any 
appeal of that decision shall be acted on expeditiously
    (d) Unusual circumstances. Whenever the statutory time limit for 
processing a request cannot be met because of ``unusual circumstances'', 
as defined in the FOIA, and the component extends the time limit on that 
basis, the component shall, before the expiration of the 20-day period 
to respond, notify the requester in writing of the unusual circumstances 
involved and of the date by which processing of the request can be

[[Page 119]]

expected to be completed. Where the extension exceeds 10 working days, 
the component shall, as described by the FOIA, provide the requester 
with an opportunity to modify the request or arrange an alternative time 
period for processing and alert the requester to the availability of the 
Office of Government Information Services to provide dispute resolution 
services. The component shall make available its designated FOIA contact 
and its FOIA Public Liaison for this purpose.
    (e) Aggregating requests. For the purposes of satisfying unusual 
circumstances under the FOIA, the Postal Service may aggregate requests 
in cases where it reasonably appears that multiple requests, submitted 
either by a single requester or by a group of requesters acting in 
concert, constitute a single request that would otherwise involve 
unusual circumstances. Multiple requests that involve unrelated matters 
shall not be aggregated.



Sec. 265.6  Responses to requests.

    (a) Grants of requests. Once a component makes a determination to 
grant a request in whole or in part, it shall notify the requester in 
writing and include a statement alerting the requester of his or her 
right to seek assistance from the FOIA Public Liaison. The component 
also shall inform the requester of any fees charged under Sec. 265.9 and 
shall disclose the requested records to the requester promptly upon 
payment of any applicable fees.
    (b) Adverse determinations of requests. A component making an 
adverse determination denying a request in any respect shall notify the 
requester of that determination in writing. Adverse determinations, or 
denials of requests, include decisions that: the requested record is 
exempt, in whole or in part; the request does not reasonably describe 
the records sought; the information requested is not a record subject to 
the FOIA; the requested record does not exist, cannot be located, or has 
been destroyed; or the requested record is not readily reproducible in 
the form or format sought by the requester. Adverse determinations also 
include denials involving fees or fee waiver matters or denials of 
requests for expedited processing.
    (c) Content of denial. The denial shall include, to the extent 
applicable:
    (1) The name and title or position of the person responsible for the 
denial;
    (2) A brief statement of the reasons for the denial, including any 
FOIA exemption applied by the component in denying the request;
    (3) An estimate of the volume of any records or information 
withheld, such as the number of pages or some other reasonable form of 
estimation, although such an estimate is not required if the volume is 
otherwise indicated by deletions marked on records that are disclosed in 
part or if providing an estimate would harm an interest protected by an 
applicable exemption; and
    (4) A statement that the denial may be appealed under Sec. 265.8, 
and a description of the requirements set forth therein.
    (5) A statement notifying the requester of his or her right to seek 
dispute resolution services from the FOIA Public Liaison or the Office 
of Government Information Services.
    (d) Markings on released documents. Markings on released documents 
must be clearly visible to the requester. Records disclosed in part 
shall be marked to show the amount of information deleted and the 
exemption under which the deletion was made unless doing so would harm 
an interest protected by an applicable exemption. The location of the 
information deleted shall also be indicated on the record, if 
technically feasible.
    (e) Use of record exclusions. (1) In the event that a component 
identifies records that may be subject to exclusion from the 
requirements of the FOIA pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(c), the component must 
confer with Department of Justice, Office of Information Policy (OIP), 
to obtain approval to apply the exclusion.



Sec. 265.7  Confidential commercial information obtained from 
submitters.

    (a) Definitions. (1) Confidential commercial information means 
commercial or financial information obtained by the Postal Service from 
a submitter that may be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of 
the FOIA, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4).

[[Page 120]]

    (2) Submitter means any person or entity, including a corporation, 
State, or foreign government, but not including another Federal 
Government entity, that provides information, either directly or 
indirectly to the Postal Service.
    (b) Designation of confidential commercial information. A submitter 
of confidential commercial information must use good faith efforts to 
designate by appropriate markings, either at the time of submission or 
within a reasonable time thereafter, any portion of its submission that 
it considers to be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4. The 
Postal Service will not determine the validity of any request for 
confidential treatment until a request for disclosure of the information 
is received. These designations shall expire 10 years after the date of 
the submission unless the submitter requests and provides justification 
for a longer designation period.
    (c) When notice to submitters is required. (1) The Postal Service 
shall promptly provide written notice to a submitter of confidential 
commercial information whenever records containing such information are 
requested under the FOIA if, after reviewing the request, the responsive 
records, and any appeal by the requester, the Postal Service determines 
that it may be required to disclose the records, provided:
    (i) The requested information has been designated in good faith by 
the submitter as information considered protected from disclosure under 
Exemption 4; or
    (ii) The Postal Service has a reason to believe that the requested 
information may be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4, but has 
not yet determined whether the information is protected from disclosure 
under that exemption or any other applicable exemption.
    (2) The notice shall either describe the commercial information 
requested or include a copy of the requested records or portions of 
records containing the information. In cases involving a voluminous 
number of submitters, notice may be made by posting or publishing the 
notice in a place or manner reasonably likely to accomplish it.
    (d) Exceptions to submitter notice requirements. The notice 
requirements of this section shall not apply if:
    (1) The Postal Service determines that the information is exempt 
under the FOIA or 39 U.S.C. 410(c);
    (2) The information has been lawfully published or has been 
officially made available to the public;
    (3) Disclosure of the information is required by a statute other 
than the FOIA or by a Postal Service regulation; if disclosure is 
required by a Postal Service regulation and the submitter provided 
written justification for protection of the information under Exemption 
4 at the time of submission or a reasonable time thereafter, advanced 
written notice of the disclosure must be provided to the submitter; or
    (4) The designation made by the submitter under paragraph (b) of 
this section appears obviously frivolous or overly broad, except that, 
in such cases, the component shall give the submitter written notice of 
any final decision to disclose the information and must provide that 
notice within a reasonable number of days prior to a specified 
disclosure date.
    (e) Opportunity to object to disclosure. (1) The Postal Service 
shall specify a reasonable time period within which the submitter must 
respond to the notice referenced above. If a submitter has any 
objections to disclosure, it should provide the Postal Service a 
detailed written statement that specifies all grounds for withholding 
the particular information under any exemption of the FOIA. In order to 
rely on Exemption 4 as basis for nondisclosure, the submitter must 
explain why the information constitutes 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.

[[Page 121]]

    (2) A submitter who fails to respond within the time period 
specified in the notice shall be considered to have no objection to 
disclosure of the information. Information received by the Postal 
Service after the date of any disclosure decision shall not be 
considered by the Postal Service. Any information provided by a 
submitter under this subpart may itself be subject to disclosure under 
the FOIA. The Postal Service must consider a submitter's objections and 
specific grounds for nondisclosure in deciding whether to disclose the 
requested information.
    (f) Determination that confidential treatment is warranted. If the 
Postal Service determines that confidential treatment is warranted for 
any part of the requested records and that the records will therefore be 
redacted or withheld, it must inform the requester in writing, and must 
advise the requester of the right to appeal. A copy of the letter of 
denial must also be provided to the submitter of the records in any case 
in which the submitter had been notified of the request.
    (g) Notice of intent to disclose. If the Postal Service decides to 
disclose information over the objection of a submitter, the Postal 
Service shall provide the submitter written notice, which shall include:
    (1) A statement of the reasons why each of the submitter's 
disclosure objections was not sustained;
    (2) A description or copy of the information to be disclosed; and
    (3) A specified disclosure date, which shall be a reasonable time 
subsequent to the notice.
    (h) Notice of FOIA lawsuit. Whenever a requester files a lawsuit 
seeking to compel the disclosure of confidential commercial information, 
the component shall promptly notify the submitter. Whenever a submitter 
files a lawsuit to prevent disclosure of confidential commercial 
information, the component shall promptly notify the requester.
    (i) Requester notification. The Postal Service shall notify a 
requester whenever it notifies the submitter of its intent to disclose 
the requested information.



Sec. 265.8  Administrative appeals.

    (a) Requirements for making an appeal. Requesters may appeal adverse 
decisions rendered by the Postal Inspection Service or any Postal 
Service component by mail to the General Counsel, U.S. Postal Service, 
475 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20260; or by email to 
[email protected] The requester must make the appeal in writing and 
to be considered timely it must be postmarked, or in the case of 
electronic submissions, transmitted, within 90 calendar days after the 
date of the response; or within a reasonable time if the appeal is from 
a failure of the custodian to act. The General Counsel may, in his or 
her discretion, consider late appeals. 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 or she 
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. A letter of appeal 
should include, as applicable:
    (1) A copy of the request, of any notification of denial or other 
action, and of any other related correspondence;
    (2) The FOIA tracking number assigned to the request;
    (3) A statement of the action, or failure to act, from which the 
appeal is taken;
    (4) A statement identifying the specific redactions to responsive 
records that the requester is challenging;
    (5) A statement of the relief sought; and
    (6) A statement of the reasons why the requester believes the action 
or failure to act is erroneous.
    (b) Adjudication of appeals. (1) The decision of the General Counsel 
or his or her designee constitutes the final decision of the Postal 
Service on the issue being appealed. 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 or her designee, 
for a period

[[Page 122]]

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 (a)(5) of this section. The 
aggregate number of additional working days utilized, however, may not 
exceed 10 working days.
    (2) An appeal ordinarily will not be adjudicated if the request 
becomes a matter of FOIA litigation.
    (3) On receipt of any appeal, the General Counsel, or his or her 
designee, must take appropriate action to ensure compliance with 
applicable classification rules.
    (c) Decisions on appeals. A decision on an appeal must be made in 
writing. A decision that upholds a component's determination in whole or 
in part will contain a statement that identifies the reasons for the 
affirmance, including any FOIA exemptions applied. The decision will 
provide the requester with notification of the statutory right to file a 
lawsuit and will inform the requester of the mediation services offered 
by the Office of Government Information Services of the National 
Archives and Records Administration as a non-exclusive alternative to 
litigation. If a custodian's decision is remanded or modified on appeal, 
the requester will be notified of that determination in writing. The 
component will further process the request in accordance with that 
appeal determination and respond directly to the requester. 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.
    (d) When appeal is required. Before seeking judicial review of a 
component's adverse determination, a requester generally must first 
submit a timely administrative appeal.
    (e) Appeal procedures for the Office of the Inspector General. The 
appeal procedures for the Office of the Inspector General are described 
in 39 CFR 230.5.



Sec. 265.9  Fees.

    (a) In general. The Postal Service shall charge for processing 
requests under the FOIA in accordance with the provisions of this 
section and with the OMB Guidelines. In order to resolve any fee issues 
that arise under this section, a component may contact a requester for 
additional information. The Postal Service will conduct searches, 
review, and duplication in the most efficient and the least expensive 
manner. The Postal Service ordinarily will collect all applicable fees 
before sending copies of records to a requester. Requesters must pay 
fees by check or money order made payable to ``U.S. Postal Service.''
    (b) Definitions. For purposes of this section:
    (1) Commercial-use requester is a requester who asks for information 
for a use or a purpose that furthers a commercial, trade, or profit 
interest, which can include furthering those interests through 
litigation. The Postal Service's decision to place a requester in the 
commercial use category will be made on a case-by-case basis based on 
the requester's intended use of the information.
    (2) Direct costs are those expenses that the Postal Service incurs 
in searching for and duplicating records in order to respond to a FOIA 
request. In the case of commercial-use requesters, direct costs include 
reviewing and taking all other measures needed to prepare the records 
for disclosure.
    (3) Search is the process of looking for and retrieving records or 
information responsive to a request. Search time includes page-by-page 
or line-by-line identification of information within records and the 
reasonable efforts expended to locate and retrieve information from 
electronic records.
    (4) Duplication is reproducing a copy of a record, or of the 
information contained in it, necessary to respond to a FOIA request. 
Copies can take the form of paper, audiovisual materials, or electronic 
records, among others.
    (5) Review is the examination of a record located in response to a 
request in order to determine whether any portion of it is exempt from 
disclosure. Review time includes processing any record for disclosure, 
such as doing all that is necessary to prepare the record for 
disclosure, including the process of redacting the record and marking 
the appropriate exemptions. Review costs are properly charged even if a 
record

[[Page 123]]

ultimately is not disclosed. Review time also includes time spent both 
obtaining and considering any formal objection to disclosure made by a 
confidential commercial information submitter under Sec. 265.6, but it 
does not include time spent resolving general legal or policy issues 
regarding the application of exemptions.
    (6) Educational institution is any school that operates a program of 
scholarly research. A requester in this fee category must show that the 
request is authorized by, and is made under the auspices of, an 
educational institution and that the records are not sought for a 
commercial use, but rather are sought to further scholarly research. To 
fall within this fee category, the request must serve the scholarly 
research goals of the institution rather than an individual research 
goal.
    (7) Noncommercial scientific institution is an institution that is 
not operated on a ``commercial'' basis, as defined in paragraph (b)(1) 
of this section and that is operated solely for the purpose of 
conducting scientific research the results of which are not intended to 
promote any particular product or industry. A requester in this category 
must show that the request is authorized by and is made under the 
auspices of a qualifying institution and that the records are sought to 
further scientific research and are not for a commercial use.
    (8) Representative of the news media is any person or entity that 
gathers information of potential interest to a segment of the public, 
uses its editorial skills to turn the raw materials into a distinct 
work, and distributes that work to an audience. The term news means 
information that is about current events or that would be of current 
interest to the public. Examples of news media entities include 
television or radio stations that broadcast ``news'' to the public at 
large and publishers of periodicals that disseminate ``news'' and make 
their products available through a variety of means to the general 
public, including news organizations that disseminate solely on the 
Internet. A request for records supporting the news-dissemination 
function of the requester shall not be considered to be for a commercial 
use. ``Freelance'' journalists who demonstrate a solid basis for 
expecting publication through a news media entity shall be considered as 
a representative of the news media. A publishing contract would provide 
the clearest evidence that publication is expected; however, the Postal 
Service shall also consider a requester's past publication record in 
making this determination.
    (c) Charging fees. In responding to FOIA requests, the Postal 
Service shall charge the following fees unless a waiver or reduction of 
fees has been granted under paragraph (j) of this section. Because the 
fee amounts provided below already account for the direct costs 
associated with a given fee type, components should not add any 
additional costs to charges calculated under this section.
    (1) Search. (i) Requests made by educational institutions, 
noncommercial scientific institutions, or representatives of the news 
media are not subject to search fees. Search fees shall be charged for 
all other requesters, subject to the restrictions of paragraph (d) of 
this section. The Postal Service may charge for time spent searching 
even if no responsive records are located or if it determines that the 
records are entirely exempt from disclosure.
    (ii) For each half hour spent by personnel searching for requested 
records, including electronic searches that do not require new 
programming, the fee shall be $21.00.
    (iii) Requesters shall be charged the direct costs associated with 
conducting any search that requires the creation of a new computer 
program to locate the requested records. Requesters shall be notified of 
the costs associated with creating such a program and must agree to pay 
the associated costs before the costs may be incurred.
    (iv) For requests that require the retrieval of records stored at a 
Federal records center operated by the National Archives and Records 
Administration (NARA), or other storage facility, additional costs may 
be charged for their retrieval.
    (2) Duplication. Duplication fees shall be charged to all 
requesters, subject to the restrictions of paragraph (d) of this 
section. A component shall honor a requester's preference for receiving 
a

[[Page 124]]

record in a particular form or format where it is readily reproducible 
by the component in the form or format requested. Where photocopies are 
supplied, the component shall provide one copy per request at a cost of 
fifteen cents per page. For copies of records produced on tapes, disks, 
or other media, components shall charge the direct costs of producing 
the copy, including operator time. Where paper documents must be scanned 
in order to comply with a requester's preference to receive the records 
in an electronic format, the requester shall pay the direct costs 
associated with scanning those materials. For other forms of 
duplication, components shall charge the direct costs.
    (3) Review. Commercial-use requesters shall be charged review fees. 
Review fees shall be assessed in connection with the initial review of 
the record, i.e., the review conducted by a component to determine 
whether an exemption applies to a particular record or portion of a 
record. No charge will be made for review at the administrative appeal 
stage of exemptions applied at the initial review stage. However, if a 
particular exemption is deemed to no longer apply, any costs associated 
with a component's re-review of the records in order to consider the use 
of other exemptions may be assessed as review fees. Review fees shall be 
charged at the same rates as those charged for a search under paragraph 
(c)(1)(ii) of this section.
    (d) Restrictions on charging fees. (1) No search fees will be 
charged for requests by educational institutions (unless the records are 
sought for a commercial use), noncommercial scientific institutions, or 
representatives of the news media.
    (2)(i) If a component fails to comply with the time limits in which 
to respond to a request, it may not charge search fees, or, in the 
instances of requests from requesters described in paragraph (d)(1) of 
this section, may not charge duplication fees.
    (ii) If a component has determined that unusual circumstances as 
defined by the FOIA apply and the component provided timely written 
notice to the requester in accordance with the FOIA, the component has 
an additional 10 days to respond to the request.
    (iii) If a component has determined that unusual circumstances as 
defined by the FOIA apply and more than 5,000 pages are necessary to 
respond to the request, the component may charge search fees, or, in the 
case of requesters described in paragraph (d)(1) of this section, may 
charge duplication fees if the following steps are taken:
    (A) The component provides timely written notice of unusual 
circumstances to the requester; and
    (B) The component discussed or made three good faith attempts to 
discuss via mail, email, or telephone how the requester could 
effectively limit the scope of the request in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 
552(a)(6)(B)(ii).
    (iv) If a court has determined that exceptional circumstances exist, 
a failure to comply with the time limits shall be excused for the length 
of time provided by the court order.
    (3) No search or review fees will be charged for a quarter-hour 
period unless more than half of that period is required for search or 
review.
    (4) Except for requesters seeking records for a commercial use, 
components shall provide without charge:
    (i) The first 100 pages of duplication (or the cost equivalent for 
other media); and
    (ii) The first two hours of search.
    (5) When, after first deducting the 100 free pages (or its cost 
equivalent) and the first two hours of search, a total fee calculated 
under paragraph (c) of this section is $25.00 or less for any request, 
no fee will be charged.
    (e) Notice of anticipated fees in excess of $25.00. (1) When a 
component determines or estimates that the fees to be assessed in 
accordance with this section will exceed $25.00, the component shall 
notify the requester of the actual or estimated amount of the fees, 
including a breakdown of the fees for search, review or duplication, 
unless the requester has indicated a willingness to pay fees as high as 
those anticipated. If only a portion of the fee can be estimated 
readily, the component shall advise the requester accordingly. If the 
requester is a noncommercial use requester, the notice shall specify 
that

[[Page 125]]

the requester is entitled to the statutory entitlements of 100 pages of 
duplication at no charge and, if the requester is charged search fees, 
two hours of search time at no charge, and shall advise the requester 
whether those entitlements have been provided.
    (2) In cases in which a requester has been notified that the actual 
or estimated fees are in excess of $25.00, the request shall not be 
considered received and further work will not be completed until the 
requester agrees in writing to pay the actual or estimated total fee, or 
designates some amount of fees the requester is willing to pay, or in 
the case of a noncommercial use requester who has not yet been provided 
with the requester's statutory entitlements, designates that the 
requester seeks only that which can be provided by the statutory 
entitlements. Components are not required to accept payments in 
installments.
    (3) If the requester has indicated a willingness to pay some 
designated amount of fees, but the component estimates that the total 
fee will exceed that amount, the component shall toll the processing of 
the request when it notifies the requester of the estimated fees in 
excess of the amount the requester has indicated a willingness to pay. 
The component shall inquire whether the requester wishes to revise the 
amount of fees the requester is willing to pay or modify the request. 
Once the requester responds, the time to respond will resume from where 
it was at the date of the notification.
    (4) Components shall make available their FOIA Public Liaison or 
other FOIA contact to assist any requester in reformulating a request to 
meet the requester's needs at a lower cost.
    (f) Charges for other services. Although not required to provide 
special services, if a component chooses to do so as a matter of 
administrative discretion, the direct costs of providing the service 
requested by the requester shall be charged. Examples of such services 
include providing multiple copies of the same document, or sending 
records by means other than first class mail.
    (g) Aggregating requests. In instances where the Postal Service 
reasonably believes that a requester or a group of requesters acting in 
concert is attempting to divide a single request into a series of 
requests for the purpose of avoiding fees, or that a requester or group 
of requesters acting in concert makes multiple requests for the same 
records maintained at multiple facilities or components, the Postal 
Service may aggregate those requests and charge accordingly. Multiple 
FOIA requests by a single requester related to the same issue will be 
aggregated for the purpose of assessing fees. Multiple requests 
involving unrelated matters shall not be aggregated.
    (h) Advance payments. (1) For requests other than those described in 
paragraphs (h)(2) or (3) of this section, a component shall not require 
the requester to submit an advance payment before work is commenced or 
continued on a request. Payment owed for work already completed (i.e., 
payment before copies are sent to a requester) is not an advance 
payment.
    (2) When a component determines or estimates that a total fee to be 
charged under this section will exceed $250.00, it may require that the 
requester make an advance payment up to the amount of the entire 
anticipated fee before beginning to process the request. A component may 
elect to process the request prior to collecting fees when it receives a 
satisfactory assurance of full payment from a requester with a history 
of prompt payment.
    (3) Where a requester has previously failed to pay a properly 
charged FOIA fee within 30 calendar days of the billing date, a 
component may require that the requester pay the full amount due on that 
prior request, and the component may require that the requester make an 
advance payment of the full amount of any anticipated fee before the 
component begins to process a new request or continues to process a 
pending request or any pending appeal. Where a component has a 
reasonable basis to believe that a requester has misrepresented the 
requester's identity in order to avoid paying outstanding fees, it may 
require that the requester provide proof of identity.
    (4) In cases in which a component requires advance payment, the 
request shall not be considered received and further work will not be 
completed until the required payment is received.

[[Page 126]]

If the requester does not pay the advance payment within 30 calendar 
days after the date of the component's fee determination, the request 
will be administratively closed.
    (i) Other statutes specifically providing for fees. The fee schedule 
of this section does not apply to fees charged under any statute that 
specifically requires the Postal Service to set and collect fees for 
particular types of records. In instances where records responsive to a 
request are subject to a statutorily-based fee schedule program, the 
component shall inform the requester of the contact information for that 
program.
    (j) Requirements for waiver or reduction of fees. (1) Records 
responsive to a request shall be furnished without charge or at a 
reduced rate below the rate established under paragraph (c) of this 
section, where a component determines, based on all available 
information, that the requester has demonstrated that:
    (i) Disclosure of the requested information is in the public 
interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public 
understanding of the operations or activities of the Postal Service, and
    (ii) Disclosure of the information is not primarily in the 
commercial interest of the requester.
    (2) In deciding whether disclosure of the requested information is 
in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly 
to public understanding of operations or activities of the Postal 
Service, components shall consider all four of the following factors:
    (i) The subject of the request must concern identifiable operations 
or activities of the Postal Service, with a connection that is direct 
and clear, not remote or attenuated.
    (ii) Disclosure of the requested records must be meaningfully 
informative about government operations or activities in order to be 
``likely to contribute'' to an increased public understanding of those 
operations or activities. The disclosure of information that already is 
in the public domain, in either the same or a substantially identical 
form, would not contribute to such understanding where nothing new would 
be added to the public's understanding.
    (iii) The disclosure must contribute to the understanding of a 
reasonably broad audience of persons interested in the subject, as 
opposed to the individual understanding of the requester. A requester's 
expertise in the subject area as well as the requester's ability and 
intention to effectively convey information to the public shall be 
considered. A representative of the news media does not automatically 
satisfy this consideration.
    (iv) The public's understanding of the subject in question must be 
enhanced by the disclosure to a significant extent.
    (3) To determine whether disclosure of the requested information is 
primarily in the commercial interest of the requester, components shall 
consider the following factors:
    (i) Components shall identify any commercial interest of the 
requester, as defined in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, that would be 
furthered by the requested disclosure. Requesters shall be given an 
opportunity to provide explanatory information regarding this 
consideration.
    (ii) Disclosure to data brokers or others who merely compile and 
market government information for direct economic return shall not be 
presumed to primarily serve the public interest.
    (4) Where only some of the records to be released satisfy the 
requirements for a waiver of fees, a waiver shall be granted for those 
records.
    (5) Requests for a waiver or reduction of fees should be made when 
the request is first submitted to the component and should address the 
criteria referenced above. A requester may submit a fee waiver request 
at a later time so long as the underlying record request is pending or 
on administrative appeal. When a requester who has committed to pay fees 
subsequently asks for a waiver of those fees and that waiver is denied, 
the requester shall be required to pay any costs incurred up to the date 
the fee waiver request was received.

[81 FR 86271, Nov. 30, 2016, as amended at 82 FR 2896, Jan. 10, 2017; 82 
FR 12921, Mar. 8, 2017]

[[Page 127]]



   Subpart B_Production or Disclosure in Federal and State Proceedings



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 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]



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

[[Page 128]]

    (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:
    (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. 265.13).
    (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, 265.14; 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 266.10.
    (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:

[[Page 129]]

    (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 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.

[[Page 130]]

    (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 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.



Sec. 265.13  Compliance with subpoenas, summonses, and court orders
by postal employees within the Postal 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;

[[Page 131]]

    (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 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 that performs the functions specified in part 233 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. 265.14(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

[[Page 132]]

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, 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

[[Page 133]]

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 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 20260-2101, 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

[[Page 134]]

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 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

[[Page 135]]

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 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 552.
    (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.



                    Subpart C_Availability of Records



Sec. 265.14  Rules concerning specific categories of records.

    (a) Records available to the public on request. Except as otherwise 
proscribed by law or regulations, including but not limited to 
paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, Sec. 265.2 and Sec. 265.11-
Sec. 265.13, Postal Service records will be made available to any person 
in accordance with the procedures provided in Sec. 265.3.
    (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 39 U.S.C. 410(c). The 
Postal Service will exercise its discretion, in accordance with the 
policy stated in Sec. 265.1(c), 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:
    (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

[[Page 136]]

chapter 36 of title 39, U.S. Code, 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. 
Code, 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 that 
could reasonably be expected to interfere with law enforcement 
proceedings, 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 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

[[Page 137]]

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 filing of a proper FOIA request and payment of any 
applicable fees. 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 
Sec. 265.9(b), 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 (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 (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 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)(A) 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,\1\ upon receipt of written information that 
specifically includes all of the following:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The term pro se means that a party is not represented by an 
attorney but by himself or herself.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (1) 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;
    (2) A citation to the statute or regulation that empowers the 
requester to serve process, if the requester is other

[[Page 138]]

than the attorney for a party in whose behalf service will be made, or a 
party who is acting pro se;
    (3) The names of all known parties to the litigation;
    (4) The court in which the case has been or will be commenced;
    (5) The docket or other identifying number, if one has been issued; 
and
    (6) The capacity in which the boxholder is to be served, e.g., 
defendant or witness.
    (B) 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), (iii), or (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.
    (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 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.

[[Page 139]]

    (e) Information not available for public disclosure. (1) 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 and addresses (past or present) of postal patrons or other persons 
in response to a request under this part except that, upon a request in 
accordance with the procedures of Sec. 265.3, the Postal Service will, 
to the extent required by law, provide a listing of postal employees 
working at a particular postal facility.
    (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 18 U.S.C. 1905, 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 140]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR30NO16.002


[[Page 141]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR30NO16.003


[81 FR 86271, Nov. 30, 2016, as amended at 82 FR 12921, Mar. 8, 2017]



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

[[Page 142]]

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]



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

[[Page 143]]

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 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;

[[Page 144]]

    (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 of Postal Service 
customers will be disclosed only in those cases permitted by 39 CFR 
265.14(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 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; 82 FR 12921, Mar. 8, 2017]



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.

[[Page 145]]

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 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

[[Page 146]]

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 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 Secs. 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

[[Page 147]]

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]



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

[[Page 148]]

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, 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

[[Page 149]]

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 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.

[[Page 150]]

    (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) 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

[[Page 151]]

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 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.

[[Page 152]]

    (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;
    (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

[[Page 153]]

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.
    (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;

[[Page 154]]

    (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;
    (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;

[[Page 155]]

    (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.
    (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

[[Page 156]]

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 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

[[Page 157]]

    (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-15 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:
    (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; 72 FR 39012, July 17, 2007]



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

[[Page 158]]

    (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 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

[[Page 159]]

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, 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;

[[Page 160]]

    (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 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 Secs. 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

[[Page 161]]

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.



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;

[[Page 162]]

    (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 163]]



        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 164]]

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 165]]

    (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 166]]

    (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 167]]

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 Manager, Mailing Standards, USPS Headquarters, 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; 
75 FR 12123, Mar. 15, 2010]



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 General Counsel, U.S. 
Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20260-1100. 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.

[75 FR 12123, Mar. 15, 2010]



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 168]]

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 Manager, Mailing 
Standards, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Rm. 3436, 
Washington, DC 20260-3436, 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 Mailing Standards, 
shall include information on the identity and authority

[[Page 169]]

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 Mailing Standards. 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; 75 FR 12123, Mar. 15, 2010]



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 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

[[Page 170]]

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 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.

[[Page 171]]

    (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 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.

[[Page 172]]

    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 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

[[Page 173]]

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 
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 174]]



                         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 175]]

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 7 of Executive Order No. 12353, of March 23, 1982, 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; 72 FR 49195, Aug. 28, 2007]



    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 176]]

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 177]]



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 178]]

    (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 179]]

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 180]]

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 181]]

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.



PART 492_ADMINISTRATIVE WAGE GARNISHMENT FROM NON-POSTAL SOURCES--
Table of Contents



    Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3720D; 39 U.S.C. 204, 401, 2601; 31 CFR 285.11.

    Source: 79 FR 46183, Aug. 7, 2014, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 492.1  Collection of delinquent non-tax debts by administrative
wage garnishment.

    (a) This section provides procedures for the Postal Service to 
collect money from a debtor's disposable pay by means of administrative 
wage garnishment, in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3720D and 31 CFR 285.11, 
to satisfy delinquent nontax debt owed to the United States.
    (b) The Postal Service authorizes the U. S. Department of the 
Treasury Bureau of the Fiscal Service or its successor entity to collect 
debts by administrative wage garnishment, and conduct administrative 
wage garnishment hearings, on behalf of the Postal Service in accordance 
with the requirements of 31 U.S.C. 3720D and the procedures contained in 
31 CFR 285.11.
    (c) The Postal Service adopts the provisions of 31 CFR 285.11 in 
their entirety. The provisions of 31 CFR 285.11 should therefore be read 
as though modified to effectuate the application of that regulation to 
administrative wage garnishment proceedings conducted by, or on behalf 
of, the U.S. Postal Service.

[[Page 182]]



                      SUBCHAPTER G_POSTAGE PROGRAMS





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



Sec.
501.1  Definitions.
501.2  Postage Evidencing System provider authorization.
501.3  Postage Evidencing System provider qualification.
501.4  Changes in ownership or control, bankruptcy, or insolvency.
501.5  Burden of proof standard.
501.6  Suspension and revocation of authorization.
501.7  Postage Evidencing System requirements.
501.8  Postage Evidencing System test and approval.
501.9  Demonstration or test Postage Evidencing Systems.
501.10  Postage Evidencing System modifications.
501.11  Reporting Postage Evidencing System security weaknesses.
501.12  Administrative sanctions.
501.13  False representations of Postal Service actions.
501.14  Postage Evidencing System inventory control processes.
501.15  Computerized Meter Resetting System.
501.16  PC postage payment methodology.
501.17  Decertified Postage Evidencing Systems.
501.18  Customer information and authorization.
501.19  Intellectual property.
501.20  Discontinued Postage Evidencing Indicia.

    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: 71 FR 65733, Nov. 9, 2006, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 501.1  Definitions.

    (a) Postage Evidencing Systems regulated by part 501 produce 
evidence of prepayment of postage by any method other than postage 
stamps and permit imprints. A Postage Evidencing System is a device or 
system of components that a customer uses to generate and print evidence 
that postage required for mailing has been paid. Postage Evidencing 
Systems print indicia, such as meter imprints or information-based 
indicia to indicate postage payment. They include but are not limited to 
postage meters and PC Postage systems.
    (b) A postage meter is a Postal Service-approved Postage Evidencing 
System that uses a device to account for postage purchased and printed. 
The term meter as used in this part refers to a postage meter.
    (c) PC Postage products are Postal Service-approved Postage 
Evidencing Systems that use a personal computer as an integral part of 
the system. PC Postage products may use the Internet to download postage 
to a mailer's computer from which the postage indicia may then be 
printed.
    (d) A provider is a person or entity authorized under this section 
to manufacture and/or distribute Postage Evidencing Systems to 
customers.
    (e) A manufacturer of postage meters produces postage meters.
    (f) A distributor of postage meters may be a manufacturer who leases 
postage meters directly to end-user customers or may be an independent 
entity who leases postage meters to end-user customers on behalf of the 
manufacturer.
    (g) A customer is a person or entity authorized by the Postal 
Service to use a Postage Evidencing System as an end user in accordance 
with Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic 
Mail Manual (DMM), including 604 Postage Payment Methods and Refunds, 
4.0 Postage Meters and PC Postage Products (Postage Evidencing Systems).

[71 FR 65733, Nov. 9, 2006, as amended at 80 FR 42392, July 17, 2015]



Sec. 501.2  Postage Evidencing System provider authorization.

    (a) The Postal Service considers Postage Evidencing Systems and 
their respective infrastructure 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,

[[Page 183]]

the following activities may not be engaged in by any person or entity 
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, 
modifying, 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 registration with the Postal Service of 
customers of a Postage Evidencing System.
    (c) Any person or entity seeking authorization to perform any 
activity described in paragraph (b) of this section, or to materially 
modify any activity previously approved by the Postal Service, must 
submit a request to the Postal Service in person or in writing. 
Decisions of the Postal Service upon such requests are effective only if 
in writing (including electronic mail).
    (d) Approval shall be based upon satisfactory evidence of the 
applicant's integrity and financial responsibility, commitment to comply 
with the Postal Service's revenue assurance practices as outlined in 
section 501.16, and a determination that disclosure to the applicant of 
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 upon the applicant's agreement to undertakings that would give 
the Postal Service appropriate assurance of the applicant's ability to 
meet its obligations under this section, 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 additional 
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) To the extent that any provider manufactures and/or distributes 
any PC Postage product through any authorized Postage Evidencing System, 
such provider must adhere to the requirements of these regulations.
    (g) The Postal Service office responsible for administration of this 
part is the Office of Payment Technology (PT) or successor organization. 
All submissions to the Postal Service required or invited by this part 
are to be made to this office in person or via mail to 475 L'Enfant 
Plaza SW., Room 3500, Washington DC 20260-0004.

[71 FR 65733, Nov. 9, 2006, as amended at 78 FR 44438, July 24, 2013; 80 
FR 42392, July 17, 2015]



Sec. 501.3  Postage Evidencing System provider qualification.

    Any person or entity seeking authorization to manufacture and/or 
distribute Postage Evidencing Systems must:
    (a) Satisfy the Postal Service of its integrity and financial 
responsibility.
    (b) Obtain Postal Service approval under this part of at least one 
Postage Evidencing System satisfying the requirements of Postal Service 
regulations.
    (c) As a condition of obtaining authorization under this section, 
the Postage Evidencing System provider's facilities used for the 
manufacture, distribution, storage, resetting, or destruction of postage 
meters and all facilities housing infrastructure supporting Postage 
Evidencing Systems will be subject to unannounced inspection by 
representatives of the Postal Service. If such facilities are 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

[[Page 184]]

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 provider's Postage Evidencing System or supporting infrastructure, 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 providers 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 Postage Evidencing System 
facilities in foreign countries, Postal Service approval of the 
activities conducted in such facilities may be suspended until such time 
as satisfactory inspections may be conducted.
    (d) As the provider bears the ultimate responsibility to ensure 
customer information will not be compromised at any domestic or off 
shore locations, the provider (as well as its agent operating domestic 
or off shore locations) will not cause or permit data to be released 
other than for the operation of the third-party location. The provider 
shall notify its customer that data relating to its systems is being 
housed by a third-party location, and shall provide a copy thereof to 
the Postal Service of such notice to its customers. To the extent that 
any unauthorized release takes place, the vendor shall notify the Postal 
Service immediately upon discovery of any unauthorized use or disclosure 
of data or any other breach or improper disclosure of data of this 
agreement by the provider (as well as its agent operating the third-
party location) and will cooperate with the Postal Service in every 
reasonable way to help the Postal Service regain possession of the data 
and prevent its further unauthorized use or disclosure. In the event 
that the Postal Service cannot regain possession of the data or prevent 
its further unauthorized use or disclosure, the provider shall indemnify 
the Postal Service from damages resulting from its (or such third-party) 
actions.
    (e) Have, or establish, and keep under its active supervision and 
control adequate facilities for the control, distribution, and 
maintenance of PES and their replacement or secure disposal or 
destruction when necessary and appropriate.

[71 FR 65733, Nov. 9, 2006, as amended at 76 FR 77149, Dec. 12, 2011]



Sec. 501.4  Changes in ownership or control, bankruptcy, or insolvency.

    (a) Any person or entity authorized under Sec. 501.2 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 into a 
strategic alliance or other agreement whereby a third party either has 
access to data related to the security of the system or 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. 501.2 must 
provide the Postal Service satisfactory evidence that upon completion of 
the contemplated transaction, it will satisfy the conditions for 
approval stated in Sec. 501.2. 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. 501.2 must promptly 
notify the Postal Service when it has a reasonable expectation that 
there may be a change in the status of its financial

[[Page 185]]

condition either through bankruptcy, insolvency, assignment for the 
benefit of creditors, or other similar financial action. Any person or 
entity authorized under Sec. 501.2 who experiences a change in the 
status of its financial condition may, at the discretion of the Postal 
Service, have its authorization under Sec. 501.2 modified or terminated.



Sec. 501.5  Burden of proof standard.

    The burden of proof is on the Postal Service in administrative 
determinations of suspension and revocation under Sec. 501.6 and 
administrative sanctions under Sec. 501.12. Except as otherwise 
indicated in those sections, the standard of proof shall be the 
preponderance-of-evidence standard.



Sec. 501.6  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 provider's approved 
Postage Evidencing System(s) if the provider engages in any unlawful 
scheme or enterprise, fails to comply with any provision in this Part 
501, fails to implement instructions issued in accordance with any final 
decision issued by the Postal Service within its authority over Postage 
Evidencing Systems or if the Postage Evidencing System or infrastructure 
of the provider is determined to constitute an unacceptable risk to 
Postal Service revenues.
    (b) The decision to suspend or revoke pursuant to paragraph (a) of 
this section shall be based upon the nature and circumstances of the 
violation (e.g. whether the violation was willful, whether the provider 
voluntarily admitted to the violation, or cooperated with the Postal 
Service, whether the provider implemented successful remedial measures) 
and on the provider's performance history. Before determining that a 
provider's authorization to manufacture and/or distribute Postage 
Evidencing Systems should be suspended or revoked, the procedures in 
paragraph (c) of this section shall be followed.
    (c) Suspension or revocation procedures:
    (1) Upon determination by the Postal Service that a provider is in 
violation of provisions of this part, or that its Postal Evidencing 
System poses an unreasonable risk to postal revenue, PT, acting on 
behalf of the Postal Service, shall issue a written notice of proposed 
suspension citing the specific conditions or deficiencies for which 
suspension of authorization to manufacture and/or distribute a specific 
Postage Evidencing System or class of Postage Evidencing Systems may be 
imposed. Except in cases of willful violation, the provider 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 provider has failed to correct cited deficiencies 
within the specified time limit, PT shall issue a written notice of 
suspension 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) The notice shall also advise the provider of its right to file a 
response under paragraph (d) of this section. If a written response is 
not presented in a timely manner the suspension may go into effect. The 
suspension shall remain in effect for ninety (90) calendar days unless 
revoked or modified by PT.
    (4) 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 
(c)(5)(iii) of this section.
    (5) At the end of the ninety (90) day suspension, the Postal Service 
may:
    (i) Extend the suspension in order to allow more time for 
investigation or to allow the provider time to correct the problem.
    (ii) Make a determination to revoke authorization to manufacture 
and/or distribute a Postage Evidencing System in part or in whole.
    (iii) Withdraw the suspension based on identification and 
implementation of a satisfactory solution to the problem.
    (d) The provider may present the Postal Service with a written 
defense

[[Page 186]]

to any suspension or revocation determination within thirty (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 why the order should not be 
imposed.
    (e) After receipt and consideration of the defense, PT shall advise 
the provider of its decision, and the facts and reasons for it. The 
decision shall be effective upon receipt unless it provides otherwise. 
The decision shall also advise the provider that it may be appealed 
within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt (unless a shorter time frame 
is deemed necessary). If an appeal is not filed in a timely manner, the 
decision of PT shall become a final decision of the Postal Service. The 
appeal may be filed with the Chief Information Officer of the Postal 
Service and must include all supporting evidence and state with 
specificity the reasons the provider believes that the decision is 
erroneous. The decision of the Chief Information Officer shall 
constitute a final decision of the Postal Service.
    (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 entity.

[71 FR 65733, Nov. 9, 2006, as amended at 78 FR 44438, July 24, 2013]



Sec. 501.7  Postage Evidencing System requirements.

    (a) A Postage Evidencing System submitted to the Postal Service for 
approval must meet the requirements of the Intelligent Mail Indicia 
Performance Criteria published by PT. Copies of the current Performance 
Criteria may be requested via mail to the address in Sec. 501.2(g).
    (b) The provider must affix to all meters a cautionary message 
providing the meter user with basic reminders on leasing and meter 
movement.
    (1) The cautionary message must be placed on all meters in a 
conspicuous and highly visible location. PROPERTY OF [NAME OF PROVIDER] 
as well as the provider's toll-free number must be emphasized by 
capitalized bold type and preferably printed in red. The minimum width 
of the message should be 3.25 inches, and the minimum height should be 
1.75 inches. The message should read as follows:

RENTED POSTAGE METER-NOT FOR SALE
PROPERTY OF [NAME OF PROVIDER]
(800) -

    Use of this meter is permissible only under U.S. Postal Service 
authorization. Call [Name of Provider] at (800) - to relocate/
return this meter.

WARNING! METER TAMPERING IS A FEDERAL OFFENSE.
IF YOU SUSPECT METER TAMPERING, CALL POSTAL INSPECTORS AT (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 the required message are 
determined on a case-by-case basis. Any deviation from standardized 
meter message requirements must be approved in writing by the Postal 
Service.
    (c) The provider must ensure that any matter printed by a postage 
evidencing system, whether within the boundaries of the indicia or 
outside the clear zone as defined in DMM 604.4.0 and the Performance 
Criteria for Information-Based Indicia and Security Architecture for 
Open IBI Postage Evidencing Systems or Performance Criteria for 
Information-Based Indicia and Security Architecture for Closed IBI 
Postage Metering Systems, is:
    (1) Consistent with the Postal Service's intent to maintain 
neutrality on religious, social, political, legal, moral, or other 
public issues;
    (2) Is not obscene, deceptive, or defamatory of any person, entity, 
or group, and does not advocate unlawful action;
    (3) Does not emulate any form of valid postage, government, or other 
official indicia, or payment of postage; and
    (4) Does not harm the public image, reputation, or good will of the 
Postal Service and is not otherwise derogatory or detrimental to the 
interests of the Postal Service.

[[Page 187]]

    (d) Providers must also ensure that customers acknowledge, agree, 
and warrant in writing that:
    (1) The customer bears full responsibility and liability for 
obtaining authorization to reproduce and otherwise use the matter as 
proposed (including, without limitation, any trademarks, slogans, 
likenesses or copyrighted material contained in the image);
    (2) The customer in fact has the legal authority to reproduce and 
otherwise use the matter as proposed; and
    (3) The customer understands that images or other matter is not 
provided, approved, or endorsed in any way by the Postal Service.

[71 FR 65733, Nov. 9, 2006, as amended at 78 FR 44439, July 24, 2013]



Sec. 501.8  Postage Evidencing System test and approval.

    (a) To receive Postal Service approval, each Postage Evidencing 
System must be submitted by the provider and evaluated by the Postal 
Service in accordance with the Postage Evidencing Product Submission 
Procedures published by PT. Copies of the current Performance Criteria 
may be requested via mail to the address in Sec. 501.2(g). These 
procedures apply to all proposed Postage Evidencing Systems regardless 
of whether the provider is currently authorized by the Postal Service to 
distribute Postage Evidencing Systems. All testing required by the 
Postal Service will be an expense of the provider.
    (b) As provided in Sec. 501.11, the provider has a duty to report 
security weaknesses to the Postal Service to ensure that each approved 
Postage Evidencing System protects the Postal Service against loss of 
revenue at all times. A grant of approval of a system does not 
constitute an irrevocable determination that the Postal Service is 
satisfied with the revenue-protection capabilities of the system. After 
approval is granted to manufacture and/or distribute a Postage 
Evidencing System, no change affecting its basic features or safeguards 
may be made except as authorized or ordered by the Postal Service in 
writing.

[71 FR 65733, Nov. 9, 2006, as amended at 78 FR 44439, July 24, 2013]



Sec. 501.9  Demonstration or test Postage Evidencing Systems.

    (a) A demonstration or test postage evidencing system is any system 
that produces an image that replicates a postage indicium for which the 
Postal Service has not received payment for postage. The following 
procedures must be followed to implement controls over demonstration or 
test Postage Evidencing Systems:
    (1) A demonstration or test Postage Evidencing System may print only 
specimen or test indicia. A specimen or test indicia must clearly 
indicate that the indicia does not represent valid postage.
    (2) A demonstration or test Postage Evidencing System must be 
recorded as such on internal provider inventory records and must be 
tracked by model number, serial number, and physical location.
    (3) A demonstration or test Postage Evidencing System must remain 
under the provider's direct control. A demonstration or test Postage 
Evidencing System may not be left in the possession of a customer under 
any circumstance.
    (b) All indicia printed by a demonstration or test Postage 
Evidencing System must be collected and destroyed daily.



Sec. 501.10  Postage Evidencing System modifications.

    (a) An authorized provider must receive prior written approval from 
the manager, PT, of any and all changes made to a previously approved 
Postage Evidencing System. The notification must include a summary of 
all changes made and the provider's assessment as to the impact of those 
changes on the security of the Postage Evidencing System and postage 
funds. Upon receipt of the notification, PT will review the summary of 
changes and make a decision regarding the need for the following:
    (1) Additional documentation.
    (2) Level of test and evaluation required.
    (3) Necessity for evaluation by a laboratory accredited by the 
National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the 
National Voluntary

[[Page 188]]

Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP).
    (b) Upon receipt and review of additional documentation and/or test 
results, PT will issue a written acknowledgement and/or approval of the 
change to the provider.

[78 FR 44439, July 24, 2013]



Sec. 501.11  Reporting Postage Evidencing System security weaknesses.

    (a) For purposes of this section, provider refers to the Postage 
Evidencing System provider authorized under Sec. 501.2 and its foreign 
affiliates, if any, subsidiaries, assigns, dealers, independent dealers, 
employees, and parent corporations.
    (b) Each authorized provider of a Postage Evidencing System must 
notify the Postal Service within twenty-four (24) hours, upon discovery 
of the following:
    (1) All findings or results of any testing known to the provider 
concerning the security or revenue protection features, capabilities, or 
failings of any Postage Evidencing System sold, leased, or distributed 
by it that has been approved for sale, lease, or distribution by the 
Postal Service or any foreign postal administration; or has been 
submitted for approval by the provider to the Postal Service or other 
foreign postal administration(s).
    (2) All potential security weaknesses or methods of tampering with 
the Postage Evidencing Systems that the provider distributes of which it 
knows or should know and the Postage Evidencing System model subject to 
each such method. Potential security weaknesses include but are not 
limited to suspected equipment defects, suspected abuse by a customer or 
provider employee, suspected security breaches of the Computerized Meter 
Resetting System (CMRS) or databases housing confidential customer data 
relating to the use of Postage Evidencing Systems, occurrences outside 
normal performance, or any repeatable deviation from normal Postage 
Evidencing System performance.
    (3) Cyber attacks that include, but are not limited to, gaining 
unauthorized access to digital systems for purposes of misappropriating 
assets or sensitive information, corrupting data, or causing operational 
disruption. Cyber attacks may also be carried out in a manner that does 
not require gaining unauthorized access, such as by causing denial-of-
service attacks on Web sites. Cyber attacks may be carried out by third 
parties or insiders using techniques that range from highly 
sophisticated efforts to electronically circumvent network security or 
overwhelm Web sites to more traditional intelligence gathering and 
social engineering aimed at obtaining information necessary to gain 
access. Cyber security risk disclosures reported must adequately 
describe the nature of the material risks and specify how each risk 
affects the Postage Evidencing System.
    (c) Within a time limit corresponding to the potential revenue risk 
to postal revenue as determined by the Postal Service, the provider 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 provider must also provide 
periodic status reports to the Postal Service during subsequent 
investigation and, on completion, must submit a summary of the 
investigative findings.
    (d) The provider must establish and adhere to timely and efficient 
procedures for internal reporting of potential security weaknesses and 
shall provide a copy of such internal reporting procedures and 
instructions to the Postal Service for review.
    (e) Failure to comply with this section may result in suspension of 
approval under Sec. 501.6 or the imposition of sanctions under 
Sec. 501.12.

[71 FR 65733, Nov. 9, 2006, as amended at 77 FR 23396, Apr. 19, 2012]



Sec. 501.12  Administrative sanctions.

    (a) An authorized Postage Evidencing System provider may be 
responsible to the Postal Service for revenue losses caused by failure 
to comply with Sec. 501.11.
    (b) The Postal Service shall determine all costs and revenue losses 
measured from the date that the provider knew, or should have known, of 
a potential security weakness, including, but not limited to, 
administrative and

[[Page 189]]

investigative costs and documented revenue losses that result from any 
Postage Evidencing System for which the provider failed to comply with 
any provision in Sec. 501.11. The Postal Service issues a written demand 
for reimbursement of any and all such costs and losses (net of any 
amount collected by the Postal Service from the customers) with 
interest. The demand shall set forth the facts and reasons on which it 
is based.
    (c) The provider may present the Postal Service with a written 
defense to the proposed action within thirty (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 provider of the decision, and the facts and 
reasons for it; the decision shall be effective upon receipt unless it 
provides otherwise. The decision shall also advise the provider that it 
may, within thirty (30) calendar days of receiving written notice, 
appeal that determination to the Chief Information Officer of the Postal 
Service, who shall issue a written decision upon the appeal, which will 
constitute the final Postal Service decision.
    (e) 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 entity.
    (f) An authorized Postage Evidencing System provider, who without 
just cause fails to follow any Postal Service approved procedures, 
perform adequately any of the Postal Service approved controls, or fails 
to obtain approval of a required process in Sec. 501.14 in a timely 
fashion, is subject to an administrative sanction under this provision 
Sec. 501.12.

[71 FR 65733, Nov. 9, 2006, as amended at 78 FR 44439, July 24, 2013]



Sec. 501.13  False representations of Postal Service actions.

    Providers, 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 Evidencing Systems. The Postal Service reserves the right to 
suspend and/or revoke the authorization to manufacture or distribute 
Postage Evidencing Systems throughout the United States or any part 
thereof pursuant to Sec. 501.6 when it determines that the provider, its 
agents, or employees failed to comply with this section.



Sec. 501.14  Postage Evidencing System inventory control processes.

    (a) Each authorized provider of Postage Evidencing Systems must 
permanently hold title to all Postage Evidencing Systems that it 
manufactures or distributes, except those purchased by the Postal 
Service or distributed outside the United States.
    (b) An authorized provider must maintain sufficient facilities for 
and records of the business relationship, distribution, control, 
storage, maintenance, repair, replacement, and destruction or disposal 
of all Postage Evidencing Systems and their components to enable 
accurate accounting and location thereof throughout the entire life 
cycle of each Postage Evidencing System. A complete record shall entail 
a list by serial number of all Postage Evidencing Systems manufactured 
or distributed showing all movements of each system from the time that 
it is produced until it is scrapped, and the reading of the ascending 
register each time the system is checked into or out of service. These 
records must be available for inspection by Postal Service officials at 
any time during business hours.
    (c) To ensure adequate control over Postage Evidencing Systems, 
plans for the following subjects must be submitted for prior approval, 
in writing, to the office of Payment Technology.
    (1) Service procedures for all Postage Evidencing Systems--these are 
procedures to address the process to be used for new Postage Evidencing 
Systems as well as those previously leased to another customer.

[[Page 190]]

    (2) Transportation and storage of Postage Evidencing Systems--these 
are procedures that provide reasonable precautions to prevent use by 
unauthorized individuals. Providers must ship all postage meters by 
Postal Service Registered Mail service unless given written 
permission by the Postal Service to use another carrier. The provider 
must demonstrate that the alternative delivery carrier employs security 
procedures equivalent to those for Registered Mail service.
    (3) Postage Evidencing System examination/inspection procedures and 
schedule--the provider is required to perform postage meter examinations 
or inspections based on an approved schedule. Failure to complete the 
postage meter examination or inspections by the due date may result in 
the Postal Service requiring the provider to disable the meter's 
resetting capability. If necessary, the Postal Service shall notify the 
customer that the postage meter is to be removed from service and the 
authorization to use a Postage Evidencing System revoked, following the 
procedures for revocation specified by regulation. The Postal Service 
shall notify the provider to remove the postage meter from the 
customer's location.
    (4) Out-of-service procedures for a nonfaulty Postage Evidencing 
System--these procedures must be used when the system is to be removed 
from service for any reason.
    (5) Postage Evidencing System repair process--any physical or 
electronic access to the internal components of a postage meter, as well 
as any access to software or security parameters, must be conducted 
within an approved facility under the provider's direct control and 
active supervision. To prevent unauthorized use, the provider 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 postage meter.
    (6) Handling procedures for faulty meters--the provider must 
maintain handling procedures for faulty meters, including those that are 
inoperable, mis-registering, have unreadable registers, inaccurately 
reflect their current status, show any evidence of possible tampering or 
abuse, and those for which there is any indication that the postage 
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.
    (7) Lost or stolen postage meter procedures--the provider must 
promptly report to the Postal Service the loss or theft of any postage 
meter or the recovery of any lost or stolen postage meter. Such 
notification to the Postal Service will be made by completing and filing 
a standardized lost and stolen meter incident report within 10 calendar 
days of the provider's determination of a meter loss, theft, or 
recovery.
    (8) Postage meter destruction--when required, the postage meter must 
be rendered completely inoperable by the destruction process and 
associated postage; printing dies and components must be destroyed. 
Manufacturers or distributors of meters must submit the proposed 
destruction method; a schedule listing the postage meters to be 
destroyed, by serial number and model; and the proposed time and place 
of destruction to Payment Technology for approval prior to any meter 
destruction. Providers must record and retain the serial numbers of the 
meters to be destroyed and provide a list of such serial numbers in 
electronic form in accordance with Postal Service requirements for meter 
accounting and tracking systems. Providers must give sufficient advance 
notice of the destruction to allow Payment Technology to schedule 
observation by its designated representative who shall verify that the 
destruction is performed in accordance with a Postal Service-approved 
method or process. To the extent that the Postal Service elects not to 
observe a particular destruction, the provider must submit a 
certification of destruction, including the serial number(s), to the 
Postal Service within 5 calendar days of destruction. 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.

[[Page 191]]

    (d) If the provider uses a third party to perform functions that may 
have an impact upon a Postage Evidencing System (especially its 
security), including, but not limited to, business relationships, 
repair, maintenance, and disposal of Postage Evidencing Systems, Payment 
Technology must be advised in advance of all aspects of the 
relationship, as they relate to the custody and control of Postage 
Evidencing Systems and must specifically authorize in writing the 
proposed arrangement between the parties.
    (1) Postal Service authorization of a third-party relationship to 
perform specific functions applies only to the functions stated in the 
written authorization but may be amended to embrace additional 
functions.
    (2) No third-party relationship shall compromise the Postage 
Evidencing System, or its components, including, but not limited to, the 
hardware, software, communications, and security components, or of any 
security-related 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 
Postage Evidencing System, its components, and the systems with which it 
interfaces are subject to the same scrutiny as the equivalent functions 
of the provider.
    (3) Any authorized third party must keep adequate facilities for and 
records of Postage Evidencing Systems and their components in accordance 
with paragraph (b) 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 Postage Evidencing Systems.
    (4) The provider must ensure that any party acting on its behalf in 
any of the functions described in paragraph (b) of this section 
maintains adequate facilities, records, and procedures for the security 
of the Postage Evidencing Systems. Deficiencies in the operations of a 
third party relating to the custody and control of Postage Evidencing 
Systems, unless corrected in a timely manner, can place at risk a 
provider's approval to manufacture and/or distribute Postage Evidencing 
Systems.
    (5) The Postal Service reserves the right to review all aspects of 
any relationship if it appears that the relationship poses a threat to 
Postage Evidencing System security and may require the provider to take 
appropriate corrective action. By entering into any relationship under 
this section, the provider is not relieved of any responsibility to the 
Postal Service, and such must be stated in any memorialization of the 
relationship.

[77 FR 23618, Apr. 20, 2012]



Sec. 501.15  Computerized Meter Resetting System.

    (a) Description. The Computerized Meter Resetting System (CMRS) 
permits customers to reset their postage meters at their places of 
business. Authorized providers, who operate CMRS services, are known as 
resetting companies (RCs).
    (b) A customer is required to have funds available on deposit with 
the Postal Service before resetting a Postage Evidencing System or the 
provider may opt to provide a funds advance in accordance with paragraph 
(c) of this section.
    (c) If the RC chooses to offer advancement of funds to customers, 
the RC is required to maintain a deposit with the Postal Service equal 
to at least one (1) day's average funds advanced. The total amount of 
funds advanced to customers on any given day shall not exceed the amount 
the provider has on deposit with the Postal Service. The Postal Service 
shall not be liable for any payment made by the RC on behalf of a 
customer that is not reimbursed by the customer, since the RC is solely 
responsible for the collection of advances made by the RC.
    (d) The CMRS customer is permitted to make deposits in one of three 
ways: check, electronic funds transfer (or wire transfer), or automated 
clearinghouse (ACH) transfer. These deposits must be remitted to the 
Postal Service's designated bank account.
    (e) The RC must require each CMRS customer that requests a meter 
resetting to provide the meter serial number, the CMRS account number, 
and the meter's ascending and descending

[[Page 192]]

register readings. The RC must verify that there are sufficient funds in 
the customer's CMRS account to cover the postage setting requested 
before proceeding with the setting transaction (unless the RC opts to 
provide the customer a funds advance).
    (f) The Postal Service requires that the RC publicize to all CMRS 
customers the following payment options (listed in order of preference):
    (1) Automated clearinghouse (ACH) debits/credits.
    (2) Electronic funds transfers (wire transfers).
    (3) Checks.
    (g) Returned checks and ACH debits are the responsibility of the 
Postal Service. Upon notice from the Postal Service's designated bank, 
the provider will be required to immediately lock the customer account 
to prevent a meter reset until the Postal Service receives payment for 
the returned check or the provider is provided with valid ACH credit or 
wire information.
    (h) Refunds. The Postal Service will issue a refund in the amount 
remaining in a customer's Computerized Meter Resetting System account, 
after such time as the customer provides a written request to the 
provider, as long as the request meets the Postal Service approved 
minimum and time frame.
    (i) Security and Revenue Protection. To receive Postal Service 
approval to continue to operate systems in the CMRS environment, the RC 
must submit to a periodic examination of its CMRS system and any other 
applications and technology infrastructure that may have a material 
impact on Postal Service revenues, as determined by the Postal Service. 
The examination shall be performed by a qualified, independent audit 
firm and shall be conducted in accordance with the Statements on 
Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAEs) No. 16, Service 
Organizations, developed by the American Institute of Certified Public 
Accountants (AICPA), as amended or superseded. Expenses associated with 
such examination shall be incurred by the RC. The examination shall 
include testing of the operating effectiveness of relevant RC internal 
controls (SOC 1 Type II SSAE 16 Report). If the service organization 
uses another service organization (sub-service provider), Postal Service 
management should consider the nature and materiality of the 
transactions processed by the sub-service organization and the 
contribution of the sub-service organization's processes and controls in 
the achievement of the Postal Service's control objectives. The Postal 
Service should have access to the sub-service organization's SOC 1 Type 
II SSAE 16 report. The control objectives to be covered by the SOC 1 
Type II SSAE 16 report are subject to Postal Service review and 
approval, and are to be provided to the Postal Service 30 days prior to 
the initiation of each examination period. As a result of the 
examination, the service auditor shall provide the RC and the Postal 
Service with an opinion on the design and operating effectiveness of the 
RC's internal controls related to the CMRS system and any other 
applications and technology infrastructure considered material to the 
services provided to the Postal Service by the RC. Such examinations are 
to be conducted on no less than an annual basis, and are to be as of and 
for the 12 months ended June 30 of each year (except for new contracts 
for which the examination period will be no less than the period from 
the contract date to the following June 30, unless otherwise agreed to 
by the Postal Service). The examination reports are to be provided to 
the Postal Service by August 15 of each year. To the extent that 
internal control weaknesses are identified in a SOC 1 Type II SSAE 16 
report, the Postal Service may require the remediation of such 
weaknesses and review working papers and engage in discussions about the 
work performed with the service auditor. The Postal Service requires 
that all remediation efforts (if applicable) are completed and reported 
by the RC prior to the Postal Service's fiscal year end (September 30). 
In addition, the RC will be responsible for performing an examination of 
their internal control environment related to the CMRS system and any 
other applications and technology infrastructure considered material to 
the services provided to the Postal Service by the RC, in particular, 
disclosing changes to internal controls for the period of July 1 to 
September 30. This examination

[[Page 193]]

should be documented and submitted to the Postal Service by October 14. 
The RC will be responsible for all costs related to the examinations 
conducted by the service auditor and the RC.
    (j) Inspection of records and facilities. The RC 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. At its discretion, the Postal Service may continue to fund 
inspections as it has in the past, provided the costs are not associated 
with a particular security issue related to the provider's CMRS or 
supporting infrastructure.
    (k) The RC is required to incorporate the following language into 
its meter rental agreements:

              Acknowledgment of Deposit Requirement--Meters

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

[71 FR 65733, Nov. 9, 2006, as amended at 75 FR 56472, Sept. 16, 2010; 
77 FR 56554, Sept. 13, 2012; 79 FR 10994, Feb. 27, 2014]



Sec. 501.16  PC postage payment methodology.

    (a) The PC Postage customer is permitted to make payments for 
postage in one of two ways: Automated clearinghouse (ACH) transfer or 
credit card.
    (b) The provider must make payments on behalf of the customer to the 
Postal Service in accordance with contractual and/or regulatory 
responsibilities.
    (c) The Postal Service requires that the provider publicize to all 
PC Postage customers the following payment options (listed in order of 
preference):
    (1) Automated clearinghouse (ACH) debits/credits.
    (2) Credit cards.
    (d) Returned ACH debits are the responsibility of the Postal 
Service. The RC must lock the customer account immediately so that the 
customer is unable to reset the account until the Postal Service 
receives payment in full.
    (e) Refunds. The provider issues a refund to a customer for any 
unused postage in a Postage Evidencing System. After verification by the 
Postal Service, the provider will be reimbursed by the Postal Service 
for the individual refunds provided to customers by the provider.
    (f) Security and Revenue Protection. To receive Postal Service 
approval to continue to operate PC Postage systems, the provider must 
submit to a periodic examination of its PC Postage system and any other 
applications and technology infrastructure that may have a material 
impact on Postal Service revenues, as determined by the Postal Service. 
The examination shall be performed by a qualified, independent audit 
firm and shall be conducted in accordance with the Statements on 
Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAEs) No. 16, Service 
Organizations, developed by the American Institute of Certified Public 
Accountants (AICPA), as amended or superseded. Expenses associated with 
such examination shall be incurred by the provider. The examination 
shall include testing of the operating effectiveness of relevant 
provider internal controls (SOC1 Type II SSAE 16 Report). If the service 
organization uses another service organization (sub-service provider), 
Postal Service management should consider the nature and materiality of 
the transactions processed by the sub-service organization and the 
contribution of the sub-service organization's processes and controls in 
the achievement of the Postal Service's control objectives. The Postal 
Service should have access to the sub-service organization's SOC 1 Type 
II SSAE 16 report. The control objectives to be covered by the SOC 1 
Type II SSAE 16 report are subject to Postal Service review and 
approval, and are to be provided to the Postal Service 30 days prior to 
the initiation of each examination period. As a result of the 
examination, the service auditor shall provide the provider and the 
Postal Service with an opinion on the design and operating effectiveness 
of the internal controls related to the

[[Page 194]]

PC Postage system, and any other applications and technology 
infrastructure considered material to the services provided to the 
Postal Service by the provider. Such examinations are to be conducted on 
no less than an annual basis, and are to be as of and for the 12 months 
ended June 30 of each year (except for new contracts for which the 
examination period will be no less than the period from the contract 
date to the following June 30, unless otherwise agreed to by the Postal 
Service). The examination reports are to be provided to the Postal 
Service by August 15 of each year. To the extent that internal control 
weaknesses are identified in a SOC 1 Type II SSAE 16 report, the Postal 
Service may require the remediation of such weaknesses, and review 
working papers and engage in discussions about the work performed with 
the service auditor. The Postal Service requires that all remediation 
efforts (if applicable) are completed and reported by the provider prior 
to the Postal Service's fiscal year end (September 30). In addition, the 
provider will be responsible for performing an examination of their 
internal control environment related to the PC Postage system and any 
other applications and technology infrastructure considered material to 
the services provided to the Postal Service by the provider, in 
particular, disclosing changes to internal controls for the period of 
July 1 to September 30. This examination should be documented and 
submitted to the Postal Service by October 14. The provider will be 
responsible for all costs related to the examinations conducted by the 
service auditor and the provider.
    (g) Inspection of records and facilities. The provider must make its 
facilities, which handle the operation of the PC Postage system and all 
records about the operation of the system, available for inspection by 
representatives of the Postal Service at all reasonable times.
    (h) To the extent that the customer maintains funds on deposit for 
the payment of postage, the provider is required to incorporate the 
following language into its agreements with PC Postage customers:

            Acknowledgment of Deposit Requirement--PC Postage

    By signing this agreement with the provider, you represent that you 
have read the Acknowledgment of Deposit Requirement--PC Postage and are 
familiar with its terms. You agree that, upon execution of this 
agreement with the provider, you will also be bound by all terms and 
conditions of the Acknowledgment of Deposit Requirement--PC Postage, as 
it may be amended from time to time.
    (i) Revenue Assurance. To operate PC Postage systems, the provider 
must support business practices to assure Postal Service revenue and 
accurate payment from customers. Specifically, the provider is required 
to notify the customer and adjust the balance in the postage evidencing 
system or otherwise facilitate postage corrections to address any 
postage discrepancies as directed by the Postal Service, subject to the 
applicable notification periods and dispute mechanisms available to 
customers for these corrections. The Postal Service will supply the 
provider with the necessary detail to justify the correction and amount 
of the postage correction to be used in the adjustment process. The 
provider must supply customers with visibility into the identified 
postage correction, facilitate a payment adjustment from the customer in 
the amount equivalent to the identified postage discrepancies to the 
extent possible, and enable customers to submit electronic disputes of 
such postage discrepancies to the Postal Service. Further if the 
Customer does not have funds sufficient to cover the amount of the 
discrepancies or the postage discrepancies have not been resolved, the 
provider may be required to temporarily suspend or permanently shut down 
the customer's ability to print PC Postage as described in the Domestic 
Mail Manual section 604.4.

[72 FR 33163, June 15, 2007, as amended at 75 FR 56472, Sept. 16, 2010; 
79 FR 10995, Feb. 27, 2014; 80 FR 42392, July 17, 2015]

    Effective Date Note: At 82 FR 15465, Mar. 29, 2017, Sec. 501.16 was 
amended by revising paragraph (i), effective Aug. 1, 2017. For the 
convenience of the user, the revised text is set forth as follows:



Sec. 501.16  PC postage payment methodology.

                                * * * * *

[[Page 195]]

    (i) Revenue assurance. (1) The PC Postage provider must support 
business practices to assure Postal Service revenue and accurate payment 
from customers. For purposes of this paragraph, PC Postage provider 
shall mean: providers who offer PC Postage products (as such terms are 
defined in Sec. 501.1); Click-N-Ship service; and postage 
resellers when such resellers transmit postage revenue to the Postal 
Service in any manner other than through a PC Postage provider. With 
respect to the reseller transactions described above, the resellers, and 
not the PC Postage providers who provide the labels, are responsible for 
complying with this paragraph. For the purpose of this paragraph, a 
reseller is an entity that obtains postage through a PC Postage provider 
and is authorized to resell such postage to its customers pursuant to an 
agreement with the Postal Service. For example, an entity that sells 
postage to its customers, but uses a PC Postage provider to enable its 
customers to print postage labels, is a reseller hereunder. If that 
entity collects postage revenue from its customers and transmits it to 
the Postal Service directly (instead of through the PC Postage provider) 
that entity shall be deemed a PC Postage provider hereunder. For the 
purpose of this paragraph, a customer is the person or entity that 
deposits the mail piece into the mail system. PC Postage providers must 
comply with these revenue assurance requirements regardless of whether 
they have a direct relationship with the customer or sell postage to the 
customer through one or more resellers.
    (2)(i) For the purposes of this paragraph, a postage adjustment is 
defined as the difference between the postage or fee actually paid to 
the Postal Service for a specific service, and the actual postage due to 
the Postal Service under the published or negotiated rate for that 
service, as applicable, which shall be calculated as of the time the 
mail piece is entered into the mailstream.
    (ii) When the collection of a postage adjustment or the provision of 
a refund is appropriate because a customer has underpaid or overpaid the 
amount of postage that should have been paid, and such postage 
adjustment exceeds a threshold amount to be set by the Postal Service 
from time to time in its discretion, the PC Postage provider must, upon 
receiving notice from the Postal Service, pay, attempt to collect, or 
refund, as applicable, the postage adjustment in accordance with 
paragraph (i)(2)(iii) of this section. The Postal Service will supply 
the PC Postage provider with the details necessary to explain the 
correction and the amount of the postage adjustment to be used in the 
adjustment process. As part of this process, the PC Postage provider 
shall enable customers to submit disputes concerning the postage 
adjustment to the Postal Service, in a method approved by the Postal 
Service, including via phone call to the customer care center or API in 
the PC Postage provider's user interface of postage collections. In 
addition, the PC Postage provider must convey the Postal Service's 
dispute decision to the customer. If the Postal Service determines the 
customer's dispute was valid, and the customer had already paid the 
postage adjustment, the PC Postage provider must return the postage 
adjustment to the customer when notified by the Postal Service according 
to the rules set forth in paragraph (i)(2)(iii)(B) of this section.
    (iii)(A) In the case of an underpayment that exceeds the threshold 
amount, within 14 business days of receiving notice of the underpayment 
from the Postal Service the PC Postage provider must pay the postage 
adjustment directly to the Postal Service, or seek to collect the 
postage adjustment from the customer in accordance with this paragraph. 
If the PC Postage provider opts to pursue collection activity, it must 
notify the customer of the details of the postage adjustment (including 
the dispute process), retain evidence that such notice was actually 
received by the customer, and attempt to collect the postage adjustment 
by adjusting the funds available to the customer in the Postage 
Evidencing System, or if funds are not available, facilitating customer 
payment by invoicing the customer or by pursuing other methods available 
to collect against the customer or access funds of the customer. If the 
customer has a Postage Evidencing System account, the PC Postage 
provider must process any refunds due to the customer under paragraph 
(i)(2)(iii)(B) of this section before processing any collections due to 
the Postal Service hereunder. If the PC Postage provider opts to pursue 
collection activity, it shall continue to make affirmative efforts to 
collect the postage adjustment from the customer until the postage 
adjustment is satisfied in whole or the collection period (as defined in 
paragraph (i)(2)(iii)(C) of this section) expires. Immediately upon 
receiving or securing access to funds of the customer, the PC Postage 
provider shall remit to the Postal Service any and all available funds 
from the customer's account from the Postage Evidencing System or that 
are otherwise recovered by the PC Postage provider to the extent 
necessary to satisfy the postage adjustment. The postage adjustment must 
be paid in full; no partial payments will be accepted by the Postal 
Service, except for payments made under paragraph paragraph 
(i)(2)(iii)(C) of this section.
    (B) In the case of an overpayment that exceeds the threshold amount, 
the Postal Service shall within 14 business days of identifying the 
overpayment, provide notice of the postage adjustment to the PC Postage 
provider and instruct the PC Postage provider to give the customer a 
credit and adjust the

[[Page 196]]

funds available to the customer in the Postage Evidencing System. If the 
Postage Evidencing System account has been closed or for customers who 
do not have individual Postage Evidencing System accounts, the Postal 
Service shall instruct the PC Postage provider to issue a refund to the 
customer and the Postal Service shall either refund the postage 
adjustment to the PC Postage provider or permit the PC Postage provider 
to submit a reconciliation to the Postal Service. The PC Postage 
provider must immediately upon receiving notice of the overpayment from 
the Postal Service, notify the customer and, consistent with the Postal 
Service's instructions, adjust the funds available to the customer in 
the Postage Evidencing System, refund the postage adjustment to the 
customer, or provide a credit to the customer. If the PC Postage 
provider is unable to comply with the above requirements within 2 
business days, the PC Postage provider must immediately notify the 
Postal Service.
    (C) The collection period is a time period to be set by the Postal 
Service not to exceed 60 calendar days after initial notification by the 
Postal Service, subject to any applicable notification periods and 
dispute mechanisms that may be available to customers for these 
corrections. If an underpayment has not been satisfied within this 
collection period, the PC Postage provider shall adjust any funds 
available to the customer in the Postage Evidencing System to satisfy 
the postage adjustment to the greatest extent possible, and assist the 
Postal Service in its efforts to pursue any remedies that may be 
available in law or equity, including seeking payment directly from the 
customer.
    (iv)(A) In the case of an underpayment that exceeds the threshold 
amount, immediately upon receiving notice of the underpayment from the 
Postal Service the PC Postage provider shall prohibit the customer from 
printing additional postage labels until the postage adjustment is 
satisfied in accordance with paragraph (i)(2)(iii)(A) of this section, 
or the customer disputes the adjustment and prevails. The Postal Service 
may, in its discretion, waive or delay this prohibition in specific 
instances.
    (B) Separately, without regard to any threshold, in certain cases 
(such as where a customer is suspected of having intentionally or 
repeatedly underpaid postage) the Postal Service may, in its discretion, 
instruct the PC Postage provider to shut down temporarily or permanently 
a customer's ability to print PC Postage, and the PC Postage provider 
shall promptly comply with such instruction.
    (C) In no event shall the Postal Service be liable to any PC Postage 
provider, customer or other party for any direct, indirect, exemplary, 
special, consequential, or punitive damages (including without 
limitation damages relating to loss of profit or business interruption) 
arising from or related to any customer's permanent or temporary 
inability to print postage labels in accordance with this paragraph 
(i)(2)(iv) or as a result of funds offset in accordance with this 
paragraph.
    (v) The Postal Service, in its discretion, may adopt and modify from 
time to time, and the PC Postage providers shall comply with, business 
rules setting forth processes (including time constraints) for payments, 
refunds, account suspensions, collections, notifications, dispute 
resolutions and other activities to be performed hereunder. Such 
business rules will be published in the Federal Register.
    (3)(i) Without regard to any threshold, if the PC Postage provider 
incorrectly programmed postage rates, delayed programming postage rate 
changes, or otherwise provided systems or software which caused 
customers to pay incorrect postage amounts, then within two calendar 
weeks of the PC Postage provider being made aware of such error, the PC 
Postage provider shall:
    (A) Correct the programming error;
    (B) Provide the Postal Service with a detailed breakdown of how the 
error affected the PC Postage provider's collection of revenue; and
    (C) Pay the Postal Service for the postage deficiency caused by the 
programming error, except in instances where the error was caused by the 
Postal Service or as a direct result of incorrect specifications 
provided by the Postal Service.
    (4) The PC Postage provider is responsible for ensuring that:
    (i) All customers pay (and the Postal Service receives) the current 
published prices that are available to customers who purchase postage 
through an approved PC Postage provider, or negotiated contracted prices 
where applicable in accordance with this paragraph; and
    (ii) All payments to the Postal Service (or the log files necessary 
for the Postal Service to collect payments directly from customers) are 
complete and accurate and are initiated or transmitted, as applicable, 
to the Postal Service each day.
    (5) Each PC Postage provider shall:
    (i) Before each customer's first transaction following the 
implementation date of August 1, 2017, provide notice to such customer 
of the terms, conditions and processes described in this paragraph--
including, without limitation, that the customer may be charged for 
deficient payments and prevented from printing additional postage labels 
while a postage adjustment remains unpaid--and obtain a certification 
from each customer that the customer has read, understands and agrees to 
such terms, conditions and processes, as they may be amended or 
supplemented from time to time;

[[Page 197]]

    (ii) Ensure that each customer certifies that it:
    (A) Will comply with all laws and regulations applicable to Postal 
Service services, including, without limitation, the provisions of the 
Domestic Mail Manual and the International Mail Manual,
    (B) Does not owe any money to the Postal Service and is not a 
controlling member or officer of an entity that owes money to the Postal 
Service, and
    (C) Authorizes the PC Postage provider to disclose the customer's 
personal information to the Postal Service and such other information 
retained by the PC Postage provider that may enable the Postal Service 
to collect debts owed to it;
    (iii) Maintain a complete and accurate record for each customer, 
which includes such customer's current name and a valid U.S. address 
that is sufficient for service of process under the law, as well as a 
copy of all terms agreed to by the customer and the date of such 
agreements;
    (iv) Comply with applicable laws, rules, regulations and guidelines 
and ensure that its Postage Evidencing Systems, software, interfaces, 
communications and other properties that are used to sell or market 
Postal Service products accurately describe such products;
    (v) Cover any costs or damages that the Postal Service may incur as 
a result of such PC Postage provider or its employees, contractors, or 
representatives failing to comply with the terms of this section, or any 
applicable law, regulation, rule, or government policy; and
    (vi) In performing its obligations hereunder, comply with the 
business rules that shall be published in the Federal Register from time 
to time and provide all agreed-upon interface documentation (as updated 
from time to time).
    (6) In the event that the Postal Service fails to exercise or delays 
exercising any right, remedy, or privilege under this paragraph, such 
failure or delay shall not operate as a waiver thereof or of any other 
provision hereof, nor shall any single or partial exercise of any right, 
remedy, or privilege preclude any further exercise of the same. The 
rights and remedies available to the Postal Service under this paragraph 
are cumulative and in addition to, and do not diminish, any rights or 
remedies otherwise available to the Postal Service.



Sec. 501.17  Decertified Postage Evidencing Systems.

    (a) A Decertified Postage Evidencing System is a device for which 
the provider's authority to distribute has been withdrawn by the Postal 
Service as a result of any retirement plan for a given class of meters 
published by the Postal Service in the Federal Register; a suspension or 
revocation under Sec. 501.6; or a voluntary withdrawal undertaken by the 
provider.
    (b) A Decertified Postage Evidencing System must be withdrawn from 
service by the date agreed to by the Postal Service and provider.
    (c) To the extent postage meters are involved, the provider must 
utilize the approved procedures for lost and stolen meters under 
Sec. 501.14(c)(7) to locate the meter and remove it from service by the 
agreed upon date.
    (d) Decertified Postage Evidencing Systems that are not submitted to 
the Postal Service for refund within one hundred and eighty (180) days 
of the agreed upon withdrawal from service date will not be eligible for 
refund of unused postage.
    (e) Postage indicia printed by Decertified Postage Evidencing 
Systems may no longer be considered valid postage one hundred and eighty 
(180) days from the agreed upon withdrawal from service date.



Sec. 501.18  Customer information and authorization.

    (a) Authorized providers must electronically transmit the necessary 
customer information to the designated Postal Service central data 
processing facility, in Postal Service-specified format, in order for 
the Postal Service to authorize a customer to use a Postage Evidencing 
System. Postal Service receipt and acceptance of the customer 
information provides the customer with the authorization to possess or 
use a Postage Evidencing System in accordance with DMM 604 Postage 
Payment Methods, 4.0 Postage Meters and PC Postage Products (Postage 
Evidencing Systems).
    (b) The Postal Service may refuse to issue a customer authorization 
to use a Postage Evidencing System for the following reasons:
    (1) The customer submitted false or fictitious information.
    (2) Within five years preceding submission of the information, the 
customer violated any standard for the care or use of the Postage 
Evidencing

[[Page 198]]

System, including any unresolved identified postage discrepancies that 
resulted in revocation of that customer's authorization.
    (3) Or there is sufficient reason to believe that the Postage 
Evidencing System is to be used in violation of the applicable 
standards.
    (c) The Postal Service will notify the provider of the revocation of 
a customer's authorization to use a Postage Evidencing System. Within 
ten (10) days of receipt of the notice of revocation, the provider must 
cancel any lease or other agreement and remove the Postage Evidencing 
System from service. A customer's authorization to use a Postage 
Evidencing system is subject to revocation for any of the following 
reasons:
    (1) A Postage Evidencing System is used for any illegal scheme or 
enterprise.
    (2) The customer's Postage Evidencing System is not used for twelve 
(12) consecutive months.
    (3) Sufficient control of a Postage Evidencing System is not 
exercised or the standards for its care or use are not followed.
    (4) The Postage Evidencing System is kept or used outside the 
customs territory of the United States or those U.S. territories and 
possessions where the Postal Service operates.
    (5) The customer is in possession of a Decertified Postage 
Evidencing System.
    (6) The customer has any unresolved postage discrepancies.
    (d) The provider must electronically transmit any updates to the 
necessary customer information to the designated Postal Service central 
data processing facility, in Postal Service-specified format.
    (e) No one other than an authorized provider may possess a Postage 
Evidencing System without a valid rental or other agreement with the 
provider. Other parties in possession of a Postage Evidencing System 
must immediately surrender it to the provider or the Postal Service.
    (f) The Postal Service may use customer information consistent with 
the Privacy Act and the Postal Service's privacy policies posted on 
http://www.usps.com. Examples include the following:
    (1) Communication with customers who may no longer be visiting a 
traditional Postal Service retail outlet or communication with customers 
through any new retail channels.
    (2) Issuance (including re-authorization, renewal, transfer, 
revocation or denial, as applicable) of authorization to use a Postage 
Evidencing System to a postal patron that uses a Postage Evidencing 
System, and communications with respect to the status of such 
authorization.
    (3) Disclosure to a meter provider of the identity of any meter 
required to be removed from service by that meter provider, and any 
related customer data, as the result of revocation of an authorization 
to use a Postage Evidencing System, questioned accurate registration of 
that meter, or de-certification by the Postal Service of any particular 
class or model of postage meter.
    (4) Tracking the movement of meters between a meter provider and its 
customers and communications to a meter provider (but not to any third 
party other than the customer) concerning such movement. The term meter 
provider includes a meter provider's dealers and agents.
    (5) To transmit general information to all Postage Evidencing System 
customers concerning rate and rate category changes implemented or 
proposed for implementation by the Postal Service.
    (6) To advertise Postal Service services relating to the acceptance, 
processing, and delivery of, or postage payment for, metered mail.
    (7) To allow the Postal Service to communicate with Postal Service 
customers on products, services, and other information otherwise 
available to Postal Service customers through traditional retail 
outlets.
    (8) Any internal use by Postal Service personnel, including 
identification and monitoring activities relating to Postage Evidencing 
Systems, 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

[[Page 199]]

its own purposes; except that the applicant information may be disclosed 
to other governmental agencies for law enforcement purposes as provided 
by law.
    (9) Identification of authorized Postage Evidencing System providers 
or announcement of the de-authorization of an authorized provider, or 
provision of currently available public information, where an authorized 
provider is identified.
    (10) To promote and encourage the use of Postage Evidencing Systems 
as a form of postage payment, provided that the same information is 
provided to all Postage Evidencing System customers and no particular 
Postage Evidencing System provider will be recommended by the Postal 
Service.
    (11) To contact customers in cases of revenue fraud or revenue 
security.
    (12) Disclosure to a Postage Evidencing System provider of applicant 
information pertaining to that provider's customers that the Postal 
Service views as necessary to enable the Postal Service to carry out its 
duties and purposes.
    (13) To transmit to a Postage Evidencing System provider all 
applicant and system information pertaining to that provider's customers 
and systems that may be necessary to permit such provider to synchronize 
its computer databases with information contained in the computer files 
of the Postal Service.
    (14) 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.

[71 FR 65733, Nov. 9, 2006, as amended at 80 FR 42393, July 17, 2015]



Sec. 501.19  Intellectual property.

    Providers submitting Postage Evidencing Systems to the Postal 
Service for approval are responsible for obtaining all intellectual 
property licenses that may be required to distribute their product in 
commerce and to allow the Postal Service to process mail bearing the 
indicia produced by the Postage Evidencing System. To the extent 
approval is granted and the Postage Evidencing System is capable of 
being used in commerce, the provider shall indemnify the Postal Service 
for use of such intellectual property in both the use of the Postage 
Evidencing System and the processing of mail bearing indicia produced by 
the Postage Evidencing System.



Sec. 501.20  Discontinued Postage Evidencing Indicia.

    (a) Decertified indicia (evidence of pre-paid postage) are indicia 
that have been withdrawn by the Postal Service as valid forms of postage 
evidence through publication by the Postal Service in the Federal 
Register, or by voluntary withdrawal undertaken by the provider.
    (b) Effective January 1, 2016, all Postage Evidencing Systems 
(postage meters and PC Postage products) will be required to produce 
Information-Based Indicia (IBI) or Intelligent Mail Indicia (IMI) for 
evidence of pre-paid postage. Non-IBI and non-IMI indicia will be 
decertified effective January 1, 2016, and may not be used as a valid 
form of postage evidence. These decertified indicia will not be 
recognized as valid postage after December 31, 2015.

[78 FR 8407, Feb. 6, 2013]



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

[[Page 200]]

(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 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 has discretionary authority to select causes and 
recipient executive agencies to receive funds raised through the sale of 
semipostal stamps. These regulations apply only to such discretionary 
semipostal stamps and do not apply to semipostal stamps that are 
mandated by Act of Congress, such as the Breast Cancer Research stamp. 
The procedure for selection of causes and recipient executive agencies 
is as follows:
    (a) The Office of Stamp Services will accept proposals from 
interested persons for future semipostal stamps beginning on May 20, 
2016. The Office of Stamp Services will begin considering proposals on 
July 5, 2016. The Postal Service intends to issue five semipostal stamps 
under these regulations during the 10-year period established by 
Congress in 39 U.S.C. 416(g). Each semipostal stamp will be sold for no 
more than two years. Proposals may be submitted and will be considered 
on a rolling basis until seven years after May 20, 2016. The Office of 
Stamp Services may publicize this request for proposals in the Federal 
Register or through other means, as it determines in its discretion. 
Proposals for semipostal stamps made prior to May 20, 2016 will not be 
given further consideration. Nothing in these regulations should be 
construed as barring the resubmission of previously submitted causes and 
recipient executive agencies.
    (b) Proposals will be received by the Office of Stamp Services, 
which will review each proposal under Sec. 551.4.
    (c) The Office of Stamp Services will forward those proposals that 
satisfy the requirements of Sec. 551.4 to the Citizens' Stamp Advisory 
Committee for its consideration.
    (d) Based on the proposals received from the Office of Stamp 
Services, the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee may make 
recommendations on causes and eligible recipient executive agencies to 
the postmaster general. The Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee may 
recommend more than one cause and eligible recipient executive agency at 
the same time.
    (e) Meetings of the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee are closed, 
and deliberations of the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee are pre-
decisional in nature.
    (f) In making decisions concerning semipostal stamps, the postmaster 
general may take into consideration such factors, including the 
recommendations of the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee, as the 
postmaster general determines are appropriate. The decision of the 
postmaster general shall be the final agency decision.
    (g) The Office of Stamp Services will notify each executive agency 
in writing of a decision designating that agency as a recipient of funds 
from a semipostal stamp.
    (h) As either a separate matter, or in combination with 
recommendations on a cause and recipient executive agencies, the 
Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee may recommend to the postmaster 
general a design (i.e., artwork) for the semipostal stamp. The 
postmaster general will make a final decision on the design to be 
featured.
    (i) The decision of the postmaster general to exercise the Postal 
Service's

[[Page 201]]

discretionary authority to issue a semipostal stamp is final and not 
subject to challenge or review.

[81 FR 23163, Apr. 20, 2016]



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 the proposal by U.S. Mail 
to the Office of Stamp Services, Attn: Semipostal Discretionary Program, 
475 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Room 3300, Washington, DC 20260-3501, or in a 
single Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) file sent by email to [email protected] 
Indicate in the Subject Line: Semipostal Discretionary Program. 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.
    (2) The proposal must be signed by the individual or a duly 
authorized representative and must provide the mailing address, phone 
number, fax number (if available), and email address of a designated 
point of contact.
    (3) The proposal must describe the cause and the purposes for which 
the funds would be used.
    (4) The proposal 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 proposal must include a letter from an executive agency or 
agencies on agency letterhead representing that:
    (i) It is an executive agency as defined in 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.
    (6)(i) A proposal 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 postmaster 
general will provide the recipient executive agencies with an 
opportunity to jointly decide which two agencies will receive funds. If 
the agencies are unable to reach a joint decision within 20 days, the 
postmaster general shall either decide which two agencies will receive 
funds or select another proposal.
    (ii) If more than one proposal is submitted for the same cause, and 
the proposals would have different executive agencies receiving funds, 
the funds may be evenly divided among the executive agencies, with no 
more than two agencies being designated to receive funds, as determined 
by the postmaster general.
    (b) Proposals 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 proposals are selected or not, 
for any reason.
    (c) The following persons may not submit proposals:
    (1) Employees of the United States Postal Service;
    (2) Any contractor of the Postal Service that may stand to benefit 
financially from the Semipostal Stamp Program; or
    (3) Members of the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee and their 
immediate families, and 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 any of the following: Anniversaries; public works; 
people; specific organizations or associations; commercial enterprises 
or products; cities,

[[Page 202]]

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 may not be submitted with proposals.

[81 FR 23163, Apr. 20, 2016]



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 Office of Stamp 
Services will determine the date of commencement of the 10-year period.
    (b) The Postal Service will offer only one discretionary semipostal 
stamp for sale at any given time during the 10-year period, although a 
discretionary semipostal stamp may be offered for sale at the same time 
as one or more congressionally mandated semipostal stamps.
    (c) The sales period for any given discretionary semipostal stamp is 
limited to no more than two years, as determined by the Office of Stamp 
Services.
    (d) Prior to or after the issuance of a given discretionary 
semipostal stamp, the Postal Service may 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 expected, or
    (3) The cause or recipient executive agency does not further, or 
does not comply with, the statutory purposes or requirements of the 
Semipostal Authorization Act.

[81 FR 23164, Apr. 20, 2016]



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 single-
piece stamped 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.

[81 FR 23164, Apr. 20, 2016]



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

[[Page 203]]

stamps will rest with the Office of Accounting, Finance, Controller. 
Individual organizational units incurring 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 204]]



      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  Reserved.
601.107  Initial disagreement resolution.
601.108  SDR Official 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  Suspension, debarment, and ineligibility.

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

    Source: 72 FR 58252, Oct. 15, 2007, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 601.100  Purchasing policy.

    The Postal Service acquires property and services pursuant to the 
authority of 39 U.S.C. 410.



Sec. 601.101  Effective date.

    These regulations are effective November 14, 2007. Solicitations 
issued and resulting contracts entered into prior to that date will be 
governed by the regulations in effect at the time the solicitation was 
issued.



Sec. 601.102  Revocation of prior purchasing regulations.

    All previous postal 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.



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.



Sec. 601.104  Postal purchasing authority.

    Only the Postmaster General/CEO; the Postal Service's vice 
president, 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, 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) General. A person or organization wishing to have 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 decline to accept or consider proposals 
from a person or organization when that person or organization fails to 
meet reasonable business expectations or provide a high level of 
confidence regarding quality, prompt service, and overall 
professionalism.
    (b) Declining to accept or consider proposals. The Postal Service 
may decline to accept or consider proposals when a person or 
organization exhibits unacceptable conduct or business practices that do 
not meet reasonable business expectations or does not provide a high 
level of confidence about the entity's current or future business 
relations. 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;

[[Page 205]]

    (3) Providing false or misleading information regarding 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.
    (c) Notice. If the Postal Service elects to decline to accept or 
consider proposals from a person or organization, the vice president, 
Supply Management, or his or her designee, will provide a written notice 
to the person or organization by Certified Mail, return receipt 
requested, explaining:
    (1) The reasons for the decision;
    (2) The effective date of the decision;
    (3) The scope of the decision;
    (4) The period of time the decision will be in effect, (a matter at 
the Postal Service's discretion consistent with the circumstances); and
    (5) The supplier's right to contest the decision.
    (d) 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 Sec. 601.108. The Postal Service 
may reconsider the matter and, if warranted, rescind or modify the 
decision to decline to accept or consider proposals.



Sec. 601.106  [Reserved]



Sec. 601.107  Initial disagreement resolution.

    (a) Definitions. (1) Days. Calendar days; however, any time period 
will run until a day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.
    (2) Disagreements. All disputes, protests, claims, disagreements, or 
demands of whatsoever nature arising in connection with the acquisition 
of property and services within the scope of Sec. 601.103 of this 
chapter, except those:
    (i) That arise pursuant to a contract under the Contract Disputes 
Act under Sec. 601.109;
    (ii) That concern debarment, suspension, or ineligibility under 
Sec. 601.113; or
    (iii) That arise out of the nonrenewal of transportation contracts 
containing other provisions for the review of such decisions.
    (3) Interested parties. Actual or prospective offerors whose direct 
economic interests would be affected by the award of, or failure to 
award, the contract.
    (4) Lodge. A disagreement is lodged on the date it is received by 
the contracting officer or the Supplier Disagreement Resolution 
Official, as appropriate.
    (5) SDR Official. The Supplier Disagreement Resolution Official, a 
contracting officer designated by the Postal Service to perform the 
functions established under Sec. 601.108.
    (b) Policy. It is the policy of the Postal Service and in the 
interest of its suppliers to resolve disagreements by mutual agreement 
between the supplier and the responsible contracting officer. All 
disagreements must be lodged with the responsible contracting office in 
writing via facsimile, e-mail, hand delivery, or U.S. Mail. For 
disagreements that concern the award of a contract, the disagreement 
shall be lodged within 10 days of the date the supplier received 
notification of award or 10 days from the date the supplier received a 
debriefing, whichever is later. For disagreements that concern alleged 
improprieties in a solicitation, the contracting officer must receive 
the disagreement before the time set for the receipt of proposals, 
unless the disagreement concerns an alleged impropriety that does not 
exist in the initial solicitation but which is subsequently incorporated 
into the solicitation, in which event the contracting officer must 
receive the disagreement no later than the next closing time for the 
receipt of proposals following the incorporation. The resolution period 
shall last 10 days from the date when the disagreement is lodged with 
the contracting officer. During the supplier-contracting officer 10-day 
resolution period, the responsible contracting officer's management may 
help to resolve the disagreement. At the conclusion of the 10-day 
resolution period, the contracting officer must communicate, in writing, 
to the supplier his or her resolution of the disagreement.
    (c) Alternative dispute resolution. Alternative dispute resolution 
(ADR) procedures may be used to resolve a disagreement. If the use of 
ADR is agreed upon, the 10-day limitation is suspended. If agreement 
cannot be

[[Page 206]]

reached, the supplier has 10 days to lodge its disagreement with the SDR 
Official.

[75 FR 1542, Jan. 12, 2010]



Sec. 601.108  SDR Official disagreement resolution.

    (a) General. If a disagreement under Sec. 601.107 is not resolved 
within 10 days after it was lodged with the contracting officer, if the 
use of ADR fails to resolve it at any time, if the supplier is not 
satisfied with the contracting officer's resolution of the disagreement, 
or if the decision not to accept or consider proposals under 
Sec. 601.105 is contested, the SDR Official is available to provide 
final resolution of the matter. The Postal Service desires to resolve 
all such matters quickly and inexpensively in keeping with the 
regulations in this part.
    (b) Scope and applicability. This procedure is established as the 
sole and exclusive means to resolve disagreements under Sec. 601.107 and 
contests of decisions under Sec. 601.105. This procedure is intended to 
expeditiously resolve disagreements that are not resolved at the 
responsible contracting officer level; to reduce litigation expenses, 
inconvenience, and other costs for all parties; to facilitate successful 
business relationships with Postal Service suppliers, the supplier 
community, and other persons; and to develop further the basis for the 
Postal Service's purchasing decisions and the administrative records 
concerning those decisions. All disagreements under Sec. 601.107 and 
contests of decisions under Sec. 601.105 will be lodged with and 
resolved, with finality, by the SDR Official under and in accordance 
with the sole and exclusive procedure established in this section.
    (c) Lodging. The disagreement under Sec. 601.107 or contest of 
decision under Sec. 601.105 must be lodged with the SDR Official in 
writing via facsimile, email, hand delivery, or U.S. Mail. The 
disagreement under Sec. 601.107 or contest of decision under 
Sec. 601.105 must state the factual circumstances relating to it and the 
remedy sought. A disagreement under Sec. 601.107 must also state the 
scope and outcome of the initial disagreement resolution attempt with 
the contracting officer. The address of the SDR Official is: Supply 
Management, Room 1141 (Attn: SDR Official), United States Postal Service 
Headquarters, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20260-1141; email 
Address: [email protected]; Fax Number: (202) 268-0075.
    (d) Lodging timeframes. Disagreements under Sec. 601.107 or contests 
of decisions under Sec. 601.105 must be lodged with the SDR Official 
within the following timeframes:
    (1) Disagreements under Sec. 601.107 not resolved with the 
contracting officer must be lodged with the SDR Official within 20 days 
after they were lodged with the contracting officer (unless ADR had been 
used to attempt to resolve them);
    (2) Disagreements under Sec. 601.107 for which ADR had been agreed 
to be used must be lodged with the SDR Official within 10 days after the 
supplier knew or was informed by the contracting officer or otherwise 
that the matter was not resolved;
    (3) Where a supplier is dissatisfied with the contracting officer's 
resolution of a disagreement under Sec. 601.107, the supplier must lodge 
the disagreement with the SDR Official within 10 days after the supplier 
first receives notification of the contracting officer's resolution; and
    (4) Contests of decisions under Sec. 601.105 to decline to accept or 
consider proposals must be lodged with the SDR Official within 10 days 
of the supplier's receipt of the written notice explaining the decision.
    (5) The SDR Official may grant an extension of time to lodge a 
disagreement under Sec. 601.107 or contest of decision under 
Sec. 601.105 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 SDR Official on or before the 
time to lodge a disagreement lapses.
    (e) Disagreement decision process. The SDR Official will promptly 
provide a copy of a disagreement to the contracting officer, who will 
promptly notify other interested parties. The SDR Official will consider 
a disagreement and any response by other interested parties and 
appropriate Postal Service

[[Page 207]]

officials within a time frame established by the SDR Official. The SDR 
Official may also meet individually or jointly with the person or 
organization lodging the disagreement, other interested parties, 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 parties, or Postal Service officials must promptly provide 
all relevant, nonprivileged materials and other information requested by 
the SDR Official. If a submission contains trade secrets or other 
confidential information, it should be accompanied by a copy of the 
submission from which the confidential matter has been redacted. The SDR 
Official will determine whether any redactions are appropriate and will 
be solely responsible for determining the treatment of any redacted 
materials. After obtaining such information, materials, and advice as 
may be needed, the SDR Official will promptly issue a written decision 
resolving the disagreement and will deliver the decision to the person 
or organization lodging the disagreement, other interested parties, and 
appropriate Postal Service officials. When resolving a disagreement 
raised under Sec. 601.107, the SDR Official may grant remedies 
including, but not limited to, the following:
    (1) Directing the contracting officer to revise the solicitation or 
to issue a new solicitation;
    (2) Directing the contracting officer to recompete the requirement;
    (3) Directing the contracting officer to reevaluate the award on the 
basis of current proposals and the evaluation factors contained in the 
solicitation; and
    (4) Directing the contracting officer to terminate the contract or 
to refrain from exercising options under the contract.
    (f) Guidance. The SDR Official 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. Failure of any party to provide requested information may be 
taken into account by the SDR Official in the decision.
    (g) Final resolution by the SDR Official and final contract award of 
the Postal Service. A resolution by the SDR Official will be final and 
binding. If the SDR Official's final resolution affirms the original 
contract award of the contracting officer, the contracting officer's 
original contract award becomes the Postal Service's final contract 
award, and may be subject to judicial review as described in paragraph 
(h) of this section. If the SDR Official's final resolution directs that 
the Postal Service terminate the contract award and issue a new 
solicitation, recompete the requirement, or reevaluate the current 
award, the contracting officer shall implement promptly the SDR 
Official's final resolution. However, any contract award made by the 
contracting officer after a resolicitation, recompetition, or 
reevaluation directed by the SDR Official is not a final contract award 
of the Postal Service that may be subject to judicial review unless and 
until disagreements concerning that contract award have been lodged and 
resolved with finality by the SDR Official.
    (h) Judicial review. The Postal Service's final contract award, as 
described in paragraph Sec. 601.108(g), may be appealed to a Federal 
court with jurisdiction based only upon an alleged violation of the 
regulations contained in this part or an applicable public law enacted 
by Congress. The party lodging the disagreement may seek review of the 
Postal Service's final contract award only after the mandatory 
administrative remedies provided under Sec. 601.107 and Sec. 601.108 
have been exhausted.
    (i) Resolution timeframe. It is intended that this procedure 
generally will resolve disagreements under Sec. 601.107 or contests of 
decisions under Sec. 601.105 within approximately 30 days after receipt 
by the SDR Official. The time may be shortened or lengthened depending 
on the complexity of the issues and other relevant considerations.

[75 FR 1542, Jan. 12, 2010, as amended at 79 FR 65343, Nov. 4, 2014]

[[Page 208]]



Sec. 601.109  Contract claims and disputes.

    (a) General. This section implements the Contract Disputes Act of 
1978, as amended (41 U.S.C. 7101-7109). If ADR is used, the SDR official 
may serve as a mediator for contract performance disagreements prior to 
bringing a contract claim or dispute under this part.
    (b) Policy. It is the Postal Service's intent 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) Supplier 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 six 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) Misrepresentation or fraud. 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, and may 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 may request the required 
information. Further failure to provide the requested information is an 
adequate reason to deny the claim.
    (4) Furnishing Decisions. The contracting officer must furnish a 
copy of the decision to the supplier by Certified Mail \TM\, 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 sixty days, the contracting officer must 
issue a final decision on a claim of $100,000 or less within sixty 
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 sixty days of their receipt or notify the supplier within

[[Page 209]]

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 
filing a notice of appeal within ninety days from the date you receive 
this decision. You may file the notice of appeal online through the USPS 
Judicial Officer Department's Electronic Filing System Web site located 
at https://uspsjoe.justware.com/JusticeWeb, or by mailing or otherwise 
furnishing the notice of appeal to the Postal Service Board of Contract 
Appeals. You also may appeal by mailing, or otherwise furnishing written 
notice of appeal to the contracting officer within ninety 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 twelve 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) Information and resources. 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.

[72 FR 58252, Oct. 15, 2007, as amended at 80 FR 31844, June 4, 2015; 81 
FR 29146, May 11, 2016]



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.



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

[[Page 210]]

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  Suspension, debarment, and ineligibility.

    (a) General. Except as provided otherwise in this part, contracting 
officers may not solicit proposals from, award contracts to, or, when a 
contract provides for such consent, consent to subcontracts with 
suspended, debarred, 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. Indications of control include, but are not 
limited to, interlocking management or ownership, identity of interests 
among family members, shared facilities and equipment, contractual 
relationships, common use of employees, or a business entity organized 
following the suspension, debarment, or proposed debarment of a supplier 
which has the same or similar management, ownership, or principal 
employees as the supplier that was suspended, debarred, or proposed for 
debarment. 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) Suspension. An exclusion from contracting and subcontracting for 
a reasonable period of time due to specified reasons or the pendency of 
a debarment proceeding.
    (7) 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) Suspension, debarment, and ineligible list. (1) The Postal 
Service uses the General Services Administration's System for Award 
Management (SAM) to determine if suppliers are suspended, debarred, or 
proposed for debarment.
    (2) SAM maintains a consolidated database of all persons and 
entities suspended, debarred, proposed for debarment, or declared 
ineligible by Federal agencies or the Government Accountability Office. 
SAM is accessible by the public on GSA's Web site at https://
www.sam.gov.
    (3) Through a representative, the vice president, Supply Management 
will use the SAM Exclusions database to report Postal Service 
suspensions, debarments

[[Page 211]]

and proposed debarment decisions; including changes in the status of 
suppliers and any of their affiliates. Inquiries concerning listed 
suppliers should be directed to the agency or other authority that took 
the action.
    (d) Treatment of suppliers included in the SAM Exclusions database. 
(1) Contracting officers will review the SAM Exclusions database before 
making a contract award.
    (2) Suppliers included in the SAM Exclusions database 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, Supply Management, or his or her 
designee, after consultation with the General Counsel, has approved such 
action.
    (3) Suppliers included in the SAM Exclusions database 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 review the consolidated GSA list in order to exclude 
suppliers suspended or debarred by the Postal Service from performing 
any part of a Postal Service contract.
    (4) The suspension, debarment, 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 suspended, debarred, or 
determined to be ineligible. Contracting officers may not add new work 
to any contract with a supplier that is suspended, debarred, or 
determined to be ineligible by supplemental agreement, by exercise of an 
option, or otherwise (unless the work is classified as an insignificant 
or significant minor service change to a mail transportation contract), 
except with the approval of the vice president, Supply Management, or 
designee after consultation with the General Counsel.
    (e) Causes for suspension. (1) The vice president, Supply 
Management, may suspend any supplier, including any of its affiliates, 
for causes such as the following:
    (i) If 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, or receipt of stolen property, 
or any other offense indicating a lack of business integrity or business 
honesty;
    (ii) For any other cause of such serious and compelling nature that 
suspension is warranted; or
    (iii) If the Postal Service has notified a supplier of its proposed 
debarment under this part.
    (f) Period of suspension. A suspension will not exceed one year in 
duration, except a suspension may be extended for reasonable periods of 
time beyond one year by the vice president, 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, Supply Management, under 
paragraph (k)(5) of this section.
    (g) Procedural requirements for suspension. (1) The vice president, 
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 ten 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 thirty days of notice of suspension or an extension, a 
supplier may submit to the vice president, Supply Management, in 
writing, any information or reason(s) the supplier believes makes a 
suspension or an extension inappropriate, and the vice president, 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

[[Page 212]]

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.
    (h) Causes for debarment. (1) The vice president, 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.
    (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 (h)(1)(i) or (ii) of 
this section can be established by proof of a conviction in a court of 
competent jurisdiction. If an 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 
(h)(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 vice president of Supply Management.
    (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 criminal, fraudulent, 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.
    (i) 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, 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.

[[Page 213]]

    (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, Supply Management that debarment is not warranted or 
necessary.
    (j) 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 three 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, 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, 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, Supply Management will 
consider when deciding the matter. When a debarment is removed or the 
debarment period is reduced, the vice president, Supply Management must 
state in writing the reason(s) for the removal of the debarment or the 
reduction of the period of debarment.
    (k) Procedural requirements for debarment. (1) After securing the 
concurrence of the General Counsel, the vice president, 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 
that, within thirty days of the notice, the supplier, individually or 
through a representative, may submit in person or in writing 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

[[Page 214]]

to the vice president, 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, 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, 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, 
Supply Management may reject any findings of fact, in whole or in part, 
when they are clearly erroneous.
    (3) Questions of fact to be resolved by a hearing before the 
Judicial Officer will be based on the preponderance of the evidence.
    (4) After consideration of the circumstances and any information and 
argument submitted by the supplier, the vice president, 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 the decision was procured by fraud or other 
criminal misconduct, or the decision was obtained in violation of the 
regulations contained in this part or an applicable public law enacted 
by Congress.

[79 FR 65343, Nov. 4, 2014]



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 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

[[Page 215]]

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 216]]



SUBCHAPTER J_POSTAL SERVICE DEBT OBLIGATIONS; DISBURSEMENT POSTAL
                         MONEY ORDERS





PART 760_APPLICABILITY OF TREASURY 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

[[Page 217]]

or transferred, and the date of the transaction.



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

[[Page 218]]

this part, including securities in book-entry form under 
Sec. 761.3(a)(3), is effected, and a pledge is perfected, by 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

[[Page 219]]

of the Reserve Bank to order the withdrawal thereof from the Reserve 
Bank.



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;

[[Page 220]]

    (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 
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

[[Page 221]]

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 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

[[Page 222]]

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 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

[[Page 223]]

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;
    (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 224]]



                 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 225]]

    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 226]]

    (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(d).
    (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 227]]

    (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) Disposal of properties where the size, area, topography, and 
zoning are similar to existing surrounding properties and/or where 
current and reasonable anticipated uses are or would be similar to 
current surrounding uses (e.g., commercial store in a commercial strip, 
warehouse in an urban complex, office building in downtown area, row 
house or vacant lot in an urban area).
    (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, as amended at 76 FR 53057, Aug. 25, 2011; 
79 FR 2103, Jan. 13, 2014; 79 FR 33097, June 10, 2014]



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 228]]

    (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 229]]

    (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 230]]

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 231]]

    (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 232]]

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 233]]

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 234]]

    (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 Secs. 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 235]]



                      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 236]]

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 237]]

    (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 238]]

    (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 239]]



                    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 240]]

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 241]]

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 242]]

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 243]]

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 244]]

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 245]]

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 246]]

    (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 247]]

    (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 248]]

    (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 249]]

    (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 250]]

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 251]]

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 
rehabilitated 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 252]]

    (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 253]]

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 254]]

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 255]]

    (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 256]]

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) R