[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 246 (Tuesday, December 23, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 76930-76931]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-29943]

[[Page 76930]]



39 CFR Part 111

Address Quality Measurement Alternative

AGENCY: Postal ServiceTM.

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: The Postal Service proposes to revise Mailing Standards of the 
United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM[supreg]), to 
add a new Address Quality Measurement process for participating 
mailers, who enter eligible basic and full-service mailings.

DATES: Submit comments on or before January 22, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Mail or deliver written comments to the manager, Product 
Classification, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Room 4446, 
Washington, DC 20260-5015. You may inspect and photocopy all written 
comments at USPS[supreg] Headquarters Library, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW., 
11th Floor North, Washington, DC, by appointment only, between 9 a.m. 
and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday by calling 202-268-2906 in advance. 
Comments by email, containing the name and address of the commenter, 
may be sent to: ProductClassification@usps.gov, with a subject line of 
``Address Quality Measurement.'' Faxed comments are not accepted.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Heather Dyer (207) 482-7217, email: 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Postal Service continues to look for 
opportunities to work with mailers on improving address quality and 
reducing undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) mail. One key driver of UAA 
mail is outdated address information resulting from changes when a 
postal customer moves.
    With the advent of Intelligent Mail[supreg] barcodes (IMb) and 
electronic documentation (eDoc), the Postal Service has established new 
tools to measure address quality pertaining to move-related changes. 
The Address Quality Measurement Tool is a scorecard that will be used 
to convey information on address hygiene. This data-driven approach 
will allow the Postal Service to provide valuable feedback to mailers 
who enter qualifying mailings.
    After an initial period, and subject to the appropriate regulatory 
approvals, the Postal Service plans to assess an Address Quality 
Assessment Fee on mailpieces in qualifying mailings that contain 
change-of-address (COA) errors in excess of a published threshold. The 
Postal Service is sharing the scorecard now so that mailers will have 
an opportunity to improve their address quality before the Address 
Quality Assessment Fee is implemented. The Postal Service proposes to 
use the Address Quality Measurement Tool for qualifying mailings of 
Bound Printed Matter (BPM) flats and letter- and flat-size First-Class 
Mail[supreg], Periodicals, and Standard Mail[supreg] pieces. In the 
future, mailpieces that do not meet address quality compliance would be 
subject to an Address Quality Assessment Fee.
    Currently, the Postal Service requires mailers to update addresses 
related to COA through the Move Update requirements. Those standards 
will continue for non-qualifying mailings.
    In addition, the Postal Service intends to extend free address 
change service (ACSTM) to mailers who submit mailing 
information using eDoc and enter mailings that contain greater than 75 
percent full-service eligible mailpieces for the calendar month, 
including Basic IMb, single-piece, and residual pieces contained within 
such mailings. The Postal Service is also considering ending the 
requirement that Periodicals pay for manual address corrections unless 
such manual address correction notifications are specifically requested 
by the Periodicals mailer. These changes would also need regulatory 


    Today, when a mailing is entered, Move Update quality and error 
assessments may be evaluated on a mail sample by use of the Mail 
Evaluation Readability Lookup Instrument (MERLIN TM) 
process. Since August 2014, USPS technology has further evolved so 
that, when mailers use an IMb and submit their postage statements and 
supporting documentation via eDoc, mail stream data collection can be 
used to evaluate the move-related quality for mail being processed. 
Therefore, the Postal Service proposes to use this new technology to 
evaluate address quality on specific mailings.


    The proposed Address Quality Measurement Tool and Assessment Fee 
will be only for mailings that meet the following requirements:
     Use a Basic or full-service IMb on their mailpieces.
     Use eDoc to submit mailing information.
     Qualify 75 percent or more of their mailpieces per 
calendar month as full-service.
    Once the assessment fee is in place, qualifying mailings will no 
longer be required to demonstrate or document other USPS-approved Move 
Update methods that are being used to update their address list. 
However, the Postal Service recommends that all mailers continue to use 
a Move Update method to remain below the compliance threshold; expedite 
the delivery of their customer's mail by avoiding mail forwarding; and 
increase the security and privacy of sensitive customer information.


    The following specifications will be used to measure address 
quality regarding the currency of updating addresses related to 
customer moves, identify errors, and ultimately assess errors over the 
specified threshold:
     Analysis will be performed on all pieces in the mailing, 
rather than on a sample.
     The assessment will be determined by the number of COA 
errors, in a calendar month, divided by the total number of pieces 
mailed that were subject to analysis. The resulting percentage is 
compared to an error threshold established by USPS.
    COA errors are those pieces that fail to include the new address 
for a customer with a COA order on file for more than 95 days and less 
than 18 months old, as specified below.

Mailpiece Results

     Data collected from the mail stream will be reconciled to 
eDoc documentation.
     The results will be displayed in the Mailer Scorecard on 
the Electronic Verification tab by accessing the Business Customer 
Gateway (BCG) at https://gateway.usps.com/bcg/detail.htm.
     Mailers will be able to review the Mailer Scorecard and 
corresponding detailed reports to identify any anomalies or issues.
     Issues may be raised to the PostalOne! [supreg] Help Desk 
at 1-800-522-9085 or through local Business Mail Acceptance employees.
     For the test period, the initial threshold will be set to 
0.8%. In the future, the Postal Service plans to assess mailers for 
errors in excess of the error threshold.
     For example, if the error threshold were set to 0.8%, 
10,000 pieces are mailed in a calendar month, and one percent (100 
pieces) is in error, then 0.2 percent (= 1%-0.8%) or a total of 20 
pieces (= 100-80) would be assessed.
    The Postal Service is sharing the scorecard now so that mailers 
will have an opportunity to improve their address quality before the 
Address Quality Assessment Fee is implemented.

[[Page 76931]]

Implementation of Address Quality Assessment Fee

    The Postal Service plans to implement the Address Quality 
Assessment Fee during the calendar year of 2015, after appropriate 
regulatory approvals.
    Notice about changes regarding the extension of free address 
correction service and any withdrawal of the requirement for the 
payment of manual address correction notices for Periodicals will be 
provided at a later date.
    The Postal Service invites all comments and feedback.

List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 111

    Administrative practice and procedure, Postal Service.

    Although we are exempt from the notice and comment requirements of 
the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553(b), (c)) regarding 
proposed rulemaking by 39 U.S.C. 410(a), we invite public comments on 
the following proposed revisions to Mailing Standards of the United 
States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), incorporated by 
reference in the Code of Federal Regulations. See 39 CFR 111.1. 
Accordingly, 39 CFR part 111 is proposed to be amended as follows:


1. The authority citation for 39 CFR part 111 continues to read as 

    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.
2. Revise the following sections of Mailing Standards of the United 
States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), as follows:

Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail 
Manual (DMM)

* * * * *

600 Basic Mailing Standards for All Mailing Services

* * * * *

602 Addressing

* * * * *
    [Revise the title of 602.5.0 as follows:]

5.0 Move Update and Address Quality Standards

5.1 Basic Standards for Move Update

    [Revise the introductory paragraph only of 602.5.1 as follows:]
    The Move Update standard requires the periodic matching of a 
mailer's address records with customer-filed change-of-address orders 
maintained by USPS. Each address, except for mail bearing an 
alternative address format (under 3.0) or meeting the Address Quality 
Measurement and Assessment Standards (under 5.4), in a mailing at 
commercial First-Class Mail presorted or automation prices, First-Class 
Package Service presorted parcel prices, Standard Mail, or Parcel 
Select Lightweight prices is subject to the Move Update standard and 
must meet these requirements: * * *
* * * * *

5.3 Basis for Move Update Assessment Charges

    [Revise 602.5.3b as follows:]
    b. Each of the assessed pieces is subject to the per piece 
assessment charge. See Notice 123--Price List.
* * * * *
    [Revise 602.5.4 and rename as 602.5.6 and add entirely new 602.5.4 
as follows:]

5.4 Basic Standards for Address Quality Measurement and Assessment

    Mailings that meet these requirements will not be subject to the 
Move Update standards in 1.0 to 4.0. Mailers of mailings that meet the 
Address Quality Measurement Standards will receive access to data 
showing the metrics on the currency of address updating. Mailings with 
sufficient errors to meet the criteria under 5.5 will be subject to the 
Address Quality Assessment Fee. The following mailings are subject to 
Address Quality Measurement if they:
    a. Use a Basic or full-service IMb on their mailpieces,
    b. Use eDoc to submit mailing information, and
    c. Qualify at least 75 percent or more of their mailpieces per 
calendar month as full-service.
    [Add new 602.5.5 as follows:]

5.5 Basis for Address Quality Assessment Fee

    Mailings that meet the standards in 5.4 are subject to an Address 
Quality Assessment Fee if more than [a specified percentage] of the 
mail has change of address (COA) errors, as determined by an analysis 
of the data captured during mail processing. Specifically, the 
mailpieces with addresses containing COA errors in excess of the error 
threshold will pay a per piece charge as follows:
    a. The mailpiece's processing indicates that it contains a COA's 
old address and the COA ``Move Effective Date'' or ``Filed Date,'' 
whichever is later, is between 95 days and up to 18 months of the 
postage statement finalization date. This is called a Change of Address 
    b. If the percentage of mailpieces with COA errors in a calendar 
month is greater than the address quality error threshold for all 
qualifying pieces mailed in a calendar month, any pieces above the 
threshold are subject to an assessment.
    c. Each of the assessed pieces is subject to an Address Quality 
Assessment Fee.
    d. Mail pieces sent to an address determined to be associated with 
a change of address that is temporary, foreign, Moved, Left No Address 
(MLNA), or Box Closed No Order (BCNO) will not be included in 
determining the assessment.
* * * * *
    We will publish an appropriate amendment to 39 CFR part 111 to 
reflect these changes, if our proposal is adopted.

Stanley F. Mires,
Attorney, Federal Requirements.
[FR Doc. 2014-29943 Filed 12-22-14; 8:45 am]