[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 123 (Wednesday, June 25, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 36136-36156]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-14396]



[[Page 36136]]

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POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. PI2008-1; Order No. 83]


Administrative Practice and Procedure, Postal Service

AGENCY: Postal Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: Changes in the law governing the nation's postal system 
mandate adoption of service performance measurement and reporting 
systems for market dominant products, which include First-Class Mail. 
This notice presents a service measurement and reporting plan for 
public review and comment. The comments will assist the Commission in 
formulating its position on the plan.

DATES: Comments are due July 9, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments electronically via the Commission's Filing 
Online system at http://www.prc.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephen L. Sharfman, General Counsel, 
202-789-6820 and stephen.sharfman@prc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    Regulatory History, 72 FR 72395 (December 20, 2007).

I. Background

    Section 301 of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act 
(PAEA), Public Law 109-435, 120 Stat. 3218, requires the Postal 
Service, in consultation with the Postal Regulatory Commission 
(Commission), to establish by regulation a set of modern service 
standards for market dominant products.\1\ The Postal Service completed 
this initial task with the publication of ``Modern Service Standards 
for Market-Dominant Products'' as a final rule, effective December 19, 
2007.\2\
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    \1\ Section 301 of the PAEA is codified at 39 U.S.C. 3691.
    \2\ See 72 FR 72216 (December 19, 2007) (to be codified at 39 
CFR parts 121 and 122).
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    By statute, the service standards must be measured by an objective 
external performance measurement system, unless the Commission approves 
the use of an internal measurement system. 39 U.S.C. 3691(b)(1)(D) and 
(b)(2). The Postal Service is in the process of developing its 
performance measurement system, and has kept the Commission informed of 
its progress through a series of meetings to discuss service 
performance measurement issues. The Commission has solicited public 
input on the Postal Service's measurement system proposals by providing 
the public with an opportunity to comment on the Postal Service's 
November 2007 draft Service Performance Measurement plan.\3\
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    \3\ PRC Order No. 48, December 4, 2007; 72 FR 72395 (December 
20, 2007).
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    Since November, the Postal Service has made significant progress in 
working with its external measurement vendors and working through the 
implementation of the internal Intelligent Mail Barcode system. The 
result of this progress has led to a continuous refinement of the 
Service Performance Measurement plan. The Commission is in the process 
of preparing a reply to the Postal Service's most recent plan which 
will address the proposals for internal versus external measurement 
systems and the proposals for data reporting.
    The text of the June 2008 version of the Service Performance 
Measurement plan appears below the signature line of this order. The 
perspective of the mailing community will aid the Commission in 
developing its reply to the Postal Service and help the Commission 
carry out its performance measurement responsibilities under the PAEA. 
Interested persons are invited to comment on any or all aspects of the 
proposed service performance measurement and reporting systems. This 
provides an opportunity for those that previously commented to update 
their comments, and for those that have yet to comment to provide 
initial comments. Comments are due July 9, 2008. All comments will be 
available for review on the Commission's Web site, http://www.prc.gov.

II. United States Postal Service Service Performance Measurement

A. Glossary of Terms

    The description of the approach for service performance measurement 
includes references to certain postal terminology. For clarification, 
the following brief definitions and descriptions are provided.
    The Intelligent Mail[supreg] barcode (IMb) is a height-modulated 
barcode that encodes up to 31-digits of mailpiece data. The IMb 
combines and expands the capabilities of the POSTNET barcode and the 
Planet Code[supreg] barcode into one unique barcode and is intended to 
replace the POSTNET and Planet Code barcodes by May 2010.
    A service standard is defined as ``a stated goal for service 
achievement for each mail class.'' See Publication 32, Glossary of 
Postal Terms (May 1997, updated through July 5, 2007). The service 
standard for each market-dominant mail service incorporates the days-
to-deliver for each 3-digit ZIP Code origin-destination pair within the 
Postal Service network. The standards serve as the benchmark for 
measuring service performance.
    The service performance is the number of calendar days from the 
``start-the-clock'' to the ``stop-the-clock''. However, if the day of 
the ``stop-the-clock'' event is immediately after a non-delivery day 
(Sunday or a holiday), then one day is subtracted from the service 
performance measurement calculation for each consecutive non-delivery 
day preceding the delivery day.
    For inclusion in service performance measurement, a mail piece, 
container/handling unit, or mailing must pass verification and meet the 
applicable inclusion criteria listed in the appendix to this document. 
Verification is a system of checks used to determine if a mailing is 
properly prepared and if the correct postage is paid.
    The critical entry time (CET) is the latest time that a reasonable 
amount of a class of mail can be received at designated induction 
points in the postal network for it to be processed and dispatched in 
time to meet service standards.
    The ``start-the-clock'' is the date and time when the mail piece 
enters the mailstream. If the Postal Service accepts a mail piece 
before the posted CET for that day, the day of entry is designated as 
the ``start-the-clock'' date. If the mail piece is accepted after the 
CET or dropped at a collection box, business mail chute, or Post Office 
location after the last posted pickup time or on a day when pickup does 
not occur, the mail piece has a ``start-the-clock'' date of the 
following applicable acceptance day.
    ``Start-the-clock'' Day zero (or Day-0) is the date when the clock 
starts for purposes of service measurement.
    The ``stop-the-clock'' is the date on which delivery occurs or is 
initially attempted.
    A Customer/Supplier Agreement (C/SA) is a written notice that 
confirms, for a commercial mailer, the origin-entry acceptance window 
during which mail that meets applicable preparation requirements will 
be considered to have been entered into the postal network on ``start-
the-clock Day zero,'' for purposes of service performance measurement. 
The notice may include mail containerization specifications, designated 
postal mail facility entry locations and time-sensitive mail entry 
windows.
    The Annual Compliance Report includes the national annual service 
performance report for market-dominant products and is subject to 
compliance review by the Postal Regulatory Commission on a fiscal year 
basis.

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    A postal area is the administrative level directly below national 
headquarters and is comprised of multiple subordinate postal districts. 
There are currently nine areas that span the entirety of the postal 
network; these nine areas are comprised of a total of 80 subordinate 
districts.
    In service variance reports, the Postal Service reports the 
cumulative percentage for mail pieces delivered after the applicable 
service standard. The Postal Service refers to the delivery performance 
of pieces delivered after the service standard as ``Within +X'' days of 
the standard.
    The following are examples of calculating service variance:

                                               Table 1.--Examples of Calculating Service Variance--May 08
               [Adapted from the original, which can be viewed on the Commission's Web site, http://www.prc.gov/prc-pages/daily-listing)]
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   Monday            Tuesday                Wednesday               Thursday                 Friday                Saturday                Sunday
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April 28     29                      30                      May 1                   2                      3                      4
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             ......................  ......................                              Example One.                              Non-Delivery Day.
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5            6                       7                       8 Day Zero              9 Day One              10 Day Two             11 Day Three
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             ......................  Mail Entered After CET  ......................  .....................  .....................  Non-Delivery Day.
                                      with 2 Day Service
                                      Standard
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12 Day Four  13                      14                      15                      16                     17                     18
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Actual       ......................  ......................  ......................                  Example Two.                  Non-Delivery Day.
 Delivery
 Day
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19           20                      21                      22 Day Zero             23 Day One             24 Day Two             25 Day Three
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             ......................  ......................  Mail Entered Prior to   .....................  .....................  Non-Delivery Day.
                                                              CET with 3 Day
                                                              Service Standard
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26 Day Four  27 Day Five             28                      29                      30                     31                     June 1
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Holiday      Actual Delivery Day     ......................  ......................  .....................  .....................  Non-Delivery Day.
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Example 1--Mail was entered after CET on Wednesday and delivered on Monday with a two-day service standard. Since the entry was after Wednesday's CET,
  day zero is now Thursday. Actual Delivery is the number of days it took (calendar days) to deliver the mail (Thursday to Monday) or 4 days. Expected
  Delivery is the service standard, which in this case is 2 days. The service performance measurement is Actual Delivery Day (4) minus Expected Delivery
  (2) minus any non-delivery days between the Expected Delivery Day and the Actual Delivery Day (1) = 1.
Example 2--Mail was entered prior to CET on Thursday and delivered on Tuesday with a three-day service standard. Actual Delivery is the time it took
  (calendar days) to deliver the mail (Thursday to Tuesday) or 5 days. Expected Delivery is the service standard, which in this case is 3 days, plus 2
  days since Sunday and Monday are non-delivery days. The service performance measurement is Actual Delivery Day (5) minus Expected Delivery (5) minus
  any non-delivery days between the Expected Delivery Day and the Actual Delivery Day (0) = 0. Therefore, the mail piece was delivered on time.
Definition of Terms:
1. The Actual Delivery Day is the calendar day of the ``stop-the-clock'' for a mail piece.
2. Non-Delivery Days are nationally recognized days on which the Postal Service does not deliver mail to delivery points. Sundays and holidays are non-
  delivery days. Non-delivery days may also occur by Presidential proclamation such as a national day of mourning.
3. The Expected Delivery Day is calculated by adding the applicable service standard to the ``start-the-clock'' date for a mail piece. When that date
  lands on a non-delivery day, the expected delivery date becomes the next possible delivery date.
4. Service variance, represented as ``Within +X'', is the number of delivery days between the Expected Delivery Date for the mail piece and the Actual
  Delivery Date of the piece. ``Within +X'' is calculated by subtracting the Expected Delivery Date from the Actual Delivery Date and then subtracting
  any Non-Delivery Days between the Actual and Expected Delivery Dates from the result:
X = Actual Delivery Day-Expected Delivery Day-Non-Delivery Days between Actual and Expected Delivery Days

1. Introduction
    Among many requirements, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement 
Act (PAEA) instructs the United States Postal Service (Postal Service) 
to establish modern service standards for its market-dominant mail 
products. According to the law, these standards should be designed ``to 
provide a system of objective external performance measurements for 
each market-dominant product as a basis for measurement of Postal 
Service performance.'' However, with the approval of the Postal 
Regulatory Commission (PRC), an internal measurement system may be 
implemented instead of an external system.\4\
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    \4\ Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, Public Law 109-
435, 120 Stat. 3198, 39 U.S.C. 3691(b)(1)(D) and (b)(2).
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    The service performance measurement systems used for measurement 
will evolve over time as capacity increases. For example, the 
measurement system may be modified annually pending the outcome of the 
annual service standards review process. The measurement systems are 
designed to provide the Postal Service and its customers with data 
sufficiently accurate and reliable for purposes of assessing the 
quality of mail service in a cost effective manner. These data are 
expected to provide the PRC with the ability to perform its 
responsibilities under the PAEA with a high degree of confidence. The 
following table

[[Page 36138]]

summarizes the measurement system at full rollout.

                                            Table 2.--Postal Service Measurement Approach at Full Rollout\1\
                                                         [Measurement approach by mail segment]
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                                                         Single-piece                                                   Presort
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                                        Letters              Flats              Parcels             Letters              Flats              Parcels
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First-Class Mail................  EXFC..............  EXFC..............  Start: Acceptance   Start: Documented   EXFC as Proxy \2\.  Start: Documented
                                                                           scan.               Arrival Time at                         Arrival Time at
                                                                                               Postal facility.                        Postal facility.
                                                                          Stop: Delivery      Stop: External      ..................  Stop: Delivery
                                                                           Confirmation        reporting.                              Confirmation
                                                                           delivery scan.                                              delivery scan.
 Single-Piece First-Class Mail    IMMS \3\..........  EXFC as proxy \4\.  Single-Piece First- N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A.
 International.                                                            Class Mail
                                                                           parcels as
                                                                           proxy.\5\
Periodicals \6\.................  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  Start: Documented   Start: Documented   N/A.
                                                                                               Arrival Time at     Arrival Time at
                                                                                               Postal facility.    Postal facility.
                                                                                              Stop: External      Stop: External      N/A.
                                                                                               reporting.          reporting.
Standard Mail...................  N/A...............  N/A...............  N/A...............  Start: Documented   Start: Documented   Start: Documented
                                                                                               Arrival Time at     Arrival Time at     Arrival Time at
                                                                                               Postal facility.    Postal facility.    Postal facility.
                                                                                              Stop: External      Stop: External      Stop: Delivery
                                                                                               reporting.          reporting \7\.      Confirmation
                                                                                                                                       delivery scan.
Package Services................  N/A...............  N/A \8\...........  Start: Acceptance   N/A...............  Start: Documented   Start: Documented
                                                                           scan.                                   Arrival Time at     Arrival Time at
                                                                                                                   Postal facility.    Postal facility.
                                                                          Stop: Delivery      ..................  Stop: External      Stop: Delivery
                                                                           Confirmation                            reporting.          Confirmation
                                                                           delivery scan.                                              delivery scan.
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\1\ Special Services are not included in Table 1 as they have different methods to ``start-the-clock'' and ``stop-the-clock'' from the market-dominant
  mail products.
\2\ The Postal Service will use the External First-Class Mail Measurement System (EXFC) measurement for single-piece flats as a proxy for Presort First-
  Class Mail flats due to the very small volume of Presort flats.
\3\ The International Mail Measurement System (IMMS) is an external measurement system for which an independent measurement contractor seeds mail into
  the mailstream.
\4\ The EXFC measurement for domestic single-piece First-Class Mail flats will serve as a proxy for single-piece First-Class Mail International flats
  due to the small volume in the latter category. After clearing customs, single-piece First-Class Mail International flats enter the domestic
  mailstream and are handled with domestic single-piece First-Class Mail flats.
\5\ The Postal Service will use the measurement for domestic single-piece First-Class Mail parcels as a proxy for single-piece First-Class Mail
  International parcels.
\6\ Two mailer-operated external systems, Red Tag and Time Inc.'s DelTrak, will be used for Periodicals measurement during FY 2009, as the Postal
  Service transitions to a long-term internal solution.

2. Measurement Approach
    For purpose of service performance measurement, the Postal Service 
will continue use of the External First-Class Measurement system (EXFC) 
for single-piece First-Class Mail letters and flats and the 
International Mail Measurement System (IMMS) for single-piece First-
Class Mail International letters.\5\ For letter- and flat-shaped 
Presort mail within First-Class Mail, Periodicals, and Standard Mail 
services, the Postal Service uses an external measurement approach that 
supplements mail scans available from an internal Intelligent Mail 
system with externally collected data. For parcel-shaped mail within 
First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, and Package Services,\6\ the Postal 
Service uses an internal solution based on Delivery Confirmation scans 
obtained at acceptance and delivery. Additionally, the performance 
measurement of various domestic special services uses an internal 
measurement approach.
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    \5\ The only major type of International Mail classified as 
market-dominant is single-piece First-Class Mail International. For 
single-piece First-Class Mail International flats and parcels, the 
Postal Service will use the domestic flats and parcel measurements 
as proxies, as explained in Section 4.1.
    \6\ Package Services market-dominant products include Parcel 
Post, Bound Printed Matter, Library Mail, and Media Mail, by 
operation of 39 U.S.C. 3621. For purposes of service standard 
establishment and service performance measurement, these market-
dominant products are grouped together as Package Services due to 
their relatively small volumes.
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    Destination-entered Standard Mail is subject to national Critical 
Entry Times (CETs). All other classes of mail are subject to locally-
defined facility CETs. A Customer/Supplier Agreement between a bulk 
mailer and the Postal Service may identify an alternate acceptance 
window. In the case where a Customer/Supplier Agreement exists, it is 
the responsibility of the mailer to enter mail within the agreed-upon 
acceptance window. Customer/Supplier Agreements may include terms 
regarding seasonal volumes or split processing windows.
    The two critical elements for service performance measurement of a 
mail

[[Page 36139]]

piece are the date and time when the mail piece enters the mailstream, 
otherwise known as the ``start-the-clock,'' and the date when delivery 
occurs or is attempted, otherwise known as the ``stop-the-clock''.\7\ 
The mail piece service performance measurement can be viewed as the 
difference between the ``start-the-clock'' and ``stop-the-clock'' 
dates, excluding non-delivery days, which is then compared to the 
established service standard for the mail category. When assessing mail 
piece service performance, relevant facility Critical Entry Times 
(CETs) must be taken into account. For commercial mail, Customer/
Supplier Agreements (C/SAs) may also be employed and used to assign the 
``start-the-clock'' Day-0 for purposes of service performance 
measurement. If the Postal Service accepts a mail piece either before 
the CET or within the acceptance window specified in the C/SA on a 
given acceptance day, the mail piece will have a ``start-the-clock'' 
date of the current day. If the mail piece is accepted after the CET, 
and outside the acceptance window specified in the C/SA, the mail piece 
will have a ``start-the-clock'' date of the following applicable 
acceptance day for that facility.\8\
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    \7\ Mail must pass verification before being included in service 
measurement.
    \8\ National CETs have been established for Standard Mail 
destination-entered at Sectional Center Facilities (SCFs) and Bulk 
Mail Centers (BMCs).
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2.1 Presort Letter and Flat-Shaped Mail
    For Presort First-Class Mail, Standard and Periodical letters and 
for Standard and Periodical flats, the Postal Service's service 
performance measurement system uses documented arrival time at the 
postal facility to ``start-the-clock,'' and an external, third-party 
``stop-the-clock'' performed by reporters with scanners in their homes. 
Additional data on mail piece tracking from Intelligent Mail barcode 
(IMb) scans are also used to supplement the external data. However, 
data collected by the Postal Service are provided to an independent, 
external contractor to calculate service measurement and compile the 
necessary reports.
    To facilitate an accurate ``start-the-clock'' measurement, mailers 
prepare mail with IMb's and, as a part of the acceptance process, 
submit electronic mailing information that describes the mail profile. 
Mailings are verified at acceptance to ensure they meet applicable 
preparation requirements necessary to qualify for service performance 
measurement.\9\ For mailers that meet the Full Service Intelligent 
Mail[supreg] Option, the Postal Service makes mail arrival time and 
mail preparation quality information available.
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    \9\ Such requirements are in addition to those which must be met 
to qualify for mailing within a particular product or price 
category.
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    The external measurement contractor determines service performance 
based on the elapsed time between the ``start-the-clock'' event 
recorded by the Postal Service and the ``stop-the-clock'' event scan 
recorded by anonymous households and small businesses that report 
delivery information directly to the contractor. The end-to-end service 
measure consists of two parts: (1) How long mail pieces take to get 
through processing, and (2) how long mail takes from the last 
processing scan to delivery. The second portion is used as a delivery 
factor differential to determine the percent of mail that is delivered 
on the last processing date and the percent delivered after the last 
processing date. For Presort letters and non-saturation flats entered 
at Delivery Units that do not receive processing scans, postal 
personnel scan IMb's to indicate intention to deliver that day. By 
comparing the date of the Postal Service's final IMb scan with the 
reported delivery date for these mail pieces, the external measurement 
contractor calculates the delivery factor differential for each mail 
category. With this measurement approach, the core service performance 
score is augmented by data provided by external reporters, which 
provides a cost-effective method for end-to-end measurement.
    External scanning offers many benefits to the Postal Service, the 
PRC, and mailers concerning the accuracy and auditability of service 
performance measurement: Delivery sampling data are used to provide the 
granularity required for district level reporting, and association of 
the reporter scan data to the final mail processing equipment scan is 
used to assess delivery failures.
    The use of external reporters allows for barcoded mail that falls 
out of automation to be included in service performance measurement. To 
ensure that the external service measurement contractor is able to 
measure service performance for properly prepared and addressed mail 
pieces, the Postal Service provides the contractor with mail quality 
information that it derives by scanning IMb's.
    This measurement approach leverages IMb data from internal systems 
for Presort letters and flat-shaped mail to enhance service 
measurement. It also allows for: Greater representation of mail 
characteristics; richer diagnostics; and robust and reliable 
measurement at low cost.
2.2 Measurement System Requirements for Presort Mailers of Letters, 
Cards, and Flats
    The Postal Service performs service measurement on mail that 
satisfies generally applicable mail preparation requirements and also 
meets the requirements of the Full Service Intelligent Mail[supreg] 
Option, which gives the Postal Service the ability to identify unique 
mail pieces in the mailstream. These service measurement requirements 
include, unique Intelligent Mail[supreg] barcodes on mail pieces, trays 
and containers where appropriate, and appointment scheduling for 
Destination Bulk Mail Center (DBMC), Destination Area Distribution 
Center (DADC), and Destination Sectional Center Facility (DSCF) drop 
shipments, and for authorized mailers choosing to transport origin-
entered, postal-verified mail to downstream facilities. They also may 
include electronic submission of postage statements and mailing 
documentation. More information on the Full Service Intelligent 
Mail[supreg] Option can be found in Federal Register notices \10\ and 
will be published in future revisions of the Domestic Mail Manual 
(DMM).\11\
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    \10\ See 73 FR 1158 (January 7, 2008) and 73 FR 23393 (April 30, 
2008).
    \11\ The requirements for service performance measurement are 
separate from addressing, presortation, containerization, or other 
requirements generally governing price eligibility published in the 
Mail Classification Schedule or USPS Domestic Mail Manual.
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2.3 Parcels
    For parcel-shaped First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, and Package 
Services, the Postal Service uses an internal solution based on 
Delivery Confirmation scans obtained at acceptance and delivery. For 
reporting purposes, First-Class Mail parcels are included with the 
First-Class Mail aggregate performance results and Standard Mail 
parcels are included with the Standard Mail aggregate performance.
    For parcel-shaped Retail mail for which Delivery Confirmation 
service has been purchased, the Postal Service uses the Delivery 
Confirmation scan at the retail counter as the ``start-the-clock'' 
event. Parcel-shaped Presort mail uses the documented arrival time at 
the postal facility as the ``start-the-clock''. For Presort parcels, 
validation similar to that for letters and flats is performed to ensure 
that the parcels were dropped at the correct postal facility.

[[Page 36140]]

    The ``stop-the-clock'' event is the Delivery Confirmation scan 
performed by postal personnel at delivery.\12\ Since postal personnel 
scan pieces with a Delivery Confirmation barcode at delivery, the 
measurement system is truly an end-to-end performance system. In 
addition, the sender has access to the Delivery Confirmation ``stop-
the-clock'' information from the Track & Confirm function at the Postal 
Service's public Web site, http://www.usps.com and, thus, can 
independently verify the delivery date.
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    \12\ Either by a carrier on a delivery route or a clerk in a 
Post Office Box section as delivery is completed or attempted.
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    In accordance with section 3652 of the Postal Accountability and 
Enhancement Act, the Postal Service is required to report measures of 
the quality of service on an annual basis. The Postal Service's 
proposal for service measurement goes far beyond annual reporting and 
will instead provide quarterly reporting for all market-dominant 
products, almost entirely at a district level.
2.4 Reporting
    The Postal Service uses an independent, external contractor to 
prepare service performance reports for domestic First-Class Mail, 
Periodicals, Standard Mail, and single-piece First-Class Mail 
International letters.
    The Postal Service will continue collecting performance data for 
parcels within each domestic market-dominant mail class based on 
Delivery Confirmation acceptance and delivery scans. The Postal Service 
sends performance data for First-Class Mail parcels and Standard Mail 
parcels to the external service performance contractor for consolidated 
reporting of the performance of each mail class. Quarterly reports 
include data on the percentage of mail delivered on-time, as well as 
the percentage of mail delivered within 1-day, 2-days, and 3-days of 
the standard being measured. Annual compliance reports for each market-
dominant product will include the annual target and the annual 
percentage of mail delivered on time.
    For Special Services, the Postal Service reports a performance 
index that combines the measurement of a number of Special Services 
into a single index for comparison on an annual basis.
3 First-Class Mail
3.1 Background
    First-Class Mail pieces represented 45.2 percent of the overall 
mail volume in FY2007,\13\ with nearly 96 billion pieces. Of First-
Class Mail, 41.3 percent are single-piece cards, letters or flats, 0.4 
percent are single-piece parcels, 57.1 percent are Presort cards and 
letters, 1.0 percent are Presort flats, and 0.2 percent are Presort 
parcels. The Postal Service plans to measure each of these different 
segments and report a weighted average measurement separately for 
presort and single-piece categories. Below, Table 3--First-Class Mail 
Volume illustrates the make-up of First-Class Mail by entry volume and 
shape. The table also illustrates the percentage of the overall 
mailstream that each of these First-Class Mail segments represents.
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    \13\ See http://www.usps.com/financials/_pdf/RPW_FY_2007.pdf.

                                                            Table 3.--First-Class Mail Volume
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                                                                            Single-Piece                                    Presort
                                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 Letters       Flats       Parcels      Letters       Flats       Parcels       Total
                                                                (percent)    (percent)    (percent)    (percent)    (percent)    (percent)    (percent)
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First-Class Mail.............................................         38.0          3.3          0.4         57.1          1.0          0.2          100
Overall Mailstream...........................................           17          1.5          0.2         25.8          0.4          0.1         45.2
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3.2 First-Class Mail Single-Piece Letters and Flats
    Collection boxes and office building chutes are the primary methods 
for entering First-Class Mail single-piece letters and flats. Combined, 
this mail represents 18.7 percent of the total mailstream. Service 
performance is measured though EXFC.
    EXFC continuously measures nearly all 3-digit ZIP Code service 
areas. EXFC mail pieces are designed to resemble the rest of the 
mailstream; pieces are hand-or machine-addressed, stamped or metered, 
and are of different colors, sizes, and weights. Quality reviews are 
conducted for droppers and reporters, and data are reviewed on a daily, 
weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis.
3.2.1 ``Start-the-Clock''
    The date and time that the mail piece is dropped into a collection 
box or business mail chute is the ``start-the-clock''. Mail piece 
droppers report the ``start-the-clock'' directly to the external 
service measurement contractor. If a mail piece is dropped at a 
collection box, business mail chute, or Post Office location after the 
last posted pickup time or on a day when pickup does not occur, the 
next pickup day is the ``start-the-clock''.
    The induction points for the ``start-the-clock'' are determined 
before the start of each fiscal quarter. External droppers are provided 
with a listing of collection boxes that they are allowed to use for 
their assigned inductions in a given 3-digit ZIP Code service area. 
Enough locations are chosen to ensure a certain amount of coverage, to 
accommodate any unforeseen issues that may arise with the selected 
induction points. The collection boxes are chosen in a random selection 
process with replacement, meaning that the same induction location may 
be chosen multiple times. The induction points are weighted going into 
the selection process, so that locations in 5-digit ZIP Code areas with 
a larger number of collection boxes have a greater chance of being 
selected than locations in ZIP Codes areas with a smaller number of 
collection boxes. The external contractor monitors drop compliance 
continuously throughout the quarter to ensure proper diversification of 
mail locations.
    EXFC origin-destination mail flows are based on estimated 3-digit 
ZIP Code origin-destination pair volume flows for corresponding 3-digit 
ZIP Code pairs over the past 12 quarters. The number of pieces entered 
from each postal administrative district is proportionate to the 
corresponding origin-destination volumes by service standard.
3.2.2 ``Stop-the-Clock''
    The date that the mail piece is received at a household, small 
business, or Post Office Box is reported by the recipient as the 
``stop-the-clock'' event directly to the external contractor for 
purposes of EXFC. The service

[[Page 36141]]

performance is the number of calendar days from the ``start-the-clock'' 
to the ``stop-the-clock''. However, if the day of the stop-the-clock 
event occurs immediately after a non-delivery day (Sunday or a 
holiday), then one day is subtracted from the service performance 
calculation for each consecutive non-delivery day.
3.3 First-Class Mail Presort Letters and Cards
    The primary induction method for Presort letters and cards is bulk 
entry at postal mail processing plants and Business Mail Entry Units 
(BMEUs) across the United States. Presort First-Class Mail letters and 
cards represent 25.8 percent of the total mailstream. The Postal 
Service's measurement approach uses externally generated delivery scans 
of mail pieces containing IMb's by reporters to record delivery dates. 
In combination with Intelligent Mail scan data collected by the Postal 
Service, this approach enables the granular level of reporting being 
sought by the mailing industry.
3.3.1 ``Start-the-Clock''
    Full Service IMb mailers are required to submit electronic mailing 
documentation listing the IMb's used. Mail is verified to ensure it 
meets mail preparation requirements. Mail that does not meet mail 
preparation standards is excluded from service performance measurement. 
If a mailer decides to rework the mail so that it meets preparation 
requirements or decides to pay additional postage, the mail will be 
included in service performance measurement but it may have a new 
``start-the-clock'' Day-0. Mail ``start-the-clock'' times and mail 
preparation quality information are made available to Full Service IMb 
mailers.
3.3.2 ``Stop-the-Clock''
    External reporters use scanners capable of reading IMb's to record 
the ``stop-the-clock'' delivery event for individual mail pieces they 
receive and to transmit scan data to the external reporting system. By 
comparing the date of the final Postal Service processing scan with the 
actual receipt date for these pieces, the external measurement 
contractor calculates a delivery factor for the service performance of 
First-Class Mail Presort letters and cards. This delivery factor is 
combined with postal mail processing data to determine the end-to-end 
service performance measurement for mail that may not receive an 
external reporter scan.
    The use of external reporters allows for mail that is manually 
processed and that falls out of automation to be included in service 
performance measurement. In these cases, the external reporters record 
the actual ``stop-the-clock'' event and provide that information to the 
external measurement contractor, which calculates the service 
performance for those pieces.
3.4 First-Class Mail Presort Flats
    Presort First-Class Mail flats represent only 0.4 percent of the 
total mailstream, producing one of the smallest mail categories. The 
Postal Service uses the EXFC measurement of single-piece First-Class 
Mail flats as a proxy for Presort flats. In order to determine a more 
accurate estimate for First-Class Mail Presort flats, the portion of 
EXFC that reflects this mail category, i.e., machine-addressed flats, 
rather than hand-addressed, is used. If the external measurement 
contractor determines that sufficient volume of Presort Flats contains 
IMb's, the measurement system for Presort letters will be employed for 
Presort flats.
3.5 First-Class Mail Retail Parcels
    The Postal Service measures service performance for this mail via 
Delivery Confirmation barcode scans. For reporting purposes, 
performance results are sent to the external measurement contractor for 
inclusion in aggregate First-Class Mail service performance results. 
First-Class Mail Retail parcels represent 0.4 percent of all First-
Class Mail and less than 0.2 percent of the total mailstream.
3.5.1 ``Start-the-Clock''
    Primarily, the ``start-the-clock'' event occurs at retail counters 
when customers purchase Delivery Confirmation for parcels they intend 
to mail. When postal retail personnel apply the Delivery Confirmation 
PS Form 152 to these parcels, they scan the unique Delivery 
Confirmation barcode on each form. The scan is captured via either a 
Point of Sale (POS) or Integrated Retail Terminal (IRT) at the retail 
counter or an Intelligent Mail scanning device. Since the customer is 
present at the ``start-the-clock'' event and receives a time-stamped 
receipt with purchase, there are several validation points for the 
``start-the-clock'' event.
3.5.2 ``Stop-the-Clock''
    At delivery, postal personnel scan the Delivery Confirmation PS 
Form 152 barcode to denote delivery or that delivery was attempted, 
either of which serves to ``stop-the-clock'' for service performance 
measurement. More information on delivery and attempted delivery can be 
found in the Appendix.
3.6 First-Class Mail Presort Parcels
    First-Class Mail presort parcels represent under 0.2 percent of all 
First-Class Mail and less than 0.1 percent of the total mailstream. One 
differentiating characteristic of First-Class Mail Presort parcels is 
the propensity of senders to purchase Delivery Confirmation service. 
Using Delivery Confirmation scan data, performance results are 
calculated by the Postal Service and then sent to the external 
measurement contractor for inclusion into the First-Class Mail service 
aggregate performance results.
3.6.1 ``Start-the-Clock''
    For service performance measurement of First-Class Mail Presort 
parcels, mailers use Delivery Confirmation and will submit electronic 
mailing documentation listing the unique Delivery Confirmation barcodes 
used. Mail is verified to ensure it meets applicable mail preparation 
requirements. Mail that does not meet mail preparation requirements is 
excluded from service performance measurement. If a mailer decides to 
rework the mail so that it meets preparation requirements or decides to 
pay additional postage, the mail will be included in service 
performance measurement but it may have a new ``start-the-clock'' Day-
0. The ``start-the-clock'' event is the documented arrival time of the 
mailing at the Postal Service acceptance facility. Arrival times are 
made available to mailers.
3.6.2 ``Stop-the-Clock''
    Postal personnel scan the Delivery Confirmation barcode upon 
delivery and can denote the delivery or attempted delivery, either of 
which serves to ``stop-the-clock'' for service performance measurement.
3.7 Reporting for First-Class Mail
3.7.1 Quarterly Reporting
    For Single-Piece First-Class Mail, the Postal Service reports on-
time service performance separately by day (i.e., overnight, 2-day, and 
3-day/4-day/5-day), for each postal district on a quarterly basis. This 
greatly expands the number of performance measures reported, yet is 
consistent with the way EXFC currently reports single-piece First-Class 
Mail service. The use of data from the final Intelligent Mail scans 
allows reporting at a higher degree of granularity. The Postal Service 
sends performance data for First-Class Mail parcels to the external 
service performance contractor for consolidated reporting purposes.

[[Page 36142]]

    The quarterly report format for on-time performance of Single-Piece 
First-Class Mail is as follows:

  Table 4.--Quarterly Performance for Single-Piece First-Class Mail; Sample Quarterly Report Format for Single-
                                             Piece First-Class Mail
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Overnight         Two-day       Three-day/four-day/
                                                        ----------------------------------        five-day
                        District                                                          ----------------------
                                                            % On-time        % On-time           % On-time
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Capital Metro Area.....................................              xx               xx                     xx
Baltimore District.....................................              xx               xx                     xx
Capital District.......................................              xx               xx                     xx
South Carolina District................................              xx               xx                     xx
Greensboro District....................................              xx               xx                     xx
Mid-Carolinas District.................................              xx               xx                     xx
No. Virginia District..................................              xx               xx                     xx
Richmond District......................................              xx               xx                     xx
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A similar report is produced to report quarterly service 
performance for Presort First-Class Mail.
    The service variance for Single-Piece First-Class Mail pieces is 
reported separately as the percentage of mail that is delivered within 
one-day, two-days, and three-days of the applicable standard. The 
quarterly service variance report format for Single-Piece First-Class 
Mail is as follows:

  Table 5.--Quarterly Performance for Single-Piece First-Class Mail Service Variance; Sample Quarterly Report Format with Service Variance for Single-
                                                                 Piece First-Class Mail
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           Overnight                            Two-day                   Three-day/four-day/five-day
                                             -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  District                    Within + 1- Within + 2- Within + 3- Within + 1- Within + 2- Within + 3- Within + 1- Within + 2- Within + 2-
                                                  day        days        days         day        days        days         day        days        days
                                               (percent)   (percent)   (percent)   (percent)   (percent)   (percent)   (percent)   (percent)   (percent)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Capital Metro Area..........................       xx.x        xx.x          xx        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x
Baltimore District..........................       xx.x        xx.x          xx        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x
Capital District............................       xx.x        xx.x          xx        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x
South Carolina District.....................       xx.x        xx.x          xx        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x
Greensboro District.........................       xx.x        xx.x          xx        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x
Mid-Carolinas District......................       xx.x        xx.x          xx        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x
No. Virginia District.......................       xx.x        xx.x          xx        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x
Richmond District...........................       xx.x        xx.x          xx        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x        xx.x
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A similar service variance report is produced to report quarterly 
service performance for Presort First-Class Mail.
3.7.2 Annual Reporting
    Separate national measures are compiled per fiscal year for each 
First-Class Mail segment (Single-Piece and Presort) and by service 
standard (one-day, two-day, and three-day/four-day).
    Annual performance consists of a weighted average for each First-
Class Mail segment that allots weight based on the volume of mail in 
each district. If the segments are not representatively distributed, 
the weighting ensures that each district counts for the appropriate 
portion of the national aggregate.

   Table 6.--Annual Compliance Report; Sample Annual Report Format for
                            First-Class Mail
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             Target        Percent  on-
              Mail class                   (percent)           time
------------------------------------------------------------------------
First-Class Mail:
    Single-Piece Overnight............              xx               xx
    Single-Piece Two-Day..............              xx               xx
    Single-Piece Three-Day/Four-Day...              xx               xx
    Presort Overnight.................              xx               xx
    Presort Two-Day...................              xx               xx
    Presort Three-Day/Four-Day........              xx               xx
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 36143]]

4 Single-Piece First-Class Mail International
4.1 Background
    The United States Postal Service accepts outbound single-piece 
First-Class Mail International pieces for processing and transfer to 
foreign postal administrations for delivery to their destination 
address. The service standard for the outbound domestic transit of this 
mail is the same as for First-Class Mail pieces from the domestic 3-
digit ZIP Code of origin to the domestic 3-digit ZIP Code area in which 
the Postal Service International Service Center (ISC) designated for 
that origin is located.\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ The postal mail processing network includes a handful of 
ISCs, each of which serves a region of the postal network and is 
responsible for conducting the initial international processing for 
outbound international mail or the final international processing 
for inbound international mail. For outbound mail, the ISC for a 
postal network region may be the gateway facility from which mail is 
transported from the postal network to the custody of a foreign 
postal administration. In a small percentage of cases, outbound mail 
may be transported from its designated ISC to another ISC for the 
outbound gateway processing that precedes its exit from the postal 
network.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Inbound single-piece First-Class Mail International originates from 
other countries and is destined for delivery to addresses in 3-digit 
ZIP Code areas of the United States. The service standard for the 
inbound domestic transit of this mail is the same as for First-Class 
Mail that originates from the 3-digit ZIP Code in which the designated 
ISC is located to the 3-digit ZIP Code area of the delivery address.
    Service performance for the domestic transit of both inbound and 
outbound single-piece First-Class Mail International is measured 
through the International Mail Measurement System (IMMS), which is 
operated by an external service performance measurement contractor.
    IMMS utilizes only letter-shaped mail pieces, which is the 
predominant shape of both outbound and inbound single-piece First-Class 
Mail International. The processing of single-piece First-Class Mail 
International--during either outbound transit from domestic origin to 
the designated ISC or inbound transit from the designated ISC to the 
domestic delivery address--is the same as for domestic single-piece 
First-Class Mail letters and parcels, which are discussed above in 
sections 3.2 and 3.5, respectively. The domestic transit service 
standards are the same. Accordingly, the Postal Service will use 
service performance data for domestic single-piece First-Class Mail 
flats (EXFC) and parcels (Delivery Confirmation) as a proxy for 
estimating the service performance for outbound and inbound single-
piece First-Class Mail International flats and inbound surface parcels.
4.1.1 ``Start-the-Clock''
    To measure outbound single-piece First-Class Mail International 
letters service performance, the external contractor arranges for 
sample international pieces to be commingled with pieces created for 
the domestic EXFC testing program, which is described above in section 
3.2. The date and time that the test pieces are dropped into collection 
boxes or business mail chutes is the ``start-the-clock'' event reported 
by droppers directly to the independent contractor.
    To test inbound single-piece First-Class Mail International letter 
service performance, sample letters addressed to reporters in the 
United States employed by the external contractor are mailed from 
foreign countries by droppers also employed by the IMMS service 
performance measurement contractor, which has worldwide operations. To 
maintain the confidentiality of the program, the identities and 
addresses of the reporters and droppers (as well as the participating 
foreign countries of the droppers and receivers) are known only to the 
contractor. The inbound ``start-the-clock'' tracking begins with the 
date and time of the first Postal Service scan of the PLANET Code 
barcode \15\ on a piece at the ISC that first handles the mail. 
Mailpieces received at the designated ISC on a Sunday or holiday have a 
``start-the-clock'' date of the next processing date.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ The PLANET Code is a barcode printed on mail pieces by 
mailers participating in the CONFIRM program. CONFIRM enables 
mailers to receive detailed scan information about the pieces they 
mail in order to track mail through the postal network. The PLANET 
Code will be phased out by May 2010 and replaced by the IMb.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

4.1.2 ``Stop-the-Clock''
    As an outbound international mail letter travels through the Postal 
Service's mail processing system, the PLANET Code information on the 
piece is captured and used to measure its progress. When the letter is 
sorted at the designated ISC, it receives an ID tag and/or PLANET Code 
scan. The ``stop-the-clock'' for an outbound mail piece is the date of 
the last scan at this facility. The number of transit days for outbound 
mail is the difference between the induction date and the last PLANET 
Code read at the designated ISC. Because the ``stop-the-clock'' event 
takes place at an ISC, as opposed to a delivery point, the transit days 
calculation includes Sundays and holidays.
    An inbound international mail letter flows through the USPS network 
from the ISC to the delivery addresses. The ``stop-the-clock'' event 
data for inbound mail pieces are the dates on which they are delivered 
to reporters employed by the service measurement contractor. The 
reporter is part of the EXFC survey group and is responsible for 
receiving the mail and reporting the date of delivery. The number of 
transit days for inbound test mail is the difference between the 
delivery date and the date of the first PLANET Code read or ID tag at 
the designated ISC. The service performance is calculated in the same 
method as described in the Glossary.
    Because the service standards for both outbound and inbound single-
piece First-Class Mail International flats and parcels are based on the 
domestic transit of such mail, on-time performance is measured against 
the same set of origin-destination 3-digit ZIP Code area service 
standards as domestic First-Class Mail.
4.2 Reporting Single-Piece First-Class Mail International
4.2.1 Quarterly Reporting
    Since not all postal administrative districts have sufficient 
international volumes for statistically representative reporting, the 
Postal Service reports international quarterly service performance at a 
postal administrative area level. Each measurement includes the percent 
delivered on time for outbound and for inbound single-piece First-Class 
Mail International. All scores are weighted at the area level using 
proportions derived from a rolling average of estimated volumes for 12 
fiscal quarters.
    The quarterly report format for Single-Piece First-Class Mail 
International is as follows:

[[Page 36144]]



  Table 7.--Quarterly Performance for Single-Piece International Mail;
    Sample Quarterly Report Format for Single-Piece First-Class Mail
                              International
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           % On-time        % On-time
                 Area                       inbound          outbound
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Northeast Area........................            xx.x             xx.x
New York Metro Area...................            xx.x             xx.x
Eastern Area..........................            xx.x             xx.x
Capital Metro Area....................            xx.x             xx.x
Southeast Area........................            xx.x             xx.x
Great Lakes Area......................            xx.x             xx.x
Western Area..........................            xx.x             xx.x
Southwest Area........................            xx.x             xx.x
Pacific Area..........................            xx.x             xx.x
------------------------------------------------------------------------
    National..........................            xx.x             xx.x
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The service variance for Single-Piece First-Class Mail 
International is reported separately as the percentage of mail that is 
delivered within one-day, two-days, and three-days of the applicable 
service standard. The quarterly report format is as follows:

   Table 8.--Quarterly Performance for Single-Piece International Mail Service Variance; Sample Quarterly Report Format with the Service Variance for
                                                       Single-Piece First-Class Mail International
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         Inbound                                            Outbound
                                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       Area                          Within + 1-day  Within + 2-days  Within + 3-days   Within + 1-day  Within + 2-days  Within + 3-days
                                                       (percent)         (percent)        (percent)       (percent)         (percent)        (percent)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Northeast Area....................................            xx.x             xx.x               xx             xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
New York Metro Area...............................            xx.x             xx.x               xx             xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Eastern Area......................................            xx.x             xx.x               xx             xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Capital Metro Area................................            xx.x             xx.x               xx             xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Southeast Area....................................            xx.x             xx.x               xx             xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Great Lakes Area..................................            xx.x             xx.x               xx             xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Western Area......................................            xx.x             xx.x               xx             xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Pacific Area......................................            xx.x             xx.x               xx             xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    National......................................            xx.x             xx.x               xx             xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

4.2.2 Annual Reporting
    The Postal Service's Annual Compliance Report includes the national 
measure per fiscal year for the percentage of single-piece First-Class 
Mail International delivered on time. Annual performance consists of a 
weighted average that allots weight based on the volume of mail in each 
of the nine postal administrative areas. If the data are not 
representatively distributed, the weighting ensures that each area 
counts for the appropriate portion of the national aggregate.
    The Annual Compliance Report format for the Single-Piece First-
Class Mail International is as follows:

  Table 9.--Annual Compliance Report; Sample Annual Report for Single-
                  Piece First-Class Mail International
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Target
                   Mail Class                      (percent)  %  on-time
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Single-Piece International Mail.................  ..........  ..........
First-Class Mail................................       xx.x        xx.x
------------------------------------------------------------------------

5 Standard Mail
5.1 Background
    Standard Mail pieces represented 49.2 percent of the overall mail 
volume in FY2007.\16\ At over 103 billion mail pieces, it has the 
largest annual volume of any mail product. By shape, Standard Mail, is 
61.1 percent letters, 38.3 percent flats, and 0.6 percent parcels. 
Table 10--Standard Mail Volume below illustrates the make-up of 
Standard Mail and illustrates the percentage that Standard Mail 
letters, flats, and parcels represent in relation to the overall 
mailstream. Different categories of Standard Mail have different 
preparation and entry requirements for mailers and thus are measured 
separately. Accordingly, this section has been separated into the 
following sub-sections: Non-saturation letters, non-saturation flats, 
saturation letters and flats, and parcels.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ See http://www.usps.com/financials/_pdf/RDW_FY_2007.pdf.

[[Page 36145]]



                                       Table 10.--Standard Mail Volume\1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   Presort
                                             -------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Letters           Flats           Parcels           Total
                                                 (percent)        (percent)        (percent)        (percent)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Standard Mail...............................            61.1             38.3              0.6              100
Overall Mailstream..........................            30.1             18.8              0.3            49.2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ For purposes of publication, the reference to Table 3 in the plan has been changed to Table 10.

5.2 Standard Mail Non-Saturation Letters
    The primary induction method for Standard Mail non-saturation 
letters is bulk entry. The Postal Service bases service performance 
measurement on the documented arrival time at the postal facility where 
the mail is accepted, and in-home IMb delivery scan data provided by 
external reporters.
5.2.1 ``Start-the-Clock''
    Full Service IMb mailers are required to prepare mail with IMb's 
and submit electronic mailing documentation listing the IMb's used. 
Mail is verified to ensure it meets preparation requirements. Mail that 
does not meet mail preparation requirements is excluded from service 
performance measurement. If a mailer decides to rework the mail so that 
it meets preparation requirements or decides to pay additional postage, 
the mail will be included in service performance measurement, but it 
may have a new ``start-the-clock'' Day-0. Drop shipment mailers 
schedule appointments for Standard Mail non-saturation letters in the 
Postal Service's Facility Access and Shipment Tracking (FAST) system 
for DBMC, DADC and DSCF drop shipments. The ``start-the-clock'' is the 
documented arrival time at the Postal Service acceptance facility. For 
mailers that meet the Full Service Intelligent Mail[supreg] Option, 
mail arrival times and mail preparation quality information are made 
available.
5.2.2 ``Stop-the-Clock''
    External reporters are equipped with IMb scanners for recording the 
``stop-the-clock'' delivery event for all mail they receive containing 
an IMb and transmitting data to the external reporting system. By 
comparing the date of the final postal mail processing scan with the 
actual receipt date for these pieces, the external service performance 
measurement contractor calculates a delivery factor for Standard Mail 
letters. This delivery factor is combined with the mail processing data 
for Full Service IMb Standard Mail letters that may not receive an 
external reporter scan to determine the end-to-end service performance 
measurement.
    The use of external reporters allows for mail that is not exposed 
to or that falls out of automation to be included in service 
performance measurement. The external reporters provide the actual 
``stop-the-clock'' on such pieces, and the external measurement 
contractor calculates the service performance for those pieces that go 
to the external reporters.
5.3 Standard Mail Non-Saturation Flats
    The primary induction method for Standard flats is bulk entry. As 
of May 2009, mailers of automation non-saturation flats will be 
required to have a delivery point POSTNET or IMb. Also as of May 2009, 
in order to qualify for the lowest automation prices, Full Service IMb 
mailers will be required to apply an IMb on automation non-saturation 
flats.
5.3.1 ``Start-the-Clock''
    Full Service IMb mailers are required to submit electronic mailing 
documentation listing the IMb's used. Mail is verified to ensure it 
meets mail preparation criteria. Mail that does not meet mail 
preparation standards is excluded from service performance measurement. 
If a mailer decides to rework the mail so that it meets preparation 
requirements or decides to pay additional postage, the mail will be 
included in service performance measurement, but it may have a new 
``start-the-clock'' Day-0. Drop shipment mailers create appointments 
for Standard Mail flats in the Postal Service's Facility Access and 
Shipment Tracking (FAST) system at DBMC, DADC and DSCF facilities. The 
``start-the-clock'' is the documented arrival time at the Postal 
Service acceptance facility. For mailers that meet the Full Service 
Intelligent Mail[supreg] Option, mail arrival times and mail 
preparation quality information are made available.
5.3.2 ``Stop-the-Clock''
    External reporters are equipped with IMb scanners for use in 
recording the ``stop-the-clock'' delivery event for individual mail 
pieces that bear an IMb and transmitting data to the external reporting 
system. By comparing the date of the final postal mail processing scan 
with the receipt date for these pieces, the external service 
measurement contractor can calculate a delivery factor for the service 
performance of Standard Mail flats. This delivery factor is combined 
with the mail processing data that may not receive an external reporter 
scan to determine the end-to-endservice performance measurement for 
Standard Mail flats.
5.4 Standard Mail Saturation Letters and Flats
    For Standard Mail saturation letters and flats, the primary 
induction method is Sectional Center Facility or Delivery Unit dropped 
bundles and saturation trays. Due to the distinct characteristics of 
saturation letters and flats, the Postal Service is proposing a 
measurement approach specific to these mail types.
5.4.1 ``Start-the-Clock''
    When required, Full Service IMb mailers submit electronic mailing 
documentation listing the IMb's used. Mail is verified to ensure it 
meets mail preparation criteria. Mail that does not meet mail 
preparation standards is excluded from service performance measurement. 
If a mailer decides to rework the mail so that it meets preparation 
requirements or decides to pay additional postage, the mail will be 
included in service performance measurement, but it may have a new 
``start-the-clock'' Day-0. Drop shipment mailers create appointments 
for Standard Mail in the Postal Service's FAST system at DBMC, DADC and 
DSCF facilities providing advance notification of the mail profile and 
arrival times. The ``start-the-clock'' is the documented arrival time 
at the Postal Service acceptance facility. For mailers that meet the 
requirements of the Full Service Intelligent Mail[supreg] Option, mail 
arrival times and mail preparation quality information are made 
available.
5.4.2 ``Stop-the-Clock''
    As with non-saturation Standard Mail letters and flats, saturation 
mail with IMb's is scanned by external reporters to

[[Page 36146]]

``stop-the-clock''. However, unique barcodes are not required on 
saturation mail. The Postal Service will develop methods for external 
reporters to capture the ``stop-the-clock,'' such as requiring training 
for external reporters to identify saturation mail and have them report 
delivery of such pieces without an IMb on the date of receipt. These 
data will be sent to the external reporting system and will be the 
``stop-the-clock'' for the individual mail pieces. The external service 
measurement contractor calculates the service performance for the 
pieces that go to the external reporters.
5.5 Standard Mail Parcels
    Many Standard Mail parcel shippers choose to purchase special 
services such as Delivery Confirmation for their mail. The Postal 
Service performs service measurement on Standard Mail parcels that pass 
verification and use Delivery Confirmation service. For reporting 
purposes, results are calculated by the Postal Service then sent to the 
external measurement contractor for inclusion into aggregate Standard 
Mail results. Full Service implementation will include electronic 
submission of postage statements and mailing documentation, unique 
Intelligent Mail Package barcodes, unique Intelligent Mail Container 
barcodes, and appointment scheduling for drop shipments at DBMC, DADC 
and DSCF facilities. These requirements are separate from addressing, 
presortation, containerization, or other specifications generally 
governing price eligibility.
5.5.1 ``Start-the-Clock''
    The ``start-the-clock'' for Standard Mail parcels is the documented 
arrival time at the Postal Service facility.
5.5.2 ``Stop-the-Clock''
    Postal personnel scan Delivery Confirmation barcodes upon delivery 
of parcels for which Delivery Confirmation service has been purchased. 
They can denote the delivery or attempted delivery, either of which 
serves to ``stop-the-clock''.
5.6 Reporting for Standard Mail
5.6.1 Quarterly Reporting
    Quarterly reporting for Standard Mail reflects performance by 
postal district separately for destination entry mail and end-to-end 
mail. Reporting destination entry mail and end-to-end mail separately 
by service standard day significantly expands the number of performance 
measures reported and the number of external reporters required. The 
measurements provide ample detail to assess the quality of service 
without becoming cost prohibitive for the Postal Service. The Postal 
Service sends performance data for Standard Mail parcels to the 
external service performance contractor for consolidated reporting 
purposes.
    The quarterly report format for Standard Mail is as follows:

      Table 11.--Quarterly Performance for Standard Mail; Sample Quarterly Report Format for Standard Mail
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      Destination entry          End-to-end
                             District                              ---------------------------------------------
                                                                      On-time (Percent)      On-time (Percent)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Capital Metro Area................................................                  xx.x                   xx.x
Baltimore District................................................                  xx.x                   xx.x
Capital District..................................................                  xx.x                   xx.x
Greater South Carolina District...................................                  xx.x                   xx.x
Greensboro District...............................................                  xx.x                   xx.x
Mid-Carolinas District............................................                  xx.x                   xx.x
No. Virginia District.............................................                  xx.x                   xx.x
Richmond District.................................................                  xx.x                   xx.x
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The service variance for Standard Mail pieces is reported 
separately as the percentage of mail that is delivered within one-day, 
two-days, and three-days of the applicable standard. The quarterly 
report format for Standard Mail service variance is as follows:

         Table 12.--Quarterly Performance for Standard Mail Service Variance; Sample Quarterly Report Format for Standard Mail Service Variance
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    Destination entry                                      End-to-end
                                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     District                        Within  +1-day  Within  +2-days  Within  +3-days   Within  +1-day  Within  +2-days  Within  +3-days
                                                       (Percent)         (Percent)        (Percent)       (Percent)         (Percent)        (Percent)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Capital Metro Area................................            xx.x             xx.x               xx             xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Baltimore District................................            xx.x             xx.x               xx             xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Capital District..................................            xx.x             xx.x               xx             xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Greater South Carolina District...................            xx.x             xx.x               xx             xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Greensboro District...............................            xx.x             xx.x               xx             xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Mid-Carolinas District............................            xx.x             xx.x               xx             xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
No. Virginia District.............................            xx.x             xx.x               xx             xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Richmond District.................................            xx.x             xx.x               xx             xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 36147]]

5.6.2 Annual Reporting
    The Postal Service reports a national aggregate measure per fiscal 
year for the percentage of Standard Mail delivered on time. The Annual 
Compliance Report includes letter, flat, and parcel-shaped Standard 
Mail. It consists of a weighted average for each Standard Mail segment 
that allots weight based on the volume of mail in each postal 
administrative district. If the segments are not representatively 
distributed, the weighting ensures that each district counts for the 
appropriate portion of the national aggregate.
    The Postal Service's Annual Compliance Report format for Standard 
Mail is as follows:

  Table 13.--Annual Compliance Report; Sample Annual Report Format for
                              Standard Mail
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             Target        Percent  on-
              Mail class                   (percent)           time
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Standard Mail.........................
    Letters, Flats, and Parcels.......            xx.x             xx.x
------------------------------------------------------------------------

6 Periodicals
6.1 Background
    Periodicals represented just over 4 percent of the overall mail 
volume in FY2007,\17\ with 8.8 billion mail pieces. Periodicals consist 
of letter- and flat-shaped pieces, most of which are destination-
dropped. The Postal Service uses the same interim service measurement 
approach for both letters and flats, which relies on external reports 
generated by Red Tag and DelTrak.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \17\ See http://www.usps.com/financials/_pdf/RPW_FY_2007.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

6.2 Periodicals Letters and Flats
    All Periodicals are bulk entry or drop shipments, and the vast 
majority of the volume is flats. Table 14--Periodicals Mail Volume 
illustrates the make-up of Periodicals Mail. It also illustrates the 
percentage that each Periodicals shape represents within the overall 
mailstream.

                                     Table 14.--Periodicals Mail Volume \1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   Letters           Flats            Total
                                                                  (Percent)        (Percent)        (Percent)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Periodicals..................................................             1.5             98.5            100.0
Overall Mailstream...........................................             0.1              4.1              4.2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ For purposes of publication, the reference to Table 3 in the plan has been changed to Table 14.

6.2.1 Interim Approach
    Until the Intelligent Mail system has sufficient Periodicals volume 
using IMb's, the Postal Service uses two external systems, Red Tag and 
DelTrak, to measure Periodicals service performance. The ``start-the-
clock'' for both external systems is the mailer-reported induction 
time. For Red Tag and DelTrak, the ``stop-the-clock'' is the delivery 
date reported online by the external reporters. These reporters are 
mainly concentrated in postal administrative districts with high 
population density. Due to the limited number of reporters 
participating in these programs, data are only statistically valid for 
the desired precision at a postal administrative area level.
6.3 Reporting for Periodicals
6.3.1 Quarterly Reporting
    In FY2009, the Postal Service will use Red Tag and DelTrak data for 
reporting at the area level on a quarterly basis. The data from both 
systems will be provided to an external measurement contractor for 
application of business rules and combining of the data for overall 
performance reporting.
    The Postal Service reports service performance at a postal 
administrative area level in the interim until the volume of 
Periodicals with IMb's and electronic mailing documentation is 
sufficiently robust to provide statistically significant results at a 
lower level of aggregation. As additional performance data become 
available, the granularity will increase and may allow for reporting at 
the district level.
    The quarterly report format for Periodicals is as follows:

   Table 15.--Quarterly Performance for Periodicals; Sample Quarterly
                      Report Format for Periodicals
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Area                           Percent on-time
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Northeast Area.........................................            xx.x
New York Metro Area....................................            xx.x
Eastern Area...........................................            xx.x
Capital Metro Area.....................................            xx.x
Southeast Area.........................................            xx.x
Great Lakes Area.......................................            xx.x
Western Area...........................................            xx.x
Southwest Area.........................................            xx.x
Pacific Area...........................................            xx.x
------------------------------------------------------------------------
    National...........................................            xx.x
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The service variance for Periodicals is reported separately, 
reflecting the percentage of mail that is delivered within one-day, 
two-days, and three-days of the applicable standard. The quarterly 
service variance report format for Periodicals is as follows:

[[Page 36148]]



 Table 15.--Quarterly Performance for Periodicals Service Variance; Sample Quarterly Report Format With Service
                                            Variance for Periodicals
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Within  +1-day  Within  +2-days  Within  +3-days
                             Area                                 (percent)         (percent)        (percent)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Northeast Area...............................................            xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
New York Metro Area..........................................            xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Eastern Area.................................................            xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Capital Metro Area...........................................            xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Southeast Area...............................................            xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Great Lakes Area.............................................            xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Western Area.................................................            xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Southwest Area...............................................            xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Pacific Area.................................................            xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    National.................................................            xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

6.3.2 Annual Reporting
    The Postal Service reports national measures per fiscal year for 
the percentage of Periodicals mail delivered on time.
    Annual performance consists of a weighted average for each 
Periodicals segment that allots weight based on the volume of mail in 
each Area. If the data are not representatively distributed, the 
weighting ensures that each Area counts for the appropriate portion of 
the national aggregate.
    The Postal Service's Annual Compliance Report format for 
Periodicals Mail is as follows:

  Table 16.--Annual Compliance Report; Sample Annual Report Format for
                               Periodicals
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Target      Percent on-
                 Mail class                     (Percent)       time
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Periodicals.................................
    Letters, Flats, and Parcels.............         xx.x          xx.x
------------------------------------------------------------------------

7 Package Services
7.1 Background
    Market-dominant Package Services products include single-piece 
Parcel Post, Bound Printed Matter, Library Mail, and Media Mail. 
Presort Package Services flat-shaped mail is mainly composed of 
oversized catalogs, which are operationally handled the same as 
Standard Mail flats. Accordingly, the Postal Service measures Presort 
Package Services flats using the same approach as Standard Mail flats.
    Package Services parcel-shaped mail represented less than 0.3 
percent of overall mail volume in FY2007.\18\ Among Package Services 
parcels, 14.5 percent are Retail and 85.5 percent are Presort.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ See http://www.usps.com/financials/_pdf/RPW_FY_2007.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Table 17--Package Services Parcel-Shaped Mail Volume illustrates 
the make-up of parcels by entry method. The table also illustrates the 
percentage that market-dominant Package Services parcel-shaped mail 
represents within the overall domestic mailstream.

                            Table 17.--Package Services Parcel-Shaped Mail Volume \1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    Retail          Presort           Total
                                                                  (Percent)        (Percent)        (Percent)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Package Services (Parcel-shaped).............................            14.5             85.5              100
    Total Domestic Mailstream................................             0.1              0.3             0.4
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ For purposes of publication, the reference to Table 5 in the plan has been changed to Table 17.

7.2 Retail Package Services
    The Postal Service measures service performance for Package 
Services Retail mail via Delivery Confirmation scans. Retail Package 
Services parcels represent 14.5 percent of all Package Services 
parcels, but less than 0.1 percent of the total mailstream. Delivery 
Confirmation is included on 16 percent of such parcels, which 
represents a significant volume.
7.2.1 ``Start-the-Clock''
    The ``start-the-clock'' for Retail Package Services mail occurs at 
the retail counter when the customer purchases Delivery Confirmation. 
When retail personnel apply the Delivery Confirmation PS Form 152 to 
parcels, they scan the Delivery Confirmation form barcode. The scans 
are captured via either a POS or IRT terminal at the retail counter or 
an Intelligent Mail handheld scanning device. Because the customer is 
present at the ``start-the-clock'' event and receives a time-stamped 
receipt with purchase, there are several validation points.
7.2.2 ``Stop-the-Clock''
    Postal personnel scan the Delivery Confirmation barcodes upon 
delivery or attempted delivery, either of which serves to ``stop-the-
clock''.
7.3 Presort Package Services
    The Postal Service performs service measurement on presorted mail 
that passes verification and uses Delivery Confirmation service or the 
IMb. Service performance preparation requirements include electronic 
submission of postage statements and mailing documentation (when 
required), unique Intelligent Mail[supreg] Package barcodes or IMb's, 
unique Intelligent Mail[supreg] Container barcodes, and appointment 
scheduling for drop shipments at DBMC, DADC and DSCF facilities. These 
requirements are separate from addressing, presortation,

[[Page 36149]]

containerization, or other requirements generally governing price 
eligibility.
7.3.1 ``Start-the-Clock''
    The ``start-the-clock'' for Presort Package Services is the 
documented arrival time at the Postal Service acceptance facility. For 
drop shipments at DBMC, DADC and DSCF facilities, the ``start-the-
clock'' event is based on the customer's documented appointment and the 
driver-reported arrival time to the Postal Service, which are used to 
determine when the mail is available for processing. For mail that is 
presented at the BMEU, the arrival of the mailing is used as the 
``start-the-clock'' as long as the mailing meets applicable preparation 
and service measurement requirements. For mail that is presented at the 
Delivery Unit, delivery confirmation or Intelligent Mail Container 
barcode scan events are used to ``start-the-clock''. As with other 
mailings that enter a postal facility loading dock area, the Postal 
Service scans containers that have an Intelligent Mail Container 
barcode or uses electronic documentation to validate mailer shipment 
content and acceptance time.
7.3.2 ``Stop-the-Clock''
    For Package Services parcels, postal personnel scan Delivery 
Confirmation barcodes upon delivery or attempted delivery, either of 
which serves to ``stop-the-clock'' for service performance measurement. 
For flats, mail with IMb's is scanned by external reporters to record 
``stop-the-clock'' delivery events and transmitted to the external 
reporting system. By comparing the date of the final postal mail 
processing scan with the delivery date for these pieces, the external 
service measurement contractor can calculate a factor for the service 
performance for Package Services flats. The delivery factor is combined 
with the mail processing data that may not receive an external reporter 
scan to determine the end-to-end service performance measurement for 
Package Services flats.
7.4 Reporting for Package Services
7.4.1 Quarterly Reporting
    The Postal Service reports quarterly on the percentage of mail that 
is delivered on time. The quarterly report format for Package Services 
parcels is as follows:

 Table 18.--Quarterly Performance for Package Services; Sample Quarterly
    Report Format With Service Variance for Package Services Parcels
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                District                  Percent on-time
---------------------------------------------------------
Capital Metro Area......................            xx.x
Baltimore District......................            xx.x
Capital District........................            xx.x
Greater South Carolina District.........            xx.x
Greensboro District.....................            xx.x
Mid-Carolinas District..................            xx.x
No. Virginia District...................            xx.x
Richmond District.......................            xx.x
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The service variance for Package Services parcels is reported 
separately as the percentage of mail that is delivered within one-day, 
two-days, and three-days of the applicable standard. The quarterly 
report format with the service variance for Package Services is as 
follows:

   Table 19.--Quarterly Performance for Package Services Service Variance; Sample Quarterly Report Format With
                                  Service Variance for Package Services Parcels
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Within  +1-day  Within  +2-days  Within  +3-days
                                                                  (percent)         (percent)        (percent)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Capital Metro Area...........................................            xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Baltimore District...........................................            xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Capital District.............................................            xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Greater South Carolina District..............................            xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Greensboro District..........................................            xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Mid-Carolinas District.......................................            xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
No. Virginia District........................................            xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
Richmond District............................................            xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

7.4.2 Annual Reporting
    The Postal Service reports national measures per fiscal year for 
the percentage of Package Services mail delivered on time.
    The Postal Service's Annual Compliance Report format for Package 
Services parcels is as follows:

  Table 20.--Annual Compliance Report; Sample Annual Report Format for
                            Package Services
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Target      Percent on-
                 Mail class                     (percent)       time
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Package Services............................
    Parcels.................................         xx.x          xx.x
------------------------------------------------------------------------

8 Special Services
8.1 Background
    There are two categories of special services: Ancillary and stand-
alone. Ancillary special services are purchased in addition to the 
postage applicable to First-Class Mail, Periodicals, Standard Mail, and 
Package Services. These optional special services are varied in nature 
and include Delivery Confirmation, Signature Confirmation, Certified 
Mail, Electronic Return Receipt, Registered Mail, Collect on Delivery, 
and Address Correction Service, among others. In contrast to ancillary 
special services, stand-alone special services are not contingent on 
sending or receiving a particular mail piece and include services such 
as P.O. Box Service, CONFIRM, and Address List Services, among others.
8.2 Delivery Confirmation, Signature Confirmation, Certified Mail, 
Registered Mail, Electronic Return Receipt, and Collect on Delivery
    A principal feature of these special services is the electronic 
provision of information by the Postal Service to the sender regarding 
the delivery status of a particular mail piece. That information may 
consist of confirmation that delivery was attempted, completed, or that 
a copy of the recipient's signature was captured.
    For a number of these services, delivery-related information is 
generated by postal scanning of mail pieces at delivery units or during 
delivery. Before the completion of daily

[[Page 36150]]

work shifts, postal personnel dock their portable handheld scanners, so 
that delivery information pertinent to each scanned mail piece can be 
transmitted to appropriate postal data systems. Handheld scanners allow 
for signatures to be captured at delivery and transmitted with the 
delivery information. Delivery information captured is then made 
available to the purchaser of the special service.
    The service measurement for Delivery Confirmation, Signature 
Confirmation, Certified Mail, Registered Mail, electronic Return 
Receipt, and Collect on Delivery uses data generated from delivery 
event barcode scans to measure the time between when delivery 
information is collected and when that information is made available to 
the customer. When the delivery scan event is captured by the handheld 
scanner, a time-stamp is associated with the scan, which is the 
``start-the-clock''. When the scanning device is docked, the delivery 
scan event information is transmitted through postal data systems to 
the customer-accessible Track & Confirm page at http://www.usps.com, 
the Postal Service public Web site. The posting time to the customer-
accessible Web site is the ``stop-the-clock''.
8.3 CONFIRM and Address Correction
    The electronic provision of information by the Postal Service to 
the mail piece sender is a key component for CONFIRM and automated 
Address Correction services as well. CONFIRM scanning of mail and 
identification of automated Address Correction of applicable mail 
pieces are each performed passively by automated mail processing 
equipment, which then transmits information to postal data systems. 
Information from these systems is made available to the purchaser of 
the special service.
    The service measurement for both CONFIRM and automated Address 
Correction uses the IMb on individual mail pieces. For CONFIRM, when 
mail processing equipment scans a mail piece, the scan information is 
transmitted to the CONFIRM system in near-real time and made available 
to CONFIRM subscribers. The ``start-the-clock'' is the time stamp 
associated with the scan. The ``stop-the-clock'' is the date and time 
when data are made available to subscribers. For automated Address 
Correction customers, scans are transmitted to the Address Correction 
System (ACS) at preset intervals during the day and the corrected 
address information is forwarded to customers who subscribe to the 
service. The ``start-the-clock'' is the date and time when data is 
transmitted to ACS. The ``stop-the-clock'' is the date and time when 
data are forwarded to participants.
8.4 Post Office Box Service
    Post Office Box service is internally measured using scanning 
technology to compare the availability of mail delivered to a P.O. Box 
section by the posted ``uptime''. The ``uptime'' is the posted time of 
day when customers can expect to collect the mail from their P.O. Box. 
A barcode in the P.O. Box section is scanned when the distribution of 
mail is complete.
8.5 Insurance Claims Processing
    The Postal Service's Customer Inquiry Claims Response System 
(CICRS) is an application used to process indemnity claims when 
domestic insured articles are lost or damaged in the mail. For domestic 
claims, after the customer has submitted the appropriate claim form, 
Postal Service employees verify completion of the form and submit it 
for processing to the CICRS system. The claim is keyed into the system 
and the data are uploaded for processing. For claims that are not 
complete and that require additional information from the customer, 
correspondence is mailed to the customer requesting the missing 
information, with instructions regarding where to send the additional 
information. Once all information is received by CICRS, the system 
proceeds to the claims processing resolution phase. The date that all 
information is available for claims processing resolution is the 
``start-the-clock''. Depending on the value of the item lost or 
damaged, the claim may be automatically paid or denied by the system or 
sent for review by a postal insurance claims adjudicator or the Postal 
Service Consumer Advocate. The adjudicator or Consumer Advocate decides 
if the claim should be paid, denied, or closed. The date on which the 
system, adjudicator, Consumer Advocate pays, denies, or closes the 
claim and transmits a response to the customer is the ``stop-the-
clock''.
8.6 Postal Money Order Inquiry Processing
    The Money Order Inquiry System (MOIS) is an application used to 
process customer inquiries regarding Postal Money Orders they have 
purchased. After the customer has completed PS Form 6401 and paid for 
the inquiry service, Postal Service employees submit the form to a 
centralized facility for processing. The inquiry is scanned into the 
system and the data are uploaded for processing. MOIS verifies whether 
the money order in question has been cashed by running the money order 
number against a database of cashed money orders. The system generates 
correspondence to the inquiring customer regarding the status of the 
money order in question. The purchase of the inquiry service is the 
``start-the-clock'' event. Transmission of a response to the customer 
is the ``stop-the-clock'' event.
8.7 Address List Services
    Address List Services are available to customers seeking correction 
of the addresses or ZIP Codes on their mailing lists, or the sequencing 
of their address cards. The Postal Service will use a system to record 
``start-the-clock'' and ``stop-the-clock'' times for these services. 
The ``start-the-clock'' event is the receipt of the address list or 
address cards from the mailer at the delivery unit or the postal 
district Address Management Systems office. The ``stop-the-clock'' 
event is the transmission of the corrected address information from the 
delivery unit or district AMS office to the requestor.
8.8 Reporting
8.8.1 Quarterly Reporting
    The Postal Service reports Delivery Confirmation, Signature 
Confirmation, Certified Mail, Registered Mail, electronic Return 
Receipt, and Collect on Delivery as an aggregate score on a quarterly 
basis by district. The service performance for these special services 
is aggregated, as they all use the same system to measure the time 
elapsed from when the delivery information is captured by the Postal 
Service until it is available to the customer. Post Office Box service 
is also reported quarterly by district.
    Since CONFIRM, automated Address Correction, Insurance Claims 
Processing, Money Order Inquiry Processing, and Address List Services 
each use a national or centralized system for providing the majority if 
not all of each respective service, performance will be reported at a 
national level. The Postal Service reports quarterly on the percentage 
of those services that meet the service standard.
    The quarterly report format for Special Services is as follows:

[[Page 36151]]



 Table 21.--Quarterly Performance for Special Services; Sample Quarterly
   Report Format for Special Services Reported at the District Level;
   Sample Quarterly Report Format for Special Services Reported at the
                             District Level
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Delivery     Post office box
                                          information        service
                                            special     ----------------
               District                     services
                                         combined score
                                       ----------------- Percent on-time
                                        Percent on-time
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Capital Metro Area....................            xx.x             xx.x
Baltimore District....................            xx.x             xx.x
Capital District......................            xx.x             xx.x
Greater South Carolina District.......            xx.x             xx.x
Greensboro District...................            xx.x             xx.x
Mid-Carolinas District................            xx.x             xx.x
No. Virginia District.................            xx.x             xx.x
Richmond District.....................            xx.x             xx.x
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The quarterly report format for CONFIRM, automated Address 
Correction, Insurance Claims Processing, Address List Services, and 
Postal Money Order Inquiry Processing is as follows:

                              Table 22.--Sample Quarterly Report Format for Special Services Reported at the National Level
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         CONFIRM          Address         Insurance       Address List     Money Order
                                                                    -----------------    Correction         Claims          Services         Inquiry
                                                                                     -----------------    Processing   ---------------------------------
                                                                     Percent on-time                  -----------------
                                                                                      Percent on-time  Percent on-time  Percent on-time  Percent on-time
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
National...........................................................            xx.x             xx.x             xx.x             xx.x             xx.x
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

8.8.2 Annual Reporting
    The Postal Service has developed a Special Services Index to 
reflect an annual combined service measurement score per fiscal year 
for Special Services. This index weights and aggregates various special 
services so that all components are reflected appropriately and still 
maintain distinctness. The Annual Compliance Report format for Special 
Services is as follows:

  Table 23.--Annual Compliance Report; Sample Annual Report Format for
             Special Services Reported at the National Level
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             Target           Index
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Special Services......................            xxxx             xxxx
------------------------------------------------------------------------

9 Appendix
9.1 Service Measurement Business Rules
    The business rules for service performance measurement are intended 
to maintain a clearly defined structure for and ensure the reliability 
of the measurement system. The business rules are grouped into the four 
subject areas below: ``Start-the-clock'', ``Stop-the-clock'', Special 
Services, and Inclusions.
1 ``Start-the-Clock''
    Generally, if the mail arrival time is before the CET, the ``start-
the-clock'' Day-0 will be the day of entry. If the day of entry is a 
Sunday or holiday, the ``start-the-clock'' Day-0 will be the next 
applicable acceptance day. If the mail arrival time is after the CET, 
then the mail will have a ``start-the-clock'' Day-0 of the next 
acceptance day for that facility. CET rules apply to mail entered at 
retail and through bulk induction.
    As mail entry processes and systems change over time, so too will 
the methods by which the Postal Service will gather ``start-the-clock'' 
and ``stop-the-clock'' information. The following rules apply to 
current entry scenarios.
1.1 Mail Entered at the Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU)
1.1.1 Customer/Supplier Agreement
    Bulk mailers subject to a Customer/Supplier Agreement may have 
different acceptance windows than the established BMEU hours of 
operation. Each Customer/Supplier Agreement will specify the applicable 
``start-the-clock'' Day-0 window mutually established by the mailer and 
the Postal Service. Mailers who require BMEU verification must work 
within the posted BMEU hours of operation unless alternate arrangements 
specified through Customer/Supplier Agreements.
1.1.2 Critical Entry Time
    For mailers who deposit mail at a BMEU, the CET for specific 
classes of mail is determined locally by the facility manager at the 
Postal Service mail facility at which bulk entry will occur.
1.1.3 ``Start-the-Clock''
    The ``start-the-clock'' event for mail deposited at a BMEU is 
either the time the mailer arrives, as documented in PostalOne![supreg] 
or when mailing verification is complete, depending on the 
circumstances surrounding the mail entry. Mailer arrival time is 
recorded by postal personnel in PostalOne! upon mailer arrival at the 
BMEU. Mailing verification completion also is documented in the 
PostalOne! system.
    For mailers with a Customer/Supplier Agreement in place, the 
``start-the-clock'' Day-0 will be the day of entry if the mailer 
arrival time is prior to the latest acceptance time specified by the 
Customer/Supplier Agreement. The ``start-the-clock'' Day-0 for mailers 
that arrive after the latest acceptance time specified by their 
Customer/Supplier Agreement is the day of entry if

[[Page 36152]]

verification is completed before the facility CET; otherwise, the 
``start-the-clock'' Day-0 will be the following applicable acceptance 
day.
    For mailers without a Customer/Supplier Agreement in place, if the 
mailer arrival time is prior to the facility CET for the class of mail, 
the ``start-the-clock'' Day-0 will be the day of entry; otherwise, the 
``start-the-clock'' Day-0 will be the following acceptance day.
    If the mailing fails acceptance verification, the mailer will be 
notified and presented with the option of fixing the mailing so that it 
conforms to the preparation requirements associated with acceptance at 
the requested price categories or paying additional postage based upon 
the degree of preparation associated with the mail as presented. A new 
``start-the-clock'' event may occur when mail that initially fails 
verification is finally released for processing.
    A decision tree illustrating the ``start-the-clock'' Day-0 for mail 
deposited at a BMEU is depicted below [and identified as] Appendix 
Figure 1--``Start-the-Clock'' Decision Tree for mail deposited at the 
BMEU[.] [Appendix Figure 1 omitted for publication purposes, but can be 
viewed on the Commission's Web site, http://www.prc.gov/prc-pages/daily-listing.]
1.2 ``Start-the-Clock''
    Mail Deposited at a BMEU: Mailer has Customer/Supplier Agreement; 
latest time of acceptance in agreement is 3 p.m.; verification start 
time is 4:30 p.m.; verification complete time is 5:15 p.m.; hours of 
Operation are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and ``start-the-clock'' Day-0 is the 
next day of acceptance. [Decision Tree omitted for publication 
purposes, but can be viewed on Commission's Web site, http://www.prc.gov/prc-pages/daily-listing.]
1.3 Plant Load Using Postal Transportation
1.3.1 Critical Entry Time
    The CET is determined locally by postal facility managers and is 
documented in a Customer/Supplier Agreement.
1.3.2 ``Start-the-Clock''
    The ``start-the-clock'' event for a plant load mailing using postal 
transportation is based on the mail ready time as indicated by mailers 
and verified by postal personnel in PostalOne![supreg]. Mailers 
document that mail was ready within the acceptance window specified in 
the Customer/Supplier Agreement and this is verified by postal 
personnel. If the ``start-the-clock'' event occurs before the latest 
acceptance time specified by the Customer/Supplier Agreement, the 
``start-the-clock'' Day-0 will be the day of entry. If this activity 
occurs after the latest acceptance time, the ``start-the-clock'' Day-0 
will be the following acceptance day.
    If a mailer with multiple dispatch events cannot identify what is 
physically in each container or tray, the ``start-the-clock'' Day-0 for 
all mail entered within the mailing period defined in the mailer's 
electronic documentation will be based on the ``start-the-clock'' event 
of the last truck dispatched.
1.4 Plant Load Using Mailer Transportation
1.4.1 Critical Entry Time
    For plant load using mailer transportation, the CET for each class 
is determined locally by postal facility managers.
1.4.2 ``Start-the-Clock''
    For plant load using mailer transportation, the ``start-the-clock'' 
event will be defined in the mailer's Customer/Supplier Agreement. If 
the ``start-the-clock'' event occurs before the latest acceptance time 
specified by the Customer/Supplier Agreement, the ``start-the-clock'' 
Day-0 will be the day of entry. If this event occurs after the latest 
acceptance time, the ``start-the-clock'' Day-0 will be the following 
acceptance day.
1.5 Destinating Drop Shipment at Plants--Standard Letters and Flats
1.5.1 Critical Entry Time
    The CET for destination-entered Standard Mail drop shipments is a 
nationally standardized entry time documented in the Postal Service's 
Mail Processing Operating Plan System (MPOPS) and made visible to the 
mailers.
1.5.2 ``Start-the-Clock''
    The ``start-the-clock'' event is documented in FAST at the 
destination entry facility. For mailings that arrive at the scheduled 
appointment time, the ``start-the-clock'' event is the driver-reported 
arrival time. For mailings that arrive prior to the scheduled 
appointment, the ``start-the-clock'' event is either the appointment 
time or unload start time, whichever is earlier. For mailings that 
arrive after the mailer-scheduled appointment time, the ``start-the-
clock'' event is the unload start time.
    Mailings will be subject to the national CET. For mailings that 
have a ``start-the-clock'' event prior to the CET, then Day-0 is day of 
entry. For mailings that have a ``start-the-clock'' event after the 
CET, then Day-0 is the next applicable acceptance day.
    When a mailer schedules multi-stop appointments to drop mail at two 
or more facilities using the same surface transportation vehicle and 
mail arrives late at a downstream facility because of a delay caused 
solely by the Postal Service, the following litmus test will be used to 
determine ``start-the-clock'' Day-0. If the multi-stop appointment 
schedule reflects consideration of inter-facility drive-times and 
designated unload times for the category of mail and is on time at the 
first appointment, the mailer will receive credit for on-time arrival 
at downstream facilities and the ``start-the-clock'' Day-0 will be the 
day of entry. If the mailer fails to adhere to these considerations in 
making multi-stop appointments, the ``start-the-clock'' Day-0 will be 
the next processing day.
    The Postal Service encourages mailers to account for foreseeable 
traffic and construction delays in scheduling all drop ship 
appointments. Mailers who schedule the minimum time for transportation 
and designated unload times run a higher risk of missing appointments 
versus mailers who allow for traffic and construction delays.
    Where available, a postal acceptance facility will use handheld 
scanning devices or computer terminals located on the dock to record 
the mailing's driver-reported arrival time. The FAST system uses these 
arrival times. Otherwise, manual-entered appointment data will be used 
to document the mailing's arrival time.
    A decision tree illustrating the ``start-the-clock'' Day-0 for 
destinating drop shipment at plants is depicted below [.] [and 
identified as Appendix Figure 2--``Start-the-clock'' Decision Tree for 
Destinating Drop Shipment at Plants.] [Appendix Figure 2 omitted for 
publication purposes, but can be viewed on the Commission's Web site, 
http://www.prc.gov/prc-pages/daily-listing.]
1.6 ``Start-the-Clock''
    Drop Shipment at an SCF; mail received after appointment time: FAST 
appointment at 12 p.m.; arrival 1 p.m.; CET is 4 p.m.; unload start 
time is 1:30 p.m.; and ``start-the-clock'' Day-0 is the day of entry. 
[Decision Tree omitted for publication, but can be viewed on the 
Commission's Web site, http://www.prc.gov/prc-pages/daily-listing.]
1.7 Destinating Drop Shipment--Periodicals
1.7.1 Critical Entry Time
    The CET for destination-entered Periodicals drop shipments is 
determined locally by facility managers.

[[Page 36153]]

1.7.2 ``Start-the-Clock''
    The ``start-the-clock'' rules for destination-entered Periodicals 
drop shipments are the same as the rules for destinating drop shipment 
at plants for Standard letters and flats, with one exception. For 
destination-entered Periodicals, if the day of entry is a Sunday or 
holiday, the ``start-the-clock'' Day-0 will be the day of entry.
1.8 Drop Shipment at the Delivery Unit
1.8.1 Critical Entry Time
    The CET for drop shipment at a Delivery Unit is determined locally 
by postal facility managers, documented in the Postal Service's 
Facilities Database (FDB), and will be made visible to the mailers. A 
Customer/Supplier Agreement may be established between a bulk mailer 
and the Postal Service. In the case where a Customer/Supplier Agreement 
exists, it is the responsibility of the mailer to enter mail in 
compliance with the agreement.
1.8.2 ``Start-the-Clock''
    The ``start-the-clock'' event at the delivery unit will be based on 
the container acceptance scans generated by postal personnel via the 
Intelligent Mail Data Acquisition System (IMDAS) scanner. When the 
``start-the-clock'' event occurs at or before the CET, the ``start-the-
clock'' Day-0 will be the day of acceptance. If the ``start-the-clock'' 
event occurs after the CET, the ``start-the-clock'' Day-0 will be the 
next applicable acceptance day.
2 ``Stop-the-Clock''
    The ``stop-the-clock'' event for service measurement will be a scan 
by an external reporter or postal personnel.
2.1 Final Scan by Postal Personnel
    If a mail piece meeting the requirements for service performance 
measurement also is subject to Delivery Confirmation service, postal 
personnel will scan the Delivery Confirmation barcode on the piece at 
delivery. The time of this scan will be the ``stop-the-clock'' for the 
piece. In cases where multiple acceptable ``stop-the-clock'' events 
take place, the first event assigned will ``stop-the-clock''. Any of 
the following Delivery Confirmation scans may be a ``stop-the-clock'' 
event: Delivery; attempted delivery; forwarded; undeliverable-as-
addressed; refused; return to sender; dead mail; and arrival at pickup 
point.
2.2 External Reporter ``Stop-the-Clock'' Scan
    When an external reporter scans a mail piece, the time of the scan 
will be the ``stop-the-clock'' for the external measurement contractor. 
Reporters are required to scan mail on the day of receipt. Quality 
control checks will verify process compliance.
2.3 Delivery Factor
    The external measurement contractor will calculate delivery factors 
and apply those factors to calculate service measurement for categories 
of mail. The external measurement contractor will determine the 
delivery factor for each district on a quarterly basis. Because the 
following mail segments are processed differently by postal operations, 
the delivery factor will be distinct for the following mail segments: 
First-Class Mail and Standard Mail Presort Letters with DPS secondary 
sort scans; Standard Mail Non-Carrier Route Flats (scanned on postal 
mail processing equipment); Standard Mail Carrier Route Flats 
(including saturation flats, scanned at delivery unit); Standard Mail 
Letters without DPS scan; Standard Mail Saturation Flats (visually 
identified by external reporters); and manual mail (mail that falls out 
of automation or does not destinate in an automated zone).
    If the delivery factor is not sufficiently precise for the mail 
piece characteristics over the period of a fiscal quarter, an annual 
factor will be used.
3 Special Services
3.1 Delivery Information Services
3.1.1 Delivery information from the following Special Services riding 
on market-dominant products will be included in service measurement: 
Delivery Confirmation, Signature Confirmation, Certified Mail, 
electronic Return Receipt, Collect On Delivery, and Registered Mail.
3.1.2 ``Start-the-Clock'' and ``Stop-the-Clock''
    The ``start-the-clock'' is the time-stamp associated to the 
delivery event scan. The ``stop-the-clock'' is the posting of the 
delivery information for customers via the customer-accessible Web 
site. Delivery information services included in service measurement 
must have both a recorded ``start-the-clock'' and ``stop-the-clock''.
3.2 CONFIRM and Automated Address Correction Service
3.2.1 ``Start-the-clock'' and ``Stop-the-Clock'' for CONFIRM
    The time stamp associated with the mail processing equipment scan 
is the ``start-the-clock''. The posting time of the scan information in 
CONFIRM is the ``stop-the-clock''. CONFIRM scan information included in 
service measurement must have both a recorded ``start-the-clock'' and 
``stop-the-clock''.
3.2.2 ``Start-the-Clock'' and ``Stop-the-Clock'' for Automated Address 
Correction
    The date and time scans are transmitted to the ACS system is the 
``start-the-clock''. The date and time information is forwarded to 
subscribers is the ``stop-the-clock''. ACS scan information included in 
service measurement must have both a recorded ``start-the-clock'' and 
``stop-the-clock''.
3.2.3 Customers that choose to receive data outside of the service 
standard will not be included in service measurement.
3.3 Post Office Box Service
3.3.1 Post Office Box service is internally measured using scanning 
technology to compare the actual availability of the day's mail 
delivered to a P.O. Box section to the posted ``uptime''. If there is 
no daily scan from an office, the P.O. Box uptime for that office on 
that day will be considered late for service measurement.
3.3.2 Contract postal units will not be included in service 
measurement.
3.3.3 Sundays, postal holidays and other non-delivery days will not be 
counted in measuring service standard compliance.
3.4 Insurance Claims Processing
3.4.1 ``Start-the-Clock'' and ``Stop-the-Clock''
    The date that all information is available for claims processing 
resolution is the ``start-the-clock''. The date on which either the 
system or the adjudicator pays, denies, or closes the claim and sends a 
response for the customer is the ``stop-the-clock''. Insurance claims 
included in service measurement must have both a recorded ``start-the-
clock'' and ``stop-the-clock''.
3.4.2 Designated postal holidays will not be counted in measuring 
service standard compliance.
3.5 Postal Money Order Inquiry Processing
3.5.1 ``Start-the-Clock'' and ``Stop-the-Clock''
    The purchase of the inquiry service is the ``start-the-clock'' 
event. The response to the customer in the Money Order Inquiry System 
(MOIS) is the ``stop-the-clock'' event. Money Order Inquiries included 
in service measurement must have both a recorded ``start-the-clock'' 
and ``stop-the-clock''.

[[Page 36154]]

3.5.2 Money Order Inquiries with a start-the-clock date prior to the 
Money Order issue date will not be included in service measurement.
3.5.3 Saturdays, Sundays, designated postal holidays, and other non-
delivery days will not be counted in measuring service standard 
compliance.
3.5.4 Only fee-based Money Order Inquiries will be included in service 
measurement.
3.6 Address List Service
3.6.1 ``Start-the-Clock'' and ``Stop-the-Clock''
    The ``start-the-clock'' event is the receipt of the address list or 
address cards from the mailer at the delivery unit or the postal 
district Address Management Systems office. The ``stop-the-clock'' 
event is the transmission of the corrected address information from the 
district AMS office to the requestor. Address List Service requests 
included in service measurement must have both a recorded ``start-the-
clock'' and ``stop-the-clock''.
3.6.2 Saturdays, Sundays, designated postal holidays, and other non-
delivery days will not be counted in measuring service standard 
compliance.
3.6.3 Requests received between November 16 and January 1 will not be 
included in service measurement.\19\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ The exclusion of the Nov 16-Jan 1 time frame for Address 
List Services performance measurement conforms to the service 
standard for this product published at 39 CFR 122.2(b). See 72 
Federal Register 72231 (December 19, 2007). As explained at 72 FR 
58963 (October 17, 2007), the surge of holiday mail volume places an 
extraordinary demand on Postal Service personnel ordinarily 
responsible for fulfilling Address List Services requests, making it 
very difficult for them to fulfill such requests during this time 
frame.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

4 Inclusions
    For purposes of measuring end-to-end market-dominant bulk mail 
service quality, only mail that is verified by the Postal Service as 
satisfying mail preparation requirements associated with applicable 
price categories, and complies with requirements of the Full Service 
Intelligent Mail[supreg] option, will be included in service 
measurement. Manual Mailing Evaluation Readability Lookup Instrument 
(MERLIN) and automated verification results are methods used to verify 
the mail.
4.1 Mailing Level Validation
    When a bulk mailing does not pass a particular mail preparation 
criterion in the verification process, no pieces from that mailing will 
be included in service measurement (unless ``Next Day'' Day-0 can be 
applied). When a mailing fails verification, the mailing will not be 
included in service measurement until the mailer fixes the problem or 
pays additional postage. After the mailer fixes the problem, the 
mailing will be included in service measurement, although a new 
``start-the-clock'' Day-0 may apply. If additional postage is needed, 
the mailer may have to submit additional information in order for the 
mailing to be included in service measurement.
4.2 Appointment Level Validation
    Containers associated with an appointment with one of the 
irregularities identified below will not be included in service 
measurement.
    1. Incorrect Entry Facility; and
    2. Damaged Mail.
4.3 Container Level Validation
    All pieces inducted at the correct destination facility based on 
container preparation and that can be associated with an appointment 
will not be included in service measurement per the scenarios below.
    4.3.1 Scenario 1. Container inducted at the correct destination 
facility based on container preparation, but not included on any 
appointment: Pieces associated with that container will not be included 
in service measurement.
    4.3.2 Scenario 2. Container inducted at wrong destination facility 
based on container preparation, but not included on any appointment: 
Pieces associated with that container will not be included in service 
measurement.
4.4 Piece Level Validation
    Mail pieces identified with mail preparation quality issues by the 
automated verification system will not be included in service 
measurement. Piece level validations include: Barcode uniqueness; 
barcode quality; un-manifested mail piece; address validity; address 
hygiene (per Postal Service Publication 28); and presort accuracy.
4.5 Parcel Validation
    Parcels destined for unique or 100 percent business 5-digit ZIP 
Codes will not be included in service measurement.
4.6 Mailer Documentation Validation
    Automated validations will be conducted to ensure the integrity of 
the electronic documentation submitted by mailers and that it 
accurately reflects the mail preparation requirements, price 
eligibility and other physical characteristics of the mail to which it 
pertains.
4.7 ZIP Codes
    All active 3-digit ZIP Codes are included in Service Measurement, 
with the following exceptions:
    4.7.1 090-098, 340, and 962-966 are all APO/FPO (military) ZIP 
Codes and fall outside of the capability of this measurement system. 
The mail is processed in a manner that will not produce a final 
automation scan that can serve as a reasonable proxy for delivery.
    4.7.2 Mail destinating to 202-205, which are the Federal Agency ZIP 
Code ranges in Washington, DC. All of this mail continues to be 
processed through a complex process of treatment and surveillance prior 
to delivery. There is no reliable means to measure actual service 
performance.
    4.7.3 005, 192, 375, 399, 459, 649, 733, 842 and 938 are unique 3-
digit ZIP Codes for IRS Processing Centers. Due to the unique 
processing and flow of this mail, there is no means to provide service 
measurement.
    4.7.4 For purposes of service measurement, the origin for mail from 
Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands is the 3-
digit ZIP Code area in which the interstate/interterritorial gateway 
processing facility for each state or territory is located. The 
destination for mail to Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. 
Virgin Islands is the 3-digit ZIP Code area in which the interstate/
interterritorial gateway mail processing facility for each state or 
territory is located.
    4.7.5 509, 555, 821, 872, 885, 889, 901, and 942 are unique 3-digit 
ZIP Codes for either large businesses or government agencies. Due to 
the unique processing and flow of this mail, there is no means to 
provide service measurement. 569 is a unique 3-digit ZIP Code that is 
used only for a competitive product.
9.2 Implementation Status (June 2008)
    The Postal Service will use a phased rollout of the service 
performance measurement system, which will correspond with Full Service 
Intelligent Mail[supreg] Option adoption. A significant adoption of 
IMb's by Full Service mailers is expected after May 2009, when IMb-
based price incentives are expected to take effect, with progressively 
higher levels of adoption thereafter. As more and varied mailers adopt 
Full Service IMb's, the data available for service performance 
measurement will become even more

[[Page 36155]]

robust and representative of the full population.\20\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ Excluding Periodicals Mail.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Some components of the measurement system are already in place. The 
Postal Service will continue to use EXFC to measure single-piece First-
Class Mail letters and flats, as well as IMMS to measure single-piece 
First-Class Mail International letters. EXFC and IMMS are specifically 
designed to be representative of those mailstreams and already provide 
an external, statistically valid performance measurement. Measurement 
is also available for Package Services parcels entered at retail.\21\ 
The existing Delivery Confirmation performance reports for mail 
originating at postal retail facilities can be used in the short-term 
to measure the service performance of all Package Services.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \21\ Under Order No. 43, the PRC has classified inbound single-
piece surface parcels tendered at Universal Postal Union inward land 
rates as a market-dominant product. This mail includes parcels, 
which enter the United States via surface transportation at the New 
Jersey International Bulk Mail Center, as well as surface airlift 
parcels, which enter at the five International Service Centers in 
Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York JFK, and San Francisco. Once 
parcels clear U.S. Customs, they are transferred from the acceptance 
facility to a Bulk Mail Center (BMC). Once entered into the BMC 
network, inbound surface parcels undergo the same processing as 
domestic single-piece Package Services parcels. Because the volume 
of the inbound surface parcels is small in proportion to other 
market-dominant categories, creating a separate measurement system 
for these parcels is not cost-justified. Given that inbound surface 
parcels are handled through the domestic BMC network, the Postal 
Service will use the service performance measurement statistics for 
corresponding domestic parcels as a reasonable proxy for 
International Mail inbound surface parcels (at UPU rates).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Although use of the IMb will not be required on all automation mail 
until May 2010, several mailers have already adopted the IMb and submit 
electronic documentation. Pilot programs are currently underway for 
measurement of Presort First-Class Mail and Standard Mail. Mailer 
adoption rates are expected to continue growing since the lowest 
automation price, Full-Service IMb, is expected to be implemented in 
May 2009.
    Toward the end of FY2008, selected external reporters will be 
trained to use a new scanning device for in-home delivery reporting of 
all mail received that contains an IMb. In FY2009, IMb and electronic 
mailing information adoption will occur in sufficient quantity that 
measurement based on scans generated by external reporters will provide 
statistically valid measurements for service performance of Presort 
First-Class Mail letters and Standard Mail.
    For Periodicals mailers, adoption of IMb's and electronic mailing 
information is projected to be slower. Measurements from DelTrak and 
Red Tag, which are two external measurement systems, will be used 
during FY2009 as the Postal Service transitions to a statistically 
viable long-term solution using the same methodology explained above.
    The following table provides an illustration of the measurement 
timeline that the Postal Service will implement while long-term 
measures are being developed and adopted.

             Table 23.--Measurement Implementation Timeline
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        FY2009              FY2010
------------------------------------------------------------------------
First-Class Mail Single-Piece     EXFC..............  EXFC.
 Letters and Flats.
First-Class Mail Presort Flats    EXFC as Proxy.....  EXFC as Proxy.
 and Single-Piece International
 Mail Flats.
Single-Piece First-Class Mail     IMMS..............  IMMS.
 International Letters.
First-Class Mail Presort Letters  Pilot and Reporter  Reporter + IMb/
                                   + IMb/Electronic    Electronic
                                   Mailing             Mailing
                                   Information.        Information.
First-Class Mail Parcels and      Retail and Presort  Retail and Presort
 International Mail Parcels \1\.   Delivery            Delivery
                                   Confirmation.       Confirmation.
Standard Mail Letters and Flats.  Pilot and Reporter  Reporter + IMb/
                                   + IMb/Electronic    Electronic
                                   Mailing             Mailing
                                   Information.        Information.
Standard Mail Parcels \2\.......  Delivery            Delivery
                                   Confirmation.       Confirmation.
Periodicals Letters and Flats...  Red Tag/DelTrak...  Reporter + IMb/
                                                       Electronic
                                                       Mailing
                                                       Information.\3\
Package Services Parcels          Retail and Presort  Retail and Presort
 (includes Bound Printed Matter,   Delivery            Delivery
 Library Mail, Media Mail and      Confirmation.       Confirmation.
 Parcel Post).
Special Services................  Internal            Internal
                                   Measurement.        Measurement.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ First-Class Mail parcels will be rolled into the First-Class Mail
  measurement based on percent of mail.
\2\ Standard Mail parcels will be rolled into the Standard Mail
  measurement based on percent of mail.
\3\ The Postal Service may elect to have its external provider use data
  from DelTrak or Red Tag even in future years, if it proves to increase
  the overall robustness of the data and the statistical validity.

9.3 Modern Service Standards for Market Dominant Products
    The following tables are provided as a reference for the modern 
service standards.

                  Table 24.--Domestic Origin Entry Mail
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         End-to-end flow
                       Mail class                         range  (days)
                                                               \1\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
First-Class Mail.......................................             1-3
Periodicals............................................             1-9
Standard Mail..........................................            3-10
Package Services.......................................             2-8
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ See 72 FR 72216 (December 19, 2007) for Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico,
  Guam, and U.S. Virgin Islands.


[[Page 36156]]


                                 Table 25.--Domestic Destination Entry Mail \1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                       End-to-end flow range (days) \1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                         Mail Class                            DDU (days)   SCF (days)   ADC (days)   BMC (days)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Periodicals.................................................            1            1          1-2      1-2 \2\
Standard Mail...............................................            2            3  ...........            5
Package Services............................................            1            2  ...........            3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ See 72 FR 72216 (December 19, 2007) for Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and U.S. Virgin Islands.
\2\ Only applies to Periodicals receiving the DBMC Container rate.


                       Table 26.--Special Services
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Delivery Information Services:
    Delivery Confirmation.................  Availability of delivery
                                             information within 24
                                             hours.
    Signature Confirmation
    Certified Mail
    Registered Mail \1\
    Collect on Delivery
    Electronic Return Request
CONFIRM...................................  Availability of scan
                                             information within 24
                                             hours.
Address Correction Service (automated.....  Availability of address
                                             information within 24
                                             hours.
P.O. Box Service..........................  Mail delivered by posted
                                             P.O. Box uptime.
Insurance Claims Processing...............  Claims processing within 30
                                             calendar days.
Money Order Inquiry.......................  Customer response within 15
                                             business days.
Address List Services.....................  Information within 15
                                             business days.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Registered Mail includes domestic mail and inbound international
  mail.

 III. Trademarks

    The following are among the trademarks owned by the United States 
Postal Service: Certified MailTM, Click-N-Ship[supreg], 
CONFIRM[supreg], Delivery ConfirmationTM, `1DMM[supreg], 
Express Mail[supreg], FASTforward[supreg], First-Class Mail[supreg], 
Intelligent Mail[supreg], MERLINTM, P.O. BoxTM, 
Parcel Post[supreg], Parcel Select[supreg], PC Postage[supreg], 
PLANET[supreg], PLANET Code[supreg], Post OfficeTM, 
PostalOne![supreg], Postal ServiceTM, Priority Mail[supreg], 
Registered MailTM, Signature ConfirmationTM, 
Standard Mail[supreg], United States Postal Service[supreg], U.S. 
MailTM, U.S. Postal Service[supreg], USPS[supreg], USPS 
http://www.usps.com[supreg], ZIP+4[supreg], and ZIP CodeTM. 
This is not a comprehensive list of all Postal Service trademarks.

IV. Ordering Paragraphs

    It is Ordered:
    1. Interested persons may submit written comments on any or all 
aspects of the Postal Service's proposed service performance 
measurement systems and reporting systems by no later than July 9, 
2008.
    2. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this notice in 
the Federal Register.

By the Commission.
Steven W. Williams,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. E8-14396 Filed 6-24-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P