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Participating in Commission Proceedings

Basic information: Any person may participate in a Commission proceeding and there are a number of ways to do so.

Following a proceeding: Commission proceedings are conducted to promote transparent and accountable regulation of the Postal Service. Proceeding records - including Commission orders, hearing transcripts, testimony, evidence, and other documents - are maintained online and are available for review by anyone with Internet access, or at the Commission's offices at 901 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC. The public may also attend open hearings as they are conducted; however, they cannot participate in a hearing unless they are invited to do so by the Commission or are a registered party or participant to the proceeding.

Active participation: In general, individuals have four ways to participate in proceedings before the Commission in accordance with the Commission’s Rules of Practice.

Those who want to participate should know that Commission proceedings are judicial in nature. They are conducted in accordance with strict rules of procedure, evidence and due process just as in a court of law. Consequently, the more involved one becomes in a proceeding, the more responsibility is entailed for complying with the applicable rules and procedures. In view of this, a knowledgeable public representative is appointed on behalf of the general public to participate in all Commission proceedings and to represent the interests of individual consumers. The public representative also may advise first-time participants on the operation of Commission rules of procedure.

Three ways to participate:

1) Commenter – informal. Informal comments can be filed online or by mail. No registration with the Commission is needed. Any personal information you provide is optional.

Individuals can email their informal comments via the“Contact PRC" button on our web page or send them by mail to the Secretary of the Commission, Postal Regulatory Commission, 901 New York Avenue NW, Suite 200, Washington DC 20268-0001.

Informal comments are retained in a hard-copy "commenter file" at Commission Headquarters where they are available for review by the Commissioners, PRC staff and the public. These comments are maintained separately from the Docket files that are posted online. Since these comments are not subject to cross-examination and review within the proceeding, they are not considered to be evidence, but the Commissioners can review the commenter file and use the comments to inform their thinking on the issues in the Docket.

2) Comments – requested by the Commission.The Commission often requests comments for the record from interested persons when a Docket is first established, by publishing a public notice on the Commission website and in the federal register. The Commission's request for such comments will also specify a due date by which time comments must be received.

To provide comments in response to a Commission request, individuals must first register with the Commission through a "temporary (1O-day)" or "permanent" account. A temporary account can be arranged online in minutes, while a permanent account must be established in writing. For more information about registering for an account. click here.

Once an account is established, individuals may submit comments and documents electronically via the Commission web site. These submissions will be posted online with all of the other Docket filings. If you have questions or comments about filing documents in a docket, please email them to the Commission at prc-dockets@prc.gov or call the dockets clerk at (202) 789-6846

3) Formal intervention in a proceeding, either as a Limited Participator or as an Intervenor. Parties who intervene in Commission proceedings are expected to maintain high standards of conduct and to comply with all Commission rules and procedures.

To access the Commission rules for formal intervention - section 3001.20 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure - please click here.