DATE: March 24, 2004

SUBJECT: United States Postal Service (USPS); Purchasing of Property and Services

SOURCE: Federal Register, March 24, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 57, page 13786

AGENCIES: United States Postal Service (USPS)

ACTION: Proposed Rule

SYNOPSIS: USPS proposes to amend its regulations to implement the accquisition portions of its Transformation Plan and the similar recommendations of the President's Commission on the United States Postal Service regarding the acquisition of property and services.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The USPS regulations are in Title 39 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), and the regulations pertaining to acquisition are in 39 CFR Part 601, Purchasing of Property and Services.

DATES: Comments on the proposed rule must be submitted on of before April 23, 2004.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments to Michael J. Harris, Supply Management Infrastructure, United States Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW, Room 4130, Washington, DC 20260-6201.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael J. Harris, 202-268-3569.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: In April 2002, the Board of Governors of the Postal Service adopted the Transformation Plan, which stated that challenging times require the USPS to change its business model and practices to meet the challenge of the future to serve the American public. As part of that challenge, the USPS determined to "revise purchasing regulations to allow for the acquisition of goods and services in a manner similar to that followed by businesses."

In July 2003, the President's Commission on the Postal Service also recommended the Postal Service exercise the "latitude to conduct its procurement with fewer substanti[ve] regulations" as authorized by the Postal Reorganization Act. The commission expressed its view that "it is inappropriate to apply regulations...aimed at traditional agencies to a federal entity required to finance its own multi-billion dollar operations." Rather, the commission thought the public would benefit greatly if the USPS applies purchasing practices of leading corporate enterprises. Therefore, in accordance with the Transformation Plan and the Commission's recommendations, the USPS proposes to replace all its current purchasing regulations in 39 CFR Part 601 with the following:

      601.100 Purchasing Policy.
      601.101 Effective Date.
      601.102 Prior Purchasing Regulations.
      601.103 Applicability and Coverage.
      601.104 Postal Purchasing Authority.
      601.105 Business Relationships.
      601.106 Canceling Business Relationships.
      601.107 Alternative Dispute Resolution.
      601.108 Ombudsman and Dispute Resolution.
      601.109 Contract Claims and Disputes.
      601.110 Payment of Claims.
      601.111 Interest on Claim Amounts.
      601.112 Review of Adverse Decisions.
      601.113 Debarment, Suspension, and Ineligibility.

The following are the significant provisions of the proposed 39 CFR 601:

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to Panoptic@FedGovContracts.com.

Copyright 2004 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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