The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 significantly changed how the U.S. Postal Service operates and conducts business. In part, the Act provided new flexibility, particularly in competitive pricing for shipping services, enabling the Postal Service to respond to dynamic market conditions and changing customer needs for packages.

As the Postal Service has worked to implement the Act, modernize its business, and take advantage of new opportunities for growth, it has remained loyal to the principles established to help guide implementation of the Act. The Postal Service’s mission remains the same: to provide trusted, universal service at affordable prices.

Guiding Principles for Implementation of the Postal Act of 2006

These guiding principles are consistent with the intent of Congress that the Postal Service continue to provide reliable universal service at affordable prices, while enhancing its ability to operate in a more businesslike manner and foster growth and innovation in the mailing industry:

  1. Design a modern pricing and regulatory system that:
    1. provides flexibility to respond effectively to market and operational conditions, and the needs of all customers.
    2. provides incentives for the Postal Service and mailers to operate in a fashion that improves the efficiency of the nation's postal system.
    3. supports the adoption of corporate best practices, such as rational investments in the infrastructure, and the realignment of resources to match the changing needs of customers and mailers, in order to respond to the system’s incentives.
    4. promotes honest, economical, efficient management.
    5. allows the Postal Service’s competitive products to compete fairly in the marketplace.
    6. ensures adequate revenues to support the network and set prices that cover cost in a manner required by law.
    7. streamlines the pricing and classification process to increase predictability and reduce administrative burdens on all parties.
  2. Have service standards consistent with universal service at reasonable prices that enhance the value of postal services, and reasonably assure customers of delivery reliability and speed through the use of transparent performance measurement systems.
  3. Work together with the Postal Regulatory Commission and stakeholders to provide a high degree of financial transparency by improving the quality of postal data systems through warranted and cost-effective enhancements.

Assessment of Postal Laws Report

Section 701 of the Postal Act of 2006 requires the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to submit a report every five years to Congress and the President providing its assessment of the Act's "ratemaking, classification and other provisions." In its report, the PRC must comment on the operation of the Act and recommend additional legislation or other measures "necessary to improve the effectiveness or efficiency of the postal laws of the United States." The Act requires that the Postal Service have an opportunity to review the PRC's draft report and provide written comments. To better inform the PRC, the Postal Service will produce its own report after seeking input from various stakeholders on how to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the law. Comments are welcome on all areas of the law including, but not limited to, pricing, products, contracts/NSAs, network flexibility, and aspects of the universal service obligation.

Please send all comments to

Read the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (P.L. 109-435) in PDF | HTM.

Other Postal Act of 2006 related reports

Report on the Future Business Model of the Postal Service

Report on Universal Postal Service and the Postal Monopoly

Periodicals Mail Study: Joint Report of the United States Postal Service and Postal Regulatory Commission PDF

Report to Congress
Postal Service Network Plan PDF | HTM.