Advisory Committee member suggestions on the work and organization of the Committee

1. Email of 29 September 2008 from Gene Del Polito


I have given some thought to the issue of what should be discussed at our upcoming advisory committee meeting. Here is some of what came to mind.

We have yet to address how we might suggest that State, the USPS, the PRC, and/or Congress should reconcile those aspects of PAEA that are not in accord with our nation's diplomatic or trade policies. For instance, should international services be listed as market-dominant or competitive services? What's the thinking behind either decision? How does the decision comport with the requirements we must follow from our treaty with the UPU and/or our policies or laws governing commerce and trade?

  • Of those things that have transpired at the recent UPU Congress in Geneva, which are consonant or inconsonant with U.S. policy?
  • What levers of influence were we able to gain in terms of the appointments and responsibilities we have agreed to accept within the UPU?
  • How can the members of the advisory committee take fuller responsibility for determining future topics of discussion that would facilitate State's role vis-a-vis PAEA and international postal services?
  • What is the Postal Service's strategic plan regarding the development of international postal products and services?
  • To what extend do those plans incorporate the need to improve the Postal Service's financial position which is essential to the provision of a universal mail delivery system?

2. Email message of 3 October 2008 from Sue Presti

To me, the key issues for the advisory committee will be implementation of the relevant provisions of PAEA, and advising on key issues arising at the UPU. The latter would include relevant work by the Consultative Committee, including its initiative on addressing, as well as by the POC and CA.

3. Email message of 5 October 2008 from Tom Leavey

In response to the invitation from Dennis Delehanty for the members of FACA to suggest issues that may be explored by the committee over the next few years, I might suggest the following (although they are not presented in any detail):

  • I would suggest broadening the comparative study of the national postal legislation of other countries to include the policies enunciated by the European Commission in their postal directives, with particular focus on liberalization and the definition of the universal service obligation in terms of coverage, access, price and quality.
  • I believe that some of the most pressing issues confronting postal operators, governments and regulators in the international postal market could be studied. These include, but are not limited to, extraterritorial offices of exchange, cost-based terminal dues, WTO commitments and schedules, and threats or opportunities posed by electronic communications.
  • Although some might consider it not to be a role for FACA, I would be in favor of a study that would identify factors influencing the future growth or decline of mail volumes. This is an issue of particular concern to the Global Envelope Alliance, an organization on which I serve as a member of the Board.
  • Particular attention should be devoted to the activities and achievements of the UPU Consultative Committee. Many of the members of FACA participate in the Consultative Committee and its Chairman, Charles Prescott, could present regular reports on its work.

4. Email message of 6 October 2008 from Brad Smith

In response to the request from Dennis Delehanty for the members of FACA to identify issues that should be included in agenda item #4 “Long-term work of the Advisory Committee and issues in which the Committee should become engaged” I would like to have the following items included for consideration and discussion by FACA and the public:


  • Stock taking on status of Implementation of the U.S. Strategic Plan, U.S. Priorities (limitations on expansion into private markets) and FACA next steps;
  • U.S. Government outreach to Financial Stability Forum International Institutions (World Bank, IMF) and financial services regulatory standards setters (FATF, BIS, IOSCO, and IAIS) to engage UPU on bringing postal affiliated financial services providers under global system of regulation and supervision;
  • Development of a FACA transparency and consultation procedures (timelines for consultation with, comment template and comment resolution procedures);
  • Establishment of a FACA working group on financial services;

5. Email message of 22 October 2008 from Jim Campbell

I must first apologize to you and to all IPODS members. I simply have not had time to review the many substantive raised by these agendas in the last few days. I expect that I will be able to devote more time to the IPODS after Thanksgiving, but for now I am committed.

I would, however, like to offer some small organizational comments based mainly on the discussion at the last meeting. The agendas for the CA and POC meetings present a broad of issues with a great of deal of background material. In general, I do not think it is possible for the Committee to develop a considered opinion on such materials in the course of a few days.

As a practical matter, it seems to me that we need to create subcommittees within the full IPODS Committee to look at specific subjects of interest. Each subcommittee will need to get up to speed on the materials relevant to its work, prepare appropriate issues analyses which the full Committee can consider without the pressure of deadlines, and then be in a position to make specific proposals for the full Committee to consider in advance of specific CA or POC meetings.

Judging from the discussion as the last IPODS meeting, it seemed to me that possible subcommittee assignments could look something like the following:

Subcommittee 1. PAEA and U.S. Policies re UPU Acts and Proposed Acts. This subcommittee could address, in particular, topics raised by Gene del Polito (bullets 1 and 2), Tom Leavey (bullet 2), and Sue Presti.

Subcommittee 2. UPU's Role in Provision of International Postal Products and Services. This subcommittee could address, in particular, topics raised by Gene del Polito (bullet 5), Tom Leavey (bullet 3), Charles Prescott, and Brad Smith (bullets 2 and 4). This subcommittee might also look at some the quality of service issues suggested by Dennis Delehanty at the meeting.

Subcommittee 3. Changing Global Market for International Delivery Services. This subcommittee could address, in particular, Gene del Polito (bullet 5), Tom Leavey (bullet 3), Charles Prescott, and Brad Smith (bullets 2 and 4).

Although there is obviously overlap, these subcommittees would naturally tend to focus on legal, marketing, and strategic issues, respectively. Of course, there could be other subcommittees as well or different ways to describe the work of different committees. This is just my preliminary interpretation of our last meeting.

Various members of the Committee also mentioned the U.S. Strategic Plan and IPODS procedures as topics to be addressed. Both of these, I think, would be addressed by the full Committee in light of the work of the subcommittees.