(a) The Postal Rate Commission shall promptly consider a request made under section 3622 or 3623 of this title, except that the Commission shall not recommend a decision until the opportunity for a hearing on the record under sections 556 and 557 of title 5 has been accorded to the Postal Service, users of the mails, and an officer of the Commission who shall be required to represent the interests of the general public.
(b) In order to conduct its proceedings with utmost expedition consistent with procedural fairness to the parties, the Commission may (without limitation) adopt rules which provide for—
(1) the advance submission of written direct testimony;
(2) the conduct of prehearing conferences to define issues, and for other purposes to insure orderly and expeditious proceedings;
(3) discovery both from the Postal Service and the parties to the proceedings;
(4) limitation of testimony; and
(5) the conduct of the entire proceedings off the record with the consent of the parties.
(c)(1) Except as provided by paragraph (2) of this subsection, in any case in which the Postal Service makes a request under section 3622 of this title for a recommended decision by the Commission on changes in a rate or rates of postage or in a fee or fees for postal services the Commission shall transmit its recommended decision to the Governors under subsection (d) of this section no later than 10 months after receiving any such request from the Postal Service.
(2) In any case in which the Commission determines that the Postal Service has unreasonably delayed consideration of a request made by the Postal Service under section 3622 by failing to respond within a reasonable time to any lawful order of the Commission, the Commission may extend the 10-month period described in paragraph (1) of this subsection by one day for each day of such delay.
(d) The Commission shall transmit its recommended decision in a rate, fee, or classification matter to the Governors. The recommended decision shall include a statement specifically responsive to the criteria established under section 3622 or 3623, as the case may be.
(Pub. L. 91–375, Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 761; Pub. L. 94–421, §5(a), Sept. 24, 1976, 90 Stat. 1306.)
1976—Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 94–421 added subsec. (c) and redesignated former subsec. (c) as (d).
Section 5(b) of Pub. L. 94–421 provided that: “The amendment made by subsection (a) of this section [adding subsec. (c) of this section] shall not apply to any action or proceeding with respect to the recommended decision of the Postal Rate Commission relating to proposed changes in rates of postage, and in fees for postal services, requested on September 18, 1975, by the United States Postal Service in a request which bears, or which at any time has been included under, Postal Rate Commission Docket Number R76–1.”