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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 23, 2017.
Post Office Discontinuance Accountability Act of 2017
This bill establishes procedures under which the United States Postal Service (USPS) may carry out emergency suspensions of post offices because of a natural disaster, damage to or destruction of a post office, or a lack of qualified personnel to operate it or adequate measures to safeguard it.
A District Manager implementing an emergency suspension must: (1) provide immediate notice to the Headquarters Review Coordinator or the Field Performance office, local officials of the USPS, and customers; (2) establish alternate service as quickly as possible; (3) temporarily reassign each employee of the post office; and (4) form a suspension review team, which shall review the suspension and recommend that the suspension continue or that the post office reopen.
If the team recommends that the suspension continue, the District Manager shall either initiate discontinuance procedures for the post office or publish a plan to restore service within 180 days. If restoration is delayed, the District Manager must publish notice and either host a public forum in the affected community or initiate discontinuance procedures.
The District Manager shall immediately notify the affected community when a post office is reopened or service is restored.
The bill authorizes the USPS to establish an alternative process to suspend postal services to a community based on the expiration of a lease or rental agreement for a post office. The District Manager shall take specified steps to: (1) negotiate an extension of an expiring agreement, the sale of the post office to the USPS, or a new agreement for postal service; (2) provide for the disruption of service if the negotiations fail and for the restoration of service; or (3) initiate discontinuance procedures.