CASE STUDY OVERVIEW

The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) is an independent agency that has regulatory oversight of the United States Postal Service.

They were faced with the challenge of eliminating millions of physical pages, as well as streamlining the transmission process.

Overall, ActivePDF enables the PRC to merge, integrate, convert, and transmit over 280 different file types to PDF files with a click of a button.

In turn, this saves the Commission time, money, and resources.

ActivePDF Enables PRC to Eliminate Paper Waste, Automate Delivery, and Achieve Compliancy

Since the passing of the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) became an independent agency that has regulatory oversight of the United States Postal Service. The PRC’s responsibilities expanded further under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006.

The PRC strives to be an independent regulator respected for effectively engaging postal stakeholders to promote a robust universal mail system through objective, accurate, and timely regulatory analysis and decisions.

Challenges

In the course of its proceedings, the PRC typically handles thousands of documents which have to be collated, organized, and ultimately distributed to PRC members, government employees, and interested citizens. Historically, hardcopies of these documents were either hand-carried to the PRC office or sent through the conventional mail.

The manual duplication and distribution of these documents meant over a million physical pages could change hands during the course of a single case. With printer costs, postage, and other distribution expenses, the cost of this paper-intense process could easily exceed $200,000 per year. Also, like most other government agencies, the PRC was required to migrate its paper-based processes to electronic systems in accordance with the Government Paper Elimination Act (GPEA).

 

Solutions

After investigating available server-based software offerings, the PRC selected ActivePDF as its preferred vendor, based on product cost effectiveness, and ease of implementation.

Choosing from ActivePDF’s robust product line, the PRC opted for a combination of ActivePDF Server, DocConverter, and Toolkit to fulfill all of its requirements.

Integrating Server and DocConverter into its proprietary web-based interface, the PRC enabled users to quickly and easily convert over 280 different file formats directly to PDF. With this solution, PDF conversion options are controlled on its server, keeping user involvement to a minimum.

Submitters simply choose documents to upload, click “OK” and conversion occurs transparently. Since both Server and DocConverter are engineered for multi-threaded processing, simultaneous submissions are handled seamlessly, without requiring users to wait in a queue.

Once conversion to PDF is complete, the PRC uses Toolkit to merge related documents into a single PDF file. Toolkit also enables the PRC to replace its hand-stamping process with a more streamlined approach. Using information retrieved from their server, Toolkit automatically stamps critical docket information onto each PDF, without requiring any end-user intervention.

After this post-processing is complete, submitted documents may be posted to the Daily Listing section of the PRC’s website. Published each day, this listing provides both internal and external users with an index of submissions for viewing and printing.

 

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Results

Awarded the eGov Pioneer Award for its innovative use of technology, the PRC’s implementation of ActivePDF products has effectively eliminated most of its paper-based processing, reduced foot traffic into its office, and ultimately created a much more cost-effective and efficient process.

In fact, the process has become so streamlined that in a recent case, an objection to a motion, and a reply to the objection were all filed on the same day. A process that historically could have easily taken a week, now was completed within just a few hours.

“The integration of ActivePDF products into our public website has helped enormously to facilitate doing business with the PRC,” says Jim Blessing, PRC IT Supervisor. “This is a real boon for participants that use the site to file documents related to cases before the Commission.”

 

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