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About the Postal Regulatory Commission

The Commission is an independent agency that has exercised regulatory oversight over the Postal Service since its creation by the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970. Initially, that oversight consisted primarily of conducting public, on-the-record hearings concerning proposed rate, mail classification or major service changes, and recommending decisions for action by the postal Governors.

The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) enacted on December 20, 2006, significantly strengthened the Commission's authority to serve as a counterbalance to new flexibility granted to the Postal Service in setting postal rates. The Act requires the Commission to develop and maintain regulations for a modern system of rate regulation, consult with the Postal Service on delivery service standards and performance measures, consult with the Department of State on international postal policies, prevent cross-subsidization or other anticompetitive postal practices, promote transparency and accountability, and adjudicate complaints.

The law also assigns new and continuing oversight responsibilities to the PRC, including annual determinations of Postal Service compliance with applicable laws, development of accounting practices and procedures for the Postal Service, review of the Universal Service requirement, and assurance of transparency through periodic reports. New enforcement tools include subpoena power, authority to direct the Postal Service to adjust rates and to take other remedial actions, and levying fines in cases of deliberate noncompliance with applicable postal laws.

The Commission is composed of five Commissioners, each of whom is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, for a term of six years. A Commissioner may continue to serve after the expiration of his or her term for up to one year or until a successor is confirmed. No more than three members of the Commission may be from one political party.

Assisting the Commission is a staff with expertise in law, economics, finance, statistics, and cost accounting. The Commission is organized into four operating offices:

  • Accountability and Compliance
  • General Counsel
  • Public Affairs and Government Relations
  • Secretary

The Commission maintains an independent office for its Inspector General.

The Office of Accountability & Compliance is responsible for technical analysis and formulation of policy recommendations for the Commission in both domestic and international matters. It provides the analytic support for Commission review of rate changes, negotiated service agreements, classifications of new products, post office closings, and other issues. The Office evaluates Postal Service accounting records, financial reports, and other financial data to assess accuracy, completeness, and conformance to reporting and procedural standards established by the Commission. This includes reports filed pursuant to SEC rules and procedures. The Office assists the Commission in its annual determinations of compliance with service performance standards and the preparation of the annual report to the President and Congress.

The Office of General Counsel provides legal assistance on matters involving the Commission's responsibilities, defends Commission decisions before the courts, and manages the formal complaint process.

The Office of Public Affairs & Government Relations facilitates prompt and responsive communications for the Commission with the public, Congress and federal agencies, the Postal Service, and information media.

The Office of Secretary & Administration records the official actions of the Commission; preserves Commission documents; maintains personnel records; and provides other support services including managing the Commission's library, docket room, and computers.

The Office of Inspector General conducts, supervises, and coordinates audits and investigations relating to the programs and operations of the Commission, and identifies and reports fraud and abuse in Commission programs and operations.

Postal Regulatory Commission Organization chart. At the top of the organization chart are Chairman Ruth Y. Goldway, Vice Chairman Tony Hammond, Commissioner Dan G. Blair, Commissioner Mark Acton, and Commissioner Nanci E. Langley. The five offices that comprise the Commission are the Office of Accountability and Compliance, Office of General Counsel, Office of Secretary and Administration, Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations, and Office of Inspector General. Photo link to Commissioner Mark Acton's Page Photo link to Vice Chairman Tony Hammond's Page Photo link to Chairman Ruth Goldway's Page Photo link to Commissioner Nanci Langley's Page Photo link to Commissioner Image link to the Office of Accountability & Compliance (OAC) Page Image link to the Office of General Counsel (OGC) Page Image link to the Office of Secretary & Administration (OSA) Page Image link to the Office of Public Affairs & Government Relations (PAGR) Page Image link to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) Page