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Question & Answer


Q1: What is unique about the PR

A1: The PR has a legal duty to inform the Commission of the interests of the general public.

The PR:

  • Represents the interests of the general public in a specific case before the Commission
  • Addresses the general public’s concerns only as they relate to an existing case
  • Handles case-specific comments and inquiries
  • Seeks to inform Commission decisions while acting independently from the Commission
  • Provides an independent analysis of the interests of the public, in the aggregate
  • Answers questions regarding the PR role and structure and operation of the PR Program

Conversely, the PR:

  • Does NOT speak for or represent the Commission
  • Does NOT handle general questions regarding the Commission and its functions
  • Does NOT assist or endorse individual consumer’s interests
  • Is NOT the contact person for individual complaints or service inquiries
  • Is NOT a legal advisor to the public

Q2: What is the General Public?

A2: The general public is the mass of the unrepresented persons or entities who will be affected, either directly or indirectly, by the outcome of a particular case. The general public cannot be universally defined and must be determined on a case-by-case basis. When reviewing a case, the PR must ascertain the boundaries of a case’s “general public.” The PR represents the general public as a party to the case. Sometimes, this representation calls for educated advocacy (i.e., determining and promoting what is viewed as the interest of the applicable public). At other times, it may require relaying public sentiment or performing an objective factual analysis.

Q3: Does every member of the public have a PR?

A3: The PR is assigned to a case, not to individuals or groups. The PR represents the general public as defined for that particular case.

Q4: When should an individual consumer contact the PR?

A4: A consumer should contact a PR when they have a question or want to relay information about the particular case to which the PR is assigned. They should contact the Attorney Administrator for questions about the PR Program.

Q5: Are all PRC hearings public?

A5: Yes. The PRC promotes transparency, accountability, and understanding. Hearing dates can be found here.

Q6: How can the quality of PR comments be consistent when there are multiple PRs?

A6: All PRs are part of the centralized structured PR Program. Each PR has sole discretion over and responsibility for the content of his/her comments. The Attorney Administrator ensures all comments meet the PR Program’s quality standards and legal guidelines, and seeks to fulfill the PR Program’s mission of representing the interests of the general public.

Q7: If I have a complaint about the U.S. Postal Service, who do I contact?

A7: You may contact U.S. Postal Service’s Consumer Advocate at CART . You may also contact the Commission’s Office of Public Affairs & Government Relations (PAGR) by Email or Phone: 202-789-6800. The liaison will listen to your problem and direct you to the appropriate department or person or further assist you, as appropriate.

Q8: What is the difference between PAGR & PR?

A8: The Office of Public Affairs & Government Relations (PAGR) and the PR both work closely with the public. PAGR responds to public comments and customer inquiries, handles complaints which do not rise to the level of formal complaints, and serves as liaison with the Office of Consumer Advocate of the Postal Service for service issues. Whereas a PR is a Commission-independent individual who functions to bring to the Commission’s attention issues on behalf of the general public’s interests, in a specific proceeding. If you wish to provide comments to be shared with the full Commission, please contact PAGR. If you wish to assist in the development of a case on behalf of the general public, please contact the PR.