PRC Chairman celebrates 50 years of ensuring transparency and accountability for USPS – but warns of challenges ahead
Robert G. Taub, the Chairman of the US Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), has noted that today marks the 50th anniversary of the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 – which set the PRC on its mission to “ensure transparency and accountability” of the US Postal Service (USPS).
The agency changed its named from the Postal Rate Commission to the Postal Regulatory Commission in 2006 – but its mission remained the same.
In a statement issued by the PRC today, Taub said: “For half a century, the Commission has been the regulatory anchor providing legal and economic oversight of the one agency that touches the lives of all Americans in every community nearly every day, at their homes and offices. Ever since Congress and President Nixon created it on August 12, 1970, the Commission has consistently conducted its work in an open and accessible way, with full transparency and an opportunity for robust input by the public. The agency’s operations on behalf of its fellow citizens foster a vital and efficient universal mail system.
“As an independent federal regulatory agency, the Commission is the regulator, not the operator, of the Postal Service. Unlike almost any other federal agency, the Postal Service operates in a commercial marketplace while also having a large contingent of captive customers given the Postal Service’s market dominance over certain products and services. The law provides the Postal Service a statutory monopoly over mailboxes and the delivery of letters. The public interest role of a regulator in this case is clear: a need to protect the captive customers and ensure fair competition.”
But Taub’s statement was not all celebration, as he went on to note: “The Postal Service in 2020 is facing its most significant financial challenges of these past 50 years. It cannot generate sufficient funds to cover its mandated expenses while still investing in critically deferred capital needs. Given the Postal Service’s severe and worsening financial situation — as was the case even before the impacts of the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis — we as a nation must respond.”