August 28, 2019
All New Governors and Commissioners Sworn In
The USPS Board of Governors now has a quorum for the first time in a long time, with five presidentially appointed Governors sworn in. The new Governors will now be able to weigh-in on the “ten-year plan” that the USPS has been promising since an April 30 House hearing. Briefings and leaks indicate that the plan will include many of the prescriptions discussed in recent years but will not address the Universal Service Obligation and how to fund it. Except of course, raising rates on monopoly services faster than inflation.
Likewise, the Postal Regulatory Commission has three new sworn-in Commissioners who were not involved in the widely panned proposal to levy multiple surcharges on mailers. Not only did the Commission fail to address the USO and how to pay for it, but it revealed a one-dimensional strategy to heal the USPS with large rate increases. The new slate of Commissioners is expected to release a new proposal in its ten-year rate review.
The postal community will be watching to see when each agency releases its “ten-year” entrant in the effort to reform USPS. It is a little confusing that both efforts have the label “ten-year;” the PRC is referring to the years since the 2006 postal law, and USPS is projecting out ten years into the future. More unfortunate will be proposals for large rate penalties on mailers with little consideration of efficiency, competitiveness, and the USO.