According to their website, the Postal Regulatory Commission (or PRC, for short) “is an independent Federal agency that provides transparency and accountability of the U. S. Postal Service’s operations.” The PRC isn’t exactly a part of the US Postal Service, per se. Instead, they operate as an independent board that approves and sets USPS mailing and shipping rates after USPS proposes them.
What Does the Postal Regulatory Commission Do?
The Postal Regulatory Commission has several functions. However, as it pertains to individuals and small businesses who ship with USPS, the most important function the PRC performs is setting the rates for market dominant and market competitive products in accordance with pricing rules and regulations.
By market dominant products, we mean mail products such as First-Class Mail and Marketing Mail; by market competitive products, we mean various shipping services, such as First Class Package, Priority Mail, Media Mail, Parcel Select Ground, and Priority Mail Express.
Each time USPS proposes a price increase (or decrease), it must run it by the PRC for approval. Once the PRC approves a rate proposal, the new rates take effect on the determined date.
Members of the Commission
At the top, PRC leadership is made up of five individual governors (note: this is an altogether different body from the USPS Board of Governors). As of May 2022, the leading members of the PRC are:
- Michael M. Kubayanda: Chairman
- Ann C. Fisher: Vice Chairman
- Mark Acton: Commissioner
- Ashley E. Poling: Commissioner
- Robert G. Taub: Commissioner