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.
Table of Contents
- What Does the Postal Regulatory Commission Do?
- Does the PRC Ever Not Approve USPS Shipping Rates?
- Members of the Postal Regulatory Commission
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. In layman’s terms, the Postal Regulatory Commission is the independent board that approves USPS shipping rates and postage prices for all USPS products.
Does the PRC Ever Not Approve USPS Shipping Rates?
Based on the PRC’s website, as long as USPS meets its statutory requirements, the Commission does not have the authority to deny or amend price proposals for USPS shipping rates and/or postage prices.
Members of the Postal Regulatory 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 December 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