Postal Reorganization

We commenced operations on July 1, 1971, in accordance with the provisions of the Postal Reorganization Act. We are an “independent establishment of the executive branch of the Government of the United States.” Governing decisions are made by a Board of Governors, which consists of nine members who are appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate; the Board of Governors also includes the Postmaster General and Deputy Postmaster General.

The U.S. government-held equity in the former Post Office Department (POD) became our initial capital, with its assets valued at original cost less accumulated depreciation. The initial transfer of assets, including property, equipment and cash, totaled $1.7 billion. Subsequent cash contributions and transfers of assets between 1972 and 1982 totaled approximately $1.3 billion. In 2009 we received 3,424 fuel- efficient vehicles provided to us under the provisions of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. The excess of the fair value of the vehicles received over the vehicles traded-in was recorded as an additional non-cash capital contribution of $53 million. Total capital contributions of the U.S. government are $3.087 billion as of September 30, 2009. Although the U.S. government remains responsible for the liabilities attributable to operations of the Post Office Department (POD), the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 transferred the liability for POD workers’ compensation costs to us.

The 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, Public Law 109-435 (P.L. 109-435), made further reforms in the governance of the Postal Service. It also significantly altered some of our financial responsibilities, particularly with respect to the funding of Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) benefits and retiree health benefits. Public Law 111-68, Making appropriations for the Legislative Branch for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes (P.L. 111-68) amended P.L. 109-435 by changing the required Postal Service payments to the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund (PSRHBF) for the year ended September 30, 2009 from $5.4 billion to $1.4 billion. This law affected 2009 payments only. See Note 10, Health Benefit Programs, and Note 11, Retirement Programs, in the Notes to the Financial Statements, for additional information.

We enter into significant transactions with other U.S. government agencies, as disclosed throughout these financial statements.