In 2007, the Postal Service met with and provided requested information to the Department of Treasury about separate accounting for mailing services and shipping services. The Postal Service provided information to the Federal Trade Commission about differences in laws for shipping services for the public and private sectors.
Development of service standards and measurement represented another important issue. Before creating new standards and measurements, the Postal Service initiated outreach with mailers and worked closely with the PRC in reevaluating existing service standards and discussing service measurement systems. On December 19, the Postal Service published proposed standards in the Federal Register.
The Strategic Transformation Plan 2006 – 2010 included a commitment to measure service performance for all classes of mail. For mailing services, that process began this year with determining revisions to service standards. The Postal Service engaged in unprecedented customer outreach to identify customer needs and preferences. The Postal Service also solicited input from postal unions and management associations and surveyed consumers and small businesses. From this outreach, two main themes emerged: customers want reliable, consistent, realistic, and attainable standards; and customers support a low-cost approach to service measurement that provides actionable information for both mailers and the Postal Service.
Service standards for mail transit and delivery were created by aligning standards with today’s operational and logistical realities and by using business rules that define how mail should move through the network. For example, business rules for products using surface transportation, such as Periodicals, Standard Mail, and Package Services, allow for shared transportation to improve service and lower costs. New service standards were also developed for Special Services.
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
As the governing body of the Postal Service, the 11-member Board of Governors has responsibilities comparable to the board of directors of a publicly-held corporation. The Board includes nine Governors appointed by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the Senate. The other two members are the Postmaster General and the Deputy Postmaster General. The Governors appoint the Postmaster General, who serves at the pleasure of the Board, without a specific term of office. The Governors, together with the Postmaster General, appoint the Deputy Postmaster General. The Chairman and Vice Chairman are elected each January. The Board directs and establishes policies, basic objectives, and long-range goals for the Postal Service in accordance with title 39 of the United States Code. Except for those powers specifically vested in the Governors, the Board may delegate the authority vested in it by statute to the Postmaster General under such terms, conditions, and limitations, including the power of re-delegation, as it deems desirable.
The Postal Service fiscal year (FY) 2007 began on October 1, 2006, and ended September 30, 2007. The full Board held meetings each month except in October and April. Meetings consisted of open and closed sessions in accordance with the provisions of the Government in the Sunshine Act. Altogether, the full Board met on 21 days. Meetings were held in Washington, D.C., and by teleconference. In addition to full Board meetings, committee meetings were held throughout the year, some not coincident to the full Board meeting dates. The Board had four standing committees: Audit and Finance, Capital Projects, Compensation and Management Resources, and Governance and Strategic Planning. The committees met to consider matters within their areas of responsibility and referred items to the full Board for consideration.
In November 2006, the Board approved the audited 2006 financial statements.
At the December 2006 meeting, the Board approved the 2006 Annual Report and the 2008 appropriation request to Congress. The Board also approved a filing with the Postal Regulatory Commission (Postal Rate Commission at the time) for a negotiated service agreement with Bank of America, and a capital funding request for Phase 1 of the Flats Sequencing System.
In January, James C. Miller III was reelected Chairman of the Board and Alan C. Kessler was reelected Vice Chairman. The Board approved a resolution on capital funding, the annual report on Government in the Sunshine Act Compliance, and the 2006 Comprehensive Statement on Postal Operations. The Board also approved capital funding for 5,856 carrier route vehicles. The Governors approved the price of 55 cents for the Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp. The Chairman appointed members to the Board committees.
On February 27, the Board held a special teleconference meeting to discuss the Postal Regulatory Commission Opinion and Recommended Decision in Docket No. R2006-1, Postal Rate and Fee Changes. Again on March 6, 14, and 16, the Board held special teleconference meetings to discuss further the Postal Regulatory Commission Opinion and Recommended Decision in Docket No. R2006-1.