Governance and Oversight

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 calendar year, and in February 2009, Carolyn Lewis Gallagher was elected Chairman, and Louis J. Giuliano was elected Vice Chairman.

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 full Board held 18 meetings during the year. Meetings consist of open and closed sessions in accordance with the Government in the Sunshine Act. Meetings were held in Washington, DC; in Memphis, TN; and by teleconference. In addition to full Board meetings, committee meetings were held, some not coincident to the full Board meeting dates. The Board has four committees: Audit and Finance, Compensation and Management Resources, Governance and Strategic Planning, and Government Relations and Regulatory, and has two subcommittees — Operations and Communications. The committees met to consider matters within their areas of responsibility and referred items to the full Board for consideration.

Pursuant to the Bylaws of the Board of Governors, the Board considered and approved items reserved for decision by the Board. Key decisions included those approving the 2009 Capital Plan (October); the audited 2008 financial statements and 2008 Annual Report (November); the 2009 Integrated Financial Plan (December); the 2008 Comprehensive Statement on Postal Operations including the Government Performance and Results Act reporting requirements (December); the final 2010 appropriation request to Congress (December). The Governors granted the Postmaster General, Chief Financial Officer, and the Treasurer the authority to restructure the debt for FY 2009 in February and for FY 2010 in September.

The Governors exercised their authority under the Postal Act of 2006 when making pricing decisions. In November 2008, the Governors approved price and classification changes for competitive products that were implemented in January 2009. In February, the Governors approved price and classification changes for market dominant products and for certain competitive products that were implemented in May 2009. The Governors approved price incentives for market dominant products in terms of a Standard Mail Volume Pricing Incentive (“Summer Sale”) and a First-Class Mail Incentive Program in May and August, respectively. The Governors also approved contracts with individual customers for competitive products. These contracts were filed under seal with the Postal Regulatory Commission for its review.