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 November 2009, Louis J. Giuliano was elected Chairman, and Thurgood Marshall, Jr. 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 11 meetings during the year. Meetings consist of open and closed sessions in accordance with the provisions of the Government in the Sunshine Act. Meetings were held in Washington, DC, Potomac, MD, and Louisville, KY, and by teleconference. In addition to full Board meetings, committee meetings were held, some not coincident to the full Board meeting dates. The Board had four committees: Audit and Finance, Compensation and Management Resources, Governance and Strategic Planning, and Government Relations and Regulatory, and one subcommittee — Operations. The committees met to consider matters within their areas of responsibility and referred items to the full Board for consideration.

Pursuant to its Bylaws, the Board considered and approved items reserved for its decision. Key decisions included those approving the audited 2009 financial statements and 2009 Annual Report (November); the 2010 Integrated Financial Plan (November); the 2009 Comprehensive Statement on Postal Operations including the Government Performance and Results Act reporting requirements (November), and the final 2011 appropriations request to Congress (December). In February, the Board authorized management to seek an advisory opinion from the PRC on five-day delivery.

The Governors exercised their authority under the Postal Act when making pricing and classification decisions. The Governors’ decisions included approval of: a Move Update price and classification filing for assessments in First-Class Mail and Standard Mail (October); price incentives for market dominant products in terms of a Summer Sale (February); a classification change request for establishing a competitive Post Office Box service classification (March); the exigent rate increase proposal (July); a filing to transfer Standard Mail Fulfillment Parcels from market dominant to competitive (August), and pricing and classification changes for certain competitive products to be implemented in January 2011 (September). The Governors also approved contracts with individual customers for competitive products. These contracts were filed under seal with the PRC for its review.