Dan Blair begins reign as PRC chair

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Dan Gregory Blair began his five-year term as chair of the Postal Rate Commission on Dec. 20.

Mr. Blair replaces George Omas, the well-liked head of the PRC who was designated Chairman of the PRC by President Bush on Nov. 30, 2001.

In a farewell note to staff that appeared on Postcom.org, the Web site of the Association of Postal Commerce, Mr. Omas said that it "has been my tremendous honor to serve for the past five years as Chairman of the Postal Rate Commission, and I am proud of the accomplishments that we, together, have achieved."

During this time, Mr. Omas said, the PRC successfully brokered the very first settlement of an omnibus rate case, pioneered the maiden negotiated service agreement, and played a central role in the legislative effort to improve and modernize our nation's postal service.

"I have been privileged to serve on the Postal Rate Commission, particularly during this period of such historic transformation," Mr. Omas said. "The President and Congress are preparing to bestow this agency with even broader responsibility for guarding the future vitality of the postal service. Reform assures a stronger, more effective PRC and is a remarkable tribute to the vast esteem which the Commission enjoys."

The PRC is an independent regulatory agency composed of five commissioners, each appointed to a six-year term by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The president designates one commissioner as chairman.

Mr. Bush nominated Mr. Blair, the former deputy director of the Office of Personnel Management, to chair the PRC on Nov. 2.

Mr. Blair also has served as senior counsel of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs.

Earlier in his career, he served on the House of Representatives Committee on government reform and oversight as staff director of the subcommittee on the postal service. Mr. Blair has worked on previous postal reform legislation.

Mailers are watching Mr. Blair closely because of the agency's broader responsibility, and many believe he will do a good job.

"There is a great deal of confidence in Mr. Blair because of his more than two decades of experience working with the postal service," said Bob McLean, executive director of the Mailers Council, Arlington, VA. "He understands it very well, and unlike his predecessors, he does not have to be brought up to speed on the issues. He already knows the issues. He is the right person to head up the new PRC."

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