Postal Commission Names Committee Members

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The presidential commission on postal reform announced the members of its four subcommittees this week.

· The business model subcommittee, chaired by Richard Levin, includes Don Cogman, Carolyn Gallagher, Norman Seabrook and Robert Walker. It will assess the postal service's current government-corporation business model. It will study the agency's universal service obligation, mail delivery infrastructure, rate regulation system and pricing flexibility.

· The private sector partnership subcommittee consists of chairman Joseph Wright, Cogman and Seabrook. It will analyze the private sector's role in mail delivery including negotiated service agreements, outsourcing and work sharing.

· Technology challenges and opportunities subcommittee members are Walker (chairman), Dionel Aviles and Wright. They will assess the effect of online bill payment and presentment, e-mail, electronic funds transfer and other new technologies and determine whether they will continue to erode USPS market share.

· The workforce subcommittee includes Gallagher (chairwoman), Aviles and Levin. It will examine the postal service's collective bargaining and dispute-resolution procedures and review alternative models.

· Commission co-chairs James Johnson and Harry Pearce are ex-officio members of each subcommittee.

Meanwhile, the deadline for e-mail and paper comments to the commission is Feb. 12.

"We are in the process right now of brainstorming with our members and colleagues to determine the best way to communicate with the commissioners and how to best frame our message," said Neal Denton, executive director, Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, Washington. "Everyone [in the postal and mailing community] is doing the same thing right now, bumping into the walls to find out what will be the best approach, and sharing our thoughts, concerns, suggestions and criticisms with the commission."

With the commission's limited timeframe to devise a report, Denton said, if hundreds or thousands of companies and citizens offer comments, "this will clog up an already ambitious agenda ... I believe that if the associations do their job well, we will be able to accumulate the collected works of our members and be able to lay out the concerns of our members to the commission."

The commission's next open meeting is Feb. 20 in Washington, DC. Meetings are planned in California, Illinois and Texas, though cities and dates are not set.

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