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PRC begins shift to regulatory agency

The Postal Regulatory Commission has established its Office of Inspector General, beginning a transformation mandated under the recently signed Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act.
The law reconstitutes what was the Postal Rate Commission into a regulatory body with greater authority and responsibility. The first inspector general is to be appointed within 180 days.
At a meeting Feb. 1, the PRC also adopted a resolution to establish an Office of Public and Congressional Relations and authorize a director to coordinate its activities.
“There is a lot of interest in how we are moving to implement postal reform,” said Dan G. Blair, newly appointed PRC chairman. “I believe it is very important that the commission has staff dedicated to the important work of keeping interested segments of the government, legislature and public informed.”
A PRC notice will appear shortly in the Federal Register, inviting public comment on many topics facing the commission in fulfilling the new law’s requirements, Mr. Blair said. Comments are due within 60 days of the date of publication of the notice.
The postal reform law directs the new PRC to establish a modern system for regulating rates and classes for market-dominant postal products and to establish regulations that will form the basis for the postal service’s discretion in the setting of rates for competitive postal products. Both of these tasks are to be completed by June 19, 2008.
Comments can be filed using the PRC’s electronic filing system, Filing Online, or by making a comment on the commission’s Web site www.prc.gov at the “Contact Us” link. It also can be done in writing and mailed to: Office of the Secretary, Postal Regulatory Commission, 901 New York Ave., Suite 200, Washington, DC 20268.
“I cannot stress enough how much the [PRC] desires and is going to need the comments of every postal stakeholder,” Mr. Blair said. “This begins a dialogue that will be essential to the future of mail in this nation, and I encourage everyone to make their thoughts known as we go forward with our efforts.”

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