Last Postal Governor Leaves; PMG Treads In Uncharted Waters

PMG Megan J. Brennan received her 30-year service pin from James H. Bilbray, chairman of the USPS Board of Governors last week (above).

It could be his last official act as chairman.

On December 8 Chairman Bilbray will shut his office door and turn out the lights with the expiration of his term. We are about to witness something not seen since the Revolutionary War-era of the U.S. Postal Service.

That leaves zero members of the Board of Governors remaining.

There will then be no standing Board of Governors.

Which means the Postmaster General Megan Brennan will report directly to the Congress, just like Benjamin Franklin and a handful of other Postmaster Generals did until the  ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1789, when the PMG began to report to the President.

That all changed in 1970 with the creation of the U.S. Postal Service and the removal of the PMG from the President’s Cabinet. Under the reorganization act, the PMG reports to a Board of Governors appointed by the President.

But because the Congress has not acted on President Obama’s appointments, there will be no governors beginning December 8.

Lest you think PMG Brennan will suddenly possess all the powers of the Board when this happens, think again. The Governors perform important oversight, like initiating rate hikes, that cannot be done without them.

Related: What Happens With No USPS Governors December 8?

So the Postmaster General, who became the first woman to hold the position, will now have the distinction of being the first in the modern-era to operate without board oversight.

More on the PMG receiving her 30-year pin.