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Post Office Regulator Gives Voice to Public Interest

Ruth Goldway

Ruth Goldway, chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission

The chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission thinks there’s something special about her agency- and she’s hoping other federal regulators will think so too and follow its lead. In an op-ed published in Federal Times, Ruth Y. Goldway explained how the Commission guarantees that the interests of the general public are considered in every decision.

The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, the Commission’s enabling statute, requires that there is an officer specifically designated to represent the public’s interest present at all proceedings. The requirement, she says, acknowledges that what’s best for the public may not be the same as what stakeholders with strong financial interests are advocating for.

Her agency established a public representative program that she says, “could prove useful to other federal regulatory agencies as they consider ways of increasing public accountability in their proceedings and regulatory activities.”

From the op-ed:

While our program requires staff time and resources, the enhanced record reflecting inclusion of the viewpoints and interests of the general public, small businesses and other perspectives is invaluable…

I recognize that each federal regulatory agency has a unique mission and legal framework. Nevertheless, the adoption of this type of program could be useful in helping government agencies become more responsive to the public and stakeholders while improving the quality of agency actions.

According to Goldway, nearly every decision references comments made by the public representative since the program began several years ago. Read the rest of her op-ed at Federal Times.

Image from the Department of State.

By: Avery Kleinman
Beth Daley Impact Fellow, POGO

Avery Kleinman At the time of publication Avery Kleinman was the Beth Daley Impact Fellow for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: Government Accountability

Related Content: Democracy

Authors: Avery Kleinman

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