> United States > Independent Agencies
|Established|| July 01, 1971|
|Disbanded|| Still Active |
|Last Modified||Scott³ June 10, 2008 04:36am|
The Post Office Department is the former name of the United States Postal Service when
it was a Cabinet department. It was headed by the United States Postmaster General.
On September 22, 1789, President Washington signed the Postal Service Act (1 Stat. 70)
establishing the Department. Postmaster General John McLean was the first to call it the
Post Office Department rather than just the "Post Office." The department gained added
importance in 1829 when President Andrew Jackson invited his Postmaster General,
William T. Barry, to sit as a member of the Cabinet.
The Postal Reorganization Act signed by President Richard Nixon on August 12, 1970,
replaced the cabinet-level Post Office Department with the independent United States
Postal Service. The Act took effect on July 1, 1971.
U.S. Post Office -- September 22, 1789 to March 9, 1829.
(Prior to becoming a cabinet level department)... [Link]
U.S. Post Office Department -- March 9, 1829 to July 1, 1971.
(Cabinet-Level Department) ... [Link]
The United States Postmaster General is the executive head of the United States Postal
Service. The office, in one form or another, is older than both the U.S. Constitution and
the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin was appointed by the Continental
Congress as the first Postmaster General, serving slightly longer than 15 months.
In 1971, when the U.S. Postal Service was organized as an independent agency, the
Postmaster General no longer remained a member of the Cabinet and no longer in line
to be President. The Postmaster General is chosen by the nine presidentially appointed
Governors of the United States Postal Service.
Board of Governors
The Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service is comparable to a board of directors
of a private corporation. The Board includes nine Governors who are appointed by the
President and requiring Senate confirmation. To organize and conduct their meetings,
a Chairman and a Vice Chairman are elected from among the members of the Board.
The Governors of the Postal Service are appointed for terms of seven years (nine years
prior to 2006). Each Governor’s term expires on December 8 of a given year. Governors
may continue to serve following expiration of their term or until a successor is appointed,
but not for more than one year. No person may serve more than two terms as a Governor.
Not more than five of the nine may belong to the same political party.