Postal Regulatory Commission Takes Steps Toward Implementing Data Initiatives
Washington, DC – The Postal Regulatory Commission (Commission) welcomes Russell Rappel-Schmid as the agency’s first chief data officer to lead its open data and data governance efforts. Mr. Rappel-Schmid joined the agency effective February 14, 2022. Rappel-Schmid will oversee the Commission’s data management and compliance with the OPEN Government Data Act.
Most recently, Rappel-Schmid served as the State of Alaska’s first chief data officer. In that role, he worked with the State Office of Information Technology and other state departments on the data governance plan for their move to the cloud. He also launched Alaska’s first non-geospatial open data portal, and created data tools to help users better visualize and understand the state’s data.
Rappel-Schmid previously served at the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG). He was a member of the USPS OIG’s data analytics team where he worked to identify, access, and effectively use Postal Service data. Rappel-Schmid also worked as an audit manager, overseeing audits of Postal Service costs, pricing, and international mail. Rappel-Schmid started his career using data to drive internal audits while on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Chairman Michael Kubayanda stated: “I am excited to welcome Russell Rappel-Schmid to the Commission. With his experience implementing data initiatives and his knowledge of the postal sector, Russ is well-positioned to lead the Commission’s emergent open data efforts, and to support the Commission as it continues to provide transparency and accountability of the postal system.” Rappel-Schmid will report to Secretary and Chief Administrative Officer Erica Barker.
The open data program complements the Commission’s recent steps to launch a data analytics division within its Office of Accountability and Compliance, and to increase the use of data visualization tools across the agency.
As part of its data initiatives, the Commission also introduced the beta version of a service performance data dashboard to make postal data more accessible and usable, and opened a public inquiry (Docket No. PI2022-2) to receive feedback on it. Developed by the Commission’s Office of Accountability and Compliance, the beta dashboard displays data provided by the Postal Service on national-level service performance results for specific Market Dominant postal products and/or product components.
Specifically, the Commission seeks public input on:
- The overall usefulness and desirability of dashboard-style visualization concerning the Postal Service’s service performance
- The current dashboard’s presentation, usability, functionality, and any other features
- The scope of products and/or product components covered by the current dashboard
- The frequency of desired updates (e.g., quarterly, annually, etc.)
- The desirability of being able to download source data, and if so, in what format
In this inquiry, the Commission also seeks additional input from the public regarding what, if any, other dashboards and similar tools the Commission should develop in order to provide more accessible and usable data (e.g., postal finances, etc.) regarding the Postal Service.
All parties interested in commenting on the Commission’s efforts to engage the public with service performance data may do so by visiting: https://www.prc.gov/dash-deploy
The Postal Regulatory Commission is an independent federal agency that provides regulatory oversight over the Postal Service to ensure the transparency and accountability of the Postal Service and foster a vital and efficient universal mail system. The Commission comprises five Presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed Commissioners, each serving terms of six years. The President designates the Chairman. In addition to Chairman Michael Kubayanda, the other commissioners are Vice Chairman Ann Fisher and Commissioners Mark Acton, Ashley Poling, and Robert Taub. Follow the PRC on Twitter: @PostalRegulator and LinkedIn.