Postal Updates

By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

Centralized delivery savings questioned

May 16, 2014 06:50 AM

For months, House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has been saying that ending door-to-door mail deliveries could save the United States Postal Service millions of dollars a year.

On April 12, Issa got word from the Government Accountability Office that those cost saving estimates from the Postal Service might be seriously flawed.

In a report entitled “Delivery Mode Conversions Could Yield Large Savings, but More Current Data Are Needed,” the GAO said the USPS needs a new, costly study to determine what the savings might be from the use of more centralized mailboxes.

No question there are savings to be had, the GAO said in its report, but the Postal Service has been basing its estimates on a 1994 study that is probably out of date.

“Without current information on costs of delivery modes and on potential savings through delivery conversions, USPS and lawmakers may not have an accurate understanding of the impact of delivery mode changes on which to base their decisions,” the GAO said.

It urged USPS to spend the $100,000 to $750,000 to get a new study of the potential savings.

The report noted that Postal Service officials have taken “some actions” to move away from door deliveries, but noted “it faces stakeholder resistance and other impediments to mandatory conversions.”

The report suggested the USPS was looking at a 20-year program to end most door deliveries of mail and move residential customers to centralized box deliveries.