Postal Updates

By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

USPS issues rare statement against inspector general

June 12, 2015 07:32 PM

By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

The clamor over a report suggesting that billions of dollars could be made by expanding banking services through the United States Postal Service has drawn a rare public condemnation from the Postal Service.

The May 21 report from the agency’s Office of Inspector General prompted a June 3 statement from the USPS calling the idea “misleading and incomplete.”

“The Postal Service’s mission is to provide the American public with trusted, affordable, universal mail service,” said the statement, which did not quote any official.

“Our core function is delivery, not banking,” it said.

There was a little faint praise for the IG in the statement that was posted on the USPS website.

It said postal management does “not reject all the ideas in the paper,” but made clear that Postmaster General Megan Brennan has little interest in more banking activities.

“Finally,” the statement said, “to invest in an area outside our core function, such as the one highlighted in the OIG white paper, requires public policy and regulatory discussions that consider the relevant issues in a comprehensive manner, something which is not done in the OIG paper.”

The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine weighed in against the banking idea.

“Those seeking a quick fix to the postal service’s many problems would do well to look elsewhere,” wrote Kevin R. Kosar, director of the Governance Project at the R Street Institute.

“Postal banking is less a solution than a bad penny,” he concluded.

IG criticizes USPS worksharing discounts

Meanwhile the USPS Office of Inspector General has produced another critical report on the worksharing discounts that the Postal Service offers big mailers.

Specially, the June 8 report charges that some of the current discounts “no longer benefit its processing network.”

It also charges that some of the discounts for sorting mail into carrier routes duplicate work that the Postal Service currently performs.

"The Postal Service may lose opportunities to grow revenue, partner with mailers, and achieve operational efficiencies if it does not update workshare discounts periodically to reflect current network operations,” the report states.

Postal management agreed with this report, although it questioned some of the IG’s estimated costs for the questionable discounts.

But the report did say that management agreed it should review some of its current discounts.

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