Postal Regulatory Commission chairwoman Ruth Goldway has spent at least 238 days and more than $70,000 on travel since August 2009, according to a report by The Washington Post.
Goldway traveled to Scotland, Portugal, Switzerland and China, as well as to several destinations within the U.S. The Post obtained her travel information through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The paper said PRC did not dispute the amount it spent on Goldway’s travel but maintained the number of days she was away was significantly lower -- a discrepancy the Post described as a difference in how the days are counted.
Goldway has spent more on travel than her predecessor, Dan G. Blair, but told the Post that her expenditures have been frugal. Goldway also pointed to a “confluence of events” during the past year as a reason for the increased travel; she said many conferences that are normally held within the United States were held abroad this year.
“I think people are more concerned that we should be given more funding to do more things than they are concerned that somehow we’re spending money unwisely,” Goldway told the Post, adding travel makes up less than 1 percent of PRC’s total budget, which is set by Congress and not connected to the Postal Service’s budget.
Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, including Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., have expressed concern over Goldway’s travels, according to the Post.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated that the U.S. Postal Service declared bankruptcy last year; it did not. We also cannot support and have removed a statement that Ruth Goldway traveled primarily to attend conferences on international postal regulation.