Latest postal reform bill would lose money, CBO says

Elaine Thompson/AP

An estimate of the latest U.S. Postal Service reform bill to be introduced into the Senate finds that the plan would create a net government loss of $6.3 billion over 10 years.

The Congressional Budget Office released the assessment of the 21st Century Postal Service Act on Jan. 26, as ordered by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. CBO obtained the loss number by calculating that the bill would result in off-budget savings of $25.6 billion through 2022 and on-budget costs of $31.9 billion during the same time period.

Committee chairman Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., introduced the legislation to the Senate on Nov. 2, 2011. The act, among other provisions, would transfer more than $11 billion from the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund to the Postal Service Fund to help process the large number of USPS employees set to retire in the next few years, a move that CBO warned “would lead the agency to alter its cost-reduction program by cutting spending less aggressively than it otherwise would and thus increase other expenses relative to current law.”

The legislation also would offer employees additional credit for retirement incentives based on years of service and allow USPS to reduce mail delivery to five days a week within two years of the bill’s enactment, pending an evaluation by the Government Accountability Office and approval by the Postal Regulatory Commission.

USPS objected to the bill’s current wording, arguing that it would provide the agency with only two to three years’ worth of funding for operations.

“The bill as currently drafted does not provide the Postal Service with the speed and flexibility it needs to achieve the $20 billion in cost reductions,” Postal Service spokesman David Partenheimer wrote to Government Executive, adding the agency itself seeks authority “to move to five day delivery in January 2013, make needed retail and mail processing network changes without unduly restrictive administrative burdens, and be allowed to operate its own health care plan.“

Partenheimer noted, however, that the Postal Service does support some of the provisions in the legislation, including a requirement that the Office of Personnel Management must return a Federal Employees Retirement System surplus to the agency every year one is calculated.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.