How Exactly Will Ending Saturday Mail Delivery Save Money?

On Jan. 31, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., sent a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe On Jan. 31, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., sent a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe Jose Luis Magana/AP

Two lawmakers have condemned the U.S. Postal Service for failing to respond to a request for more details on a schedule change that would end Saturday mail delivery. USPS said it has already provided adequate information.

On Jan. 31, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., sent a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and the Postal Regulatory Commission to request a specific breakdown of savings from a proposal to reduce letter delivery to five days per week. In announcing the change, Donahoe said the service cut would save USPS $2 billion annually.

“Eliminating six-day delivery would impact families, small businesses and seniors in communities around the country -- it’s not responsible to move forward with this drastic plan without knowing if it would even make a substantial difference in dollars saved,” McCaskill said in a statement. “The Postal Service has the data we need, and it’s time for officials there to stop dragging their feet.”

McCaskill and Connolly received a response from PRC, which estimated the net savings to be about $1.7 billion, but the Chairwoman Ruth Goldway said the commission lacked necessary information from the Postal Service to make the most accurate assessment possible.

Goldway said the Postal Service has not accounted for the shifting of processing, transportation and delivery of mail from Saturday to Monday, which “called into question Postal Service expectations that existing Monday operations could successfully absorb the additional volume.”

Connolly suggested Congress will block the new schedule if lawmakers do not receive more information. 

“The Postal Service has failed to deliver in responding to congressional requests in a timely and responsive manner,” he said in his statement. “The postmaster general demands that Congress quickly rubberstamp the elimination of Saturday mail delivery -- yet refuses to explain how cost-savings were calculated -- apparently expecting members to evaluate his policy proposal from press materials alone.”

A USPS spokesman rejected the lawmakers’ criticism, saying agency attorneys have met with Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Appropriations Committees, as well as relevant House committees, and provided its legal brief to the committees’ chairs and ranking members. He added the Government Accountability Office plans to release a cost savings analysis of the proposed schedule change. 

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:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

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