Committee Wants Update on Postal Regulatory Commission Travel Spending

Tom Coburn, R-Okla., is one of two Senators who made the request in a letter to PRC Chairwoman Ruth Goldway. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., is one of two Senators who made the request in a letter to PRC Chairwoman Ruth Goldway. Lawrence Jackson/AP file photo

Leaders of a Senate oversight committee are requesting follow-up information on travel expenditures at the Postal Regulatory Commission.

Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., the chairman and ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, made the request in a letter to PRC Chairwoman Ruth Goldway. The chairwoman came under fire last year after an investigation revealed she had spent more than $70,000 on travel since taking the position in August 2009.

“The Postal Service lost nearly $16 billion and recently reached its $15 billion borrowing limit with Treasury,” Carper and Coburn wrote in the letter. “Difficult financial times such as these demand both innovative solutions and leadership by example.”

The senators asked that Goldway provide their committee with details on what changes to travel policy PRC has made, as well as a list of all trips made in calendar years 2012 and 2013. They also asked for costs -- or estimated costs for future trips -- of all business travel.

Carper and Coburn demanded information on who was travelling and documentation to prove PRC considered alternative options besides taking the trip. They also asked Goldway to explain how each trip led to “improvements of the Commission’s work, the United States Postal Service or fulfilled a statutory requirement.”

Finally, the committee leaders asked for a list of any conferences for which the Commission provided sponsorship funding in the last five years.

PRC provided lawmakers with detailed travel information following last year’s inquiry. At the time Goldway said the travel was “in support of statutory obligations, performed in a cost-efficient manner and benefits the commission, the Postal Service and the mailing public.”

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