Controversial USPS plan to slow mail criticized by postal regulator
The US Postal Service’s new 10-year strategic plan, which will slow mail delivery, came under heavy criticism from the regulatory council overseeing the agency on Tuesday, dealing a blow to controversial Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and validating Democratic criticism , although it does not necessarily stop there from moving forward.
DeJoy and the USPS leadership announced a new strategic plan in March, which proposed controversial measures such as reducing post office hours and extending service standards, which could result in as much as 30% first class mail now delivered within five days instead of three. days.
The plan was opposed by 21 state attorneys general and Democratic lawmakers – who called its measures “draconian” – but the USPS leadership insisted the changes are cost-cutting measures necessary to ensure the long-term financial health of the agency.
In an advisory opinion published on Tuesday, the Independent Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) rejected the argument, saying the plan’s directive to change service standards will not result in “a great improvement, if any, in the current financial situation of the postal service “.
The PRC said the USPS also “has not shown evidence” to show that the plan will not affect customer satisfaction, and the agency is not tailoring its plan sufficiently to address “the concerns or to the problems raised by its customers and stakeholders “.
The PRC guidelines are non-binding, so the USPS can still move forward with the plan despite the commission’s concerns.
The USPS has not yet responded to a request for comment on the notice.
“The Commission notes that the [Postal Service] is based on assumptions which may not be well founded and it may be unable to successfully implement where reliability and efficiency are required, ”the PRC wrote in its opinion.
5 billion. This is the estimated number of mail items that would be slowed down by plan changes to first class service standards, the Washington post calculated in March on the basis of reductions affecting 30% of first class mail items.
What we don’t know
The USPS has not indicated whether it will change the plan at all in light of the concerns of the PRC and those of Democratic lawmakers and attorneys general. The agency’s board of governors added three new members appointed by President Joe Biden since the plan’s public announcement, who have suggested they may try to force changes to the plan.
DeJoy and USPS Board of Governors Chairman Ron Bloom, a Democrat, have repeatedly defended the controversial 10-year plan, saying the cuts to service standards are justified in light of the financial woes of the agency. “Does it make a difference if it’s an extra day to get a letter?” Because something has to change, ”DeJoy said at a congressional hearing in February, before the plan was officially unveiled.
The controversy over the 10-year plan is the latest to hit DeJoy, a longtime GOP fundraiser and Trump ally who started as Postmaster General in June 2020. DeJoy had previously imposed other cutbacks measures. costs that caused widespread mail delays across the country last summer, making the Postmaster General a prime Democratic target and leading to accusations the Postmaster General intentionally slowed down mail ahead of the November election. (DeJoy has repeatedly denied the allegations.) These controversial changes were ultimately reversed after being overturned in multiple court challenges, and the Postal Service’s performance has more recently returned to its pre-entry performance levels. DeJoy’s function after a year of delay.
Louis DeJoy unveils major changes to postal service that could slow mail delivery (Forbes)
Democrats slam DeJoy’s ‘draconian’ and ‘free’ postal service plan to slow mail (Forbes)
DeJoy’s USPS slowdown plan will delay mail. What does this mean for your postal code? (Washington Post)
What’s in Louis DeJoy’s 10-year plan for the USPS (Washington Post)
‘Getting used to me’: Louis DeJoy says he has no plans to quit the postal service (Forbes)