IG: Postal Service usually had valid business case for past mail plant mergers


You can’t call this a game-changer, but the U.S. Postal Service’s inspector general is offering some indirect support for the mail carrier’s plans to close more than half of its mail processing plants.

In a newly released round-up, the IG’s office pulled together audits of 32 previous area mail processing consolidations and found that 31 had a valid business case. Those business cases “were supported by adequate capacity, increased efficiency, reduced work hours and mail processing costs, and improved service standards,” the roundup says. The IG’s office did note, however, that four of the 31 consolidations were poorly executed and recommended that the Postal Service improve communications with stakeholders.

For USPS executives, the findings nonetheless offer evidence that they know what they’re doing in pushing to close up to 252 of about 461 remaining processing facilities. That plan, which would erase some 28,000 jobs, has sparked a torrent of opposition from postal workers and politicians. Last week, Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, became one of the latest members of Congress to go on record against the proposed downsizing.

“This plan has profoundly negative implications for timely and reliable mail service in northern, western and eastern Maine, a geographically vast and rural area of our state,” Snowe said in a news release after visiting an eastern Maine processing and distribution facility that employs 183 people and is slated for consolidation with another plant.

According to Snowe, the consolidation is supposed to save $7.6 million. But in the release, she declared herself “unpersuaded.” She is convinced, however, that it would “disproportionately slow down mail delivery to rural areas of Maine.”

Sentiments like that prompted the Postal Service last month to freeze closings of all processing plants and post offices until mid-May, although studies will proceed. As part of the downsizing, the mail carrier is also pursuing a change in service standards that will drop overnight delivery of some first-class mail.



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  1. So the U.S. Postal Service’s inspector general is saying this is justified. Do they have a mountain in Kansas or the Brooklyn bridge for sale as well?

  2. Well,the U.S.Postal Service could also plan to close the Inspector General ‘s office,too.since this office is of no real value to the overall efficiency in productivity to postal business.
    they are just another group of bureaucrats .

  3. Both the IG review as well as the origination of this ‘business plan’ are myopic. Increasing postage costs for overnight service from .44 cents to appx $18.00 (First Class rate to Express rate) will hasten the complete failure of the establishment. The service is already slowly being eroded by poor staffing decisions at retail windows. Cut, cut decisions must be offset by revenue generating plans.

  4. Go figure, the IG is an internal part of the USPS. They will agree with the postal service when all in reality the numbers are fudged.

  5. Once you gut service, this plan works………then your irrelevant. The American People are truly going to miss the Postal Service and Every Congressman and Senator is to blame.

  6. Change is going to happen regardless. The buggy whip went out with the automobile. The unions better start figuring that out and get on with it. The service will survive, but without change it will possibly become a low wage, no benefit job with predictable results.

  7. Have they ever tried to close nearly 60% of all facilities in the previous 32 instances? Seems like we would have one facility left if that was case. Obviously change is needed, but couldn’t it be implemented over a 5 year period, 50 per year with an option to leave a facility open if the need was truly there? 7.6 million is a lot of money, but if you’re in debt 8 BILLION dollars, isn’t that like throwing a deck chair off the Queen Mary to lessen the weight to conserve fuel?

  8. For over 35 years, I have worked for the U.S. Postal Service—not the U.S. Postal Company. Eliminating some 3600 post offices, mostly rural, will save the USPS less than seven tenths of one percent of its operating budget, but in terms of service to the elderly, Native Americans, and to already impoverished communities located in these areas with few other options available to them, the cost in human terms would far outweigh the financial savings.

    The USPS shouldn’t be evaluated on a strictly financial basis and we should at least explore ways to cut costs without sacrificing service. It can be done and it is the right thing to do.

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