As expected, Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., has formally asked Postal Regulatory Commission Chairman Ruth Goldway to explain all official travel since she assumed the position 2-1/2 years ago.
In a letter to Goldway sent today, Carper sought a detailed itinerary and justification for each official trip she’s taken–along with similar information for her two most recent predecessors—by Feb. 20. Carper, who chairs a Senate subcommittee with jurisdiction over the U.S. Postal Service and the PRC, also requested details on the commission’s travel policy and any procedures in place to prevent wasteful or unneeded travel.
“Given the Postal Service’s ongoing financial challenges and the amount of work the commission has on its plate, a significant increase in official travel by you—or any member of the commission—raises questions,” Carper wrote.
The request follows Monday stories in Federal Times and The Washington Post that Goldway’s trip volume is up in comparison with her immediate predecessor, at a time when postal revenues—which fund the PRC’s $14.3 million budget—are down and the agency’s workload is increasing. Goldway, however, has described travel as a normal part of the job and said she is confident that Carper will find that all trips were fully justified.
This is not the first time the two have tangled. Carper was not happy last year with the length of time it took the commission to issue a legally required advisory opinion on the Postal Service’s bid to end most Saturday delivery. In today’s letter, however, Carper tells Goldway that he is “appreciative of the steps that you, your fellow commissioners, and your staff have taken to improve commission operations and to keep my staff and me informed of your work and the commission’s progress.”