Carper Reacts to GAO Report on USPS Efforts to Consolidate Mail Processing Facilities

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the subcommittee that oversees the U.S. Postal Service, released the following statement reacting to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on overcapacity at the U.S. Postal Service and efforts to consolidate its mail processing network. The report was jointly requested by Sen. Carper, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).

“Today’s report confirmed much of what we already knew – that the U.S. Postal Service has gone to great lengths to reduce the number of mail processing centers it maintains in order to adjust its operations to reflect the changing demand for the products and services it offers. To date, the Postal Service has consolidated dozens of facilities, particularly Airport Mail Centers, saving billions of dollars annually. Yet despite these efforts, the Postal Service still maintains far more processing capacity than it needs to meet current demand in a cost effective manner. Many in Congress strongly believe that the Postal Service’s most recent proposal to close more than 200 additional mail processing facilities is the wrong approach. At the same time, the Postal Service is losing billions of dollars annually and mail volume is continuing to decline. I’ve long maintained that if something is worth having, it is worth paying for. If Congress wants to require the Postal Service to maintain additional mail processing facilities, we have to figure out a way to reduce costs elsewhere or raise revenues.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to address the financial challenges facing the Postal Service – including the question of how many mail processing facilities should be maintained – when the Senate considers the comprehensive, bipartisan postal reform legislation that I have co-authored along with Sens. Lieberman, Collins and Scott Brown. As I’ve said time and again, the Postal Service’s financial crisis is dire, but it’s not hopeless. We can solve this problem if we work together to provide the Postal Service with the flexibility and resources it needs to survive in the 21st Century.”

To read the GAO report, please visit: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-470.