CCAGW Makes Recommendations for USPS Ahead of Oversight Hearing | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CCAGW Makes Recommendations for USPS Ahead of Oversight Hearing

Letters to Officials

May 11, 2023

 

Chairman James Comer
Ranking Member Jamie Raskin
House Oversight and Accountability Committee
Chairman Pete Sessions
Ranking Member Kweisi Mfume
Government Operations and the Federal Workforce Subcommittee
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Chairman Comer, Ranking Member Raskin, Chairman Sessions, and Ranking Member Mfume,

            On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I would like to share our views on how the United States Postal Service (USPS) can continue to improve service and reduce costs ahead of your May 17, 2023, oversight hearing.  CCAGW has long been concerned about the financial condition of the USPS, whose business model has been called “unsustainable,” one of several reasons why it has been on the Government Accountability Office’s High-Risk List since 2002.

              In the 117th Congress, CCAGW supported and was glad to see Congress pass and President Biden sign into law the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022, which codified the mission, helped to stabilize the finances, and improved transparency and accountability at the USPS.  But more can and should be done by USPS, including reducing labor costs and closing unnecessary facilities.  Postmaster General DeJoy’s 10-year plan, including $34 billion for “self-help” cost reductions, is intended to move the USPS in the right direction.  But two years into the implementation of this plan, there are several issues that need greater attention.

            Labor costs, which constitute 75 percent of USPS expenses, rose by 6.5 percent from fiscal year 2021 to fiscal year 2022.  Productivity is declining and is at the lowest level in eight years.  While the USPS has stated that paying too much overtime was a reason for the conversion of 125,000 employees from temporary to full-time since October 2020, overtime is a fraction of overall costs. Increasing full-time employees makes it much more difficult to adjust to changing market conditions, since it is far more difficult to terminate them.  And this massive conversion occurred when the Postal Regulatory Commission has determined that efficiency and service performance was higher in 2012 than it is today.  

            Despite numerous reports of excess facilities at the USPS, there are not only no plans to close facilities but also billions of dollars being spent to expand current facilities or build new facilities.  These costs will be passed on to customers and make it much harder for the USPS to keep its finances afloat.

            CCAGW appreciates your leadership on postal reform, and urges you to ask at the hearing what more USPS can do to reduce labor costs, close excess facilities, increase efficiency, and lower expenses.

Sincerely,
Tom Schatz 
President, CCAGW 

cc: Government Operations and the Federal Workforce Subcommittee members

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