USPS to move ahead with restructuring efforts

USPS lost close to $16 billion in fiscal 2012, having defaulted on some $11 billion worth of required prepayments for future retiree healthcare. The agency has also seen a marked drop in first-class mail volume since 2006. 

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A spokesman for the Postal Service said the agency’s leadership was in the process of updating the five-year plan, and would release the revised blueprint after discussing it with employees. 

USPS said the original plan would add up to about $20 billion a year in savings, though about half of the proposed changes in the roadmap – including a switch to five-day delivery – require congressional approval.

The Postal Service has also already altered its plans to consolidate mail processing centers, and to reduce costs at local post offices. 

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), the incoming chairman at the Homeland Security Committee and a key lawmaker on postal issues, said in a statement that it wasn’t surprising that postal leadership was moving forward on measures to cut costs. 

“Unfortunately, the reality is that these piecemeal efforts undertaken by the Postal Service are likely not enough on their own to fundamentally fix the Postal Service's serious financial problems,” Carper said. “Only comprehensive reform of the Postal Service that takes into account its long-term needs can address the severe financial problems that continue to plague this American institution.”

Carper and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, have pledged to work together on postal reform this Congress, but have not laid out a timetable for getting a reform plan enacted.