Chastizing the Postal Regulatory Commission for taking 12 months to issue an opinion on ending Saturday delivery, Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE) is asking the panel to work faster on other proposals to streamline the U.S. Postal Service.
"At a time when the Postal Service is reporting losses of$25 million a day and is doing all it can to head off financial collapse, there is a clear need for postal management to take a number of steps to streamline operations and adjust the Postal Service's network and product offerings to reflect the changing demand for hard-copy mail," Carper wrote in a letter dated yesterday.
Carper, co-sponsor of the Senate's main postal-reform legislation, said the PRC's advisory opinions "have been of great value to the Postal Service, Congress, and postal customers." But he expressed concern about the "lengthy, courtroom-style process" the commission has used in developing such reports.
The PRC's split decision on five-day delivery "suffered from a lack of focus on the key issues that I believe needed examination during the debate about moving to five-day service," Carper wrote. He recommended that the panel set time limits on its consideration of USPS's proposed changes to service levels.
A drawn-out process for considering such changes would "run the risk that the Postal Service could be forced to act on its proposal before the Commission has had a chance to share its thoughts and findings," Carper wrote. That could result in USPS making "serious mistakes in implementing a service change that might have been avoided had postal managers had the benefit of the Commission's counsel."