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Search Tags: Ruth Goldway
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says a Senate bill aiming to overhaul the Postal Service's financial structure by providing the agency more flexibility to price its products is a good first step. Donahoe has been calling on Congress to approve comprehensive postal reform for much of the last two years. In that time, the cash-strapped agency has posted losses of $20 billion and defaulted on more than $11 billion in payments to prefund retiree health care costs. USPS is set to default on a $5.6 billion payment due Sept. 30 payment, Donahoe said.
The cash-strapped Postal Service has proposed a number of service and delivery changes to right its financial ship and says it needs more timely decisions from the commission to implement them. The commission has been criticized in the past for taking too long to issue its opinions. Of the five major cases brought before the commission since 2006, three took more than eight months to complete and one took nearly a year, according to PRC.
The Postal Regulatory Commission has criticized the Postal Service's proposal to consider closing more than 3,600 post offices as part of its plan to avoid a projected $14 billion loss this year. The plan is causing anxiety in communities that depend on their post offices and it would not save that much money, PRC Chairman Ruth Goldway told Federal News Radio. The commission will be watching the agency's cash flow closely in the coming months.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said he wants to give the struggling Postal Service more flexibility to act like a private business, including the ability to force retirement-eligible employees to step down. Meanwhile, the Postal Regulatory Commission worries the Postal Service is losing sight of its public mission.
The Postal Service is reeling from the decision by the Postal Rate Commission not to increase the price to mail a letter. USPS was hoping to use the rate hike to help close the $7 billion deficit it faces this year. The service continues to face reduced volume, more people using the Internet and legal barriers to changing key parts of its business mode.