TPA Sends Letter to Senators Urging Restoration of Leadership to the USPS Board of GovernorsMichi Iljazi on May 24, 2017
The following letter was sent to Senators Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) on May 24, 2017.
Dear Senator McCaskill and Senator Johnson,
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is one of our nation’s oldest and largest government entities. For decades, consumers have relied upon the stability and function of the USPS to aid them in their everyday lives. However, over the last several years this has changed and the USPS has deteriorated through its escalating financial losses, failing performance standards, and lack of leadership within the Board of Governors. As a national taxpayer advocate representing hundreds of thousands of taxpayers, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) write this letter to urge you to continue to help advance solutions, beginning with an urgent need to restore leadership to the Board of Governors to aid in the proper functioning of the U.S. Postal Service.
Over the last decade, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has ended each year with a multi-billion dollar loss. Most recently, the second quarter financial report for 2017 showed a net loss of $562 million, and this number is only growing. The USPS is also failing consumers in baseline delivery performance standards across the nation. There are numerous issues to address, but at the root of each of these is the core problem – the vacancies that exists among the Board of Governors.
The current Board of Governors has only two seats occupied – the Postmaster General and the Deputy Postmaster General. Nine seats remain empty, and there have been far too few attempts at filling these positions. Accountability is at stake here, and by the look of the financial figures over the last several years; the USPS is well overdue for help. The purpose of the Board of Governors is to direct the exercise of the powers of the USPS, control its expenditures, review its practices, conduct planning, approve officer compensation, and set policies on all postal matters. Knowing this, it is no coincidence that the current postal service is failing in nearly all of these areas.
The United States Congress cannot ignore the problem and must work toward finding a solution. Appointments must be made to the board to ensure that they are able to assemble a quorum and get to work on the issues that are plaguing the agency today. Congress must invest in assisting the USPS through these turbulent times. In 2006, Congress passed the Postal Accountability Enhancement Act to bring reform to the USPS, specifically regarding the qualifications of the Board of Governors. Today, that action is all for naught as the board currently sits vacant with no one to lead it in the right direction and hold the Postmaster General accountable.
If there is no leadership at the helm of the USPS, where will it go? Congress cannot stand by while the USPS continues on this downward spiral. Financial losses are growing, performance standards are declining, and nothing is being done. Without a present and strategically appointed Board of Governors, these issues will continue to fall into the lap of others.
TPA urges your support in demanding that quorum be restored to the board. The current Postmaster General and Deputy Postmaster General are assuredly in over their head with matters to resolve, and your Committee must call for making appointments that meet the government mandated criteria.
Congress needs to protect taxpayers and secure a sustainable USPS. The clock is running out on the USPS and the Board of Governors must be restored immediately.
David Williams, President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance