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Congress Members Letter to PMG 2-13-2012

Congress Members Letter to PMG 2-13-2012

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Published by PostalReporter.com

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Published by: PostalReporter.com on Feb 17, 2012
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02/17/2012

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February13,2012Patrick
R.
Donahoe,PostmasterGeneralUnitedStatesPostalService475L'EnfantPlaza,SWWashington,DC20260-0010DearMr.Donahoe:WeunderstandthattheUnitedStatesPostalService(USPS)isfacingacutefinancialdifficulties,andasaresult,hasmadethedecisiontobegintheprocessofclosingthousandsofpostalfacilities.WeshareyourconcernaboutthesolvencyoftheUSPSanditsfutureasournation'spostalservice.Recentlyhowever,thePostalRegulatoryCommission(PRC)reviewedthePostalService'sRetailAccessOptimizationInitiative(RAOI),whichisbeingusedasthebasisforthepossibleclosureofmorethan3,600postofficesandotherretailfacilities,andfoundseriousflawswiththeanalysisthatcallintoquestiontheUSPS'scurrentconsolidationsplans.WesharetheconcernsofthePRC,andaskforyoutoplaceamoratoriumontheUSPS'scurrentdiscontinuancestudiesuntiltheUSPSresolvesthenumerousproblemsthePRCidentifiedintheRAIO.Theseinclude:IncompletedataforallPostOffices,branchesandstations.Currently,theUSPSdoesnothaveinclusivedataforeveryindividualoffice,branchorstation,whichmakesitimpossibletoaccuratelycalculatecostsavingsfromproposedclosures.InaccuraterepresentationsofusageandrevenuesforallPostOffices,branchesandstations.Forexample,revenuemeasurementsdonotincludetransactionssuchaspostofficeboxvisits,exceptionaldispatchforlocalperiodicals,oralternaterevenuetransactionssuchasbusinessmailorreturns.Estimatesofthedistancebetweenpostalfacilitiesthatareundergoingadiscontinuancestudyandothersnearbythatwouldberequiredtoabsorbtheconsumerbaseusegeographicaldistanceratherthanactualdrivingdistance.Whilethediscontinuancestudymayaddressthisissue,theRAOIneedstoprovidethisinformationatapreliminarystagesoaccurateassessmentscanbeusedtoinformWhichPostOffices,branchesorstationareeligibleforadiscontinuancestudy.ThelowworkloadandrevenuescreenincludedintheRAOIdisproportionatelytargetsruralpostofficesfordiscontinuancestudies.Targetingruralpostofficesfordiscontinuancestudiesclearlyviolates39U.S.C.101(b),whichmaintainsthattheUSPSisrequiredtoprovideeffectiveandregularpostalservicetoruralcommunities.
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WestronglyurgeyoutorectifytheseissueswithintheRAOIbeforeproceedingwithanydiscontinuancestudiesorclosures.TheclosureofPostOffices,stations,andbrancheswillundoubtedlyaffectcommunitiesandleadtothelossofmiddleclassjobs.Weremaindedicatedtoprotectingournation'spostalserviceandensuringthatallcommunitiesareadequatelyservedbytheUSPS.Sincerely.
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