Speculation about widespread layoffs if the Postal Service ends Saturday letter delivery is unfounded, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in his State of the Postal Service address April 3. He also dismissed the notion that if the Postal Service switches to 5 day delivery, 4 day delivery would follow, then 3 day and so on.
The Postal Service lost $15.9 billion in fiscal 2012. Most of that was due to the Retiree Health Benefits Fund, which the Postal Service is required by law to pre-fund, but it still would not have been profitable without that obligation--its operating losses were $2.4 billion in 2012.
The Postal Service has the authority to adopt its proposed new delivery schedule even if the next continuing resolution doesn't provide specific language allowing it, says Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Information the Postal Service collects to develop new rates, estimate stamp use and help prepare its budget is unreliable because of continued noncompliance with prescribed policies and procedures, says the service's inspector general.
Congress ultimately has the authority to allow or deny a 5-day letter delivery schedule for the Postal Service, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe's acknowledged during a Feb. 13 Senate hearing . "Please do not force us back into a 6 day window," Donahoe pleaded with the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.
The Postal Service ended the first quarter of fiscal 2013 with a $1.3 billion loss and its Board of Governors called for the service to accelerate proposed cost cutting measures. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said the service will aggressively pursue cost cutting measures including a planned 5-day delivery schedule for mail, which he expects will save $2 billion annually.
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says the Postal Service does not need Congressional approval to discontinue Saturday mail delivery and the 5-day delivery schedule will start in August 2013. Donahoe says package delivery services will stay on a 6-day schedule and post offices will remain open on Saturdays.
The Postal Service would be better poised for a long-term sustainable financial future if it increases revenue through improving logistical support for international small business commerce and cuts expenses by going green, say the service and its inspector general. It saved more than $52 million in 2012 through reduced consumption of energy, water, fuel and other resources.
The Postal Service will undertake cost saving measures and service changes in 2013 to increase available revenue, says Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.In his State of the Postal Service presentation, Donahoe said on Jan. 24 the service remains "in a very tenuous position as far as cash on hand" because Congress has not passed legislation to aid the Postal Service.
Federal agencies prefer private sector competitors to the Postal Service, sending the USPS only 2 percent of their General Services Administration shipping schedule-based business, says the service's office of inspector general. One major challenge for the Postal Service is its high price and limited offering of 2-day and 3-day guaranteed express delivery products.