Tester responds to report on Postal Service’s delivery performance

GAO report underscores what Senator is hearing from Montanans

(Fort Belknap Agency, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester today responded to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that found the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is reporting incomplete data about its mail delivery times.

Tester, a senior member of the Senate committee that oversees the Postal Service, requested the report to examine whether the USPS is meeting its service standards in rural states like Montana. USPS measures delivery performance against delivery service standards in order to ensure it is providing timely delivery to its customers.

According to the GAO report, the USPS is failing to measure almost half of its mail for on-time delivery performance. Additionally, the Congressional watchdog’s report found that locations not being measured-mostly rural areas such as Montana-lack basic equipment, such as barcodes and scanners, which are needed to make accurate measurements.
“Montanans tell me that there are serious delays in mail delivery, and yet time and time again the USPS tells me they’re doing great,” Tester said. “We clearly need better data that reflects what’s actually happening on the ground. This report confirms what many of us in rural America have been experiencing for years.”

In an effort to reduce costs, the USPS has closed or consolidated 141 mail processing facilities since 2012, including six in Montana. The new updated services standards have shifted mail volume away from overnight delivery and have replaced it with two-to-three day delivery.

In May, Senator Tester wrote a letter to the Chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission expressing his concerns about the timeliness and accuracy of USPS reports following processing plant closures and consolidations across the country.

The GAO report, titled: “Actions Needed to Make Delivery Performance Information More Complete, Useful and Transparent” can be read online here.