Chairs Maloney and Connolly Issue Statement on New IG Report Confirming Postmaster General’s Changes Caused Major Delays Across the Country
Washington, D.C. (Oct. 20, 2020)—Today, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee of Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, issued the following statements in response a new report from the Postal Service Inspector General on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s disastrous operational changes:
“Today’s report confirms that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s sweeping changes—which were hastily implemented without analyzing their potential impact—caused serious delays across the country,” said Chairwoman Maloney. “I’m particularly concerned with the IG finding that the Postmaster General was aware of the reduction and elimination of overtime—despite his testimony before our Committee that this was not taking place. The IG found that the Postal Service was not fully forthcoming with Congress and the American people, calling into question whether the Postmaster General is continuing to mislead Congress and the American people to this day.”
“Louis DeJoy and the Postal Service Board of Governors took no steps to understand how their operational changes would affect Postal Service customers who rely on delivery of their prescription medications, vital food products, medical devices, or paychecks—all in the midst of a pandemic,” said Chairman Connolly. “The delays hurt families and added unneeded stress. Mr. DeJoy fancies himself a king of private sector industry, but any CEO who failed to engage his customers would be fired. The Board of Governors needs to do its job and remove him.”
According to the new report from the Inspector General:
- The Postal Service “did not complete a study or analysis of the impact the changes would make on mail prior to implementation.”
- “In June and July 2020, Postal Service operations executives initiated various significant cost reduction strategies on top of three initiatives the Postmaster General launched to achieve financial targets. No analysis of the service impacts of these various changes was conducted and documentation and guidance to the field for these strategies was very limited and almost exclusively oral. The resulting confusion and inconsistency in operations at postal facilities compounded the significant negative service impacts across the country.”
- “The collective results of these initiatives, combined with the ongoing employee availability challenges resulting from the pandemic, negatively impacted the quality and timeliness of mail delivery nationally. The Postal Service’s mail service performance significantly dropped beginning in July 2020, directly corresponding to implementation of the operational changes and initiatives.”
- “Although information provided by the Postal Service was generally accurate, the responses to Congress and the public on the extent and impacts of the operational changes was incomplete.”
- The Postal Regulatory Committee’s authority “does not provide a robust enough check on Postal Service actions.”
- In addition to other changes, “Postal Service operations executives outlined 57 initiatives to achieve FY 2021 financial targets and reduce workhours. … They included eliminating pre-tour overtime in city delivery operations, elimination of certain mail processing operations on Saturday, and alignment of clerk workhours to workload.”
Since July, the Committee has been working to hold the Postmaster General accountable for operational changes that caused massive, ongoing delays to the delivery of mail, medicines, and mail-in ballots.
On August 24, 2020, the Committee held a hearing with the Postmaster General and Chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors, at which they failed to provide adequate answers as to why these changes were made without any consultation or analysis.
As a result, on September 2, 2020, the Committee issued a subpoena to Postmaster General DeJoy for documents related to the delays. The Committee is currently negotiating with the Postal Service over production of additional documents and the investigation is ongoing.