The U.S. Postal Service is controversialthe mail delivery, which began October 1, sparked a rejection from 20 attorneys general. On Thursday, state officials – from California to New York – sued the Post Regulatory Commission, alleging that federal regulators did not fully review the far-reaching plan before the USPS proceeded with it.
The Post Regulatory Commission (PRC) is the independent federal authority overseeing the operation of the postal service. The lawsuit alleges that the PRC has only examined a small portion of a 10-year plan drawn up by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, which the lawsuit claims will “transform virtually every aspect of the postal service.”
The PRC said it has received the lawsuit and will create a file on the matter and consider it. It said its regulations prohibit further discussion of the issue.
The PRC added that the routing slip should be created within a few days. The public “can follow the public process by accessing the Commission’s document system at prc.gov,” the statement sent by email said.
The USPS stated in an email that the lawsuit “has no legal or actual value and the Postal Service intends to dismiss it under the rules of the Postal Regulatory Commission”. It added, “The Postal Service has and will continue to comply with all legal and regulatory requirements as we move forward in the implementation of our strategic plan to restore service quality and financial sustainability.”
DeJoythat his 10-year plan will “wipe out” billions of dollars in projected losses over the next decade by increasing revenue through expanded package delivery and postage increases – but his plan also includes slowing mail delivery. The USPS already increased postage costs in August and so first class mail now takes up to 5 days to reach everyone in the US, instead of the previous three days.
The changes represent a “radical” plan that “could destroy the punctual postal service that people rely on for medicines, billing and business transactions in rural parts of the state,” North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said in a statement on Thursday.
The prosecuting attorneys general represented: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Rhode Island, Washington and Washington, DC
Didn’t get a full review?
The complaint alleges that Postmaster General DeJoy is pushing the 10-year plan even though he has not received a full review. The USPS only received an appraisal from the PRC for some parts of the 10-year overhaul, the complaint said.
“So far, Swiss Post has only submitted two requests for an opinion [from the PRC]which represent only a small part of the scope of the plan “, it says in the application.
However, one of the issues examined by the PRC concerned the postal service’s plan to slow down mail delivery. The PRCthat will affect 4 out of 10 top-quality mail items such as letters, invoices and tax forms.
The USPS has argued that slower delivery standards will save money – a claim that the PRC has questioned. “I don’t think the Postal Service has proven its case for lowering the standards of service for all Americans,” wrote PRC Commissioner Ashley Poling in a July report.
Despite concerns from the PRC, the postal agency has continued its slower standards for mail delivery, which went into effect on October 1st. Other aspects of the plan have not been reviewed by the PRC and the public has not been given an opportunity to comment, the complaint states.
“With postal services still relying on historical levels, including among low-income, rural and elderly populations and at all levels of government, the decisions of the postal service have critical ramifications across the country,” the complaint said.
It added: “Now, more than ever, it is necessary for the Commission to carefully examine the full breadth of the sweeping changes to the postal service and allow the public to comment on them, as Congress intended.”