1 Man on USPS Board, Exigency Extension Looms
USPS “continues to twist in the wind” because Congress let the board of governors dwindle down to one appointed member without acting on any nominees, says Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) In the meantime, Carper’s introduced a bill to make a temporary 4.3 percent postal rate increase permanent.
The board’s job is to control USPS spending, review its practices, make long-term plans and set postal policies. Yet during the past year, the board lacked a quorum and acted to maintain “continuity of operations” with three appointed members. Two of those BOG members finished their terms on Tuesday, reports GovExec.com.
“The role of the governors in ensuring the postal service’s ability to effectively achieve its statutory responsibilities is simply too important for there to be only a single governor in office,” reads a USPS statement USPS Media Relations Manager Dave Partenheimer sent to Target Marketing on Wednesday.
Carper’s bill aimed at aiding the USPS bottom line relates to the last order of business the board considered before it lost its quorum in December 2014 — the annual report.
The senator says USPS finances are still hurting, so the postal service needs the exigent rate increase to stay. He also wants a reconstituted board to oversee postal business.
“Congress must act now to restore appropriate oversight to this vital $70 billion government-backed corporation and to enact reforms that will restore service and faith in this 200-year-old institution,” Carper says. “This is particularly pressing as we enter the winter holidays where shipping and mail volume are expected to increase exponentially.”
USPS expects to deliver 15.5 billion cards, letters, flats and packages during the holidays and keep post offices open on Christmas and New Year’s eves.
As for the board, all three of its remaining appointed members’ terms ended on Tuesday. Now one appointee, Chairman James Bilbray, is part of the Temporary Emergency Committee — which was only meant to last until the Senate confirmed nominees already before them for consideration. Without confirmations, the normally 11-member board is being held together by Bilbray, the Postmaster and her deputy.
“[Bilbray’s] official term ended yesterday and he is now in what is known as a ‘hold-over’ year, where he services until Dec. of 2016,” Partenheimer says.
What do marketers think of this?
Please respond in the comments section below.
Related story: USPS to be Left ‘Twisting in the Wind’ in 2015?