GAO: Postal Reform Is 'Urgently Needed'

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The General Accounting Office agrees with Senate Governmental Affairs Committee chairwoman Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME, that sweeping postal reform is needed, the GAO said in a letter to Collins yesterday.


The committee, which has jurisdiction over the U.S. Postal Service, has been holding hearings on postal reform. Collins and committee member Sen. Tom Carper, D-DE, plan to introduce bipartisan reform legislation later this year.


"Comprehensive postal reform is urgently needed," GAO comptroller general David Walker said in the letter. "The ability of the service to remain financially viable is at risk because its current business model, which relies on mail volume growth to cover the costs of its expanding delivery network, is not well-aligned with 21st-century realities."


Incremental reform will not work, Walker said. He recommended reform of the postal service's overall statutory framework, plus resolution of pension and retiree health benefits issues and whether a continued need exists for an escrow account.


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