GAO Says USPS Must Comply with Six-Day Provision

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Patrick Donahoe, Postmaster General and CEO of the USPS
Patrick Donahoe, Postmaster General and CEO of the USPS

In a letter addressed to Congressman Gerald E. Connolly, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) deemed Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe's claim that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) isn't obliged to comply with the six-day delivery provision as a “faulty USPS premise.” Through this interpretation, the USPS is legally compelled to “continue six-day delivery and rural delivery of mail at not less than the 1983 level.” In effect, this means the GAO rejects that the USPS can reduce mail delivery service to five days.

“The GAO legal opinion clearly rejects the Postal Service's attempt to circumvent the law,” Connolly said in a press release.

The USPS's five-day delivery plan was an element of an operational overhaul of cuts, designed to save roughly $9 billion annually. Cutting mail service to five days (while maintaining six-day parcel delivery) was estimated to save the USPS $1.9 billion annually. At the National Postal Forum (NPF) in San Francisco, USPS CFO Joseph Corbett was confident that all of the agency's proposed operational changes, with the exception of the five-day delivery plan, could be legally enacted.

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