Thursday, October 08, 2015

Watchdog study requested by rural lawmakers says USPS tracking system completely unreliable

The U.S. Postal Service's "tracking system for measuring on-time delivery is so unreliable that there’s no way to know how late the mail really is," said a report by the Government Accountability Office, Lisa Rein reports for The Washington Post. "Just 55 percent of the mail is even measured by postal officials, auditors found, making it unlikely that the agency is meeting its legal obligation to provide quality service to every corner of the United States."

The Postal Service was also criticized "for failing to provide the public with data on whether they are meeting delivery standards for rural addresses compared to urban or suburban ones," Rein writes. "Lawmakers representing rural states, who requested the GAO study, say spotty mail service is now the new normal across their districts, with cross-country and local delivery delayed by several days."

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), the top Democrat on the Senate committee that oversees the Postal Service, was one of the lawmakers who requested the study, Rein writes. He told her, “Service across the country, particularly in rural communities, is suffering. Unfortunately, the Government Accountability Office found the delivery performance results that the Postal Service and Postal Regulatory Commission provide do not give Congress or postal customers an accurate assessment of service.”

Rein writes, "Auditors found that almost half of the mail is not included in the post office’s system of assessing delivery times because it does not have barcodes and other information that can be tracked, on when mail arrived at the local post office, for example. There is no minimum that needs to be included."

The Postal Service said in a statement that it “strongly disagrees with the conclusion that our current service performance measurement is not accurate,” Rein writes. The agency states, “The Postal Service is strongly committed to transparency and the regular publication of our service performance results, including those in rural areas through a rural service measurement initiative. We continue to work with the Congress and our regulator to develop enhanced methods for evaluating delivery performance that are already robust and accurate.” (Read more)

No comments: