North Dakota lawmaker calls for mail delivery study

Although service standards have reportedly improved within the last year for the U.S. Postal Service, two lawmakers contend that such reports do not align with the feedback received from their constituents and are requesting a nationwide investigation into whether mail delivery data actually reflects customers’ experiences.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) wrote a joint letter with Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) to Comptroller General Gene L. Dodaro noted the 2016 improvements in standards reported by USPS, but also requested that the Government Accountability Office investigate how USPS holds its employees accountable for accurately scanning the mail in the delivery system and if there are data practices resulting in inaccuracies.

 “We would ordinarily be heartened to see improvements in service, but these reported improvements often do not align with the feedback from our constituents or the reported confusion about how long it takes to send mail from point A to point B.”

According to the pair, complaints about the amount of time it takes to receive mail as well as the pickup times not being accurate have been an ongoing problem among their own rural constituents.

Responding to a history of delivery complaints, Heitkamp had created a survey, “Fix My Mail,” as well as in-person meetings to determine the extent of the mail delivery problem.

To date, nearly 630 of her constituents have responded and the results revealed major challenges for residents throughout the state – from medications and tax information lost or delayed in the mail, to batches of checks taking 10-20 days to travel 180 miles across the state.

“Over the past few years, rural America has faced increased delivery times, reduced service standards, and a distressed Postal Service workforce,” Heitkamp said in a statement.

She noted a list of ways for improvement which can be viewed here.


Reader comments

Sat, May 27, 2017

This is also what happens when you have contract people working for the USPS as opposed to federal employees. Some of the people I have seen delivering the mail lately looks like the everyday drug user, dressed is shorts and t-shirts.

Wed, May 17, 2017

This is a case of making statistical data say what you want. The Postal Service closes several service centers and the delivery points increase what happens is a large delay in service and delivery. Then the people in HQ get their data and manipulate that data to make it look like service is increasing because they make a rather large mistake.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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