In a letter to every member of the Senate, Postmaster General John Potter said that “the Postal Service strongly opposes S.1457, the “Mail Delivery and Protection Act.” This bill would override current collective bargaining agreements and effectively eliminate an important tool needed by the Postal Service to continually introduce greater efficiencies into its operation. If enacted, with an exception of a very limited use, no new contracts for mail delivery could be initiated. The ability of the Postal Service to effectively manage its vast delivery operations would be largely eliminated, and new opportunities for small businesses to carry contracts for transporting and delivering mail would be eliminated. Currently 99 percent of our contract delivery services are performed by small, minority- or women-owned businesses. This use of private-sector services is not new. The Postal Service has used contractors to transport and deliver mai! since 1785, when Congress first authorized the Post Office Department to contract with stagecoach companies.
Also in the letter dated June 13, 2007 to Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), Postmaster General John E. Potter said:
By augmenting the services we provide directly with the services provided by others, we have been able to better manage costs, improve efficiency, and provide even more convenient access for our customers. Viewed within the totality of our business, contract delivery service represents the smallest portion of our outsourced activities–and less than 2 percent of our total deliveries.
Like the United States House of Representatives, which contracts for all of the internal delivery and collection of its mail, the Postal Service takes a number of steps in assessing contractors and subcontractors who are selected to provide mail delivery service.
As the numbers above demonstrate, career carriers continue to serve as the backbone of the delivery network of the Postal Service. However, given the new law requirements, it is imperative that the Postal Service retain contracting for all services as an option. For these reasons, the Postal Service strongly opposes S. 1457, the “Mail Delivery and Protection Act.”
The bill was introduced on May 23 by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.