Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) has filed a motion with the Postal Regulatory Commission to make public “all documents and communications related to the United States Postal Service’s market research information file as Library Reference, USPS-LR-N2012-1/NP14 and NP1, filed on March 6, 2012 and December 5th , 2011 with an application for non-public status.” (Mail Processing Network Rationalization Service Changes, 2011 and 2012)
Below are excerpts of the request filed yesterday with the PRC:
Motion for Termination of Non-Public Status of Library Reference
By this motion I am requesting that the Commission make public all documents and communications related to the United States Postal Service’s market research information file as Library Reference, USPS-LR-N2012-1/NP14 and NP1, filed on March 6, 2012 and December 5th , 2011 with an application for non-public status.
Public Interest in Financial Transparency Supports Publicizing USPS-LR-N2012-1INP14 andNPl
This Library Reference information (NP 14) includes data on total and contribution revenue losses from the aggregate impact of Post Office closures, reduction in mail service to fewer than six days per week, processing facility closures, degradation of mail service, and possibly other factors such as rate increases. Library Reference information (NP l) also contains information about the impact of processing facility closures in isolation of other variables. Making this information public also would indicate whether the Postal Service abandoned this study before completion because it would have shown revenue losses despite Postal Service management’s assertions to the contrary. As you know, a proposal from Postal Service management and some legislation introduced by Members of Congress would result in the closure of Post Offices and mail processing facilities, the elimination of next-day mail service, and other changes in current service standards. Legislation (H.R. 2309) to restructure the Postal Service, including provisions to close many processing facilities, reduce service standards and close thousands of rural Post Offices, has been reported from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and may come before the House for consideration. A separate bill (S. 1789) has been reported from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and may come before the Senate for consideration. Simultaneously, the Postal Service is moving forward with its own plans to close hundreds of mail processing facilities and thousands of Post Offices.
These changes in Postal Service infrastructure and service standards will have a considerable affect on Postal Service revenue. Both customers and policy makers should have the opportunity to review information on the likely revenue impact from these proposed reductions in service and facilities. Unfortunately, the Postal Service has not presented such market data either to Congress or to the public. This data is relevant because it has a direct impact on the long-term viability of the Postal Service. As a Member of Congress, I have a responsibility to make decisions about pending legislation based on the best available information, but right now there is insufficient information about the impact on revenue of these proposals to reduce services and facilities. Making information in the Library Reference public would allow Members of Congress to better understand the ramifications of these proposals.