Top Postal Regulator Calls for Expanded Reach Amid Feud With DeJoy

Steve HutkinsNews

Government Executive: The U.S. Postal Service’s regulator requires more staff and resources to keep pace with the changes underway at the agency, the head of the oversight agency said on Monday, sharply contrasting his vision with that of the postmaster general.

Louis DeJoy, the USPS CEO, has derided the Postal Regulatory Commission as standing in his way as he looks to deliver transformational change to his organization. In response, Michale Kubayanda, the PRC chairman, issued a white paper co-authored by former Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., and Dave Williams, former USPS inspector general and board member, suggesting PRC must be more agile and proactive to stay relevant in the modern environment. Despite DeJoy’s objections, the authors said, Postal Service regulation must take place with a frequency and intensity that former private sector executives—such as the current postmaster general—do not appreciate.

DeJoy has frequently voiced his distaste for his regulators—calling them an obstacle to progress—but the tension came to a head last month when PRC announced it was launching an ongoing review of the Postal Service’s plans to consolidate and otherwise reorient its processing and delivery network. The postmaster general sees the reforms as a key part of his 10-year business plan and his goal to eliminate USPS’ debts and deficits and has called on all stakeholders to get on board. USPS quickly petitioned PRC to reverse course. Congress never intended to give the regulators “unfettered oversight” in every management action, the Postal Service said, and instead authorized only “discrete areas” for inspection.

For its part, the commission said it was responding to stakeholders who reported they lack a forum to voice concerns about the network changes. PRC added it would boost transparency to learn more about these strategic plan initiatives that may have a significant impact on the postal community. Large-scale mailing groups have implored the commission not to waiver from its request, saying PRC was acting well within its authority and the Postal Service should not “shield itself from scrutiny.”

At a House hearing last week, DeJoy said PRC overstepped its authority.

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