USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is on a mission to transform the Postal Service and is even throwing out conventions on how it goes about doing so.
On Monday, the USPS declared it was ending all ongoing feasibility studies that are the norm when considering relocating a processing facility as the Postal Service doubles down on DeJoy’s “Delivering for America Plan.”
According to the USPS Inspector General, Area Mail Processing (AMP) feasibility studies determine whether there is a business case for relocating processing and distribution operations. AMP studies take into account the impact on customers and service, costs, and savings – and, “as part of the study, the Postal Service is required to hold public meetings and obtain comments.”
In Monday’s announcement, the USPS said it was ending 57 AMP studies, saying its 10-year plan “establishes a new operating model that dramatically improves on-time delivery performance. As part of this plan, the Postal Service will re-assess the role of all processing facilities.”
As Federal News Network reported in May, Postmaster General DeJoy believes the USPS must continue its trajectory by closing and consolidating facilities across its delivery network.
Congress has gotten involved in USPS consolidation plans in the past – in 2015, lawmakers asked for moratorium on Phase 2 of a plan that had resulted in the closure of 141 facilities in 2012 – 2013 during Phase 1 of the plan.
Congress has gotten involved in postal matters in 2022, including lifting a financial burden and providing funding for the electrification of the USPS delivery fleet.
Once actual closures and potential layoffs hit particular states, the current consolidation plan may again draw the attention of lawmakers.
In the meantime, the USPS said it would “adhere to all legal, statutory, contractual and regulatory requirements as this network design is developed” – though apparently without the delays (and transparency) of AMP feasibility studies.