‘Sustainable path’ for USPS important

One of the oldest and vital federal agencies is the United States Postal Service and it is important for the nation to see it put on a sustainable path.

That was the goal of the White House’s Task Force on the USPS, which recently issued its report and has made its recommendations to put the USPS on that sustainable path.

After years of postal system losses, the task force is recommending market-oriented reforms that could reverse the unsustainable path it is on.

The summary of the report noted the following operating realities of the postal system: the volume of first-class and other mail is in decline; initiatives must be taken to address both the USPS’s revenues and costs; and optimize the unique franchise and monopoly value of the system.

"The Task Force recommends that the USPS and Congress work to overhaul the USPS’s business model in order to return it to sustainability. Both administrative and legislative actions are needed to ensure that the USPS does not face a liquidity crisis, which could disrupt mail services and require an emergency infusion of taxpayer dollars," the report notes.

Here are some of the highlights of the report:

• Governance — The USPS’s Board of Governors should move to create a new policy mandate that resets the USPS’s organizational direction and develops financial targets for the USPS.

• Universal Service Obligation — This is the public policy that defines what citizens and businesses need from a government-provided postal service, representing a mission statement for the system. But the task force notes that the mission statement is not clearly defined and the USPS needs a business model to achieve sustainability.

There are many other recommendations as well in the report on pricing, cost allocation, operating costs, labor model retiree health benefits and new revenue streams that all need to be given serious consideration.

This nation needs a postal system that is reliable, affordable and sustainable. Let’s hope these current recommendations work.

The entire report is on the internet at https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/USPS_A_Sustainable_Path_Forward_report_12-04-2018.pdf.