Postal Regulatory Commission Chairman Ruth Goldway has spent more than $70,000 on domestic and foreign travel, visiting such countries as China, Portugal, Scotland, and Switzerland, according to information obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, The Washington Post
Goldway’s expenditures come to light as the Postal Service is hemorrhaging money, losing $5.1 billion in 2011. “When organizations are struggling, good leaders often make a pointed effort of curbing their own expenses as an example,” Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told the Post.
Goldway and the commission defended the spending and noted that she receives numerous invitations to conferences “and attends only those that are beneficial to the Commission and the Postal Service in terms of sharing information about activities in the U.S.”
“I must admit I like traveling, but I don’t see it as a perk of the job. I see it as an obligation,” Goldway told the Post. “Our job at the PRC is to represent the interests of all of the stakeholders. In order to do that, we really need to make an effort to get out of the city now and then.”
Goldway has served on the five-member independent commission that oversees the Postal service since 1998. President Barack Obama named her chairman in 2009. Since then she has spent more than 230 days traveling, the Post reported.
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