After legislation to reform the fiscally failing postal service stalled last year in Congress, legislators have asked a non-profit group to investigate whether turning the USPS into a half-public, half-private entity would allow it to function more effectively.
The National Academy of Public Administration will generate a report on contracting out most of the mail transfer responsibilities of the postal service, except for actual mail delivery, which would continue to be handled by current mail deliverers, according to the Washington Post
“The trusted letter carrier would remain the public face of the U.S. Postal Service,” advocates for a hybrid public-private service wrote in a preview of the report. “[Private companies] can fulfill others’ tasks in the postal network and do so at a lower cost and with greater efficiency and innovation and without political and regulatory interference.”
Privatizing the postal service, at least in part, is a long-discussed idea in Washington — especially considering that the USPS continued a years-long streak when it reported losses of $16 billion in 2012.
The chairmen of Senate and House committees responsible for USPS said that differences between legislators that prevented anything from being done last year have narrowed recently and they are hopeful that something may actually happen in 2013.
“Although the 112th Congress did not come to a consensus around a package of reforms that can update the Postal Service’s network and business model to reflect the reality that it faces today, we remain committed to working with our colleagues in both the House and the Senate to reform [the agency] so it can survive and thrive in the 21st century,” Sen. Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said in a statement.
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