CAGW Reacts to Resignation of USPS Inspector General | Citizens Against Government Waste

CAGW Reacts to Resignation of USPS Inspector General

For Immediate Release Contact: Curtis Kalin 202-467-5318
January 28, 2016  

 

“The next IG should focus exclusively on fighting waste, fraud, and abuse,” says Paige

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) responded to the resignation of United States Postal Service (USPS) Inspector General (IG) David Williams with cautious optimism.  For many years, General Williams had acted as USPS’s primary cheerleader for expanding the agency’s broken business model into competitive areas that are already well-served by the private sector.   CAGW expressed the hope that Williams’ successor will refocus the Office of Inspector General (OIG) on aggressively overseeing waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in an agency that is careening toward a fiscal cliff.

The dismal state of USPS’s finances was bluntly detailed at a January 21, 2016 Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing entitled, “Laying Out the Reality of the United States Postal Service.”  The agency lost $56.8 billion over the last nine years.  And despite continued revenue growth in 2015, the agency still posted a shortfall of $5.1 billion at year’s end.

During the hearing, as he has done in the past, Williams continued to promote the idea that the beleaguered agency can climb out of its hole by dabbling in an array of already competitive non-postal activities, such as e-commerce and financial services.  He claimed that USPS is “uniquely positioned” to fill those needs, but neglected to mention that there are nearly 100,000 bank branches and more than 400,000 ATMs across the country, compared to just 31,000 post offices.  And the onset of the digital age allows customers to engage in banking without traveling to a bank at all.

CAGW Vice President for Policy and Communications Leslie K. Paige said, “Rather than devoting the OIG’s resources toward clearing out the bureaucratic underbrush at the USPS, exposing its mismanagement, and promoting more efficient use of its resources, General Williams had time and again encouraged USPS management to engage in whimsical, unrealistic commercial profit-seeking ventures.  Such ill-advised fantasies are the very definition of cart before the horse.  While some members of Congress, particularly Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), jumped on the Williams bandwagon, it is time for this ill-fated effort to come to a halt.  The next IG should do what taxpayers and ratepayers deserve:  Weed out the waste at the USPS and promote sensible, market-oriented reforms that would right-size the bloated agency.”

CAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. 

 

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