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U.S. Postal Service must 'urgently' restructure, GAO says

Published June 15, 2011 8:45 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The U.S. Postal Service, which says it will default on a required payment and may run out of money in September, must "urgently" restructure its operations and close locations, the Government Accountability Office said.

The Postal Service needs to consolidate locations as part of its efforts to shrink as mail volume declines, Phillip Herr, GAO director of physical infrastructure issues, said Wednesday in prepared testimony for a hearing by the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee that oversees the Postal Service. The post office operates about 32,500 outlets and the GAO didn't recommend how many it should shutter.

"Unfortunately, today's Postal Service is on a pathway toward insolvency and the current postal infrastructure is bloated," Representative Dennis Ross, the Florida Republican who is chairman of the postal oversight subcommittee, said in his prepared statement for the hearing.

The Postal Service, which lost $8.5 billion in its 2010 fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, wants to make it easier to shutter post offices, whose closures can be opposed by lawmakers, Dave Williams, vice president of network operations for the service, said in his prepared testimony.