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Harkin Announces Meeting on Sioux City Post Office


WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today announced that the United States Postal Service (USPS) will hold a meeting on the proposed consolidation of the Siouxland Mail Processing Operations.  The meeting will take place Thursday, April 20th at 10 AM at the Sioux City Convention and Conference Center on 801 Fourth Street.  The meeting will be open to concerned residents and attended by Sioux City Chamber and government officials, Harkin staff and representatives of the USPS.  

“This meeting is long overdue and it’s critical the Postal Service hears from Siouxland residents how its proposed consolidation plan will impact their community,” said Harkin.  “Major issues such as the costs the USPS plan will impose on local businesses and possible delays in mail service need to be apparent to all involved before moving the mail processing facility.”

Harkin has been working to increase community input and transparency in the USPS proposed consolidation plans.  Harkin has succeeded in pushing USPS to conduct a service audit to determine the impact consolidation would have on Sioux City.  He also included language in the Postal Reform Bill that would block USPS from implementing any consolidation plan unless it has conducted a study to examine costs of the plan on Siouxland.  This bill remains in conference committee where the provisions calling for the study must be agreed to before it would go to the White House for approval.  

At Harkin’s request, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is conducting a follow-up study to its 2005 report on USPS strategy for realigning and consolidating its mail processing operations.  Eight months later after GAO’s original report, USPS appears to have made little progress in implementing the recommendations to develop a clear, transparent, and consistently applied process that includes stakeholder consultation and communication and includes specific management criteria and performance measures.  Instead, they are proceeding with close to 50 Area Mail Processing (AMP) studies on consolidation that provide no opportunity for local communities, business people and other stakeholders to either provide input or hear the Postal Service’s reasoning behind their decision making at any stage of the process.

Throughout this process Harkin has repeatedly called on USPS to increase its communication with Siouxland community leaders.   In late January, Harkin along with Siouxland area officials, met with Bill Galligan, Senior Vice President for Operations for USPS.  However, USPS failed to clearly provide the criteria they used when making consolidation decisions or to provide a clear timeline of when it will make its final decision.  Most important of all, local postal customers and businesses have received no explanation of likely service delays and degradations as a result of consolidation.

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