CBS19: Virginia lawmakers send letter to USPS Inspector General regarding Richmond center’s mail issues

Several members of Virginia’s congressional delegation are once again asking for answers from the U.S. Postal Service.

Representatives Rob Wittman, Jennifer McClellan, Bobby Scott, Abigail Spanberger, Bob Good and Jen Kiggans as well as Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner sent a letter to the USPS Inspector General on Wednesday.

According to a release, the letter shares stories of disruptions and delays in USPS service that are impacting individuals and businesses, including costing businesses long-standing contracts.

“Since last summer, we have seen a significant uptick in mail disruptions and delays within the Richmond RPDC’s covered area,” wrote the lawmakers. “These developments are especially concerning as the Richmond RPDC was one of the first implemented consolidation projects as a part of USPS’s Delivering for America initiative. While we are always open to changes to longstanding practices to improve efficiency, the ongoing stream of reports we get suggests that the opposite is happening.”

An audit is currently underway at the Richmond Regional Processing and Distribution Center in Sandston, which also handles much of the mail from the Charlottesville area. This center is one of the first in the country that was opened to centralize outgoing mail and package processing.

In the near future, the USPS Office of Inspector General is expected to release a report and recommendations regarding efficacy and operation impacts from the changes.

“In an effort to advocate for our constituents and help inform your investigation, we would like to highlight some examples that our offices have received of mail problems that have cost people significant time, money, and frustration,” the lawmakers wrote. 

The letter contains some examples of issues, such as a medical supply business owner who lost a 14-year account with a distributor because of problems caused by lost inventory.

In another instance, a Virginia Commonwealth University student trying to get a student visa for a program in Italy lost not only an application for that visa but his passport, resulting in extra fees and delays.

The release says the lawmakers received an insufficient response to a letter sent to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in August regarding mail delays.

In January, several Virginia lawmakers raised more concerns about mail issues after receiving reports of cancer test samples that had been rendered unusable by delivery delays.

To read the full letter, click here.

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