CBS6: Rep. Spanberger survey says Virginians still struggling with USPS inefficiency: ‘It really runs the gamut’

CBS6, ELIZABETH HOLMES

Hundreds of Virginians are still having issues with the United States Postal Service, according to results from a survey Representative Abigail Spanberger put out about a month ago.

The survey garnered more than 1,800 individual responses, most of them detailing problems with delayed or missing mail.

“It really runs the gamut,” Spanberger said in an interview with CBS 6 Wednesday.

“One woman spoke of her husband needing emergency surgery. And while, you know, she thought it was a little bit silly or inconvenient that get-well cards were arriving late, going a distance of 10 miles, and they were going across the state to then come back to her and her home address, that the medication that her husband receives via the mail was itself delayed,” she said.

The survey came after a March audit found the Sandston USPS facility was not prepared to become a regional processing and distribution center, and the change caused delays. The move was part of a national plan to consolidate postal centers in an effort to make mail service more efficient and save USPS money.

“From what I’ve seen, I think that Postmaster General [Louis] DeJoy’s plan for consolidation, we haven’t yet seen evidence that this has created the efficiencies that he set out to realize,” Spanberger said. “I look forward to being wrong long-term if that’s the case.”

Since the survey came out, USPS’s Inspector General’s Office released two more audits.

One suggests neither the public nor staff, knew about the possible impacts of a “Local Transporation Optimization Initiative” happening in Richmond.

Another audit suggests USPS continues to have trouble hiring, but disagreed on a recommendation to develop and communicate a plan to attract more pre-career workers.

There has been some improvement. According to USPS’s OIG, Virginia now has the third worst mail services in the nation, moving up slightly from last place.

“It would be reasonable to say there might be some initial hiccups as we implement this new plan, but now we are months into this new plan. And so, in addition to a lack of a lack of communication, I think we’ve just also seen a lack of planning,” Spanberger said.

Spanberger wrote this letter to DeJoy and has not heard back from him at this time.

CBS6 reached out to USPS for comment on Spanberger’s survey and questions detailed in the letter. A spokesperson said USPS responds to elected officials directly.

USPS did not respond to our question regarding a potential backup plan, similar to a question posed by Spanberger in her letter, for the Sandston facility. USPS has not responded at this time.

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