King Calls Upon USPS Inspector General to Investigate Sioux City Postal Center Consolidation
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
For Immediate Release
|Representative Steve King
5th Congressional District of Iowa
|May 30, 2006|
to Investigate Sioux City Postal Center Consolidation
Washington, D.C.– Iowa Congressman Steve King is calling on the Inspector General of the Postal Service to rethink the study used by the Postal Service to push for consolidation of the Sioux City mail processing center to South Dakota by asking the Inspector General of the Postal Service to investigate the situation. After numerous meetings with postal officials, Siouxland businesses and affected residents, King is concerned that the Postal Service’s consolidation plan is not justified because it does not make good business sense.
King rallied the support of Senators Grassley and Harkin on a letter they sent today to the Inspector General.
“The Postal Service has rushed to judgment. I demand that they stop any consolidation plans until an investigation is conducted by an outside entity. They have not fully evaluated the costs associated with consolidation. The AMP study that the Postal Service used to justify this proposed consolidation did not consider several important cost factors that should have been part of any fundamental cost-benefit business analysis. I hope an investigation by an independent party can help the Postal Service and the people of Sioux City determine the most efficient and cost effective solution to this situation.”
Also today, the Iowa lawmakers, through a letter, requested the Postmaster General halt any possible consolidation of the Sioux City mail processing center until an investigation is conducted by the Inspector General.
The text of the letter to United States Postal Service Inspector General follows.
In November 2005, the Postal Service announced that it would begin conducting an Area Mail Processing (AMP) study at the Sioux City, Iowa, mail processing center to determine whether cost savings, process efficiencies, and increased service standards could be achieved by consolidating Sioux City’s mail processing operations into those of the mail processing center located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Throughout this AMP process, the community and business leaders of Sioux City have raised concerns about the nature of the analysis that the Postal Service has undertaken to determine whether a consolidation should be implemented. We also have been engaged in this dialogue with the community and Postal Service leadership throughout this process.
We understand that you have important experience in this area and have recently published a report on Area Mail Processing Guidelines. In this report, you conducted reviews of pending AMPs and studied the business cases being made by the Postal Service for several specific locations. We are interested in having a similar review conducted by your office regarding the Sioux City case.
Therefore, we respectfully request that you direct your staff to undertake a comprehensive review of the proposed Sioux City consolidation. The review would examine the methodology, analysis, and business case being used to justify this proposed consolidation. We further request that, before beginning this review, your staff meet with our aides so that they can assist you in defining the scope of the review.
We are asking for this review because we believe that the business and community leaders of Sioux City have voiced reasonable, business-minded concerns about the validity of the proposed Sioux City to Sioux Falls consolidation. Specifically, Sioux City’s leaders have pointed out that the AMP does not require the Postal Service to consider important cost factors related to, among additional concerns, (1) the relocation of employees; (2) the disposal and/or re-allocation of physical plant assets and infrastructure that have been acquired by the Postal Service in Sioux City; (3) the increased costs that would be placed on the Postal Service’s transportation resources and infrastructure; and (4) the unspecified but anticipated additional costs for land and construction at the Sioux Falls facility. Therefore, we believe that a decision to move Sioux City’s mail processing operations to Sioux Falls without such information would be unjustifiable from a business perspective. In addition, the community and we are also concerned that such a move would neither improve the Postal Service’s efficiency nor mail delivery quality of service.
We have notified the Postmaster General about our request and have asked that the Postal Service refrain from issuing any final decision on the Sioux City AMP until you and your staff have completed the requested review and presented your findings upon its completion.
We look forward to your prompt response to this request and to your timely completion of this investigation.