Maryland Delegation Receive Response from USPS Showing Actions to Improve Performance Over Last Year’s Holiday Season, but Urge Further Action
Maryland Delegation Wrote to Postmaster General DeJoy in November Requesting an Update on their Readiness for Holiday Mail Surge
Washington, December 22, 2021
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony G. Brown, Jamie Raskin, Andy Harris, M.D., and David Trone (all Md.) announced that they received a letter from the United States Postal Service (USPS) in response to their November 22 request for an update on its readiness for the holiday mail surge.
In response to the letter, the lawmakers released the following statement:
“We are encouraged that the USPS is taking clear steps to improve mail service for the people we represent following our repeated calls for action. With many Marylanders relying heavily on USPS amid the holiday season and pandemic, we hope increased staffing and the activation of additional mail facilities lead to a notable improvement after the poor service many have experienced over the past year. That said, the Postal Service still has more work ahead to implement recommendations from the Inspector General and to ensure the timely delivery of Marylanders’ mail. On behalf of our constituents, we will continue pressing for progress until these issues are fixed.”
The USPS’s response outlines some improvements made for the holiday season, including the hiring of more than 2,000 staff in Maryland, activation of additional sorting and delivery annexes in the state, and opening of a new carrier training academy. USPS set metrics for employee availability and delivery failures to evaluate performance in the Baltimore area but has not established thresholds for these metrics to determine when the Baltimore postmaster should request additional support from outside the area. The USPS Inspector General recommended that the USPS establish these metrics and thresholds in its November audit of Baltimore mail facilities, and USPS agreed to carry out that recommendation by November 30, 2021.
The full USPS letter to the Maryland Congressional Delegation is here. Highlights from the letter include: