Aug. 24, 2020
WASHINGTON, DC — Below is the oral statement prepared for delivery by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy before today’s hearing by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
“Good morning, Chairwoman Maloney, Ranking Member Comer, and members of the Committee.
I’m proud to be with you today on behalf of the 630,000 dedicated women and men of the United States Postal Service.
On June 15th, I became America’s 75th Postmaster General. Since that time, for a variety of reasons, there has been a great deal of attention to the Postal Service by our elected officials, the media and the American people.
I want to begin by assuring this committee and the American public that the Postal Service is fully capable and committed to delivering the nation’s ballots securely and on-time.
This sacred duty is my number one priority between now and election day.
To be clear, we will do everything we can to handle and deliver Election Mail in a manner consistent with the proven processes and procedures that we have relied on for years. Nevertheless, I encourage all Americans who choose to vote by mail to request their ballots early and to vote early, as a common sense best practice.
As part of this conversation, there are many inaccuracies about my actions that I wish to again correct.
First, I did not direct the removal of blue collection boxes or the removal of mail processing equipment.
Second, I did not direct the cut back on hours at any of our post offices.
Finally, I did not direct the elimination or any cutback in overtime.
I did however suspend these practices, to remove any misperceptions about our commitment to delivering the nation’s election mail.
Any further assertions by the media or elected officials is furthering a false narrative to the American People.
Now let me describe the two actions I have taken in the 70 days since my appointment.
I came to the Postal Service with decades of experience in solving large and complex logistical problems.
I planned to use this experience to help lead the operating change required for the Postal Service to grow and embark on a path of sustainability.
On the day of my swearing in-the Postal Service Inspector General issued an astonishing report about the schedule delays in Postal Service transportation and the substantial cost associated with our weakness in this fundamental operating principle.
Upon review, I directed the Postal Service operations team to develop and execute on a plan to improve our adherence to the transportation schedules of our over 40,000 trips a day.
We have accomplished this goal-as our on-time departures are approaching 98% and wasteful extra trips are down by over 70%.
While we have had a temporary service decline which should not have happened, we are fixing this.
In fact, as of last week, service improved across all major mail and package categories, and I am laser-focused on improving service for the American public.
The second of two changes I’ve made while Postmaster General is installing a new organizational reporting structure to better align talent and resources, to instill greater accountability for performance and to focus the organization on service and growth.
These two changes, creating our new on-time transportation network and designing an engaged functional organizational structure, will be the catalyst for the significant improvements in cost, performance and growth that I plan for this vital American Institution.
Madam Chairwoman, the women and men of the Postal Service have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to our mission of service throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
In every community in America, we continue to work to keep our employees and customers safe as we fulfill our essential role in delivering the medications, benefit checks and financial statements the public depends upon.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a public outpouring of support for our postal employees as they performed their essential service throughout the nation. This is a well-deserved testament to their dedication.
Chairwoman Maloney; Ranking Member Comer; I hope we can agree that the financial state of the Postal Service is unacceptable and needs to be fixed.
I look forward to working with you and this committee and our stakeholders to restore the financial health of the United States Postal Service and to improve the way we serve the American public.
This concludes my remarks. I welcome any questions that you and the committee may have.”
Note: The Postmaster General’s written statement is available here.