Federal Manager's Daily Report

The Postal Service received a mixed review of its responsiveness to questions from Congress in a recent IG report on an issue that has been a sore point between Capitol Hill and many agencies in recent times.

The IG noted that over 2011-2014, USPS received over 18,500 congressional requests for information and that of the 143 cases reviewed in detail, the average response time from the USPS Government Relations office—which is responsible for replying–was 10 business days, which is the agency’s goal.

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Of those, 25 did not meet the goal and the average response for them was 20 days late.

“Procedural discrepancies contributed to the delays and we did not find any evidence that the Postal Service intended to be nonresponsive,” the report said. “Government Relations’ practice was to start its 10 business day clock when a request was assigned to personnel based on staff availability and workload. Its standard operating procedures did not address when to start the clock for responding to congressional requests or require personnel to document request dates, acknowledge receipt of requests, or notify requestors of delays.”

It added, “The Postal Service policy does not prioritize requests from individual members of Congress and instead treats these requests as if they were submitted under the Freedom of Information Act. This policy does not recognize individual Congress members’ need for information to carry out their legislative duties.”