Investigation finds big expenses for USPS

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Updated: 2/19/2013 4:58 pm Published: 2/19/2013 4:57 pm

Fallout in Washington after a FOX23 investigation of the postal service leads to a member of Congress demanding a response from the Post Service.

FOX23’s Scott McFarlane first broke the story on Twitter on Monday. He discovered the financially strapped US Postal Service will spend $2 million for executives to attend a pricey conference in San Francisco.

The US Postal Service is sending 400 executives to a four day conference next month, the National Postal Forum. McFarlane found there are more than meetings on the agenda.

Included on the agenda are a golf outing at San Francisco’s Harding Park Golf Course, dinner events, including the “Taste of San Francisco, and even a dance party. Postmaster General Patrick Donahue is among those attending the conference.

An email sent by a postal employee claimed, “we could write a book about wasted money.”

Members of Congress are reacting to the news too, Representative Phil Gingrey said the expenses were, “wasteful, irresponsible and tone deaf.”

Representative Lynn Westmoreland echoed his thoughts, “I find it very troubling to see their executives spending such large amounts of money on lavish trips.”

McFarlane has learned the US House Oversight Committee is considering a formal hearing into wasteful travel by federal agencies in the wake of this story.

The Postal Service is fighting back at critics, saying it earns more than it spends at the National Postal Forum by meeting face to face with potential customers.

The agency says it earned $73,000 for every dollar spent at a similar event at an Orlando resort in 2012.

A customer at the San Francisco conference, Theresa Peterlin who runs a consulting company, says face to face meetings with postal executives are vital, “The postal service, like everything else, is a changing industry. It’s not just mail anymore. It’s all the new things the postal service is introducing that people can learn about there.”

The agency also says employees have to pay for their own golf, but the postal service is paying for travel.

One republican congressman has sent a letter to the postmaster general demanding justification for the expenses uncovered.

The postal service is close to insolvency and plans to cancel most Saturday mail in the coming months.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

copperbopper - 2/22/2013 1:27 PM
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In fact, I work for the USPS Remote Encoding Center in Wichita, Kansas. We got the news on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 both from my co-workers and the TV news have confirmed that our USPS Remote Encoding Center here in Wichita will shut down altogether within 12-18 months from now and the Remote Encoding Center in Salt Lake City, however, will remain open and even 2-3 years from now, USPS is expected to close the Remote Encoding Center in Salt Lake City, so after that time, USPS is expecting to have no more Remote Encoding Centers. USPS is citing the closures due to the upgrades in technology. I have not noticed new technology for USPS developing fast enough. Something here DOES NOT MAKE SENSE!
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