March 21, 2013 — Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe’s claim that the Postal Service has the right to cut its mail delivery schedule from six days to five days “rests upon a faulty USPS premise,” the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a legal opinion released Thursday, adding that there is no legislative authority from Congress allowing the change.
“The GAO agrees with an ever-growing chorus of voices that the postmaster general doesn’t have the law on his side in this matter,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “To cut a day of mail delivery would disrupt the nation’s only universal delivery network, place disproportionate harm on rural communities, senior citizens, and small-business owners who rely on six-day mail service, and it would only serve to accelerate a financial ‘death spiral’ for the Postal Service.”
The GAO wrote that USPS is bound by current law and the current continuing resolution to fund the federal government, which requires “USPS to continue 6-day delivery and rural delivery of mail at not less than the 1983 level”—that is, six days a week.
The March 21 legal opinion was requested by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) shortly after Donahoe announced on Feb. 6 that he would unilaterally end Saturday mail delivery beginning in August.