For Immediate Release – October 1, 2003
Arlington, Virginia – In a letter to Congressional leaders, eleven former Commissioners who served on the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission endorsed a new plan to apply the BRAC model to closing unneeded U.S. Postal Service (USPS) facilities.
The plan was originally proposed this summer by a panel appointed by President Bush to consider the future of the USPS. It is among the findings currently under review on Capitol Hill and by the Bush Administration for possible legislative action.
“Because of its vast and outdated infrastructure, the U.S. Postal Service would benefit from the same kind of dispassionate review that we applied to the Department of Defense,” the letter said.
The letter was circulated by former Representative Jim Courter, who chaired the 1991 and 1993 rounds of the BRAC. Courter is also Chairman of the Lexington Institute, a public policy think tank in Arlington, Virginia.
Former U.S. Senator Alan Dixon, who served as the Commission’s chair in its 1995 round, also signed the letter. Other signers included Arthur Levitt, former Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission; Harry McPherson, former Special Counsel to President Lyndon Johnson; Robert D. Stuart, former CEO of the Quaker Oats Company; General Duane Cassidy, former Commander in Chief of the U.S. Transportation Command, and former Representative Beverly Byron of Maryland, among other prominent leaders.
The Presidential Postal Commission noted in its recommendations that, “With mail volumes stagnant, with opportunities to outsource and provide better service at less cost, and with less fixed infrastructure to maintain, the Postal Service has significant opportunities to rein in the costs of its logistics network.” Its findings went on, however, to describe strong political pressures to preserve postal facilities, and jobs, even though they comprise “an expensive and inefficient status quo.”
“The future effectiveness of the U.S. Postal Service is going to largely depend on controlling costs and increasing productivity,” said Courter. “The BRAC process can help achieve those critical improvements.”
The BRAC Commissioners noted that their panel’s 4 rounds resulted in 97 base closings and 55 major realignments. These in turn saved U.S. taxpayers over $16 billion through 2001, with over $6 billion in additional savings annually.
For more information, contact Don Soifer at 703.522.5828.
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