April 7, 2003 -- Vienna, Va. – In testimony before the President’s Commission on the U.S. Postal Service, the Newspaper Association of America made several recommendations to strengthen America’s struggling U.S. Postal Service.
At a field hearing in Los Angeles, Gary Pruitt, an NAA Board member and CEO of The McClatchy Co. in Sacramento, Calif., unveiled proposals that would make the postal rate-setting process fair, transparent and less time consuming, while giving the Postal Service greater latitude to cuts costs.
“Regrettably, the Postal Service of today has strayed from its public-service mission of providing universal mail delivery at reasonable and non-discriminatory rates,” said Pruitt. “Its costs are uncontrolled, it’s lost millions on non-postal ventures, its advertising budget is among the highest in the country despite its monopoly status, and it seeks to take sides in competition in private markets. All of this occurs because the Postal Service has very little oversight.”
During his testimony, Pruitt outlined other key NAA recommendations. Among them: returning the postal service to its core mission of public service; establishing an independent review of USPS decisions to enter new markets; eliminating the content restriction for letter mail providing Americans with various mailing options that are based on quality of service; and granting an independent Postal Rate Commission real authority to increase accountability and reduce pressure on postal rates.
These recommendations are based on a report prepared by postal economist J. Gregory Sidak of the American Enterprise Institute that addresses weaknesses in the current postal system.
NAA, whose members are among the largest mailers in the United States, has long advocated for the appointment of an independent presidential commission to examine the Postal Service and chart a course for its future. The commission was appointed on Dec. 11, 2002, and is currently holding public hearings across the country.
Gary Pruitt’s written testimony, as well as the report prepared by J. Gregory Sidak, are available online at www.naa.org
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