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Statement from Virginia Lawmakers on USPS Inspector General Report on Richmond Regional Processing and Distribution Center

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) and U.S. Representatives Jennifer McClellan (D-VA-04), Bobby Scott (D-VA-03), Rob Wittman (R-VA-01), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), Bob Good (R-VA-05), and Jen Kiggans (R-VA-02) released the following statement regarding the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) Inspector General (IG) report on the Richmond Regional Processing and Distribution Center (RPDC) in Sandston. The USPS OIG audited the RPDC because the center is the first consolidated processing center in the country that was opened to centralize outgoing mail and package processing as part of USPS’s 10-year Delivering for America plan.

“It couldn’t be clearer that USPS has not been providing reliable service to Virginians, and we’ve been pressing for answers. This report pinpoints a number of issues, including a lack of coordination between USPS and staff at the Richmond Regional Processing and Distribution Center (RPDC). Going forward, USPS must provide more resources and clearer guidance to management and staff at RPDC, among other steps. We look forward to working with USPS to ensure that happens, the recommendations in the IG report are implemented, and mail delivery is timely for Virginians.”

The report highlights various issues on the local, regional, and national levels that have impacted service in Virginia and made 10 distinct recommendations to USPS for improvement. The issues range from egregious lack of attention to detail (pieces of mail falling off conveyor belts and being lost), to poor synchronizing between machines processing mail at the facility and the schedules of trucks transporting mail to and from the facility, to broader questions about whether the RPDC model is generating the cost savings and efficiency improvements this model has promised. Workforce shortages, including reducing the contracted drivers to operate delivery trucks when the in-house workforce was insufficient, have further strained USPS staff and increased overtime costs. Meanwhile, internal communication among headquarters, regional, and on-site local staff has been inadequate.

A full accounting of the problems that have impacted service and specific recommendations to address them are available here.

In March, Kaine led his colleagues in sharing USPS issues from constituents with the USPS IG. In February, Kaine held a roundtable in Richmond to discuss USPS issues. In January, Kaine led a bipartisan group of his colleagues in pressing USPS on mail delivery delays and disruptions impacting Virginians in the Richmond region and raised concerns about reports that the Richmond VA Medical Center received hundreds of colon cancer test samples that were unusable because of delivery delays. Last year, Kaine wrote to USPS pressing them to address mail delivery issues in Virginia.