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National Briefing / Washington, D.c.

Post office labeled high risk

July 29, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

The Government Accountability Office added the Postal Service to its list of high-risk federal agencies in need of change.

The post office has been struggling with a sharp decline in mail volume as people and businesses switch to e-mail both for personal contact and paying bills. The agency faces a nearly $7-billion potential loss this fiscal year despite staff cuts and May's 2-cent rate increase. It could run out of cash in September.

Congress is considering a bill to change the way the post office funds its retiree health benefits that could save it $2 billion annually. Postmaster General John Potter has asked Congress for permission to reduce mail deliveries from six days a week to five. And the post office filed a petition with the independent Postal Regulatory Commission indicating that managers may close some post offices to save money.

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