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USPS rejects regulator’s budget request, leaving watchdog to fear for its independence

September 12, 2023

READ FULL ARTICLE AT » Government Executive

Leadership at the U.S. Postal Service has rejected its regulator’s budget request, instead granting the oversight body a funding boost that will provide a 10% cut to its initial ask.

The Postal Regulatory Commission, which submits an annual budget that the USPS board of governors can only alter through unanimous approval, initially requested $23.4 million for fiscal 2024. That plan would have allowed the commission to add staff and contract support to ensure it could “conduct effective oversight on a timely basis,” PRC said. Earlier this month, PRC suddenly revised that request downward to $22.6 million. It did so “in response to correspondence and discussions with the governors regarding the initial budget request,” according to the commission.

The board voted unanimously to adjust even that revised figure, however, and awarded a budget of $21.1 million. That marks a decrease of nearly 10% from PRC’s initial request and of about 7% from the updated proposal. In fiscal 2023, USPS approved a budget request of $20.6 million.

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