Fortenberry still looking into mail delivery issues

October 6, 2016 GMT

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry said Wednesday a U.S. Postal Service inspector general’s report makes it unclear to him whether mail processing and delivery problems in his congressional district have been resolved, and he will continue to pursue the issue.

Fortenberry represents eastern Nebraska’s 1st District, which includes Columbus, Lincoln and Norfolk.

Earlier this year, the congressman asked the inspector general to investigate “numerous constituent reports of problems with the mail system in Nebraska.”

Fortenberry said he is reviewing the conclusions reached after that investigation and will “continue to engage with postal officials to address concerns in the (resulting) report.”

“I suspect the root cause of the problem has been the consolidation of mail processing in Omaha,” the congressman stated earlier this year in announcing his decision to request an inspector general’s review.

“Even a letter going across Lincoln now has to go through Omaha first,” Fortenberry said.

During an onsite visit, the inspector general’s report noted, “we observed mail arriving in Omaha from other originating processing facilities too late to be processed for its intended delivery day.

“From January through April 2016, the Omaha (center) recorded an average of 3,604 trays of mail per month as late arriving.

“The Omaha (center) does not have a system in place to notify origin facilities of late-arriving mail so they can correct the causes of delays.”

The result is that the Omaha center was “not meeting the established processing times to meet service commitments,” the report stated.

“Delayed mail increases the risk customers will lose confidence in the Postal Service’s ability to provide trusted and reliable service,” the inspector general concluded, and that could lead customers to seek alternative delivery options and ultimately reduce postal revenue.