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Local News
Legislators want postal audit
Heather Rutz
Posted:  02/19/2010 12:07 AM

LIMA — U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown are separately asking for audits of claimed savings from the U.S. Postal Service by closing a Lima processing facility.

Brown sent a letter to the postal service’s inspector general formally requesting an audit of a study on the closing. Jordan will make the same request of the inspector general and of the General Accounting Office in letters mailed today.

A local task force trying to keep the facility open and nearly 90 jobs in Lima asked Jordan, Brown, Sen. George Voinovich and Rep. John Boehner to ask for the audit. The task force, federal legislators and media requests for explanations of proposed savings from the closure have gone unanswered.

“I have asked the Ohio USPS for data and analysis that would shed light on the impact of the consolidations, and have received neither,” Brown wrote to Postal Service Inspector General David C.  Williams. “I am therefore formally requesting the United States Postal Service Office of the Inspector General conduct an audit of the AMP study in Lima.”

Postal Service officials are contradicting themselves, Jordan said, and he wants clarity.

The area mail processing study conducted by the Cincinnati office, which oversees Lima, concluded $1.4 million could be saved by closing Lima’s operations and consolidating it with Toledo’s. The study and Postal Service officials offered no explanation of that savings and the postal service has not provided worksheets detailing how the savings are achieved to the media, task force, postal employees union or federal legislators.

The “business case” for consolidation is the $1.4 million savings, Jordan said. While during a public meeting, officials said that savings did not take into account additional transportation costs from moving mail back and forth to Toledo, the Postal Service later told Jordan’s office the savings did include transportation costs.

“After receiving what I deem to be an inadequate response from the USPS both at the January 6th meeting and in writing, it is difficult to trust the results the USPS will produce,” Jordan wrote. “Because I believe the validity of the study may be questionable, I respectfully request that the Office of Inspector General provide an objective assessment of the USPS consolidation proposal for the Lima Processing and Distribution Facility.”