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

Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01), alongside 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), 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.

In August, Congressman Wittman sent a letter to the Postmaster General DeJoy requesting information following outreach from constituents with concerns about mail delays and their effects. After the Postal Service gave an insufficient response, the congressman pressed USPS again for declining to provide adequate answers to the Virginians they are supposed to serve. He met with USPS officials in December to continue advocating for constituents impacted by these delays. 

In January, the congressman joined Virginia delegation colleagues to demand answers from the Postmaster General after the Richmond VA received hundreds of cancer test samples that were unusable due to mail delays. In March, Congressman Wittman teamed up with Virginia delegation colleagues to share Virginia residents’ stories of mail disruptions and delays. Also in March, the congressman visited the RPDC in Sandston to see firsthand the issues causing these delays.