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Postal Service echoes Enron abuses

- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 14, 2010

The United States Postal Service (USPS) keeps blaming outside factors for its financial woes while repeatedly ignoring or excusing revealed mismanagement and major scandals. Only Congress can force the USPS to look within to find that the source of many of their problems is an Enron-like culture that allows no one to come forth against the company line.

One such area is the high cost of waste incurred in handling equal employment opportunity (EEO) claims of discrimination cases within the ranks of the managers, especially in the sales unit. Has anyone taken a look at the root causes for this upsurge of EEO cases in sales? Does Congress and the public even know that there is a sales unit in the USPS, made up of well over 1,000 highly paid managers, with much duplicity involved? Does Congress and the public realize that that sales unit went through a costly and wasteful reorganization in 2009, creating more rather than fewer high-level positions right in the middle of the revenue crisis when everyone should have been out selling products and services? Does Congress and the public know that the reorganization was mishandled and resulted in a record number of EEO cases in that department?

The need for reform at the top and a complete overhaul of the current USPS culture is evident when you look at the scandals revealed recently, including the Bob Bernstock scandal in July, the resultant Office of Inspector General investigation with its grave revelations of high-level cover-ups, the lack of any ramifications to the perpetrators and the candid explanations of fear of retaliation offered by managerial employees.

Only Congress can address this cultural issue by changing the USPS. Remember, the scandals and investigative revelations point to ineffective internal "checks and balances" in the Postal Service. All the systems that are supposed to guard against mismanagement and abuses are nowhere to be found - the board of governors, the OIG, the complacent officers - none are doing their job to control the culture of abuse and manipulation of rules and regulations that is destroying the USPS' viability from within. Start with the abuses in sales and the root cause for record number increases in EEO cases in that department.

VICTORIA DAVILA

Houston, Texas

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