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Friday, 29 May 2015 00:00

U.S. House Subcommittee Addresses Aging Postal Fleet and Efficiency of Government Repair Facilities

The U.S. House Subcommittee on Government Operations under the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing May 21 on “Issues Facing Civilian and Postal Service Vehicle Fleet Procurement.” During the hearing, the subcommittee heard from representatives from the General Services Administration, U.S. Government Accountability Office, United States Postal Service (USPS) and NAFA Fleet Management Association.

During the course of the hearing, members addressed the issues of vehicle maintenance and repairs. U.S. Postal Service Chief Financial Officer Joseph Corbett responded to the subcommittee that of the $700 million vehicle repair costs per year at the USPS, $200 million is outsourced to private facilities and $500 million in repairs are made by the USPS. Corbett estimated that there are approximately 500 USPS vehicle maintenance facilities in the United States.

Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA) suggested that the USPS consider the potential cost savings of closing hundreds of federal government vehicle maintenance facilities and outsourcing vehicle repairs to the private sector.

Carter said, “I was a mayor at one time, and I had to manage fleets of vehicles similar to the postal fleet. We used best practices and found that sometimes it was more cost-efficient to go to the private sector to have maintenance and repairs done on our vehicles. The USPS, especially in their current fiscal situation, must also be responsible stewards of the dollar and ensure the repairs on their fleet are done in the most cost-efficient way.”

The USPS was asked to report back to the committee with a response to concerns about federal government vehicle maintenance facilities.

Donny Seyfer, ASA chairman, said, “We appreciate Rep. Carter’s willingness to speak out on behalf of automotive repair shop owners across the country. Small businesses should not have to compete with the federal government. There are thousands of privately owned vehicle repair facilities across America that can make these repairs in a competitive, cost-efficient, professional environment.”

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