U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., is turning up the heat on the United States Postal Service (USPS) concerning delays in delivering mail processed at a new regional distribution center in Palmetto that opened early this year.

In a letter dated Thursday, Ossoff asked Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to update on-time mail delivery in metro Atlanta within a week.

Ossoff grilled DeJoy more than three weeks ago during a hearing held by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. At the time, the senator revealed that only 36% of inbound mail handled by the Atlanta Regional Processing and Distribution Center was being delivered on time as of the end of February.

DeJoy assured Ossoff that the problems would be fixed within about 60 days.

“It is urgent that the performance of USPS delivery in Georgia improve immediately,” Ossoff wrote. “Postal workers working diligently every day to deliver the mail on time deserve the infrastructure and the management competence to enable them to do so.”

DeJoy attributed the delays to problems starting up a USPS restructuring plan aimed at making the postal service financially self-sufficient and better able to compete with private shippers including Federal Express and the United Parcel Service.

The plan calls for consolidating local mail distribution offices into huge regional centers. The Atlanta-area consolidation involved moving nearly 10,000 employees from 10 locations to the new Palmetto distribution center.

DeJoy said plans to expand the new system nationwide have been put on hold while the postal service resolves the issues encountered at the Palmetto distribution center and a second regional center in Richmond, Va.

Dave Williams writes for Capitol Beat News Service

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