Top management at the U.S. Postal Service in court documents filed Friday deflected blame for recent high-profile mail delays toward “poor judgment” of local supervisors and “workforce performance” issues.
Reforms implemented by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy were never intended to delay mail, the officials said in the filings, and would not have caused any mail to be left behind if not for the problems at the local level. USPS filed the declarations with its objection to an attempt to block the changes as part of a lawsuit brought by the NAACP.
DeJoy has acknowledged his reforms, which have stressed operating all parts of the delivery process on a set schedule while seeking to end late and extra trips, have caused significant mail delays. Postal data show on-time delivery declined between 8% and 10% across USPS offerings after the changes went into effect, though the agency has said performance has picked up in recent weeks. The NAACP is one of many groups to join dozens of states in suing the Postal Service for those and other operational changes they said have hampered the agency’s ability to deliver ballots on time for the upcoming election. The group is seeking a preliminary injunction on DeJoy’s reforms before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.