Every week, somewhere in America a local news channel runs a story about something going wrong with the mail. Long lines at the post office and stories of undelivered mail may be clichéd, but they matter to those who rely on delivery service provided by the USPS. And the business of moving mail—with hundreds of thousands of workers, billions in government contracts and many more billions in goods moved—presents regular opportunities for waste, fraud and abuse.
Over time, the United States has developed sophisticated institutions, laws and rules to ensure postal workers do their jobs ethically and efficiently. But these rules require regular changes and updates if they are to keep pace with those who seek to use the mail system for illicit means. The U.S. Constitution charges Congress to govern America’s postal service. At the dawn of a new decade, an important question for this generation of legislators is how to improve oversight of the USPS.