By Andy Nghiem (Kentucky Business Daily)
While the U.S. Senate prepares to consider controversial legislation that would reform how the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) handles health care, government watchdogs have released documents that show an “increasingly cozy relationship” between the independent regulator of USPS and lobbyists working to shape the legislation favorably for their clients.
According to a statement from the Functional Government Initiative (FGI), the documents show the connection between the the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), a regulator responsible for transparency and oversight of USPS operations, and lobbyists for a coalition of package companies that include Amazon and eBay (known as the “Package Coalition”) that have relied on USPS to reduce one of their largest operating costs.
“Unsurprisingly, records show extensive communications between lobbyists for the Package Coalition, PRC regulators and staff on the congressional committees with oversight over postal issues,” the FGI said. “Throughout the released records, the PRC’s regulatory staff appear to be deeply tied to the messaging and legislative interests of the so-called ‘Package Coalition.’ Some of the communications reveal an unusual display of agency deliberations and frankness with a lobbyist representing an interested party. Taken together, the frequent behind-the-scenes communications raise concern about the objectivity and potential for arbitrary decision-making being undertaken at the PRC.”