Late last week, Senator Jon Tester responded to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that found the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is reporting incomplete data about its mail delivery times.

According to the GAO report, the USPS is failing to measure almost half of its mail for on-time delivery performance. Additionally, the Congressional watchdog’s report found that locations not being measured—mostly rural areas such as Montana—lack basic equipment, such as barcodes and scanners, which are needed to make accurate measurements.

“Montanans tell me that there are serious delays in mail delivery, and yet time and time again the USPS tells me they’re doing great,” Tester said. “We clearly need better data that reflects what’s actually happening on the ground. This report confirms what many of us in rural America have been experiencing for years.”

In an effort to reduce costs, the USPS has closed or consolidated 141 mail processing facilities since 2012, including six in Montana.  The new updated services standards have shifted mail volume away from overnight delivery and have replaced it with two-to-three day delivery.