Latest News and Highlights
PostCom Members !! The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is now available online. Hey! You've not been getting the weekly PostCom Bulletin--the best postal newsletter anywhere...bar none? Send us by email your name, company, company title, postal and email address. See what you've been missing.
Press Release: Key participants from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), U.S. Senate, U.S. Dept. of State, USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG), U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO), and the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will participate in the upcoming PostalVision 2020 event to be held March 15-16, 2016, to discuss issues related to the B2Me consumer empowerment phenomenon and how it impacts the changing global postal ecosystem.
eCommerceBytes: A congressman introduced a bill that would allow the United States Postal Service to offer basic financial services, and one aspect of the proposed legislation has the potential to impact ecommerce. Representative Cedric Richmond of Louisiana reintroduced the Providing Opportunities for Savings, Transactions and Lending (POSTAL) Act. The bill would allow US postal customers to open checking accounts, deposit funds in an interest-bearing savings account, and receive small-dollar loans. The bill would also require that the Postal Service offer customers a "Postal Card" that would function as a debit card and allow them to engage in in-store, mobile, and online transactions.
Attention Business Customer Gateway and PostalOne!® Users: PostalOne! Release 184.108.40.206 and the PostalOne! Hardware Upgrade have successfully completed. Mail.dat® Client Reminder:
- Mail.dat 220.127.116.11_PROD is required on February 28, 2016
- Mail.dat 42.0.0_PROD client will be retired on February 28, 2016
USPS Office of the Inspector General:
- U.S. Postal Service Government Relations Responsiveness to Congressional Requests
What The OIG Found. Government Relations did not consistently respond to congressional requests in a timely manner. Of the 143 requests, Government Relations did not respond to 25 requests (17 percent) within their internal goal of 10 business days. These responses ranged from 1 to 41 business days late. The mean, median, and mode response time for the 25 late cases were 20, 14, and 12 business days, respectively. Further, Government Relations did not account for the time between the date the request was received and the date it was assigned to personnel, Had these days been included, the response delays would have been greater. . . . The Postal Service policy does not prioritize requests from individual members of Congress and instead treats these requests as if they were submitted under the Freedom of Information Act. This policy does not recognize individual Congress members’ need for information to carry out their legislative duties. Without specific policies, Government Relations may delay responding to congressional requests, which could negatively impact relations between Congress and the Postal Service. In addition, Government Relations should carefully consider any requests received from a member of Congress to enhance transparency and strengthen relations between Congress and the Postal Service. . . .
What The OIG Recommended. We recommended management develop and publish internal and external policies to include, but not limited to, starting response periods when requests are received, establishing response due dates, date stamping incoming correspondence, documenting the date of request for all incoming email requests, sending notifications when requests are received or responses will be delayed, and responding to QFRs. We also recommended management revise policies to designate requests from individual members of Congress as having appropriate priority to promote transparency and positive relations.
City Delivery Office Efficiency – Colorado/ Wyoming District
Background. City delivery office operations cover all duties a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier performs in the office. These duties include casing mail (placing mail in delivery order), preparing parcels for delivery, and retrieving accountable items. City carriers are delivering more packages and fewer letters to more addresses each year. To accommodate these changes, the Postal Service must deliver the increased package volume while maintaining efficiency. In 2015, Colorado/Wyoming District city carriers delivered over 1.7 billion mailpieces on 2,831 routes to more than 1.6 million delivery points. City delivery office workhours totaled 1,540,433 for this period. Our objective was to assess the office efficiency of city delivery operations in the Colorado/Wyoming District.
What the OIG Found. The Colorado/Wyoming District has opportunities to enhance efficiency in city delivery office operations. The district’s percent to standard, a measurement used to assess office efficiency, was 120.76 percent — 12.53 percentage points above the national average of 108.23 percent. A percent to standard score greater than 100 percent indicates performance is less than the desired standard. From July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015, 55 of the Colorado/Wyoming District’s 136 delivery units (40 percent) used 179,619 more office workhours than necessary, or about 17 more minutes of office time per day on each route. These additional workhour costs were more than $8.6 million. These conditions occurred because mail sometimes arrived late and the mail mix was sometimes incorrect, or carriers engaged in time-wasting practices. Also, mail arrival profiles (used to establish staffing levels and mail arrival times by type and quantity) were non-existent, unsigned, or outdated. Finally, managers did not enforce policies and procedures. Eliminating extra workhours would increase overall efficiency at the delivery units and allow a cost avoidance of about $8.8 million in the next year. We also identified inadequate safeguards over cash, money orders, and stamp stock at 12 delivery units. Management immediately initiated corrective action on these matters; therefore, we are not making a recommendation on this issue.
What the OIG Recommended. We recommended the district manager, Colorado/Wyoming District, eliminate 179,619 workhours at delivery units. We also recommended management eliminate inefficient office practices, prepare up-to-date mail arrival profiles, and ensure adherence to Postal Service policies and procedures.
Five Things You Need to Know
1.) USPS in the President's FY17 budget request.
2.) USPS' first quarter FY16 financial results.
3.) USPS Spring 2016 Rollback pricing files.
4.) PostCom submits initial comments in Annual Compliance Report.
5.) USPS collected $4.257 billion in cumulative surcharge revenue.
February 12: Reply Comments due at PRC on Annual Compliance Report (ACR)
March 15/16: Postal Vision 2020 6.0
March 20-23: National Postal Forum
April 11-13: MAILCOM '16
May 9: PostCom Executive Committee Meeting (PostCom offices)
May 10: PostCom PostOps/Study Day Meeting (Venable offices)
May 11: PostCom Board Meeting (Venable offices)