on Jun 29th, 2009 in Finances: Cost & Revenue | 24 comments
 
If you’re reading this blog, you likely have an interest in the Postal Service and its financial welfare. How can the Postal Service provide you and other stakeholders with the most appropriate financial information? When the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (the Act) was enacted on December 20, 2006, it made significant changes to the Postal Service’s financial reporting responsibilities and governance. Although the Postal Service is not subject to regulation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Act required the Postal Service to file with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) a number of financial reports containing information prescribed by the SEC (i.e., information contained on SEC Forms 10-Q, 10-K, and 8-K). The Act also specifically required the Postal Service to report certain financial information concerning pension and postretirement health obligations in its SEC-type 10-K annual report based on data provided by the Office of Personnel Management. In addition, the PRC recently issued a Notice of Final Rule Prescribing Form and Content of Periodic Reports dated April 16, 2009, requiring the Postal Service to provide an annual Integrated Financial Plan, a Monthly Summary Financial Report, a monthly National Consolidated Trial Balance, and a monthly Revenue and Expense Summary. Why do you believe that each of the selected reports/documents is required for appropriate public disclosure? (Please explain in the comments below.) Why do you believe that those reports/documents not selected are inappropriate for public disclosure? (Please explain in the comments below.) This topic is hosted by the OIG's Financial Reporting directorate.

24 Comments

Postal management has been hiding the true financial condition from all postal employees, Congress and the public. As the most trusted government agency, why not disclose all financial information.

we need to see the "trial balance" every month... that is the report that will show reckless spending like the manager "awards", travel, and grievance payouts, etc. i don't what just a summary, i want to see the details. prove to us that revenues are being spent with frugality and that we are not being managed into our grave.

JGN

A full financial disclosure by all Area's and all District is required.

USPS should let the public know exactly how many promotions and new hires are being introduced into L'Enfant Plaza aka- headquarters.I know first hand that people are being promoted hand over fist and if the mail volume is fallen to such low totals why do they need more upper management. Food for thought.

need to disclose all grievance settlements and union time to file them. the contracts must be followed, they are legal documents signed and agreed upon by both parties

I don't think the USPS is telling the way they mismanage the funds they have at their disposal. Bonuses for management when they are losing money is not good financial policy.

they are like any large corp..they lie..just like the banks did... MAKE THEM SHOW THE NUMBERS..ALL OF THE NUMBERS..FULL FULL FULL DISCLOSURE..i am there 30 years and can tell you they lie..then lie to cover a lie...

I think that the postal service is hiding a lot of financial records. I do not believe that we are in such a bad situation as they say. The amount of management personel that the usps has , the bonus that are given to each when the usps is supposed to be losing money, and the unbelievable salary that potter has recieved is a sin. All records should be investigated and the board of governors should all be investigated. It is a disgrace what they have done to the usps.

All records should be available. Jack Potter and his cronies are hiding financial information. How can you explain the bonuses that were given last year when the usps was in such a bind. The board of governors should also be investigated for letting the usps get into the mess it is in. I don't believe that we are in as bad a situation as they say, we are just poorly run. Jack Potter and the Board of Governors should all be fired.

i would make alot of SENSE to offer all csrs employees
a retirement package offering no money but atleast 5 years of service

START BY USING PENS, NOT PENCILS AND TELL THE TRUTH AND NOT POSTAL MATH LIES THAT THOSE WHO ARE SUPPOSEDLY IN CHARGE CHANGE TO MAKE THEMSELVES LOOK GOOD...

SIMPLE COMMON SENSE....T E L L T H E T R U T H!!!

JFA

We cannot accurately determine the solution for fixing the financial situation for USPS until we fully understand the problem. A lot of managerial positions could be eliminated, consolidated, and re-purporsed saving USPS loads of money. Instead, management is directing wfr efforts at the very people that drive the USPS and put the mail in the box.

USPS is all corrupted......You see that they have manager and supervisor with no college degree. In a real company, to be a supervisor or management, one would require atleast a Bachelor Degree or an MBA. None of the supervisor i know held any college degree whatsoever. this include the postmaster, and beyond the corrupted USPS. where can you find a non college educated who makes 70-100k a year???????

With all due respect, the 77 % of respondents who feel that the United States Postal Service does not disclose the appropriate amount or type of financial reporting information to the public either have not read the reams of reports submitted to the PRC or the United States Congress. These good folks simply do not understand postal or for that matter, any kind of financial reporting. In my thirty years in finance, I have never witness an organization that requires the amount of financial transparency as the USPS. There is no hidden money here folks. All is revenue booked and all expenses are recorded. The Financial Operating Stating is audited by the GAO, the accounting firm of Ernst and Young and yes, by are own OIG. Yes there are employee awards. And yes, there is travel that may or may not be needed and yes, there have been employees hired for salaried which would make the average 30 year clerk, carrier, manager, drool with envy . However with annual expenses in excess of 70 billion dollars a year, hiring a new IT guy for instance for 89K a year or flying someone on an unneeded trip from Washington to LA , or giving a clerk a 500 dollars award because thy never call in sick is not even going to scratch the surface of this colossal Postal budget. No, the real problem with USPS finances is too many employees making 50K plus per year. One way to solve this would be to adopted 5 day delivery and drastically reduce PTF hours. Remember, PTFs if not schedule are only guaranteed 4 hours per pay period. There are currently approximately 30 thousand PTFs and there are a lot of real savings in this area.

Yes you can complain about Headquarters, the Areas and the districts to your hearts content but if all of these employees magically disappeared tomorrow, the company would still be bleeding red ink. A bad law (PAEA that restricts revenue coupled with an incredible decrease in volume and too many employees making too much money equals disaster. That is the real postal financial story.

Yours respectably,

Old Man Sam

at the bulk center in NJ they run a Tour 2 on Sunday. When Tour 3 comes in there is no mail to work.
This week they are drafting craft for thursday,Friday and Saturdat July 4. If they closed the 4th they could save a lot of money they would be paying out.Mail volume will be light so they could cut back thursday,Friday and close Saturday. Sunday is a regular work day and they could process all the mail.

This would save a lot of overtime pay.

Sirs, the real question is why is not already being done and what is there to hide ? Democracy and open government demand transparency from it's employees and the USPS is employed by the taxpayers and as such should be accountable to them in regards to operations as to avoid nasty surprises. In the past the Service has been substantially less than honest in their communications with Congress resulting in the creation of the OIG to monitor their truthfulness. It's remarkable that instead of replacing the officials responsible so as to ensure responsbile reporting Congress woud choose to create an agency to watch them. The management irresponsibility in their accuracy is epidemic in the USPS.

All of these reports cost a significant amount of money to prepare. Typical government response to a problem. Require a business entity to spend more money to report why they're not making more money. Obviously financial reports are needed and necessary. And not being in finance I'm not sure which reports are truly necessary. However, more is not always better. Rollin' On

The first place to save would be to stop wasting money on OIG Blogs

I work in the BMEU, and we have to make sure that every block on the postage statement submitted by the mailer is filled out, otherwise, it will not be recorded as revenue(even though we have collected it). A requirement, but nick-picky when it doesn't change anything about the acceptance of the mail. This is just another way for management to hide true revenue to bolster their position for wanting changes (reduction in staff, facility closures, etc.) without dealing with the real issues that are hindering the USPS.

Financial accountability will not be accurate until the positions which should be accountable are held by independent, highly educated, mature employees who understand the meaning of commitment, integrity, and selflessness. While the upper level positions (which hold the majority of employees accountable financially) are filled through nepotism and favoritism, family members, alumni, and friends; the unqualified attempt to give the appearance of maintaining fiscal responsibility throughout the organization. Additionally, some financial control experts within the USPS consider themselves above the law, abusing their position of authority, thereby being unaccountable for their own actions which tend to absorb additional profit from the organization for their own personal interests. Investigate the financial control officers on a daily basis over time... you may find that they too waste time and money for personal gain. The accountability officers should also be held accountable. Upper level management has the ability to find ways to make money for personal gain at the expense of the USPS while professing fiscal responsibility. Look for those activities.

The problem with blogs is everyone thinks they're an expert. The external reporting that the USPS does conforms to U.S. Generally Accepted Accouting Principles and is independently audited by Ernst & Young LLP. As a quasi-governmental entity, the Postal Service is required to provide more information than its private industry counterparts. However, to go overboard in this area would be a competitive disadvantage and provide the competition with information they should not have. Today's level of reporting is just right.

One problem is that under the new law some information that was formerly publicly available is now restricted. The Postal Service no longer even reveals the total volume and revenue for Priority Mail. This type of information should be made public.

Let's face it: despite many people's protestations to the contrary, too many folks have an automatic trust of government. When there is a problem, many of us don't like to think of government as the problem but as the solution. Add to that the near phobia that many have about economics as business and what do we get? Pretty much what we have now: a government going billions of dollars IN debt in attempts to get the economy OUT of debt, We get a government doing such idiotic things as bailing out companies for whom bankruptcy is imminent and buying up banks.

There does need to be heightened levels of transparency and oversight, and it needs to come from external organizations.

Add new comment

This site provides a forum to discuss different aspects of the United States Postal Service and how it can be improved. We encourage you to share your comments, ideas, and concerns.

This is a moderated site—we will review all comments before posting them. We expect that participants will treat each other with respect. We will not post comments that contain vulgar language, personal attacks of any kind, or offensive terms that target specific individuals or groups. We will not post comments that are clearly off-topic or that promote services or products. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted.

We ask that reporters send questions to the USPS OIG Media Office through their normal channels and refrain from submitting questions here as comments. We will not post questions from reporters.

We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. Given the need to manage Federal resources effectively, however, we will review comments and post them from 9:00 a.m—5:00 p.m Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. We will read and post comments submitted after hours, on weekends, or on holidays as early as possible the next business day.

To protect your own privacy, and the privacy of others, please do not include personal information or personally identifiable information such as names, addresses, phone numbers or e-mail addresses in the body of your comment.

Except when specifically noted, any views or opinions expressed on this forum (or any other forums available via an RSS feed) are those of the individual bloggers. The views and posted comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, or the Federal government.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy and disclaimer. We plan to blog weekly on as many emerging new media topics as possible. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.