• on Dec 6th, 2010 in Finances: Cost & Revenue | 8 comments
    Mailings that meet minimum volume and preparation requirements to qualify for reduced postage rates are called business mail. Properly accepting business mailings is critical for the Postal Service since it accounted for $25 billion in revenue in 2010. Several types of Postal Service facilities accept business mail. Business Mail Entry Units have acceptance clerks with specialized training and systems for accepting business mail. Local Post Offices can also accept business mail. Most revenue for bulk business mailings is recorded using a system called PostalOne!. PostalOne! has built-in controls that assist clerks in properly accepting the mail. However, approximately 11,000 units that recorded more than $114 million in Permit Imprint and Periodicals transactions in FY 2010 have been forced to operate without PostalOne!. Regardless of the level of training or type of system used, each unit must accept, verify, and collect postage for mail according to required policies and procedures, a process for which it is crucial to have PostalOne!. If classified and accepted improperly the Postal Service risks accepting improperly prepared mail or mail paid at an improper rate. For the past several years, the Postal Service has faced significant revenue losses due in part to decreased mail volume and increased competition from other media alternatives. The Postal Service must continue to explore opportunities to improve processes and eliminate redundancies in their system. Because business mail acceptance generates a significant amount of revenue, the Postal Service may want to reevaluate the number of entry points for accepting business mailings, including the 11,000 units not on PostalOne!. Do you think that the Postal Service should restructure the entry points for business mail? Give us your comment below. The topic is hosted by the Office of Audit Field Financial – East team.
  • on Nov 29th, 2010 in Finances: Cost & Revenue | 8 comments
    The sale of stamps and related products are a core Postal Service business. The Postal Service prints billions of commemorative and definitive stamps annually to enable customers to mail pre-paid domestic and international mail and to also encourage stamp collecting. Given the traditional importance of stamps to the Postal Service, it is vital that the process by which stamps are distributed to customers be both timely and secure. Stamp Distribution Centers (SDCs) issue stamps to thousands of Post Offices, postal stores, and contract stations (sites under contract to the Postal Service typically located in retail establishments) nationwide. Not only do the SDCs distribute all accountable stamp items (stamps, coils, envelopes, and postcards), but they also accept obsolete and redeemed stock for destruction. During fiscal year 2010, the Postal Service consolidated its existing stamp distribution network into six SDCs. The goal of this consolidation was to standardize and automate work processes, reduce space requirements, improve transportation, and reduce stamp destruction costs. This topic is hosted by the OIG's Field Financial-East audit team.
  • on Nov 15th, 2010 in OIG | 14 comments
    Pushing the Envelope was launched in the late Fall of 2008. Since then, we have posted 118 topics (including this one) and received more than 3,800 comments from our readers. Topics covering issues of interest to Postal Service employees generated the greatest response. Our top five, by views, include the following: 1)Silly Rules 2)OIG wants to know how you feel about sick leave 3)Nationwide Wage Uniformity 4)Brainstorm Ideas part 2 (allowed people to choose the best idea) 5)Brainstorm Ideas to Help the Postal Service However, all topics, even less popular ones, have helped to generate a great deal of discussion with the following topics generating the most debate and the most comments: 1)Brainstorm Ideas to Help the Postal Service 2)The Great Debate 3)Silly Rules 4)Does the Postal Service Need to Re-examine Its Delivery Service Standards? This feedback has generated strong debate on the blog and sometimes in the greater postal community. In fact, two recent audits from the OIG’s office, “Postal Service Area and District Office Field Structure” and “Stations and Branches Optimization and Consolidation Initiative,” incorporate reader comments from their related blogs. The Postal Service continues to evolve to meet its current challenges, and fiscal year 2011 could be a very significant year for postal issues. Pushing the Envelope will be there to ask questions, generate ideas, and keep on pushing that envelope. As we emerge from our terrible twos into our third year, the contributors and editors hope you will continue to respond. We’d like to hear your views on what you want from this blog. What do you like? What would you like us to change? What topics should we cover next? Let us know what you think and keep commenting! This topic is hosted by the OIG’s Risk Analysis Research Center (RARC).

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