Rethinking Assumptions

Considerations in Structuring Estimated Liabilities – White Paper FT-WP-15-003 – 01/23/2015

The U.S. Postal Service is required to prefund its long-term pension and retiree healthcare liabilities. These liabilities, currently estimated at almost $404 billion, are based on assumptions that are highly uncertain and changeable. Our recent white paper evaluates these assumptions and other considerations and shows the retiree-related liabilities are closer to being fully funded, or could even be overfunded, when certain assumptions are reasonably adjusted or considered.

Will The Check Be in the Mail? An Examination of Transactional Mail

RARC-WP-15-006 - 02/09/2015

By now, it’s fairly common knowledge that digital communications has cut into First-Class Mail volumes. But does this necessarily mean people always prefer to communicate digitally? To find out, we looked at the trends and customer preferences for one particular mail segment – transactional mail, which consists primarily of household bills and payments.

Estimating the Value of the U.S. Postal Service Brand

RARC-WP-15-005 - 01/28/2015

A corporate brand is a mix of tangible and intangible elements, from a company's name and logo to expectations and attributes that consumers associate with a particular product or service. A certain car manufacturer, for example, may make people think of luxury and reliability. A particular retailer may immediately bring to mind everyday goods at low prices.

The U.S. Postal Service has a corporate brand, too. Its attributes include reliability, convenience, value, and tradition, among other things.

eCommerce Customers Want Flexible Package Payment Options

Parcel Payment Technologies and Payment Strategies - White Paper FT-WP-15-001 – 11/19/2014

As consumers and small businesses increasingly use computers, smartphones, tablets and other devices to buy and sell goods, there is a growing demand for flexible ways to buy services to ship these goods. The Postal Service lags behind its primary competitors in offering technology-savvy customers mobile applications and credit services to pay for packages and shipping.

Semiannual Report to Congress

The Office of Inspector General is tasked with ensuring efficiency, accountability, and integrity in the U.S. Postal Service. We also have the distinct mission of helping to maintain confidence in the mail and postal system, as well as to improve the Postal Service’s bottom line.

Guiding Principles for a New Universal Service Obligation

RARC-WP-15-001 - 11/17/2014

The U.S. Postal Service’s universal service obligation (USO), which establishes what mail services the Postal Service must provide, lacks a clear, comprehensive definition. The current USO is assumed to be a hodgepodge of various legal requirements and regulations that, in most cases, provide only broad guidance. For example, while public access to postal services is an important component of USO, there are no specifics about how many access points such as mail collection boxes or post offices must exist.

Revenue Protection is Vital to Postal Service Viability

Revenue Protection Rules - Management Advisory Report MS-MA-15-001 - 10/03/2014

Revenue protection is critical to posts’ survival in a world of declining mail volume. And it can be a challenge, especially given the Universal Postal Union’s estimate that posts lose 5 to 10 percent of postage revenue due to fraud, poor mail acceptance, sampling and billing processes, and unreliable revenue collection technology.

Voyager Card Fuel Program is Ineffective

Voyager Card Program – Capping – Management Advisory Report NO-MA-14-007 –  09/30/2014

Since fiscal year (FY) 2005, the U.S. Postal Service has spent more than $5.1 billion to buy fuel for Highway Contract Route (HCR) contractors under the Voyager Card Program.  But, in a recent report that summarizes prior audits of the Voyager program, we conclude it is ineffective and the Postal Service should consider alternative ways to manage fuel purchases.

Two Former Station Managers Guilty of Receiving Contracting Kickbacks

It was easy for a local landscaping company to obtain lucrative landscaping and snow removal work from two U.S. Postal Service managers; all it took was sharing the invoice proceeds with them.  A joint investigation by the Postal Service Office of Inspector General and the FBI determined that  two Postal Service managers conspired with contractors to receive bribery kickbacks by submitting over $590,000 in false and inflated invoices to the Postal Service, in exchange for a percentage of the proceeds paid to contractors.

More Transparency Would Enhance Post Office Relocation Process

Post Office Relocation Process – Audit ReportDR-AR-14-008 – 9/2/2014

The U.S. Postal Service manages nearly 32,000 post offices that offer retail services such as counter assistance, postage stamps, money orders, and Post Office boxes. The Postal Service can relocate post offices for business reasons, but must follow a specified process so the public knows about the plans and has the opportunity for input.