Enhancing Mail for Digital Natives

November 18, 2013 (Report Number RARC-WP-14-001)

So what does the generation born and raised in the age of the Internet think of something like regular mail? Do so-called Digital Natives, who have little experience with life pre-World Wide Web, have any interest in it? Did they ever? The questions raise critical implications for the future of the U.S. Postal Service, as mail volume has plummeted with the rise of digital communications and the postal reform debate continues.

The Postal Service’s Use of Social Media

September 9, 2013

Social media is changing the way organizations communicate with their audience. Integrating technology, social interaction, and content creation, social media is an online communications tool that helps facilitate communication and collaboration. It is an increasingly popular business tool for sharing information with diverse stakeholders and a vehicle for receiving and addressing customer suggestions and complaints. Organizations can become more engaged than ever with their audiences by using social media to create and share content. 

Oversight of Performance-Based Contracts

Performance-based contracting involves the use of contracts that define the work to be achieved and not necessarily how the work is performed. Contractors have the freedom to determine how to meet performance objectives as long as appropriate performance quality levels are achieved. Payment to the contractor is made only for services that meet those levels.

Postal Employee Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Embezzling Postal Funds

Need some extra cash? Don’t steal it from the Postal Service! In February 2011, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) received data from a major banking corporation regarding daily deposits made by a number of postal retail units. The data contained a detailed breakdown of the amount of cash and checks deposited for postal retail units in 21 postal districts. OIG special agents became suspicious of an embezzlement scheme as they compared the deposit details received from the bank to the deposit details available in the Postal Service’s point of service (POS) system.

U.S. Postal Service Parcel Delivery Lockers

The U.S. Postal Service developed the gopost® parcel delivery locker concept to offer customers an easy, convenient, and secure delivery option. The parcel delivery locker pilot was implemented in February 2012, providing customers with a free alternative to use 24 hours a day for parcel shipment and receipt.

City Carrier Wrestles with OWCP Fraud

Be careful what you post on your Facebook page! A city letter carrier who had been out of work for approximately six years due to alleged lower back injuries, and who was receiving workers’ compensation payments, posted comments on his social media site regarding his prowess in wrestling.

Public-Private Partnerships: Best Practices and Opportunities for the Postal Service

June 24, 2013 (RARC-WP-13-011)

As the public reduces its reliance on physical mail, the U.S. Postal Service is in the middle of a difficult transition—a transition that presents opportunities and challenges. Our white paper recommends that the Postal Service consider opportunities for public-private partnerships (PPPs) to reduce its costs, make its outlays flexible so that they vary along with volume, and leverage private sector expertise in developing new products for the digital age.

Peer-to-Peer Commerce and the Role of the Postal Service

January 14, 2013 (RARC-WP-13-005)

The term peer-to-peer (P2P) commerce refers to a model of a marketplace where individual consumers — peers — trade goods, services, and rentals directly. The U.S. Postal Service can play unique and positive roles in the expansion of the P2P marketplace.

Causes of the Postal Service FERS Surplus

October 16, 2012 (RARC-WP-13-001)

The Postal Service’s pension surplus was projected to be $13.1 billion as of the end of fiscal year 2011. Most of the surplus – $11.4 billion – is in the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS) pension program. A surplus occurs when assets exceed accrued liability. FERS has been in surplus since 1992, and the OIG wanted to investigate the reasons behind this persistent surplus. Are there distinctive characteristics of the Postal Service and its employees that cause the surplus? And can the surplus be expected to continue?