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.
The paper reviews lessons learned from PPPs in the postal sector and from nonpostal government agencies in the United States. Over the years, government agencies have developed a set of best practices to ensure that a PPP is a good deal for the public. There are significant benefits to creating a central office to facilitate PPPs, coordinating with private entities, and collecting and sharing best practices throughout an agency. Do you think public-private partnerships would benefit the Postal Service? Share your thoughts on our blog.
10/18/2013 Update: In follow up to the recent release of our Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) white paper, the OIG engaged the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) to perform an independent review of the project. NAPA organized a panel to interview key stakeholders and conduct a range of other research and analysis on partnerships both in the postal context and across government. The panel found that the study is a critical first step in analyzing PPPs and highlighted areas that require further consideration including the risks, constraints, and uncertainties that would likely accompany PPP implementation efforts by the Postal Service. A summary and the complete report of the NAPA panel’s findings can be found at: http://www.napawash.org/publications/independent-assessment-of-a-white-paper-by-the-united-states-postal-service-office-of-inspector-general/.