Postal Service:

Community Involvement in Post Office Relocation Decisions

GGD-89-11: Published: Feb 17, 1989. Publicly Released: Feb 17, 1989.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) policies for notifying communities when relocating postal facilities, focusing on USPS practices in Tennessee.

GAO reviewed 30 USPS site acquisition projects in three regions and found that: (1) 19 complied with all USPS community notification requirements; and (2) project files did not contain one or more of the required notifications for the other 11 projects. GAO also reviewed 73 USPS relocation projects in Tennessee and found that: (1) 24 fully complied with notification requirements; (2) USPS did not make one or more notifications for the remaining 49 projects; (3) USPS did not send any notifications on eight of the nine projects where it leased existing facilities; and (4) USPS did not contact Tennessee about 37 of the 48 leased projects built to USPS specifications. In addition, GAO found that: (1) USPS failed to coordinate with community officials because of misinterpretations of coordination policies and improperly trained staff; (2) local officials did not concur in nine of the Tennessee relocation projects, resulting in selection of alternative sites for three projects; (3) 88 percent of the projects proceeded without state or local objection; and (4) although USPS failure to coordinate the projects reviewed did not result in any negative impacts, the USPS Southern Region clarified its community coordination requirements.

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