Postal Service:

Automation Is Taking Longer and Producing Less Than Expected

GGD-95-89BR: Published: Feb 22, 1995. Publicly Released: Feb 22, 1995.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

GAO reviewed the status of the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) mail automation efforts, focusing on USPS use of optical scanning technology to: (1) barcode all letter mail; (2) sort mail to individual addresses; and (3) adjust work methods to reduce the postal workforce.

GAO found that: (1) USPS faces difficult and maybe insurmountable obstacles to successfully completing its automation program by its 1998 target date; (2) USPS problems are compounded by opposition to the expanded zip code and the decentralization of the automation program; (3) barcoding and automatic sorting of letter mail to individual addresses is more difficult than expected and is behind schedule; (4) the shortfall in barcoding is due to optical scanners' difficulty in reading nonstandard envelopes and addresses and the delayed deployment of remote barcoding; (5) current postal incentives favor presorting of mail by mailers, which defeats delivery point sequencing because presorted mail must be merged before delivery; (6) most mailers have no incentive to use barcodes, since they are ineligible for barcode discounts or face cumbersome preparation requirements; (7) because of USPS failure to meet the barcoding target date and to include multiple occupant buildings in delivery point sequencing, carriers have not been able to reduce their in-office hours and adjust their delivery routes; (8) automation savings are small and difficult to achieve; (9) USPS has not reduced its workforce as expected and career employment is increasing rather than decreasing; and (10) more business mail is being diverted to electronic delivery methods, which will likely diminish the benefits of automation.

Nov 21, 2017

Nov 20, 2017

Nov 8, 2017

Oct 31, 2017

Oct 26, 2017

Oct 17, 2017

Oct 12, 2017

Oct 11, 2017

Oct 10, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here