U.S. Postal Service:

A Look at Other Countries' Postal Reform Efforts

T-GGD-96-60: Published: Jan 25, 1996. Publicly Released: Jan 25, 1996.

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GAO discussed other countries' postal service reform efforts and how their experiences may relate to U.S. Postal Service reform. GAO noted that: (1) the U.S Postal Service handles over seven times the mail volume and has at least twice as many employees as the 8 foreign countries reviewed; (2) increased competition from private delivery and communications networks has caused changes in U.S. postal law to allow more competitive flexibility; (3) the 8 foreign governments have reduced their control over their postal administration's day-to-day practices, which has led to improved service and financial performance for some of them; (4) universal mail service remains a common goal among these administrations, but their definition of it varies; (5) unlike the United States, 7 of the countries have franchising policies for postal retail services; (6) all of the countries provide certain subsidized mail services; (7) all of the countries except Sweden have postal monopolies, which vary widely in definition and scope; (8) some foreign countries have given their postal administrations greater freedom to set postal rates; (9) the overall experience of other countries' postal administrations are relevant to any U.S. postal reforms; and (10) any reform initiative must consider the quality of the Postal Service's labor relations.

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