Review of the U.S. Postal Service's Revenue Protection Function

B-114874: Published: Oct 13, 1977. Publicly Released: Oct 13, 1977.

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A limited review was conducted of the Postal Service's revenue protection activities in order to determine whether the agency had adequate controls to assure that it was receiving the proper postage from bulk mailers. All classes of mail were reviewed, but special attention was directed toward large second-class mailers since opportunities for underpayment seemed most prevalent in this class. The western region's Revenue Protection Program was also examined.

Postage underpayments result from such causes as understatements of the number of copies mailed, copy weights, or advertising percentages. Several problems which could result in underpayment or overpayment of postage were related to the accuracy of information reported by publishers on second-class mailing statements, the adequacy of the agency's verification of second-class circulation, and the effectiveness of mail acceptance unit operations. Generally, these problems were consequences of a lack of controls over specific functions or failure to adhere to existing controls and could be corrected through a more organized and systematic approach to revenue protection. Since March 1976, the western region has been engaged in an effort to identify and collect postage due on mail. Such efforts have resulted in additional revenue collections, but certain changes need to be made to make it more effective.