Highlights of GAO's Conference on Options to Enhance Mail Security and Postal Operations

GAO-02-315SP: Published: Dec 20, 2001. Publicly Released: Dec 20, 2001.

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Bernard L. Ungar
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With the recent anthrax attacks on Congress and the media, the U.S. Postal Service faces a new and more immediate challenge of responding and developing a plan to safeguard the mail system from future attacks. GAO held a conference, on December 10, 2001, with representatives from Congress, the Postal Service, and many of the Service's key stakeholders to discuss possible options to enhance mail security and postal operations. The conference participants agreed that there is no single or simple solution for ensuring the safety of mail. Nevertheless, they agreed that the Service, the mailing industry, and other stakeholders should work closely together to assess current risks, develop a framework for responding to potential threats, and take immediate steps to secure the safety of the mail to restore public confidence.Participants also agreed that detection technology is essential for securing the mail and they emphasized the need for enhanced efficiency of postal operations.

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