Survey of the U.S. Postal Service's Area Mail Processing Program

GGD-79-20: Published: Dec 22, 1978. Publicly Released: Dec 22, 1978.

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GAO assessed the Postal Service's Area Mail Processing Program. This is a program designed to reduce labor costs by consolidating mail processing functions.

Presently, Postal Service management lacks the proper data to determine how successful or unsucessful area mail processing has been. Plans for area mail processing do not accurately project potential achievements, and without post-evaluations, management does not know the realistic accomplishments of the program. Each of the Service's five regions applies different criteria and calculations when justifying area mail processing plans. The Service's guidelines for planning and implementing area mail processing do not specify the type of information that should be included in a plan, such as (1) mechanization needed, (2) detailed volume and productivity figures, (3) transportation scheduling changes, and (4) vacant positions for excess employees. Also, the guidelines do not establish a standard methodology for calculating the costs or savings attributable to area mail processing. As a result, estimated savings are inaccurate, leaving management with a false impression as to the benefits and accomplishments of the program.

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