Postal Service's Method of Billing the Congress for Postage

GGD-79-50: Published: Apr 26, 1979. Publicly Released: Apr 26, 1979.

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The Postal Service's method of billing the Congress for postage was reviewed to determine if the quarterly bills sent to the Congress reflect the revenue due to the Service for franked mail service. The Service's procedures for sampling franked mail and its practices for collecting, recording, and processing data used to compute franked mail revenue were reviewed.

While the design of the sampling system for detecting franked mail seems adequate, poor implementation and a lack of adequate monitoring have resulted in numerous billing errors. The errors included errors in collecting and recording required samples, errors in calculating volume and rates, and limited control over franked mail entering the system outside Washington, D.C. These errors were so numerous and significant that it was not possible to determine what relationship there may be between the bills sent to the Congress and the amount that should have been charged. Although the Postal Service has taken some actions in recent months to improve the billing system, the errors can only be significantly reduced by assuring that the system's procedures are clearly understood by employees involved in providing input to the quarterly bills and by monitoring the sampling and the bill preparation to insure that the quarterly bills reflect the postage due the Service.

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