Quality of Mail Service in Bozeman, Montana

GGD-81-73: Published: May 6, 1981. Publicly Released: May 11, 1981.

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GAO reviewed certain operations at the Bozeman, Montana, Post Office to determine the impact on and changes in mail service resulting from the implementation of area mail processing (AMP) and to assess employee morale.

GAO found that specific data on the quality of Bozeman's mail service prior to the implementation of AMP does not exist and that performance statistics maintained by the Postal Service are too general to reflect the current quality of Bozeman's mail service. Consequently, GAO could not determine whether the quality of Bozeman's mail service has changed as a result of AMP implementation. Two principle problems exist in the mail service. For every delivery area, the timeliness of both incoming and outgoing mail was below the Postal Service's 95 percent ontime delivery goal. Only 52 percent of the GAO test letters and only 12 percent of those deposited in special mail boxes received a correct postmark. Delayed mail and incorrect postmarks reflect poor service performance and cause customer dissatisfaction. Corrective actions are being implemented to improve mail service, and periodic mail tests are planned to evaluate performance. Morale has been a serious concern of postal workers and managers in the Bozeman Post Office. Workers said that managers were stringently enforcing rules that had been neglected in the past and took disciplinary actions when rules were not followed. They saw no need for such strict enforcement, because they felt that the Bozeman Post Office was one of the most efficient in the State. They were concerned that the rules were not applied fairly and uniformly to all employees. Morale was adversely affected by lack of notice of the implementation of AMP. Morale is beginning to improve and many postal workers are now accepting AMP.

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