New Postal Service Regulations Affecting Boxholders

GGD-82-74: Published: Jul 9, 1982. Publicly Released: Jul 9, 1982.

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Arnold P. Jones
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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the effectiveness and validity of the new Postal Service regulations which limit to 1 year the period for forwarding mail for boxholders.

The Postal Service modified the regulations, which made them more confusing and led to inconsistent applications at local post offices. GAO endorses attempts by the Postal Service to deliver mail with as few processing steps as possible while providing the same service to boxholders as is afforded other postal patrons. GAO found that the September 1980 revisions to postal regulations were aimed at accomplishing these objectives, but their implementation resulted in confusion among recipients of mail and postal employees who were responsible for enforcing the regulations. The new clarifying instructions which the Postal Service plans to issue could be helpful in alleviating these problems.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Postmaster General should, in clarifying the new forwarding regulations, inform postal management that they should continue to be liberal in granting exemptions from the new forwarding regulations until the Service makes a decision on the forwarding-for-a-fee proposal.

    Agency Affected: United States Postal Service


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