Postal Service:

Mail Delivery to New Residential Addresses--Adherence to Policy Can Be Improved

GGD-87-66: Published: Jun 5, 1987. Publicly Released: Jun 5, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Postal Service's (USPS) program to deliver mail to neighborhood delivery and collection box units or cluster boxes.

GAO reviewed the implementation of the policy in 15 communities and found that: (1) since 1978, USPS policy on providing mail delivery services to residential customers has stipulated that delivery to cluster boxes is one of three options available to new housing areas; (2) to contain delivery costs, USPS encourages the active promotion of delivery to cluster boxes; (3) although USPS policy requires local postal officials to make new housing area developers aware of the options to cluster boxes, officials in 3 of the 15 communities stated that they had not done so; and (4) although USPS officials in the 12 other communities stated that they routinely offered the other options to developers, the majority of the developers in those communities said that USPS offered them only cluster boxes. GAO also found that: (1) the number of cluster box installations that were missing required documentation ranged from 15 percent to 76 percent; and (2) most of the post offices used a form to document developers' consent to cluster boxes, but the forms did not indicate the availability of other options.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: A policy statement was issued and USPS agreed to comply with policy periodically audited. USPS will revise the consent form to ensure compliance with the policy.

    Recommendation: In order to ensure that all post offices nationwide are consistently adhering to the policy on providing mail delivery service to new residential addresses, the Postmaster General should direct: (1) that Division Managers and Postmasters periodically check post offices' compliance with policy requirements to ensure that the three delivery options are being offered to developers and that decisions made by developers are adequately documented; and (2) the Assistant Postmaster General, Delivery Services Department, to revise the developer-consent document so that it clearly discloses to developers the availability of two delivery options in addition to cluster boxes.

    Agency Affected: United States Postal Service


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