Postal Service:

Service and Cost Aspects of the Dakota Central Area Mail Processing Center

GGD-95-16: Published: Oct 18, 1994. Publicly Released: Oct 18, 1994.

Additional Materials:


J. William Gadsby
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Office of Public Affairs
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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed mail service provided by the Dakota Central Area Mail Processing Center, focusing on: (1) the Center's ability to maintain overnight mail service in the service area; (2) a comparison of the Center's mail service with that in Aberdeen, South Dakota, which processes its own mail; (3) the Center's projected operating costs; and (4) the number of personnel and workhours allotted to mail processing before and after consolidation.

GAO found that: (1) the Aberdeen postal facility has slightly better overnight delivery service than the Dakota Central Area Mail Processing Center; (2) the Center's overnight mail service has generally met the Postal Service's performance standard for overnight delivery and substantially exceeds the overnight performance of other service areas in the nation; (3) the Center's construction costs have exceeded the consolidation plan's estimates due to the Postal Service's decision to construct a new facility rather than renovate the existing building as originally planned; (4) the Center's first-year operating costs have exceeded estimates partly because of increased transportation costs; (5) mail processing personnel and workhours devoted to mail processing at the Dakota Center have increased by about 44 percent after consolidation; and (6) in response to GAO recommendations, the Postmaster General is developing new guidelines for planning and evaluating area mail processing consolidations, including postimplementation reviews.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Postal Service has conducted a postimplementation review of the performance of the Dakota Central Area Mail Processing Center.

    Recommendation: The Postmaster General should require that a postimplementation review of Dakota Central be made to ensure that it is achieving planned delivery performance and to more fully understand why it is not achieving planned savings.

    Agency Affected: United States Postal Service


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