U.S. Postal Service:
Electronic Commerce Activities and Legal Matters
T-GGD-00-195: Published: Sep 7, 2000. Publicly Released: Sep 7, 2000.
- Full Report:
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the U.S. Postal Services' (USPS) electronic commerce (e-commerce) initiatives, focusing on USPS': (1) e-commerce initiatives that have been implemented or are being developed; (2) goals and strategies for the e-commerce area; (3) processes for approving these initiatives; and (4) expected performance and results to date related to e-commerce initiatives.
GAO noted that: (1) USPS is in the early stages of implementing its e-commerce program; (2) USPS has taken steps this year to develop and implement its e-commerce activities, including developing a definition of its e-commerce initiatives, identifying e-commerce and related initiatives, and establishing a process for approving these initiatives; (3) USPS identified seven e-commerce initiatives involving products and services meant to facilitate the movement of messages, merchandise, and money in ways that require the use of the Internet and generate revenues for USPS; (4) USPS also outlined overall e-commerce goals and strategies and developed some performance targets for its e-commerce initiatives; and (5) however, GAO identified three problem areas relating to USPS management of its e-commerce area: (a) inconsistencies in identifying e-commerce and related initiatives and in reporting the status of these activities, which made it difficult to obtain a complete and accurate picture of USPS' e-commerce activities; (b) inconsistencies in following the required process for reviewing and approving its e-commerce initiatives, which raised questions as to whether the initiatives were appropriately planned and reviewed; and (c) deficiencies in the financial information USPS provided for its e-commerce activities, which raised concerns about the accuracy and completeness of the financial reporting for e-commerce activities.