Postal Service:

Role in a Competitive Communications Environment

T-GGD-94-162: Published: May 24, 1994. Publicly Released: May 24, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the: (1) impact of emerging communication technologies on the Postal Service's ability to provide universal mail service at affordable rates; (2) status of the postal automation program; and (3) state of labor relations in the Postal Service. GAO noted that: (1) the majority of first class mail is vulnerable to growing technologies such as fax, electronic mail, and electronic data interchange; (2) the Postal Service may ultimately have to reduce its size as new technologies mature; (3) the Postal Service has historically had difficulty in adjusting its workforce to meet volume changes; (4) the Postal Service has reorganized its marketing department to focus more on emerging technologies and is considering participating in new projects; (5) full implementation of the Postal Service's automation program was originally scheduled for 1995, but has slipped to 1997; and (6) although Postal employees generally like their work, the Postal Service needs to improve communication between its management and employees.

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