Deteriorating financial conditions and declining mail volume have reinforced the need for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to increase operational efficiency and reduce expenses in its mail processing network. This network consists of interdependent functions in nearly 600 facilities. USPS developed several initiatives to reduce costs and increase efficiency; however, moving forward on some initiatives has been challenging because of the complexities involved in consolidating operations. In response to a conference report directive, GAO assessed (1) the overall status and results of USPS's efforts to realign its mail processing network and (2) the extent to which USPS has consistently followed its guidance and applied these criteria in reviewing Area Mail Processing (AMP) proposals for consolidation since the beginning of fiscal year 2009. To conduct this assessment, GAO reviewed USPS's Network Plan, area mail processing consolidation guidance and proposals as well as other documents; compared USPS's actions related to consolidation of area mail processing facilities with its guidance, and interviewed officials from USPS, the USPS Office of Inspector General, and employee organizations. GAO provided USPS with a draft of this report for comment. In response, USPS provided technical comments that were incorporated where appropriate.
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