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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) initiative to contract out more postage stamp production to the private sector, and how the initiative might affect the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's (BEP) role as primary stamp producer.

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Recommendations

Matter for Congressional Consideration

Matter Status
Given the uncertainty of the relationship between the Treasury/Bureau and USPS, the House Committee on Post Office and Civil Service should direct the Secretary of the Treasury and the Postmaster General to issue a joint report to the Chairman, within 180 days of the date of this report, on progress made regarding the GAO recommendations.
Closed - Implemented

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Treasury 1. The Secretary of the Treasury and the Postmaster General should jointly review and resolve any disagreement about the extent to which the Bureau will participate in the Deloitte Haskins and Sells study.
Closed - Not Implemented
BEP/Treasury would not ever participate in this study, which would help USPS privatize stamp production. Treasury made this point clear prior to the beginning of the study.
United States Postal Service 2. The Secretary of the Treasury and the Postmaster General should jointly review and resolve any disagreement about the extent to which the Bureau will participate in the Deloitte Haskins and Sells study.
Closed - Not Implemented
The study is complete. The Bureau refused to participate in the study or provide certain information to Deloitte. USPS stated, for that reason, that the study's results were lessened considerably from what was originally intended.
Department of the Treasury 3. The Secretary of the Treasury and the Postmaster General should jointly ensure that any results of the Deloitte Haskins and Sells study are jointly evaluated by proper Treasury/Bureau and USPS officials so that the concerns and interests of all parties are adequately considered before plans for future stamp production are completed.
Closed - Implemented
A new interagency agreement specifically states that joint evaluation should take place.
United States Postal Service 4. The Secretary of the Treasury and the Postmaster General should jointly ensure that any results of the Deloitte Haskins and Sells study are jointly evaluated by proper Treasury/Bureau and USPS officials so that the concerns and interests of all parties are adequately considered before plans for future stamp production are completed.
Closed - Implemented
The new interagency agreement specifically states that joint evaluation should take place.
Department of the Treasury 5. The Secretary of the Treasury and the Postmaster General should jointly determine whether a more specific agreement detailing production standards and requirements would benefit the relationship between the Bureau and USPS, and whether such an agreement would help forestall problems such as those that occurred in the past that may have been exacerbated by the unspecific nature of the existing interagency agreement.
Closed - Implemented
A new, more specific agreement was signed on June 11, 1990. BEP is satisfied that the agreement should forestall the occurrence of past problems and stabilize the relationship.
United States Postal Service 6. The Secretary of the Treasury and the Postmaster General should jointly determine whether a more specific agreement detailing production standards and requirements would benefit the relationship between the Bureau and USPS, and whether such an agreement would help forestall problems such as those that occurred in the past that may have been exacerbated by the unspecific nature of the existing interagency agreement.
Closed - Implemented
The new agreement was signed on June 11, 1990. USPS is satisfied that the agreement should forestall the occurrence of past problems and stabilize the relationship.
Department of the Treasury 7. The Secretary of the Treasury and the Postmaster General should jointly ascertain whether information about philatelic stamp requirements and problems, as well as mailstream stamp requirements and problems, is being adequately communicated between USPS and the Bureau, thereby precluding recurrence of problems in those troublesome areas.
Closed - Implemented
The agreement signed June 11, 1990 fully describes philatelic and mailstream quality. BEP is satisfied that the agreement will facilitate communication between USPS and BEP.
United States Postal Service 8. The Secretary of the Treasury and the Postmaster General should jointly ascertain whether information about philatelic stamp requirements and problems, as well as mailstream stamp requirements and problems, is being adequately communicated between USPS and the Bureau, thereby precluding recurrence of problems in those troublesome areas.
Closed - Implemented
The agreement signed June 11, 1990 fully describes philatelic and mailstream quality. USPS is satisfied that the agreement will go a long way toward ensuring clear communication between USPS and BEP.

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