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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed: (1) the reasons for the $133 million in cost overruns incurred at the new Chicago Main Post Office; (2) the list of procedures the United States Postal Service (USPS) has established to prevent a recurrence of cost overruns experienced with the new Chicago Main Post Office in similar, future capital investment projects; (3) why the USPS Board of Governors approved some of the budget increases for the new Chicago Main Post Office in closed, rather than open, meetings; (4) the performance indicators for the Graceland postal station in Chicago, as compared to those at a similar station in another city with a higher first-class, overnight delivery (EXFC) score; and (5) the results of a 1997 USPS survey of the physical condition of postal facilities in the ninth congressional district of Illinois.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
United States Postal Service 1. The Postmaster General should have an entity independent of the Chicago Postal Service management monitor the quality of mail service at the Graceland station by reviewing relevant performance data for the next two years. The independent entity should periodically report progress and any problems identified, along with corrective actions taken, to appropriate Postal Service officials.
Closed - Implemented
The Postmaster General directed the Inspection Service to monitor performance at Graceland Station and has been making periodic progress reports indicating that service improvements are being implemented.

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