Archive for the ‘postal’ Category

Issa seeks to stamp out Postal Service’s move into finance

111011_issa_mail_605_apAllowing the U.S. Postal Service to expand into the financial service industry would be “unacceptable” and a “massive expansion” of the government power, a key lawmaker said Friday.

As an executive branch agency, Rep. Darryl Issa, R-Calif., said any expansion of the Postal Service’s ability to generate revenue from non-postal methods poses “serious fair competition” concerns.

“Currently, the Postal Service pays no federal, state, or local taxes, is exempt from most state and local laws, and is implicitly backed by the taxpayer in the event of bankruptcy,” Issa said in a statement. “With these inherent advantages over the private sector, allowing USPS to expand into broad new arenas, such as the financial service industry, would be unacceptable and represent a massive expansion of the power of government.”

Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Postal Service, said H.R. 2748 would strengthen the statutory prohibition on nonpostal, nongovernmental activity that was put in place under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006. If passed, the bill would create a new regulatory framework requiring any new nonpostal activity to be specifically authorized by Congress to eliminate any possible ambiguity under current law.

Issa seeks to stamp out Postal Service’s move into finance

 

 

nrahallBECKLEY, W.Va. – U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) Friday announced that the hours of operation will not be changing at the Bluefield Federal Street Post Office, and that the hours at the East Beckley Post Office will soon return to normal.

“I appreciate the Postal Service fixing this problem but it should have never happened, and there is no guarantee the Postal Service will not try again to shorten hours. I think that such moves are incredibly misguided. Reduced window hours can have a terrible effect on our local economy, hurting our small businesses and inconveniencing our residents. We must stay vigilant in protecting our postal operations and facilities,” said Rahall.

Rahall was informed by constituents about a move by the U.S. Postal Service to reduce the window hours at the Bluefield Federal Street and East Beckley Post Offices. After contacting Postal officials, he was informed that the Postal Service’s full analysis and approval process had not been followed and some important steps were missed when analyzing adjustments to window hours.

The hours of the East Beckley Post Office were changed, effective January 13th, from 8:30am-4:30 pm to 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday through Friday. The hours of the Bluefield Federal Street Post Office were proposed to be changed, effective February 8, from 9 a.m. -2 p.m. to 9 a.m.-11 a.m., Monday through Friday.

Rahall has been informed that the new shortened hours for the Bluefield Federal Street Post Office will not take effect, and that the hours for the East Beckley Post Office will return to the previous schedule on February 17.

sanders2013Sen. Bernie Sanders has fought cuts in service by the U.S. Postal Service.  He’s also sponsored legislation to let the Postal Service find innovative new ways to shore up its finances. A new report from the Postal Service suggests one way the agency could make as much as $8.9 billion in annual revenue would be to offer limited banking services like cashing checks and selling pre-paid debit cards. The USPS already takes in more than $100 million in revenue each year by selling postal money orders. “One of the areas we should be looking at is banking,” Sanders told Ed Schultz in a radio interview on Wednesday.

Ed Schultz Radio

usdoj2013Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Tom Frost, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General, Major Fraud Investigations Division, Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and John Collins, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, announced that former U.S. Postal Service employee ROBERT GIULIETTI, 57, of Cheshire, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to bribery, fraud and tax offenses.

According to court documents and statements made in court, GIULIETTI was a Facilities Project Manager for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) at the USPS Northeast Facilities Office in Windsor, Conn.  GIULIETTI’s duties included recommending and selecting facilities improvement contractors, reviewing and approving bids received from those contractors for USPS work, certifying the completion of work by contractors and approving payment authorizations.  In pleading guilty, GIULIETTI admitted that he accepted approximately $89,000 from two contractors to direct inflated USPS facilities construction contracts to them. Continue reading ‘USPS Facilities Project Manager Pleads Guilty To $1 million Bribery, Fraud and Tax Charges’ »

usps2013USPS Sets the Record Straight

Does legislation pending in the U.S. Senate designed to reform current postal laws give USPS “unchecked, unprecedented power to charge Americans whatever it wants for its services?”

The answer is no, of course not.

But this assertion was made by the Association of Magazine Media’s CEO, Mary Berner, in an opinion article that appeared in the publication, Roll Call. The underlying sentiment of Berner’s assertion is untrue, according to USPS officials.

Senate Bill S.1486, as amended, “provides reasonable authority and greater flexibility to develop and price products and services,” USPS said in response to Berner’s article. “This is a basic need for an organization that derives all of its income from the sale of postage.”

Also, USPS and the Postal Regulatory Commission are bound by current law to determine “just and reasonable” postage rates. This requirement won’t change under proposed legislation. “It will always be in our interests to preserve the affordability of mail,” USPS said.

Magazine publishers only pay about 27 cents for delivery on average, a fee far lower than the rate at which USPS can recover its costs to deliver their products.

source: USPS News Link

nalcrest-entranceOur brothers and sisters in the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) have invited APWU retirees [PDF] to lease apartments in their retirement community in central Florida.

“NALCREST is a wonderful place to live and is owned and operated by the National Association of Letter Carriers, Retirement Educational, Security, Training, Incorporated (NALCREST) and sponsored by the NALC,” President Fredric Rolando wrote in a letter to the APWU retirees.

“We appreciate this act of solidarity,” APWU President Mark Dimondstein said. For more information, click here

OIG audit of USPS Same Day Delivery Pilot Program in the San Francisco District

cba.ht6In response to increasing parcel volume and the changing needs of customers,1 the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) approved the pilot in the San Francisco District in November 2012. The PRC based its approval on the city’s population density and the number of possible delivery areas available.2 Under this concept, a customer could make an online purchase from a Metro Post retailer, have it processed3 by 2 p.m., and receive his or her shipment the same day between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the San Francisco, CA, 941 ZIP Code areas. The Postal Service determines the required staffing and optimal routes for pickups and deliveries4 from the retailers for same day delivery to the customers. It planned to gather sufficient data during the 1-year pilot to support its decision to request an extension for an additional year, establish the service as a permanent product on a quicker timeline, or terminate the test early. Continue reading ‘USPS Suspends Money-Losing Same Day Delivery Pilot Program in San Francisco Area’ »

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LETTER CARRIERS LOGOFeb. 7, 2014—Today, the U.S. Postal Service released its financial report for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2014, which covers the last three months of 2013.

Here is NALC President Fredric Rolando’s statement about today’s report:

Today’s Postal Service figures for the first quarter of 2014 are highly encouraging and show why the postal network must be maintained and strengthened, not degraded.

The announced operating profit of $765 million for the first quarter is dramatic in itself—and it continues the operating profitability that began last year.

The Postal Service’s unmatched networks and outstanding employees have made these striking results possible. And these trends augur well for the future, because they reflect the opportunities increasingly presented by the Internet and by an improving economy. Package revenues resulting from online shopping rose by more than 14 percent this quarter—more than offsetting the small decline in letter revenue.

This quarter’s $765 million operating profit compares with the $100 million from the first quarter of 2013—another sign of improving postal finances.

In light of these results, lawmakers should strengthen the postal network while addressing the remaining problem: the congressional mandate to pre-fund future retiree benefits, required of no other public or private entity in the country. Degrading the network and reducing services to the public and businesses would jeopardize the postal turnaround.

usps2013The Postal Service incurred a net loss of $354 million for the first quarter of the year, which includes $1.4 billion of expense accrued for the legally-mandated prefunding payment for retiree health benefits

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service ended the first quarter of its 2014 fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2013 – Dec. 31, 2013) with a net loss of $354 million. This marks the 19th of the last 21 quarters that it has sustained a loss. Though the Postal Service has been able to grow revenue by capitalizing on opportunities in Shipping and Package Services and has aggressively reduced operating costs, losses continue to mount due to the persistent decline of higher-margin First-Class Mail, stifling legal mandates, and its inflexible business and governance models.

“The Postal Service is doing its part within the bounds of law to right size the organization, and I am very proud of the achievements we have made to reduce costs while significantly growing our package business,” said Postmaster General and CEO Patrick Donahoe. “We cannot return the organization to long-term financial stability without passage of comprehensive postal reform legislation. We appreciate the efforts of the House and Senate oversight committees to make this happen as soon as possible.”  Continue reading ‘USPS Records Loss of $354 Million in First Quarter, Underscoring Need for Comprehensive Legislation’ »

apwulogo213The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs approved an amended version of a postal bill (S. 1486) that faces vehement opposition from the four postal unions. The committee with oversight responsibility for the Postal Service passed the measure by a vote of 9-1 on Feb. 6.

“This was a bad bill that was made worse by the ‘substitute’ version that was introduced last week,” said APWU Legislative and Political Director John Marcotte. “Today the committee amended the bill around the edges but gave no relief to workers and no long-term assurances to the American people about their mail service.” Continue reading ‘Senate Panel Approves ‘Disastrous’ Postal Bill, Unions Promise Fierce Opposition’ »