U.S. Postal Service: Overview of Initiatives to Increase Revenue and Introduce Nonpostal Services and Experimental Postal Products Page: 18 of 37
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USPS decided not to pursue the remaining 13 stakeholder-identified
initiatives for other reasons.
* USPS eliminated four initiatives that could be viewed as nonpostal
services because it lacks statutory authority to perform new services
in this area, as discussed further below.
* USPS eliminated four initiatives because stakeholders were not
interested in participating in the efforts. For example, USPS wanted to
expand and digitalize its passport services at self-service kiosks in
post offices as a potential means to reduce error and fraud. However,
according to a recent USPS Office of Inspector General report, the
State Department was not interested in participating because, in its
view, the kiosks would not be cost effective.24 USPS also tried to
partner with the Internal Revenue Service to use personnel at post
office locations to verify the identities of individuals claiming eligibility
for the Earned Income Tax Credit (a benefit for certain individuals who
work and have lower wages). According to USPS officials, there was
limited interest on the part of the Internal Revenue Service because,
as reported by the Office of Inspector General, the Internal Revenue
Service decided to implement an alternative solution.
* USPS eliminated two initiatives because it determined that they
required a greater initial commitment of resources than other
initiatives and were therefore of lower priority. For example, USPS
decided not to provide eligible companies with volume-based discount
pricing to increase their use of First-Class Mail because companies
may be unwilling or unable to make the needed investments for the
initiative to work. Instead, USPS officials said they are focusing on
other incentives with lower investment thresholds.
* USPS eliminated two initiatives because it determined that they could
potentially damage the trust that customers have in the USPS brand.
One initiative involved opening and scanning a customer's mail-with
the customer's permission-to send the mail to them in digital form.
The other initiative envisioned providing companies with tools to
enable them to better target their mailings to consumers.
GAO-13-216 U.S. Postal Service
24U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, Partnerships with Other Government
Agencies, (Management Advisory), DA-MA-12-006 (Sept. 28, 2012).
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United States. Government Accountability Office. U.S. Postal Service: Overview of Initiatives to Increase Revenue and Introduce Nonpostal Services and Experimental Postal Products, report, January 15, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc298921/m1/18/: accessed October 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.