Those of us helping on the Office of Inspector General blog had so much fun last year we thought we would make the top 10 stories an annual event. We’ve provided the top 10 postal stories for 2009. Tell us about any stories we missed and add whatever comments you think appropriate. In particular, we would like to get your input on the top story, so take a minute and vote in the poll below.
And now in reverse order . . . our top 10:
- Electric vehicles spark interest — The Postal Service prequalified suppliers in case it requests proposals for the electric conversion of long-life vehicles (LLVs), and a House bill was introduced that would begin the process of testing and deploying 20,000 electric-drive delivery vehicles.
- Sales, Sales, Sales —The Postal Service used its pricing freedom to hold a sale during the traditionally low-volume summer months.
- Retirement incentives fail to motivate — The Postal Service offered financial incentives for early retirements, but fewer employees took up the offer than expected.
- Full-service Intelligent Mail launches — Full-Service Intelligent Mail prices became available in November.
- Communities take note as collection boxes disappear — The news was full of stories of the decline of the familiar blue box, a part of a national-cost-saving measure.
- Unprecedented cost reductions are not enough — The Postal Service squeezed 115 million workhours and $6.1 billion in costs from its operations, but it was not enough to offset the effect of volume losses.
- Mail goes paperless — A new way of “mailing” garnered attention as services emerged that allow mailers to send electronic “mail” using physical address information.
- Congress grants health care prefunding relief — Congress allowed the Postal Service to reduce its contribution to the Postal Service’s retiree health fund by $4 billion this year. Without this relief, the Postal Service would have come very close to running out of cash.
- The Postal Service requests 5-day delivery — Postmaster General Potter requested that the Postal Service be given the authority to cut a day of delivery if necessary.
- Perfect storm almost swamps the Postal Service — Large mail volume losses and the continuing heavy requirements to prefund retiree health benefits nearly tipped the Postal Service into insolvency.
This topic is hosted by the OIG’s Risk Analysis Research Center (RARC).