Ethics and Social Responsibility

The Postal Service is committed to maintaining its standing as a responsible service organization, and understands that socially responsible behavior is good for business. This principle solidifies this element of corporate culture and enhances the trust factor in key business relationships.

Business Ethics

Postal Service supplying professionals will act with the highest standards of conduct, ethics and integrity. All Postal Service employees must adhere to the “Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch”, 5 CFR 2635 and the “Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Postal Employees” at 5 CFR Part 7001. In addition, Postal Service supplying activities are guided by the Institute of SM’s “Principles of Social Responsibility” available at The Postal Service will be fair, objective, and business-like in its dealings with the supplier community, ensuring that business decisions are driven by business considerations.

Conflicts of Interest

Purchase/SCM teams, contracting officers, and Postal Service management must fully consider and address any ethical concerns on the part of any employee involved in the contracting process as well as any organizational conflicts of interest on the part of its suppliers.

Financial Conflicts of Interest, Impartiality in Performing Official Duties, and Misuse of Position

There are several restrictions imposed by law and federal regulation on Executive-branch employees that require Postal Service employees, under certain circumstances, to seek ethics counseling prior to participating in a contracting activity. In general, if an employee (1) has a direct or imputed financial interest in the matter; (2) if the employees participation in the matter would lead a reasonable person with the relevant facts to question his/her ability to remain impartial in the matter; or (3) if the employee’s participation in the matter would give rise to an appearance that the employee was using his public office for the private gain of another person, the Postal employee must disclose the real or apparent ethical issue to the contracting officer and seek ethics counseling before participating in any phase of the contracting process.

Organizational Conflicts of Interest

The Postal Service has an interest in the early identification and remediation of organizational conflicts of interest on the part of its suppliers. The Postal Service will attempt to avoid situations in which a supplier has an unfair competitive advantage or other interests that may impair the supplier’s objectivity in dealing with the Postal Service or in its ability to perform satisfactorily on Postal Service contracts.


The Postal Service does not contract with former officers or Postal Career Executive Service (PCES) executives or entities with which such individuals have a substantial interest for 1 year after the date of their separation from the Postal Service (whether by retirement or otherwise) if the contract calls for substantially the same duties as they performed during their career with the Postal Service, as determined by the Chief Human Resources Officer & Exec. VP (CHRO & EVP). The CHRO & EVP, may grant exceptions to this policy when he or she determines that doing so is in the best interest of the Postal Service. Lastly, contracts with former employees (those who are not former officers or executives), or with suppliers proposing the use of former officers, executive or employees, are subject to the review and approval of the CHRO & EVP.


The Postal Service recognizes that improved environmental performance and responsibility are important to the long-term health and competitiveness of our business and that sustainable purchasing has the potential to reduce both environmental and financial costs in our operations and network. Therefore, the Postal Service embraces sustainable practices and improved environmental responsibility in our own operations and encourages suppliers to improve their environmental and sustainability practices in the performance of their contracts with us by providing environmentally preferable products when practicable and cost effective. When appropriate, the Postal Service will collaborate with suppliers to identify opportunities that may improve the environmental and sustainability aspects of the goods those suppliers provide to us.