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PMG Asks for Industry Commitment
Oct. 22

Addressing the Direct Marketing Association Annual Conference, PMG Jack Potter asked for the mailing industry's continued commitment to work with Congress to modernize the Postal Service. He told leaders of the mailing industry that USPS is maintaining a firm handle on finances as it continues to perform at record service levels, but he said the future of the mailing industry and the people it employs depends on industry members keeping their focus on long-term solutions.

Potter said his short-term vision for Postal Service success hinges on four key goals: reducing costs, improving service, changing the rate-making process and enhancing products and service to grow the business. Although optimistic for the short term, Potter stressed that long-term changes are needed for the Postal Service to continue to serve as an affordable conduit of commerce. "We in the Postal Service must modernize," he said.

Contract Awarded to Union Bank of California
Oct. 21

A USPS agreement with Union Bank of California provides depository services for 2,059 California Post Offices with annual deposits of approximately $6 billion. The contract takes effect in November.

The contract is part of the overall USPS treasury management strategy to ensure efficiency in its cash management, helping Americans get the best value for the postage they pay. As part of that strategy, USPS has reduced the number of banks it uses for cash management from more than 5,000 to fewer than 30 over the past five years.

Service Reaches Record Levels; Costs Cut by Billions
Oct. 8

PMG Jack Potter reported that USPS is well on its way to reducing costs by $5 billion by 2006 while keeping service at high levels. "We not only reduced costs by $2.9 billion, but we also provided record levels of service to our customers, the American people," Potter told the Board of Governors.

Potter noted that today's Postal Service has the same number of career employees it had in 1995 while delivering 21 billion additional pieces of mail to 12 million more addresses. Employee positions were reduced by about 23,000 in Fiscal Year 2002. Plans for the current fiscal year, which started in September, are to reduce another 12,000 through attrition. The FY 2003 budget includes approximately $1 billion in cost reductions.

Historic New York Post Office Transfer Proceeds
Oct. 8

The historic Farley Post Office building in New York City will be changing ownership in the near future. The Postal service will transfer ownership of the building to the Pennsylvania Station Redevelopment Corp. The change will be transparent to Postal Service customers, since the retail lobby and other services will be retained. The Postal Service will keep approximately 250,000 square feet of the 1.5-million-square-foot building, which covers two full blocks in downtown New York City.

"We are proud to be part of Manhattan's revitalization," said PMG Jack Potter, a native New Yorker. "We will continue to serve our customers at this building as we have since 1912."

USPS to Reduce Debt $200 Million
Sept. 26

USPS will pay down its debt by $200 million this fiscal year, PMG Jack Potter told the Senate Government Affairs subcommittee. The fiscal turnaround was remarkable because, as Potter noted, "Last year we were talking about increasing our debt by $1.6 billion."

Potter told the committee that the improved financial outlook meant there would not be a general rate increase until well into 2004. He credited employees and managers for holding the line on costs. "Their efforts enabled the Postal Service to reduce our projected negative net income to significantly less than $1 billion," he said. Net loss projections earlier in the year ranged as high as $4.5 billion.

Workshare Discounts for Periodicals
Sept. 26

Better mail preparation means bigger discounts. Smaller mailers don't always have the volume to qualify for the big discounts. But to provide mailers of small circulation periodicals a way to achieve worksharing discounts enjoyed by large mailers, the Postal Service has filed a case with the Postal Rate Commission.

The case seeks a two-year experimental mail classification for "co-palletization dropship discounts" for periodicals. The discounts are designed to provide an additional incentive for publishers, printers and consolidators to combine different publications or print runs on pallets, avoiding the need for sacks, benefiting both mailers and the Postal Service.