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POTTER TO MANAGERS: Continue to focus on people, reform, costs, service, and revenue

"What the Postal ServiceTM is all about continues to be selling postage and delivering the mail," Postmaster General (PMG) Jack Potter told 766 managers at the recent 2003 National Executive Conference (NEC) in Washington.

As a framework for those two principles, Potter said that when he became postmaster general he told employees that his focus would be on five main areas, illustrated by the five points of a star: people, reform, costs, service, and revenue. "That focus hasn't changed," the PMG told the NEC attendees. "And employees are delivering results."

He said everyone has done an outstanding job in reducing costs, noting that USPS® is $1.2 billon under budget in non-personnel costs.

On the reform front, he praised the whole USPS organization - union and management alike - as well as the entire mailing industry for supporting the effort that led to Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) reform legislation. The legislative change will save the Postal Service billions that it otherwise would have been required by law to overpay into the CSRS.

And Potter noted the extensive work of the President's Commission on the U.S. Postal Service and its recommendations to the president on postal reform. "We must have legislative reform," Potter said.

The PMG said the Postal Service's focus on people is showing results: "VOE scores are up, grievances are down and we have long-term contracts with all our unions."

Potter told managers that the Postal Service must redouble its efforts on the fifth and final point on the star: revenue. Declaring it a major focus, he said, "Our future depends on revenue. It's the key."

TACS EVERYWHERE: Web-based time and attendance system online nationwide

Ahead of schedule and well under budget - that's the story of nationwide implementation of the Time and Attendance Collection System (TACS). The Postal Service now can retire the decades-old systems that TACS replaces.

TACS is one of the world's largest Web-based applications that provides real-time work-hour data to help manage day-to-day operations at the Postal Service. National implementation was completed this summer - thanks to a partnership between Finance and Information Technology.

TACS keeps track of hours worked by more than 700,000 USPS career and non-career employees and the nearly $2 billion in salaries and benefits they receive each pay period. TACS is credited with a 12 percent reduction in the number of payroll-related adjustments. In addition, the number of timekeepers has been reduced by more than 1,000.

THE PICK-UP PLACE: Discounts on merchandise return items when picked up

Parcel Select® customers soon will receive discounts for their merchandise return items if they pick them up at the same locations where they drop off packages for delivery.

To take advantage of the discounts, merchants need to pick up the returned parcels at a designated Postal Service facility, rather than have the Postal Service deliver the returns to the merchant. "The merchant will pay the postage, which makes the new service particularly consumer friendly," said Package Services Manager Jim Cochrane.

The new Return Service is available for Parcel Select and Bound Printed Matter items beginning Oct. 19. The price for parcels picked up at the Post OfficeTM nearest the consumer is $2. Prices for pieces picked up at the bulk mail center are higher, depending on the item's weight and the distance traveled.

SAFEGUARDING PRIVACY: New handbook arrives this month

Reference guides are great resources. They put everything about a subject in one place. And that's what USPS has done with its first ever Privacy/Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) handbook.

Everything you wanted to know about USPS privacy and the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, has been organized, updated and explained in plain English.


Handbook AS-353, Guide to Privacy and the Freedom of Information Act, replaces two parts of the Administrative Support Manual: Portions of Subchapter 35, Records and Release of Information, and the Appendix, Privacy Act Systems of Records.

Appropriate headquarters and field employees will receive copies this month. Take a good look at the handbook - its policies and procedures are effective Sept. 30.

NUMBER, PLEASE: Make contact with new features at the online telephone directory

New features developed by Information Technology (IT) make it easy to connect with co-workers.

In addition to name, title, and address search options, the USPS Online Telephone Directory now includes advanced search options including district site, finance number and office. If you're not sure whether it's Johnson or Johnston, just search "Johns." And narrow it down with a first name, or city, or ZIP Code, or . . .

More features are in the works, such as automated e-mail links. And over the next few months, IT will complete local field directory records so you will be able to access local and national information in a single online directory.

The directory is only as good as the information in it. Automated data feeds take care of most of the updating, but you need to check to be sure your information is accurate. Select the Phone Directory link on the Postal Service Intranet and check it out. If you need to make changes, you can do it right from the Web site.

FALL CELEBRATION: National Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, America honors the many contributions Hispanic Americans have made and continue to make to our nation by observing National Hispanic Heritage Month. USPS stamps that recognize Hispanic Americans include baseball great Roberto Clemente, singer Richie Valens, U.S. Senator Dennis Chavez of New Mexico, and United Farm Workers leader Cesar Chavez.

2004 FINANCIAL PLAN: Modest mail volume growth and continuing cost reductions

Mail volume is expected to grow by 1.3 percent in Fiscal Year (FY) 2004, though USPS revenue is expected to remain flat, according to remarks made by Chief Financial Officer Richard Strasser at this month's Board of Governors meeting.

Strasser said forecasts point to another 1.3 billion-piece decline in First-Class Mail® volume, while he expects Standard Mail to increase by nearly 4.2 billion pieces. Overall mail volume growth should be up 2.7 billion pieces, a modest 1.3 percent growth rate.

The 2004 financial plan includes savings through reduction of operational costs and expedited debt repayment. "We will continue to focus on strategies that were outlined in the Transformation Plan," Strasser said.

The fiscal plan requires continuing cost reductions of $1.4 billion along with a fifth straight year of productivity gains, even while the delivery network is expected to grow another 1.8 million addresses, to 143 million.

The plan also includes further reductions of 25 million employee workhours. Since 1999, the Postal Service has reduced total workhours by a cumulative 512 million, the equivalent of $13 billion in savings. Strasser also said that the financial plan would enable the Postal Service to fully recover all prior years' losses with projected net incomes this fiscal year and in FY 2004, capturing $6 billion since the start of FY 2003.

The Postal Bulletin - Help Us Save Paper and Money

The Postal Bulletin has been around for 123 years, and it's the most relied-upon, trusted source of information in the Postal ServiceTM today.

In the 1970s, when our nation became more concerned about our environment, the Postal Service began using recycled paper to print the Postal Bulletin. We have also tried over the years to print just the right number of copies to save our nation's resources.

Despite our efforts, some offices tell us that they receive too many copies. We need to do something about this.

Reducing or Canceling Your Subscription

Therefore, if you want to reduce the number of copies your office receives or if you want to cancel your subscription altogether, send an e-mail to or call 202-268-5776 (if you reach a recording, be sure to leave a message with your name, telephone number, and ZIP Code). Please be assured that we will not reduce or cancel your subscription unless you ask us to do so.

As we review our subscription list, we will begin calling facilities that seem to have duplicate subscriptions. If we call your facility, please help us determine if we can reduce your subscription.

Forwarding to Other Facilities

Are you using your own labels to forward Postal Bulletins to other facilities that don't have their own subscriptions? When those other facilities close down, the undeliverable Postal Bulletins are returned to us here at Headquarters. When we receive those returned Postal Bulletins, we have no way of correcting the problem, because those facilities aren't on our subscription list and because we don't know which is the forwarding facility.

If you are forwarding Postal Bulletins to other facilities, please contact us at the above e-mail address or phone number so we can create a separate subscription for them.

Accessing the Postal Bulletin Online

Remember, each issue of the Postal Bulletin since 1995 is available online. To access the online version of the Postal Bulletin, please follow either of these routes:

On the Intranet: Go to the Postal Service PolicyNet Web site at; click on View Postal Bulletins.

On the Internet: Go to; click on About USPS & News, then Forms and Publications, then Postal Bulletin.

More Information

For more information on the Postal Bulletin, please see our article in Postal Bulletin 22097 (3-6-03, pages 5-6) titled "The Postal Bulletin - Your Source for Trusted Information."

We started publishing this article in early April, asking you to let us know if we can reduce or eliminate your subscriptions. Since April of this year, many of you have responded, and together we have reduced the total number of printed copies by 7,475!

We've come a long way, and we'll continue to evolve with the times. Our job is to make your job easier. As you know, the Postal Bulletin is here to serve you, as it has been for almost 125 years.

- Policies and Procedures Information,
Public Affairs and Communications, 9-18-03

Administrative Services

Directives and Forms Update

Effective immediately, Publication 223, Directives and Forms Catalog (June 1999), is revised. The tables below contain the document ID, edition date, title, national stock number (NSN), and the Postal Service and public supply source for all new, revised, and obsolete directives and forms. Use this article to keep Publication 223 current. Information on how to order directives and forms is available in chapter 1 of Publication 223.

IWEB = Intranet =; click onInformation, then Policies and Procedures.

WWW = USPS Web page =

PE = Postal Explorer =

F3 = F3 Fill Software.

New Directives


PSIN Edition Date Title Size (inches) Stock Number Unit of Issue Org. USPS Source Public Source
LAB 226-D 7/03 Buy Stamps Here at Post Office Prices 8 x 10 N/A EACH MKT HQO N/A
LAB 226-C 7/03 Buy Stamps Here at Post Office Prices 4 x 5 N/A EACH MKT HQO N/A

Management Instructions

PSIN Edition Date Title Stock Number Org. USPS Source Public Source
MI AS-350-2003-6 7/03 Marketing e-mail N/A CA IWEB N/A
MI EL-660-2003-1 7/03 Corporate Succession Planning N/A DD IWEB N/A


PSIN Edition Date Title Stock Number Org. USPS Source Public Source
DMM 200-A 6/03 A Guide to Mailing for Businesses and Organizations 7610-07-000-7089 P&C MDC MDC

New Forms

PSIN Edition Date Oldest Usable Date Title Stock Number Where Used Unit
of Issue
Org. USPS Source Public Source
PS 5550 7/03 7/03 Express Mail Service Manifest System Application N/A PU SHEET MKT IWEB WWW
PS 8189 5/03 5/03 RIBBS Web Access Request N/A CD SHEET P&C IWEB WEB

Revised Directives


PSIN TL Edition Date Title Stock Number Manual Relation Org. USPS Source Public Source
PO-610 blank 7/03 Signature Capture and Electronic Record Management: Manager's Guide to Standard Operation 7610-05-000-4048 N/A MKT MDC MDC


PSIN Edition Date Title Size
Stock Number Unit of Issue Org. USPS Source Public Source
LAB 226-A 7/03 Buy Stamps Here at Post Office Prices 2 x 3 7690-02-000-7030 EACH MKT HQO N/A


PSIN TL Edition Date Title Stock Number Manual Relation Org. USPS Source Public Source
PUB 25 blank 7/03 Designing Letter and Reply Mail 7610-03-000-9119 DMM P&C MDC P/F

Revised Forms (revised forms appear on the Web before they are stocked at the MDC)

PSIN Edition Date Oldest Usable Date Title Stock Number Where Used Unit
of Issue
Org. USPS Source Public Source
PS 1000 8/03 8/03 Domestic Claim or Registered Mail Inquiry 7530-02-000-9931 PS SET FIN MDC, IWEB P/F
PS 5406 8/03 8/03 Box Delivery Contract Route Survey 7530-02-000-9253 CR SHEET SM MDC, IWEB N/A
PS 7355 7/03 7/03 Cleaning Agreement N/A PS SHEET SM IWEB N/A

Obsolete Directives

Management Instructions

PSIN Edition Date Title Stock Number Org. USPS Source Public Source
MI AS-530-81-17 10/81 Special Custodial Allowance for Post Offices 7610-03-000-3669 ENG HQO HQO
MI AS-840-95-15 9/95 CC:Mail Standards 7610-03-000-5815 IT MDC N/A


PSIN Edition Date Title Size (inches) Stock Number Unit of Issue Org. USPS Source Public Source
POS 21-A 4/98 Sexual Harassment 18 x 24 7690-04-000-4839 EACH DD MDC N/A
POS 21 4/98 Sexual Harassment 10 x 10 7690-03-000-0420 EACH DD MDC N/A


PSIN TL Edition Date Title Stock Number Manual Relation Org. USPS Source Public Source
PUB 49 blank 1/01 Getting Started with Standard Mail 7610-02-000-9901 DMM P&C MDC, IWEB P/F

Obsolete Forms

PSIN Edition Date Oldest Usable Date Title Stock Number Where Used Unit
of Issue
Org. USPS Source Public Source
PS 4778 5/94 7/79 Daily Assignment Sheet 7530-02-000-9315 PS SHEET ENG MDC N/A

- Policies and Procedures Information,
Public Affairs and Communications, 9-18-03

Customer Relations

Mail Alert

The mailings below will be deposited in the near future. Offices should honor the requested delivery dates. Mailers wishing to participate in these alerts, for mailings of 1 million pieces or more, should contact Business Service Network Integration at 703-292-4041 at least 1 month preceding the requested delivery dates. The Postal ServiceTM also offers electronic Mail Alerts via ADVANCE. For more information, see the ADVANCE Notification & Tracking System Technical Guide on the Internet at or contact the National Customer Support Center at 800-458-3181.

Title of Mailing Class and
Type of Mail
Number of Pieces (Millions) Distribution Presort Level Comments
JCP Fall Jewelry Standard/Catalog 9/19/03-9/22/03 2.0 Nationwide Car-Rt RR Donnelley
Ben Franklin Almanac Standard/Letter 9/21/03-9/23/03 1.8 Nationwide 3/5-Digit, Car-Rt Rodale/ALG Direct
Through the Country Door Standard/Catalog 9/22/03-9/25/03 1.4 Nationwide Barcoded, Basic, 3/5-Digit, Car-Rt Quad Graphics, Lomira, WI
JCP Week 35 Super Saturday Standard/Letter 9/23/03-9/25/03 20.4 Nationwide Car-Rt Harte-Hanks
The Swiss Colony Standard/Catalog 9/24/03-9/27/03 1.5 Nationwide Barcoded, Basic, 3/5-Digit, Car-Rt Quad Graphics, Lomira, WI
JCP JD03 Fall Jewelry Cat PC Standard/Postcard 9/25/03-9/27/03 2.0 Nationwide Car-Rt Harte-Hanks
South Beach Diet Standard/Letter 9/25/03-9/27/03 1.8 Nationwide 3/5-Digit, Car-Rt Rodale/ALG Direct
JCP Week 36 Anniversary/LPOTS Standard/Flat 9/29/03-10/1/03 21.3 Nationwide Car-Rt Harte-Hanks
- Business Service Network Integration,
Service and Market Development, 9-18-03