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667 Service Matters

667.1 General Service Behavior

667.11 Compiling Directories

Employees may not compile or furnish restricted information for or otherwise assist publishers in compiling city directories for public use, nor request publishers to send free copies to them, nor accept any money or gratuity arising from publication of directories.

667.12 Engaging in Campaigns for Changes in Mail Service

Employees in active status must not engage in campaigns for or against changes in mail service. This regulation must not be construed to infringe on the rights to participate in labor organizations.

667.13 Paying for Exchange of Positions

It is unlawful for employees to give or receive payment, directly or indirectly, to affect an exchange of position in the same or different postal units, or any place in the public service. This offense is punishable by fine and imprisonment and disqualification from holding any office in the federal government.

667.14 Manufacture of Rural Mailboxes

Employees are prohibited from manufacturing or acting as the agent for a manufacturer of rural mailboxes.

667.15 Loitering

Carriers must not loiter or stop for unnecessary conversation on their routes. Employees must not linger about cases or racks after their tours of duty have ended or report at cases or racks before their tours are scheduled to begin.

667.16 Controversies With the Public

Employees must not engage in controversies with customers, railway employees, airline employees, or other members of the public while on duty or on federal property.

667.17 Obstructing the Mail

Title 18 U.S.C. 1701 provides penalties for persons who knowingly and willfully obstruct or retard the mail. The statute does not afford employees immunity from arrest for violations of law.

667.18 Giving Testimony or Campaigning for Additional Transportation Services

Postmasters and other field officials must not furnish postal information or testimonial statements or letters that purport to reflect postal needs to civic bodies or rail or air common carriers to be used in support of applications for new or additional common carrier service at a given community. Such requests for postal information must be referred to Headquarters. When there are justifiable reasons for recommending changes in transportation services, postmasters and other field officials must furnish a complete report to the proper official at Headquarters and then await specific instructions before engaging in any local activity or hearing relative to such changes.

667.2 Interception of Oral or Wire Communications by Postal Employees

667.21 Prohibition

During the course of activities related to postal employment, postal employees may not record, monitor, or otherwise intercept the oral or wire communications of any other person through the use of any electronic, mechanical, or other device, nor listen in on a telephone conversation, nor direct another to do so, unless all parties involved in the communication are made aware of and consent to such interception.

667.22 Exceptions

This prohibition does not apply to postal inspectors or Office of Inspector General investigators while acting in the course of their official duties, nor does it apply to authorized personnel conducting "Compliance and Monitoring" activities in accordance with Handbook AS-805, Information Security. All activity conducted in this area must be in accord with applicable federal statutes governing the interception of wire or oral communications by law enforcement officers.

Call monitoring programs may be established by postal management for legitimate business purposes, such as quality assurance and training. Call monitoring programs must comply with any applicable federal statutes and regulations.

667.23 Definitions

For the purposes of 667.2, the terms oral communication, wire communication, intercept, and electronic, mechanical, or other device have the meanings used in 18 U.S.C. 2510.

667.3 Records, Information, and Associated Processing Systems and Equipment

667.31 Purpose of Controls

Federal law and sound business practice require compliance with certain rules over the uses and protection of information and information processing resources owned by the Postal Service. These rules apply specifically to those types of Postal Service property emphasized in the definition at 669h. They are provided here for the information of current and former employees and also for use by management as a basis for ensuring compliance and taking disciplinary action, when appropriate. These rules supplement 667.18 and 667.21 referred to earlier in Section 661.2g.

667.32 Prohibited Disclosures

667.321 General

Employees may not furnish to members of the public any Postal Service records or copies of records, or information taken from Postal Service records, including information contained in a computer system, unless it is a part of the duties of their position to do so. Decisions to withhold or disclose records and information must be consistent with applicable laws, Executive Orders, and Postal Service regulations and directives. Accordingly, the responsible official must consult with the Chief Privacy Officer (CPO), managing counsel for the appropriate field legal office, or the general counsel if there is any question as to the appropriate course of action.

667.322 Personal Information

Disclosing nonpublic information about an individual to another person or organization not entitled by Postal Service regulations to the information, without the signed authorization from the individual, is prohibited under penalty of law. See Handbook AS-353, Guide to Privacy and the Freedom of Information Act.

667.323 Trade Information

Disclosing any information not available for public disclosure as described under ASM 824 and Handbook AS-353, Guide to Privacy and the Freedom of Information Act, Chapter 3, to any unauthorized person or organization is prohibited under penalty of law.

667.33 Prohibited Uses

667.331 Personal Use

Use of Postal Service property (as defined in 669h) for personal enjoyment, private gain, or other unauthorized activity is prohibited, except that management at each Postal Service employment installation may permit employees to make limited personal use of postal office equipment, including information technology, (as defined in 669j). See Handbook AS-805, Information Security, Chapter 5, Acceptable Use.

667.332 Damage

Users will be held accountable for damage to postal property caused by negligence or intentionally destructive acts.

667.333 Bypassing Security Controls

Bypassing or attempting to bypass established security controls in violation of the Administrative Support Manual (ASM), Chapter 8, is prohibited.

667.334 Sanctions for Misuse

Use of postal equipment in violation or excess of 667.33 (Prohibited Uses) may result in limitations on future use, administrative action, disciplinary action, criminal penalty, and/or personal financial liability.

667.34 Protection Responsibilities

Employees must protect all information about individuals, customers, all other Restricted Information, and all National Security Information against unauthorized use and disclosure.

667.35 Reporting Violations

See 665.14.


668 Legal Assistance Provided by the Postal Service

668.1 Representation of Postal Service Employees by the Department of Justice in Civil and Criminal Cases

668.11 General

Under the following procedures, an employee (hereby defined to include present and former employees or their estates) may be provided representation in civil proceedings and in state criminal proceedings in which they are sued, subpoenaed, or charged in their official capacity, when the actions for which representation is requested reasonably appear to have been performed within the scope of their employment, and providing representation would be in the interest of the United States.

A provision of the Federal Tort Claims Act prohibits suits against individual Government employees (including Postal Service employees) for loss, damage, or destruction of property or personal injury or death when caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of the employee while acting within the scope of his or her employment (Title 28, U.S.C. Section 2679).


668.12 Procedure for Requesting Legal Representation by the Department of Justice

668.121 Employee Responsibilities

An employee who believes he or she is entitled to representation by the Department of Justice in a proceeding must promptly submit a written request for that representation, together with all process and pleadings served, to the employee's installation head. Failure to submit a request promptly may prevent the processing necessary to obtain approval of the employee's request. In order to give a request proper consideration, it must contain a detailed statement from the employee of his or her knowledge of the subject matter of the proceeding and be accompanied by all pertinent documents. The Department of Justice asks that the letter requesting representation be addressed to the:

WASHINGTON DC 20530-0001

but that the request letter not be sent directly to the Assistant Attorney General. The request is to be sent directly to the employee's installation head, who will in turn forward the request in accordance with 668.122. The Department of Justice requires that the request contain:

a. The date the employee was served.

b. The date on which the employee must respond or appear at a proceeding.

c. A statement that the employee has read the complaint; that all conduct related to the allegations in the complaint occurred within the scope of the employee's official duties; and that such conduct was done in the good faith belief that it was proper.

d. A statement describing in detail the employee's knowledge of the subject matter of the complaint. Failure to provide a detailed statement of the facts may prevent the processing necessary to obtain approval of the request.

668.122 Installation Head or Higher Level Official Responsibilities

The installation head or next higher level or other designated official must:

a. Add to the employee's request a separate statement indicating whether they believe the employee was acting within the scope of his or her employment at the time of the conduct which is the focus of the suit, subpoena, or citation.

b. Forward the request without delay to the managing counsel for the area in which the proceeding arose.

c. Submit a covering transmittal memorandum to the managing counsel containing a recommendation as to whether providing the employee representation would be in the best interests of the Postal Service and a statement detailing the installation head's or appropriate designee's knowledge of the subject matter of the case.

668.123 Postal Inspection Service and Office of Inspector General

Postal Inspection Service personnel and Office of Inspector General personnel should follow procedures established by the chief postal inspector and inspector general respectively to request representation by the Department of Justice rather than follow the procedures set forth in this section.

668.124 Criteria for Granting Representation

The Department of Justice provides representation at its discretion and only after it determines that the employee acted within the scope of his or her authority and that such representation would be in the best interest of the United States.

668.125 Department of Justice Representation

Upon determination by the Department of Justice that an attorney will represent an employee, the employee will be so notified, and will be provided information about the nature of Department of Justice representation.

668.2 Reimbursement of Employees for Legal Fees, Judgments, and Settlements

668.21 Legal Fees

An employee whose request under 668.12 has been denied for any reason may request reimbursement for legal fees incurred by his or her use of private counsel through the appropriate managing counsel.

668.22 Judgments and Settlements

An employee who has filed a request for representation under 668.12 may file a request for payment of any adverse judgment or settlement with the appropriate managing counsel.

668.23 Criteria for Reimbursement

Each request for reimbursement for legal fees, judgments, or settlements will be considered by the managing counsel on its individual merits after the case is concluded. Generally, reimbursement will be made if:

a. It is equitable and fair to do so.

b. The employee acted reasonably, within the scope of his or her authority, and not recklessly, in bad faith, or with obvious indifference to instructions.

c. The amount requested is reasonable, and reimbursement is deemed to be in the best interest of the Postal Service.

668.3 USPS Governors and Officers

668.31 Requests for Legal Representation

The provisions of 668 apply also to the governors and officers and inspector general of the Postal Service. If such persons are named as defendants and desire to be represented by the Department of Justice, they must submit their requests in accordance with 668.12 to the general counsel. However, the Chairman of the Board of Governors and the postmaster general submit their requests directly to the General Counsel. The Inspector General submits the request through the OIG General Counsel to the USPS General Counsel.

668.32 Legal Fees

A person covered by 668.3 who is represented by private counsel may apply to the general counsel for payment or reimbursement for legal fees. The general counsel will exercise discretion according to the criteria in 668.23.

668.33 Judgments and Settlements

A person covered by 668.3 may apply to the general counsel for payment or reimbursement for any adverse judgment or settlement. The general counsel will exercise discretion according to the criteria in 668.23.

669 Definitions

Definitions of terms used in 660 are:

a. Postal Service - the United States Postal Service as established by 39 U.S.C. 201.

b. Employee - an individual appointed to a position, temporary or permanent, within the Postal Service, or hired as an executive under an employment contract, including a substitute. The term employee does not include a governor of the Postal Service.

c. Person - an individual, a corporation, a company, an association, a firm, a partnership, a society, a joint stock company, or any other organization, institution, or entity.

d. Official responsibility - direct administrative or operating authority, whether intermediate or final, and either exercisable alone or with others, and either personally or through subordinates, to approve, disapprove, or otherwise direct Postal Service action.

e. Employee's interests - the interests of an employee, his or her spouse, his or her minor child or children, and other individuals related to the employee by blood who are residents of the employee's household.

f. Business dealings with the Postal Service - any contract, work, or business, or the performance thereof, or any litigation arising out of or involving any contract, work, or business, or the sale or acquisition of any real or personal property, or any interest in property, whose expense, price, or consideration is payable by or to the Postal Service.

g. The Standards of Ethical Conduct - the Code of Ethical Conduct consisting of the regulations published in 5 CFR 2635, 5 CFR 7001, and 39 CFR 447.

h. Property - includes records and recorded information regardless of their storage medium (e.g., paper, magnetic surfaces, film, etc.); information processing equipment such as computers and word processors, along with their peripheral and terminal devices; filmers, duplicators, and copiers; and information systems software.

i. Information system executive - a Postal Service official who prescribes the existence of, and the policies for, an information system.

j. Office equipment - includes, but is not limited to, personal computers, printers and modems, computer software (including web browsers), telephones, facsimile machines, photocopiers, consumable office products, and office supplies.

k. Personnel action - means an appointment, promotion, adverse action or other disciplinary or corrective action, detail, transfer, reassignment, reinstatement, restoration, reemployment, performance evaluation, a decision concerning pay, benefits, awards, education or training that may reasonably be expected to lead to an appointment, promotion, or performance evaluation, a decision to order psychiatric testing or evaluation, or any other significant change in duties, responsibilities, or working conditions.

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- National EEO Compliance and Appeals Programs,
Labor Relations, 4-14-05

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