POM Revision: Procedures for Advancing Collection Times Around the Holidays

Effective November 15, 2012, the Postal Operations Manual (POM) 322.344 is revised to further clarify the oper­ations procedures for advancing collections during the hol­idays, primarily on the eves before Christmas and New Year’s Day.

The Postal Service™ revised the POM in June of 2011. Since June 2011, we have received communications from consumers about the interpretation of the policy for collec­tions around the holidays. This current revision to 322.344 supports an alternative handling process that emphasizes decision making by the local Postmaster to address local conditions, including customer demand for services over the holidays. The alternative handling process requires minor changes to the procedures for customer notification.

Postal Operations Manual (POM)

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3 Collection Service National Service Standards

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32 Types of Collection Boxes

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322 Time Decal Boxes, Boxes Displaying Last Pickup Time Decals, 30-Minute Time Increments

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322.34 Collection Schedules

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322.344 Widely Observed Holidays

[Revise 322.344 to read as follows:]

Some national holidays are widely observed, and customer demand diminishes significantly on the day before the hol­iday. In such instances, usually on the eves before Christ­mas and New Year’s Day, where senior management determines that expected customer flows will be minimal, senior management may authorize early retail closings and/or early collections. Authorization for such operational changes will be communicated from Headquarters to the Areas and from the Areas to the Districts.

When such operational changes are authorized, postmas­ters, with the concurrence of the appropriate District, will review collection operations to determine where advancing early collections are warranted. Postmasters will then implement any such early collections. Information advising the public of any early retail closings and/or early collec­tions must be communicated to the public via press release. Additionally, each District and Post Office must take reasonable steps to ensure that such information is timely published through local news releases, radio and television notices, and postings in affected Post Offices, stations, and branches. Additionally, local postmasters are authorized, but are not required, to inform customers that a collection box will receive an early collection via a posting on the affected collection box. The Postmaster must use his or her judgment to determine whether such posting is practical or warranted based on local conditions, installa­tion location, past customer requests, and past experience.

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We will incorporate these revisions into the next printed version of the POM and into the next online update, avail­able on the Postal Service PolicyNet website:

n Go to http://blue.usps.gov.

n Under “Essential Links” in the left-hand column, click PolicyNet.

n On the PolicyNet page, click Manuals.

(The direct URL for the Postal Service PolicyNet website is http://blue.usps.gov/cpim.)

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