VIII. Resources and support

Supply Management

Reshaping Supply Management. The Postal Service received a 2013 Institute for Supply Management — Michigan State University Award for Excellence in Supply Management in the Transformation of the Organization category and was one of three companies to receive this recognition. The Postal Service received the award for a three-year restructuring effort that included the creation of a centralized supply chain structure, the realignment of spend management to better leverage supply markets and technology investments, and improved and streamlined processes.

Using tools like Lean Six Sigma, the organization designed and implemented new, simplified procurement procedures, which resulted in a 65 percent cycle-time reduction. An electronic contract filing process also was implemented, with compliance reaching 100 percent following feedback and remediation actions.

Privacy. The Privacy Act of 1974, along with Federal and industry best practices, forms the foundation for how the Postal Service collects and uses information. The Privacy Act is a federal law that provides privacy protections for personal information that agencies maintain in a system of records. A system of records is a file, database or program from which information is retrieved by name or other personal identifier. In addition to limiting the type of personal information an agency may collect and how it may use that information, the Act also gives individuals greater rights of access to agency records about themselves, gives individuals the right to amend those records and restricts disclosure to others of personally identifiable information maintained by government agencies.

For more than two centuries, the Postal Service has maintained a brand that customers, suppliers and employees trust to protect the privacy and security of their information, whether it is their mail or electronically stored data maintained in a computer database.

The high level of trust afforded the Postal Service is documented in a study by the Ponemon Institute. Based on 2012 study results, the Postal Service was ranked as the fifth most trusted organization in the nation for privacy. For the last seven years, the Postal Service has also achieved the top trust rating among all other government entities named by consumers in the Ponemon study.

To achieve this high level of trust, our Privacy and Records Office remains current on legal and policy decisions, new technologies and best-in-class business models and practices. It has developed customer privacy policy and practices based on these models. To ensure Privacy Act compliance, the office is closely involved with and reviews new Postal projects and programs.

Freedom of Information Requests. The Postal Service complies with the Freedom of Information Act’s (FOIA) disclosure requirements. The Act is a law that provides individuals the right to obtain access to records from the federal government. The FOIA is a means for the public to keep informed about how the federal government operates. Aside from nine specific exemptions which protect certain records from public disclosure, it is Postal Service policy to promote transparency and accountability by adopting a presumption in favor of disclosure in decisions involving FOIA and to make its records available to the public to the maximum extent consistent with the public interest. In FY2013, the Postal Service responded to 2,296 FOIA requests.