Chapter 4 Our Operations

Postal Inspectors Brook Fuller and Gregory Mcgahey...

Postal Inspectors Brook Fuller and Gregory McGahey worked with inspectors from around the country and other law enforcement to protect Postal Service assets and employees during the Democratic and Republican national conventions.

During 2008, 1,733 emergency incidents were reported due to hurricanes, floods, and other events. National Preparedness coordinated the deployment of support equipment and supplies, and assisted with damage assessments and recovery, including hazardous and toxic material removal.

Financial Management

Sarbanes-Oxley Preparation

As required by the Postal Act of 2006, the Postal Service must comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) by the end of fiscal year 2010. This requires management to report on Internal Controls over Financial Reporting (ICFR) annually starting with fiscal year 2010, and to obtain an opinion from the Board of Governors’ external audit firm regarding the effectiveness of ICFR.

The Postal Service must comply with other sections of SOX because they are closely associated with Section 404. Section 302 requires CEO and CFO certification that the financial statements and other financial information included in quarterly reports fairly present in all material respects the financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows of the Postal Service, and that they are responsible for establishing and maintaining disclosure controls and procedures, as well as Internal Controls for Financial Reporting.

To achieve its goal of compliance by 2010, the Postal Service is following best practices and guidance published by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Accordingly, the Postal Service has established a top-down, risk-based approach to identifying, assessing and reporting internal controls impacting financial reporting. Further, the Postal Service will use the framework established by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations, which is approved by the SEC and PCAOB, to assess the components of Postal Service internal control including Control Environment, Risk, Control Activities, Information and Communication, and Monitoring activities within the Postal Service.

In 2008, the Postal Service made substantial progress in its SOX compliance program. Documentation of nearly all of the Postal Service’s in-scope financial business processes as well as its information technology systems was finalized. Currently, key internal controls over financial reporting are being evaluated, and remediation of design gaps in its system of internal controls and with implementation of business process improvements continue. SOX readiness testing of internal controls is planned to begin in 2009. The Postal Service is on track to comply with SOX requirements by the end of 2010.

Financial Reporting

As required, in each quarter of 2008, the Postal Service submitted to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) the SEC-like reports (10-Q and 10-K), and the certification of that financial information as is required by Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.


The Postal Service seeks every opportunity to reduce negative environmental impacts and to influence its customers, suppliers, and partners to adopt sustainable practices. With over 700,000 employees, 34,175 facilities, and 220,000 vehicles, the Postal Service has an impact in every American community. Its goal is to make sure that impact is a positive one.

The Postal Service has a very strong environmental track record. Since 1995 it has been honored with 39 White House Closing the Circle Awards. The Postal Service also won the Environmental Protection Agency’s WasteWise Partner of the Year Award, the program’s highest honor, for the ninth year in a row. The Postal Service’s sustainability effort is focused on two main areas: accelerating conservation, especially in energy and fuel use, and expanding environmentally-responsible business practices, both internally and through partnerships.

A new office of Sustainability was created in 2008 to coordinate the various activities across different business units and bring them into a corporate strategic sustainability plan with long-term goals.

To help touch a new generation of postal customers and expand use of sustainable practices among existing customers, the Postal Service produced an Environmailism campaign this year featuring an extensive guide on greener mail practices. The campaign itself could qualify for many environmental certifications, including Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, Green-e, Carbon Neutral, and Process Chlorine Free.