SAN ANTONIO, May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In tribute to the legends responsible for making American music part of global popular culture, the U.S. Postal Service today proudly announces the launch of a new Music Icons stamp series with the issuance of a stamp honoring Lydia Mendoza, one of the first and greatest stars of Tejano music.
WASHINGTON, May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — As a prelude to National Dog Bite Prevention Week, the Postal Service released its dog attack city rankings today and urged pet owners to help reduce the incidence of dog bites to letter carriers.
“If our letter carriers deem your loose dog to be a threat, you’ll be asked to pick up your mail at the Post Office until it’s safe to deliver,” said Ken Snavely , acting postmaster of Los Angeles, where 69 postal employees were attacked last year, placing the City of Angels as the most vicious for dog attacks. Nationwide, 5,879 postal employees were attacked.
Office of Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) News Release
WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Blake Farenthold (TX-27), Chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and the Census, today held a hearing looking at the time it takes the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to process federal worker pension claims.
“2.5 million retired federal workers and their survivors rely on their pension check every month to make ends meet. What’s shocking to me is that OPM, who administers these checks, does it the same way today that they did it in 1987. This lack of modernization has resulted in a backlog of 30,000 claims, while the OPM averages $100 million each year in payments to deceased annuitants and survivors. OPM’s processing of these claims is clearly not efficient and effective and just reinforces the government’s poor IT record,” said Congressman Farenthold in his opening statement.
“While the President’s budget recommends $2.6 million to fund a case management system, the budget is short on detail and provides little guidance on how OPM will achieve a modern system. We’ve seen hundreds of millions of dollars wasted in failed information technology contracts, yet reform still seems vague,” continued Rep. Farenthold.
The Subcommittee heard testimony from Mr. Patrick McFarland, Inspector General at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Mr. Kenneth Zawodny, Associate Director of Retirement Services at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Ms. Valerie C. Melvin, Director, Information Management & Technology Resource Issues, U.S. Government Accountability Office, Mr. Joseph A. Beaudoin, President, National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, and Dr. George Kettner, President, Economic Systems, Inc.
During the questioning portion of the hearing, Congressman Farenthold spoke to the benefits of using technology to modernize and streamline OPM’s processing of retired federal employee pension claims.
“Do you see some things that OPM could do immediately to kick the technology up, save some time and get the claims processed faster?” Rep. Farenthold asked government IT expert Valerie Melvin.
“The approach that they are taking now, which we see as a very modest, incremental step…is probably a prudent and risked-based approach for them to take, given their inability to be successful with such initiatives in the past,” replied Ms. Melvin.
Congressman Farenthold asked the same question to Dr. Kettner, whose company, Economic Systems Inc., specializes in data entry software.
“I think there are certainly steps that could be taken immediately, and I think you’re entirely correct in thinking that more could be done at the agency level. That’s where the data comes from and where much more can be done. There is no reason in the world the data should not be given to OPM electronically,” concluded Mr. Kettner.
OPM has less than 60 days to achieve its short-term goal of reducing the backlog and processing 90 percent of claims within 60 days. In response to a question from Representative Farenthold about meeting this short-term goal, Mr. Zawodny expressed some insecurity but told the committee he was hopeful it could be met.
Read more: Factiva.
Nadine O’Brien’s dream job cost her two knees and three years of pain.
Arthritis set in after 30 years of walking mail routes on uneven sidewalks and porch stairs. Still, that pain never stifled her smile or her good attitude as she delivered mail to her customers. She enjoys bringing them Christmas presents in December. She passes out post-holiday credit card bills as cheerfully as she can in January.
O’Brien, 52, considers the regulars on her route an extended part of her family. Those patrons — and her eagerness to work — have encouraged her as she’s recovered from a double-knee replacement.
MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court, a former U.S. postal carrier was sentenced for stealing from the mail he delivered. United States District Court Judge John R. Tunheim sentenced Giang Nguyen, age 49, of Superior, Wisconsin, to two years of probation, along with payment of restitution, and 100 hours of community service on one count of theft of mail by a postal employee. Nguyen was charged via an Information on September 6, 2012, and pleaded guilty on September 26, 2012.
Following today’s sentencing, Pete Gately, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Postal Service-Office of Inspector General (“USPS-OIG”), said, “The majority of U.S. Postal Service employees are dedicated public servants who take great pride in ensuring the sanctity and security of the U.S. Mail. Unfortunately, Giang Nguyen betrayed the trust placed in him, and his actions resulted in deserved consequences for violating that trust. Today’s outcome demonstrates the ongoing commitment of the USPS-OIG and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to vigorously investigate and prosecute those matters. The public can remain confident that the USPS-OIG will continue to ensure the security of their mail.”
In his plea agreement, Nguyen admitted that from March 2010 to January 7, 2011, he removed applications for Menards rebate checks, the actual rebate checks, and Menards Big Game Money Cards from the mail he was entrusted to deliver. During this period, Nguyen was employed by the Duluth Post Office. Nguyen used the rebate checks and Big Game Money Cards that he stole to make purchases at Menards. He also altered the stolen rebate check applications so that Menards would issue the checks to him, rather than the customers on his route. In total, Nguyen stole at least 77 pieces of mail intended for Menards and residents on his route. Through his activity, Nguyen stole at least $1,456.75.
This case was the result of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Service-Office of Inspector General. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John E. Kokkinen and Lola Velazquez-Aguilu.
From USPS News Link:
Technology finally has caught on to the value of the mail, with four mobile apps that let users mail custom cards and letters directly from their devices.
Cards, Felt, Ink Cards and Lettrs are four apps with a similar premise — each uses technology to produce hard-copy mail. Each app also allows users to customize a card or letter using a variety of template, text and photo options.
Once users have completed their pieces, each service prints and mails the card or letter for a flat fee.
The Cards app, first offered by Apple in 2011, is available for iPhones, iPads and the iPod Touch. Customers can use photos stored on their devices to create a custom photo card. Each card produced using this app costs $2.99 to design and send within the U.S. International pieces cost $4.99. Users are notified when their items are delivered.
The Felt app is available only for iPads. Like Cards, it offers a variety of card templates and styles, but allows users to draft a note with a pen tool that replicates handwriting. The cards are printed, sealed and stamped for $3.99 each.
The Ink Cards app is currently available for iPads, iPhones and Android devices. It specializes in high-quality photo cards that cost $1.99, including postage, to create and deliver.
The Lettrs app gives users the ability to send a letter using the app’s online technology. Customers have three stationery options for their letters: A $2 recycled paper letter, a $4 letter on parchment paper, or an $8 letter that delivers a message on scented linen paper with a wax seal.
From Save the Berkeley Post Office via Youtube:
Across the country, over 3700 post offices are at the risk of closure, including many historic buildings with New Deal public art.
George W. Bush signed legislation in 2006 that destroyed the financial stability of the Postal Service and laid the groundwork for its privatization. The Post Office is being required to pay its pension fund 75 years in advance, which needs to be stopped. Without this requirement, the post office is actually making a profit.
C.B. Richard Ellis (CBRE) chaired by Richard Blum has an exclusive contract to sell USPS properties. Billionaire Blum is a UC regent and is married to Senator Dianne Feinstein.
Sign an online petition at: http://www.savethepostoffice.com
We are in immediate need of legal fees to stop the imminent sale of the Berkeley Post Office.
Please click on the link below and donate what you can. GO TO http://www.nationalpostofficecollabor… then click on DONATE OR MAIL A CHECK TO: National Post Office Collaborate P.O. Box 1234, Berkeley, CA 94701 Save the Berkeley Post Office Committee EMail: email@example.com WEB:
FACEBOOK: Save the Berkeley Post Office
Freddie Gorman (April 11, 1939 — June 13, 2006), who wrote the original lyric to “Please Mr. Postman”, was a retired letter carrier in Detroit MI both before and after the hit song.
Post Office Graphic in the video is the work of Jos Sances and Art Hazelwood.
YOUNGTOWN, Ariz. -A campaign by the post office to fight hunger may have accidentally led to a bomb scare in Youngtown.Someone thought they spotted a suspicious package at the post office near 111th Avenue and Peoria.The discovery was made around 11:20 a.m. on Sunday.
WASHINGTON – Today, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Ranking Member Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) released the following reactions to the announcement that the U.S. Postal Service lost $1.9 billion in the second quarter of fiscal year 2013:
“Today’s announcement that the U.S. Postal Service lost $1.9 billion in the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2013 shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone,” said Chairman Carper. “While this quarter’s losses are less compared to the $3.2 billion lost this time last year, a $1.9 billion dollar loss is nothing to celebrate. The reality is that any financial loss at this rate is unsustainable and threatens the Postal Service’s long-term viability. As I’ve said time and time again, Congress and the Administration need to come to agreement on comprehensive legislation that reforms, right-sizes and modernizes this American institution. Although the Postal Service has seen an increase in revenue from package delivery – which is encouraging news — much more must be done to make its outdated business model financially viable long term. It is critical that we complete the difficult work ahead of us and find a solution to the Postal Service’s serious but solvable financial crisis as soon as possible – and today’s financial report should underscore that sense of urgency. We can’t afford to wait any longer.”
“Today’s announcement clearly demonstrates why postal reform is imperative. Unfortunately, this $1.9 billion loss in the second quarter of this fiscal year is only a small fraction of the $15.8 billion the Postal Service has lost since last year,” Dr. Coburn said. “While reform is necessary, the Postal Service should not wait on a parochial-minded Congress and must immediately take steps within its control to secure additional revenue and achieve cost savings, including potential action to secure additional revenue through price increases. I will continue to support giving the Postal Service the independence it needs to ensure its long-term viability.”
Report: Postal operators are expanding into financial services to become self-sufficient and curb their declining profits
London, April 29th, 2013 – Globally, postal services play a key role in providing access to basic communication and transaction services. The worldwide postal infrastructure has been shrinking for over two decades, in terms of both outlets and numbers of full-time staff. At the end of 2011, the total number of post offices stood at 662,701, of which 439,376 were staffed by officials of the designated operator and 223,325 were managed by people from outside the designated operator.
The traditional letter post service is under pressure from new technology, including the internet and (increasingly mobile) telephone services. Rising numbers of consumers and businesses are sending and receiving bills and invoices via the internet and making payments online or by telephone, instead of using post office services. The substitution of paper-based bills and statements, and bill payments by check, has been a key phenomenon for over 10 years.
With the decline in mail volume, post offices are looking at opportunities to support themselves and compete with other operators, both in the postal and financial sectors. Operators are becoming increasingly involved in providing or expanding their range of financial services, either to increase revenue or due to pressure from governments to increase access to basic financial services. With millions of people regularly visiting and using post offices, postal operators are looking to make additional use of their extensive retail presence and trusted brands. In 2011, financial services accounted for 11.7% of postal operator’s total income.
The financial services sector represents a significant opportunity for much-needed additional revenue for postal operators, either directly or through alliances with financial institutions. Many postal operators are also being urged to offer basic financial services such as payments, savings and microfinance to combat social and financial exclusion, particularly in poorer countries, or to better serve more remote geographical areas and isolated social groups. There is a significant potential for partnerships between postal operators and financial institutions, even in markets where postal operators and postal banks already offer a range of financial services. Alliances such as these could produce major financial rewards and deliver social dividends. For instance major banks in the UK such as Bank of Ireland, Barclays, Halifax, HSBC and Lloyds have formed partnerships with the UK Post Office to offer financial services.
2020 Foresight Report: Post Office Financial Services