Who Represents the Administration on Postal Policy?

The Office of Management and Budget media office has provided the following response to my question regarding why OMB Director Jacob Lew is not testifying at the Postal Hearing this Wednesday. “As a matter of policy, the OMB Director doesn’t testify before subcommittees on issues not directly related to OMB’s appropriations.”  If this is standard policy for OMB then the Subcommittee may have posted the hearing schedule prior to knowing the protocol.   The problem that the Committee faced in trying to pick a witness to present the Obama administration proposal for the Postal Service that is included in the 2012 budget is who represents the administration’s position.  For most departments it is clear.   The [...] Read more »

OMB Not Testifying at

Congressman Dennis Ross has just tweeted that OMB is not testifying at the Postal Service hearing this Wednesday.  ” RepDennisRoss OMB refusing to testify at our Oversight Hearing this Wed. on the looming financial crisis in the postal service. http://bit.ly/ep0fx3 “ The tweet makes reference to the Daily Caller article which uses the term “bailout” in its headline.The article does not interview anyone who called the Obama budget proposal  for the postal service a “bailout”.   The loss of OMB as a witness as it eliminates the possibility of putting the Obama administration on the record on postal policy.   The reference to the Daily Caller article raises concerns that the [...] Read more »

Choosing a Road for the Postal Service in the Digital Age

The U.S. Postal Service Officer of Inspector has posted an important white paper entitled, Postal Service Role in the Digital Age, Part I: Facts and Trends. The paper lays out the full range of new mobile and web-based hardware, software, and cloud based technologies that have changed how individuals, businesses and governments communicate.   All of these technologies pose threats to traditional uses off mail and other older means of communications. They also pose threats to older versions of digital and web based technologies.  The paper also illustrates the holes that exist that prevent the full use of web-based and mobile technologies from being more widely used. The problem that the Postal Service, every firm [...] Read more »

Negotiating with the APWU is a Smart Business Decision

The Postal Service has made a smart business decision by continuing to negotiate with the APWU, three months after the contract with the union expired.   The decision to negotiate changes in a labor contract that will reflect the new competitive reality, rather than go to arbitration reflects the fact the Postal Service needs the buy-in of its employees on the changes that will be necessary to turn the Postal Service’s finances around. The Postal Service’s negotiations with the APWU will likely extend until after the Postal Service announces on March 25th the 7,500 cuts in the administrative and line management jobs mentioned at the last Board of Governors meeting by Postmaster General Pat Donahoe. At that [...] Read more »

Cash-Starved Postal Service May Buy Time With Obama Quick Fix

By Angela Greiling Keane The following article provides a clear discussion as to why the provisions in President Obama’s budget relating to the Postal Service matter to the business comunity and web-based comerce.   It was published on Bloomberg Government and was only available to subcribers.   It is published here with the gracious permission of the author. Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. Postal Service, which predicts it will run out of cash by the end of its fiscal year, may buy time to restructure under a plan laid out in President Barack Obama’s budget last week. Obama proposed deferring $4 billion of a $5.5 billion congressionally mandated payment required in [...] Read more »

Why isTunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, and Especially Libya Bad for the Postal Service?

The answer is oil.   Since the fiscal year began crude oil has incresaed $16 per barrel.  This is a 20% increase in price since the fiscal year began.  News reports suggest that gasoline prices could hit $5 a gallon this summer if the turmoil in Libya and other Middle East ountries  continues.   The increase in oil prices raise the cost of fuel used to transport and deliver the mail and heat and run the processing plants and retail locations. Private sector competitors will handle incleasing oil prices by raising fuel surcharges, while at the same time working feverishly to minimize transportation and other fuel dependent costs.   The Postal Service will handle the increase by [...] Read more »

How Congress Makes the U.S. Less Competitive

The New York Times reports today that that the Patent Office is opening up its first satellite office.  This opening is designed to help to deal with the backlog of 700,000 patents awaiting their first action by an examiner and the 500,000 patents that are in process. Once patent applications are in the system, they sit — for years. The patent office’s pipeline is so clogged it takes two years for an inventor to get an initial ruling, and an additional year or more before a patent is finally issued. The delays and inefficiencies are more than a nuisance for inventors. Patentable ideas are the basis for many start-up companies [...] Read more »

Competing In Competitive Markets

TNT Post is the privately owned provider of universal mail service in the Netherland.  As such it operates under a corporate structure similar to investor-owned public utilities in the U.S.   From a competitive standpoint, TNT Post is similar to the land-line operations of Verizon, ATT, Quest, and numerous smaller firms that are dominant in their traditional market but face competition from telephone services offered by cable companies, wireless services, including sister wireless divisions, and voice over internet services like Skype and Vonage.   Just like land line companies, TNT Post expects demand to decline.  Its just released annual report provides the following information on volume change in 2010 and in upcoming years.  As a consequence [...] Read more »

Tweets from Congressman Dennis Ross and Possible Implications for Postal Unions

In the last few days, Representative Dennis Ross has made a number of tweets regarding the conflict between the Governor and the teachers unions in Wisconsin.   While none of the tweets mention postal issues, they may provide a hint to stakeholders and policymakers  regarding the tone on labor issues that the House will take when discussing changes required to return the Postal Service to solvency.    RepDennisRoss Dennis Ross Hypocrisy & big labor are synonymous. RT @Reaganista: RT @JebBush: Must see video. Stay strong @GovWalker. http://bit.ly/dPHMH5 #wiunion RepDennisRoss Dennis Ross Working on that. RT @michellemalkin: Unions get waivers from Obamacare. Why can’t workers get waivers from forced unionism? #wiunion RepDennisRoss Dennis [...] Read more »