Business Management - Government/Governmental

USPS Records Q1 Loss of $354M, Underscoring Need for Comprehensive Legislation
February 7, 2014

Though the Postal Service has been able to grow revenue by capitalizing on opportunities in Shipping and Package Services and has aggressively reduced operating costs, losses continue to mount due to the persistent decline of higher-margin First-Class Mail, stifling legal mandates, and its inflexible business and governance models.

More Bad News for Mailing Industry: Senate Committee Advances Postal Reform Act
February 6, 2014

On Thursday, the Senate committee on homeland security and government affairs voted 9-1 to advance to the Senate floor the Postal Reform Act, a bill sponsored by chairman and ranking member Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). In its current form, the bill would make permanent the emergency rate increase and give the U.S. Postal Service carte blanche the authority to set future rates.

The number of options for the mailing industry to fight the postal hike are dwindling. Last month the mailing industry filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals, a process that could take months.

Postal Reform Bill Would Create New Health Care Plan for Agency
January 28, 2014

Unions representing U.S. Postal Service employees offered a stark rebuke of an updated, bipartisan postal reform measure, which now includes a provision to remove USPS workers from the federal employee health care system.

Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., the respective chairman and ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced a substitute amendment to replace the 2013 Postal Reform Act they originally put forward in August, ahead of a committee markup scheduled for Wednesday.

The revised language would require the Office of Personnel Management to create a Postal Service Health Benefits Program, and to

Postal Reform Isn’t Happening in 2013
December 18, 2013

There’s always next year. Such has become the refrain for the often discussed, much sought after prize of overhauling the U.S. Postal Service. Lawmakers were again set to deliver postal reform in 2013, and at various points of the year set goals of March, August and Thanksgiving for passage.

But after the latest in a series of setbacks, the window for acting on legislation in 2013 has closed, and reformers will have to renew their fight after New Year’s.

Postal Reform Encounters Another Major Setback
November 19, 2013

Legislation to overhaul the Postal Service has hit yet another roadblock, with the agency’s oversight committee once again delaying its markup of the reform bill.

The markup—which gives Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee members an opportunity to offer and vote on amendments to the bill, and ultimately decide whether to move it to the full Senate—was originally scheduled for November 6, but was delayed indefinitely due to a lack of support from Democrats.

Aides said the committee would vote on the bill—the 2013 Postal Reform Act—before Thanksgiving, and Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., rescheduled a markup for Wednesday. But Carper, who

USPS Launches Major Upgrades to Priority Mail
August 14, 2013

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has launched major changes to its Priority Mail line-up, with improved features including free insurance, improved USPS Tracking and day-specific delivery which are expected to generate more than a half a billion dollars in new revenue over the next year.

IRS Inaction Leads to Another Black-liquor Windfall for U.S. Paper Companies
July 25, 2013

IRS inaction has led to an approximately $2 billion windfall for U.S. paper companies that burn black liquor, according to the reporter who originally broke the story about black liquor tax credits in 2009.

Steven Mufson of the The Washington Post recently chronicled how paper companies originally thought the Alternative Fuel Mixture tax credits they received in 2009 would be taxable income.

Mufson's tale of black-liquor boondoggles, lobbying by paper companies, and a politicized IRS is well worth the read. But the picture is actually worse than he presents in several ways

Postmaster General Urges Congress to Fix Business Model to Close $20B Gap
July 17, 2013

In his oral testimony before a a House committee yesterday, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe said that the Postal Service continues to face systemic financial challenges because it has a business model that does not allow it to adapt to changes in the marketplace and it does not have the legal authority to make the fundamental changes that are necessary to achieve long-term financial stability.

Pubs that Go Digital-Only Face New Requirements
November 26, 2012

The Alliance for Audited Media (AAM)—as the Audit Bureau of Circulations has renamed itself—has endorsed new guidelines for print publications that go digital-only. The new guidelines, adopted at the AAM's Nov. 14-16 board meeting, say that when a publication makes that transition, it must give subscribers the option of receiving the digital subscription, converting to another print publication, or receiving a refund for the remainder of the subscription.

The AAM is also looking to toughen up circulation-reporting requirements for publishers…the AAM board agreed to require U.S. magazines with circulations over 250,000 to provide issue-by-issue circulation data to the AAM's “Rapid Report.”