Business Management - Government/Governmental

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.”

Postal Regulatory Commission Signs Off on Shorter Retail Hours for Post Offices
August 23, 2012

The POSTPlan reflects a determination by the Postal Service to explore options to adjust its retail window hours without closing post offices. Retail window hours of operation at more than 13,000 post offices nationwide will be reduced to six, four, or two hours per weekday, and in approximately 73 locations, hours of operation will increase.

GPO Teams Up with Apple to Sell Federal eBooks
August 22, 2012

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) has signed an agreement with Apple Inc. to sell Federal eBooks. Titles are available in eBook format for the iPad, eReaders, PCs, and Macs when running the iTunes Store app.

Canadian Magazines Turn to Federal Government for Help with a Digital Revolution
August 9, 2012

Canadian magazine publishers want taxpayers to help them reinvent themselves, asking the federal government for money to develop digital products they hope will compensate for falling print subscriptions. The trade association that represents Canadian publishers has been quietly lobbying federal officials in an attempt to win funding to develop multimedia-rich digital editions that go beyond the capabilities of print.

Despite falling circulation at the country’s largest publications and anemic adoption rates for their online versions, Magazines Canada is convinced readers will move online if publishers can train employees how to enhance their products for Web-savvy readers.

USPS Releases Details of Postal Discount for Mobile-Enabled Holiday Shopping Promotions
July 19, 2012

The Postal Service’s 2012 Holiday Mobile Shopping Promotion will offer online merchants an upfront 2 percent postage discount on Standard Mail and First-Class Mail letters, flats and cards that include a mobile barcode or print/mobile technology—such as a QR code—that can be read or scanned by a mobile device and leads the mail recipient to a mobile-optimized shopping website.