Business Management - Government/Governmental

Reform Legislation Obstacles
February 1, 2006

The prospects for passage of postal reform legislation in 2006 have been clouded by three issues. First is the pressure on the federal budget. Although the USPS is funded entirely by postage, it is still part of the unified federal budget. Thus, pension and retiree medical insurance obligations of the postal service are obligations of the federal treasury. Secondly, the USPS has serious misgivings about key provisions of the legislation. Third, the Senate is caught in a disagreement between large-volume mailers and small-volume (and single-piece) mailers over a proposed amendment. Failing to pass the legislation may mean that no bill would pass for years. If

PIA/GATF Hails Senate Passage of Historic Postal Reform Legisla
February 1, 2006

WASHINGTON, DC--February 9, 2006--The Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (PIA/GATF) today praised passage of postal reform and modernization legislation in the U.S. Senate. The bill (S. 662, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act) was a PIA/GATF "priority vote" and passed the Senate under Unanimous Consent. "Senate passage of postal reform is a huge victory in the printing industry's long quest for a major legislative overhaul of this country's postal laws. Large corporations and small, family firms, along with printing employees, customers, and stakeholders, will benefit from this desperately needed modernization of the U.S. Postal Service," said Michael Makin, President and CEO of

BINDERY matters
January 1, 2006

Open House Offers Look at New Gear ROLLING MEADOWS, IL—Spartanics held its fourth annual open house in suburban Chicago recently, featuring the North American debut of the new Spartanics Klemm laser cut diecutting system. Two participatory forums were offered to attendees on the subjects of "Introduction to Digital Diecutting" and "Feed Users Forum." Finishing Safety Standards Adopted The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has approved ANSI B65.2-2005, Graphic technology-Safety requirements for binding and finishing systems and equipment. This standard revises and replaces the 1999 edition, and is currently available from NPES. The standard addresses mechanical safety issues such as motion controls, guarding against hazards, and warning

Just Wait 'Til Next Session. . .
January 1, 2006

Unless someone pulled a rabbit out of a hat in the final days, the first session of the 109th Congress ended without completion of postal reform legislation, which has been stalled in the Senate. It has been delayed because of a dispute between Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Kit Bond (R-MO) over a proposed amendment to include a requirement that rates be "fair and equitable." While the language is identical to that in the House-passed bill, Collins, as well as the Postal Service, object to the amendment. Ironically, the legal impact of the amendment is unclear one way or the other. While there are those

Bush Paves Path for Postal Reform
August 1, 2005

WASHINGTON, DC—The biggest roadblock to meaningful postal reform in 2005 appears to have been removed. According to Ben Cooper, executive vice president of public policy for the PIA/GATF and chairman of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, the Bush Administration has told Congressional leaders that it will allow postal reform to move forward while the bigger points of contention are ironed out. And the best possible news for mailers came in the Administration's willingness to seek alternative sources to fund the military service portion of postal retirees, as opposed to making rate payers foot the bill. Cooper, who has been tirelessly banging the reform

Postal Reform -- Congress Must Deliver
June 1, 2005

By Erik Cagle Senior Editor Postal reform is the rally cry for 2005 in the commercial printing industry. Though it seems the cries are strong only from a select group, as opposed to a unison shout from the industry collective. In other words, a relatively small amount of people are making a big stink to Congress about the need for reform of the United States Postal Service (USPS), an entity that is still operating under guidelines set in 1971. Guidelines, mind you, established before the onslaught of private sector parcel delivery options and well before the invention of the Internet, both of which have

Label Stock Vendors Under Investigation
July 1, 2003

WASHINGTON, DC—Several of the major label stock vendors are reportedly under investigation for price fixing by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Under investigation are Avery Dennison, Bemis, Morgan Adhesives (MACtac), Raflatac and UPM-Kymmene. The DOJ is trying to determine if the companies raised, fixed and maintained the prices of self-adhesive label stock from January 1, 1999, to the present. News of the investigation and suit began back in April when Avery announced that the DOJ had begun a criminal investigation into competitive prices in the label stock industry and would shortly subpoena the company in connection with that investigation. Bemis followed Avery and announced that

USPS Pushes Flats
January 1, 2003

WASHINGTON, DC—The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has turned its attention to increasing efficiencies in how flat mail is processed. "To meet the pledge of keeping mail service affordable for flats, we are committed to replicating the breakthrough productivity we achieved with letter mail," explains John Rapp, USPS senior vice president of operations. "Productivity in our letter operations increased 83 percent from 1993 to 2001. We expect similar results as we implement our Corporate Flat Plan." The Corporate Flat Plan is an efficiency-based strategy of the USPS' Transformation Plan—a short- and long-term blueprint for the future. Flat mail, which includes Periodicals and Standard Mail, is a valuable source

Postal Rates Could Stabilize
January 1, 2003

WASHINGTON, DC—A future postage rate increase could be delayed until at least 2006 thanks to a review of the United States Postal Service (USPS) employees' retirement plan, says Post Master General John E. Potter. This revelation comes after a review of the USPS' pension liabilities by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. The review found that the current formula contained overly conservative interest assumptions under which the USPS contributes for its employees' retirement, creating an overpayment of pension liabilities. Changes in the payment schedule will require a modification of the current law by Congress. This necessary change in the law would mean a reduction of postal