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Testimony: 

Before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and Its 
Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of 
Columbia, House of Representatives: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
GAO: 

For Release on Delivery: 
Expected at 10:00 a.m. EDT:
Thursday, April 15, 2010: 

U.S. Postal Service: 

Action Needed to Facilitate Financial Viability: 

Statement of Phillip Herr, Director: Physical Infrastructure Issues: 

GAO-10-624T: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-10-624T, a testimony to the Committee on Oversight 
and Government Reform and Its Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, 
Postal Service, and the District of Columbia, House of Representatives. 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

The U.S. Postal Serviceís (USPS) financial condition and outlook 
deteriorated significantly during fiscal years 2007 through 2009. USPS 
was not able to cut costs fast enough to offset declines in mail 
volumes and revenues resulting from the economic recession and changes 
in the use of mail, such as electronic bill payment. In July 2009, GAO 
added USPSís financial condition to its high-risk list and reported 
that USPS urgently needed to restructure to improve its financial 
viability. 

The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) of 2006 required 
GAO to evaluate strategies and options for USPSís long-term structural 
and operational reform and report by December 2011. Because of USPSís 
financial crisis and the need for urgent action, GAO accelerated its 
work and issued a report (GAO-10-455) on April 12, 2010. 

This testimony provides (1) information on USPSís financial condition 
and outlook and (2) GAOís perspective on the actions that are needed 
to facilitate progress toward USPSís financial viability. This 
testimony is based on GAOís recently issued report and recent 
testimonies on USPSís financial condition and outlook. 

What GAO Found: 

USPS is facing a major financial crisis. Mail volume, the primary 
source of USPS revenues, declined by 36 billion pieces (about 17 
percent) over the last three fiscal years (2007 through 2009). Mail 
volume declines were largely due to the economic downturn and changing 
use of the mail linked to the continuing shift to electronic 
communications and payments. USPSís financial outlook is poor as it 
projects future declines in mail volumes, stagnating revenues, large 
financial losses, increasing debt, and significant financial 
obligations, including for retiree health benefits. USPS projects a 
record loss of over $7 billion in fiscal year 2010. Furthermore, USPS 
expects to borrow $3 billion, bringing its total outstanding debt to 
$13.2 billion, close to its $15 billion statutory borrowing limit with 
the U.S. Treasury. Looking forward, USPS projects that by fiscal year 
2020, total mail volume will further decline by 15 percent, to the 
lowest level since 1986. Absent additional actions to cut costs and 
increase revenues, USPS expects financial losses will escalate over 
the next decade. 

GAO recently reported that making progress toward USPSís financial 
viability would primarily involve taking action to rightsize 
operations, cut costs, and increase revenues. Making the necessary 
progress would require USPS and Congress to pursue strategies and 
options that would: 

* reduce compensation, benefits, and other operations and network 
costs using the collective bargaining process to address wages, 
benefits, and workforce flexibility, as well as generating revenues 
through pricing and product flexibility; and; 

* address legal restrictions and resistance to realigning USPS 
operations, networks, and workforce. 

USPS included many of these strategies and options in the action plan 
it issued in March 2010, but these planned actions under its existing 
authority will not be enough to make it financially viable. Therefore, 
action by Congress and USPS is urgently needed to: 

* reach agreement on actions to achieve USPSís financial viability; 

* provide financial relief through deferral of costs by revising USPS 
retiree health benefit funding while continuing to fund these benefits 
over time to the extent that USPSís finances permit; and; 

* require that any binding arbitration resulting from collective 
bargaining would take USPSís financial condition into account. 

To facilitate reaching agreement about the difficult constraints and 
legal restrictions that hamper progress, Congress could consider 
establishing a panel of independent experts, similar to the approach 
used by the Department of Defenseís Base Realignment and Closure 
Commission (BRAC), to coordinate with USPS and stakeholders to 
recommend a package of proposed legislative and operational changes 
needed to reduce costs and address challenges to USPSís business model. 

View [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-624T] or key 
components. For more information, contact Phillip Herr at (202) 512- 
2834 or herrp@gao.gov. 

[End of section] 

Chairman Towns, Chairman Lynch, and Members of the Committee and 
Subcommittee: 

I am pleased to participate in this hearing on the U.S. Postal 
Service's (USPS) financial condition, a topic we have addressed in 
recent reports and testimonies. My statement will provide (1) 
information on USPS's financial condition and outlook and (2) our 
perspective on the actions that are needed to facilitate progress 
toward its financial viability. 

My statement is primarily based upon our report released this week on 
USPS's business model.[Footnote 1] The report responded to a provision 
in the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA) that 
required GAO to evaluate strategies and options for the long-term 
structural and operational reform of USPS.[Footnote 2] We also drew on 
our recent testimonies on USPS's financial condition and outlook and 
our July 2009 report in which we added USPS's financial condition to 
our high-risk list.[Footnote 3] For our recent report, we primarily 
drew on this past work; other studies; USPS data; interviews with 
USPS, unions, management associations, Postal Regulatory Commission 
(PRC), and mailing industry officials; and stakeholder input. We 
conducted our work in accordance with generally accepted government 
auditing standards. Additional information on scope and methodology is 
available in each full product. Related GAO reports and testimonies 
are listed in the attachment to this statement. 

USPS's Financial Condition Has Deteriorated and Its Financial Outlook 
Is Poor: 

USPS is facing a major financial crisis. Mail volumes, the primary 
source of USPS revenues, declined by 36 billion pieces (about 17 
percent) over the last 3 fiscal years (2007 through 2009). In 
particular, First-Class Mail and Standard Mail--which together 
accounted for 94 percent of volume and about 78 percent of revenue in 
fiscal year 2009--experienced major declines. These declines were 
largely due to the economic downturn and the continuing shift to 
electronic communications and payments. 

Both USPS and Congress took actions in fiscal years 2007 through 2009 
to help offset these declines by reducing billions in USPS costs. For 
example, 

* USPS achieved nearly $10 billion in cost savings during this time, 
primarily by cutting nearly 201 million work hours. Work-hour savings 
were achieved by workforce reductions of over 84,000 full-and part- 
time employees, primarily through retirements; reduced overtime; and 
changes to postal operations. 

* Congressional action late in fiscal year 2009 deferred $4 billion in 
payments USPS was mandated to make to prefund postal retiree health 
benefits.[Footnote 4] 

These actions, along with others to generate additional revenues, 
however, were insufficient to fully offset the impact of mail volume 
declines and rising personnel-related costs. As a result, over this 3- 
year period, USPS borrowed the maximum $3 billion each year from the 
U.S. Treasury and still incurred record net losses, cumulatively 
losing nearly $12 billion. 

USPS's financial problems are likely to continue unless fundamental 
changes are made to address challenges in its current business model 
by better aligning costs with revenues. USPS projects future declines 
in mail volumes, stagnating revenues, large financial losses, 
increasing debt, and significant financial obligations. For example, 
total mail volume for the first quarter of fiscal year 2010 was down 
almost 4.4 billion pieces, a decrease of almost 9 percent over last 
year. For fiscal years 2010 and 2011, USPS is already projecting 
annual deficits exceeding $7 billion, creating additional pressures to 
generate sufficient cash to meet its obligations. USPS expects to 
borrow $3 billion in fiscal year 2010, which would bring its total 
outstanding debt to $13.2 billion, close to its $15 billion statutory 
limit, which it could reach as early as fiscal year 2011. Moreover, 
USPS projections through fiscal year 2020 indicate that total mail 
volume is not expected to return to its former levels (see figure 1). 

Figure 1: Actual and Projected Total Mail Volume, Fiscal Years 1971 
through 2020: 

[Refer to PDF for image: line graph] 

Fiscal year: 1971; 
Mail pieces: 87.0 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1972; 
Mail pieces: 87.2 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1973; 
Mail pieces: 89.7 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1974; 
Mail pieces: 90.1 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1975; 
Mail pieces: 89.3 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1976; 
Mail pieces: 89.8 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1977; 
Mail pieces: 93.2 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1978; 
Mail pieces: 96.9 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1979; 
Mail pieces: 99.8 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1980; 
Mail pieces: 106.3 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1981; 
Mail pieces: 110.1 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1982; 
Mail pieces: 114.0 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1983; 
Mail pieces: 119.4 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1984; 
Mail pieces: 131.5 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1985; 
Mail pieces: 140.1 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1986; 
Mail pieces: 147.4 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1987; 
Mail pieces: 153.9 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1988; 
Mail pieces: 161.0 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1989; 
Mail pieces: 161.6 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1990; 
Mail pieces: 166.3 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1991; 
Mail pieces: 165.9 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1992; 
Mail pieces: 166.4 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1993; 
Mail pieces: 171.2 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1994; 
Mail pieces: 178.0 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1995; 
Mail pieces: 180.7 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1996; 
Mail pieces: 183.4 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1997; 
Mail pieces: 190.9 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1998; 
Mail pieces: 196.9 billion. 

Fiscal year: 1999; 
Mail pieces: 201.6 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2000; 
Mail pieces: 207.9 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2001; 
Mail pieces: 207.5 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2002; 
Mail pieces: 202.8 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2003; 
Mail pieces: 202.2 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2004; 
Mail pieces: 206.1 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2005; 
Mail pieces: 211.7 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2006; 
Mail pieces: 213.0 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2007; 
Mail pieces: 212.2 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2008; 
Mail pieces: 202.7 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2009; 
Mail pieces: 177.1 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2010; 
Mail pieces: 166.1 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2011; 
Mail pieces: 164.0 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2012; 
Mail pieces: 164.6 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2013; 
Mail pieces: 164.6 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2014; 
Mail pieces: 161.6 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2015; 
Mail pieces: 158.6 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2016; 
Mail pieces: 155.5 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2017; 
Mail pieces: 153.3 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2018; 
Mail pieces: 151.4 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2019; 
Mail pieces: 150.0 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2020; 
Mail pieces: 148.9 billion. 

Source: USPS. 

Projected fiscal year 2020 volume: About 150 billion mail pieces, the 
lowest level since fiscal year 1986. 

[End of figure] 

USPS projects that financial losses will escalate over the next 
decade, with cumulative losses of over $238 billion by fiscal year 
2020 if its planned cost reduction and revenue generation initiatives 
are not implemented (see figure 2.) 

Figure 2: USPS Actual and Projected Net Income (Loss), Fiscal Years 
2000 through 2020: 

[Refer to PDF for image: vertical bar graph] 

Fiscal year: 2002; 
Actual: -$0.68 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2003; 
Actual: $3.87 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2004; 
Actual: $3.07 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2005; 
Actual: $1.45 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2006; 
Actual: $0.9 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2007; 
Actual: -$5.14 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2008; 
Actual: -$2.81 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2009; 
Actual: -$3.79 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2010; 
Projected: -$7.8 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2011; 
Projected: -$11.75 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2012; 
Projected: -$15.14 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2013; 
Projected: -$16.99 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2014; 
Projected: -$19.77 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2015; 
Projected: -$22.56 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2016; 
Projected: -$25.6 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2017; 
Projected: -$24.62 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2018; 
Projected: -$26.98 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2019; 
Projected: -$30.11 billion. 

Fiscal year: 2020; 
Projected: -$33.07 billion. 

Source: USPS. 

Note: The projection for fiscal year 2010 is from USPS's Fiscal Year 
2010 Integrated Financial Plan. USPS projections for fiscal years 2011 
through 2020 are from its Action Plan and assume that (1) USPS takes 
no management actions beyond those in its fiscal year 2009 budget and 
(2) USPS's total statutory borrowing limit of $15 billion would be 
increased to accommodate these losses. USPS's $8.4 billion in 
cumulative net income for fiscal years 2003 through 2005 largely 
resulted from a 2003 law (Pub. L. No. 108-18) that reduced USPS 
pension benefit payments by about $9 billion over this period. 

[End of figure] 

These financial challenges highlight deficiencies in USPS's business 
model, which is predicated on fulfilling its mission through self- 
supporting, businesslike operations. The financial and operational 
challenges facing USPS have been exacerbated by the recent economic 
downturn. Because of these challenges, in July 2009, we placed USPS's 
financial condition on our high-risk list and testified that 
restructuring is needed to enhance USPS's current and long-term 
financial viability.[Footnote 5] We concluded in our most recent 
report that its business model is not viable because it is unable to 
reduce costs sufficiently in response to continuing mail volume and 
revenue declines. We continue to believe that major restructuring is 
necessary and not doing so will increase the risk that taxpayers and 
the U.S. Treasury will have to provide financial relief. 

Actions Congress and USPS Can Take to Facilitate Progress toward 
Financial Viability: 

Action by Congress and USPS is urgently needed in a variety of areas 
to facilitate progress toward USPS's financial viability. We have 
identified a variety of strategies and options that can be taken to 
address these challenges. Some of these strategies can be completed 
within USPS's current authority, while others would need congressional 
involvement or require collaboration with unions through collective 
bargaining. The strategies fall into three major categories: 

* reducing compensation and benefits costs, 

* reducing other operations and network costs and improving 
efficiency, and: 

* generating revenues through product and pricing flexibility. 

Other options that Congress may want to consider would more 
comprehensively restructure USPS's statutory and regulatory framework 
to reflect business and consumers' changing use of the mail. Although 
our report did not focus on whether USPS's ownership structure should 
be changed, we identified the following questions that could be 
helpful when considering this framework: 

* Mission: What universal postal service, including mail delivery and 
postal retail service, is appropriate in light of fundamental changes 
in the use of mail? 

* Role: Should USPS be solely responsible for providing universal 
delivery and postal retail service, or should that responsibility be 
shared with the private sector? 

* Monopoly: Does USPS need a monopoly over delivery of certain types 
of letter mail and access to mail boxes to finance--in part or 
wholly-- universal postal service? 

* Governance and regulation: What is an appropriate balance between 
USPS's managerial flexibility and the oversight and accountability 
provided by the current governance and regulatory structure? 

To facilitate progress going forward, it will be critical for USPS and 
Congress to reach agreement with other stakeholders on major issues 
that impede USPS's ability to implement actions to reduce financial 
losses, such as the following: 

* Funding postal retiree health benefits: USPS has said that it cannot 
afford its required prefunding payments, and several proposals have 
been made to defer costs by revising the statutory requirements. It is 
important that USPS fund its retiree health benefit obligations-- 
including prefunding these obligations--to the maximum extent that its 
finances permit. In revising the requirements, it will be important to 
consider what is affordable to USPS; what is a fair balance of 
payments between current and future ratepayers; and what impact such 
changes could have on the federal budget.[Footnote 6] 

* Binding arbitration: One of the most difficult challenges is making 
changes to USPS's compensation systems, which will be critical to its 
financial condition since wages and benefits represent 80 percent of 
its costs. USPS and its employee unions will begin negotiations for 
new agreements in 2010 and 2011. In this regard, the time has come to 
reexamine the structure for collective bargaining that was developed 
40 years ago. Since that time, USPS's competitive environment has 
changed dramatically, and rising personnel costs are contributing to 
escalating financial losses. Thus, Congress should consider modifying 
the collective bargaining process to ensure that any binding 
arbitration takes USPS's financial condition into account. 

* Realigning postal services with changing use of the mail: As mail 
use by businesses and consumers continues to change, USPS has stated 
that it cannot afford to provide the same level of services. For 
example, it has estimated that costs could be reduced by about $3 
billion annually if delivery frequency is reduced from 6 days to 5 
days per week, but congressional action would be needed to remove 
statutory requirements for 6-day mail delivery. USPS filed its 
proposal to eliminate Saturday delivery with the PRC on March 30, 
2010. This action will allow public input on this issue and lead to a 
PRC advisory opinion. 

* Generating revenue through new or enhanced product and services: A 
key issue is whether USPS can make sufficient progress using the 
pricing and product flexibility provided in PAEA or if changes are 
needed. In 2009, USPS asked Congress to change the law so that it 
could diversify into nonpostal areas to find new opportunities for 
revenue growth. USPS and stakeholders we collected information from 
offered many options for diversification into nonpostal areas, 
including banking, financial, insurance, and government services, 
either on its own or in partnership with other private firms or 
government agencies. USPS also asked for additional pricing 
flexibility in a recently issued Action Plan.[Footnote 7] However, it 
is unclear what the potential impacts of such changes would be and 
what statutory or regulatory changes would be needed. 

* Realigning operations, networks, and workforce: Once Congress and 
USPS have determined what, if any, changes should be made in the 
products and services that it provides, postal operations, networks, 
and workforce would need to be realigned. Decisions in this area will 
involve difficult tradeoffs related to reducing USPS's size so as to 
remain self-financing and keep prices affordable, versus concerns 
about how such realignments would affect its workforce, the value of 
USPS's brand, and its network of physical assets. 

When we placed USPS on our high-risk list, we suggested that USPS 
develop and implement a broad restructuring plan that would identify 
specific actions planned, key issues to address, and steps Congress 
and other stakeholders needed to take. On March 2, 2010, USPS issued 
an Action Plan that identified seven key areas in which it would need 
legislative changes or congressional support. Many of the options 
discussed are similar to those we have analyzed and included in our 
recent report. USPS's plan indicates that actions within its control 
can close $123 billion of this financial gap, but that actions outside 
its existing authority--including some involving statutory changes-- 
will be needed to eliminate the remaining financial gap. Progress on 
these issues will likely take several years to fully implement once a 
decision is made on the scope of needed changes. 

Congress, USPS, and other stakeholders need to reach agreement on the 
actions that should be taken, the desired operational and financial 
results, and the time frames for implementation. Key questions that 
need to be addressed include the following: 

* Universal service: What, if any, changes are needed--that is, should 
delivery services be changed (e.g., frequency or standards), and 
should retail services be moved out of post offices to alternative 
locations? 

* Realigning operations, networks, and workforce: How should USPS 
optimize its operations, networks, and workforce to support changes in 
services? How quickly can this happen? How can USPS best work with its 
employees and customers to minimize potential disruption? 

* New products and services: What opportunities are there to introduce 
profitable new postal products and enhancements to existing ones? 
Should USPS engage in nonpostal areas where there are private-sector 
providers? If so, under what terms? 

In our recent report, we stated that to facilitate progress in 
difficult areas, such as realigning operations, networks, and 
workforce, Congress may want to consider an approach similar to that 
used by the Department of Defense's Base Realignment and Closure 
Commission (BRAC). USPS agreed with the report's key findings but 
raised concerns about using a BRAC-type panel and its timing. Congress 
has previously turned to panels of independent experts to assist in 
restructuring organizations that are facing key financial challenges. 
These panels have helped establish consensus and developed proposed 
legislative or other changes to address difficult public policy 
issues. Establishing a similar commission or control board of 
independent experts could provide a mechanism to assist Congress in 
making timely decisions and comprehensive changes to USPS's business 
model and operations. 

In addition to establishing a panel, our report included two other 
matters for Congress to consider to address USPS's financial viability 
in the short term: 

* Modify USPS's retiree health benefit cost structure in a fiscally 
responsible manner. 

* Revise the statutory framework for collective bargaining to ensure 
that binding arbitration takes USPS's financial condition into account. 

The current crisis presents an opportunity to act and position this 
important American institution for the future. The longer it takes for 
USPS and Congress to address USPS's challenges, the more difficult 
they will be to overcome. 

Messrs. Chairmen, this concludes my prepared statement. I would be 
pleased to answer any questions that you or other Members of the 
Committee may have. 

Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

For further information regarding this statement, please contact 
Phillip Herr at (202) 512-2834 or herrp@gao.gov. Individuals who made 
key contributions to this statement include: Teresa Anderson, Joshua 
Bartzen, Brandon Haller, Kenneth John, Anar Ladhani, Hannah Laufe, 
Daniel Paepke, Susan Ragland, Amy Rosewarne, Travis Thomson, and 
Crystal Wesco. 

Individuals who made key contributions to GAO-10-455, the report on 
which this testimony is based, include: Shirley Abel, Amy Abramowitz, 
Teresa Anderson, Joseph Applebaum, Gerald Barnes, Joshua Bartzen, 
William Dougherty, Patrick Dudley, Brandon Haller, Carol Henn, Paul 
Hobart, Kenneth John, Anar Ladhani, Hannah Laufe, Scott McNulty, 
Daniel Paepke, Susan Ragland, Amy Rosewarne, Travis Thomson, Jack 
Wang, and Crystal Wesco. 

[End of section] 

Related GAO Products: 

U.S. Postal Service: Strategies and Options to Facilitate Progress 
toward Financial Viability. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-455]. Washington, D.C.: April 12, 
2009. 

U.S. Postal Service: Financial Crisis Demands Aggressive Action. 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-538T]. Washington, 
D.C.: March 18, 2010. 

U.S. Postal Service: The Program for Reassessing Work Provided to 
Injured Employees Is Under Way, but Actions Are Needed to Improve 
Program Management. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-78]. Washington, D.C.: December 14, 
2009. 

U.S. Postal Service: Financial Challenges Continue, with Relatively 
Limited Results from Recent Revenue-Generation Efforts. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-191T]. Washington, D.C.: November 
5, 2009. 

U.S. Postal Service: Restructuring Urgently Needed to Achieve 
Financial Viability. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-958T]. Washington, D.C.: August 6, 
2009. 

U.S. Postal Service: Broad Restructuring Needed to Address 
Deteriorating Finances. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-790T]. Washington, D.C.: July 30, 
2009. 

High Risk Series: Restructuring the U.S. Postal Service to Achieve 
Sustainable Financial Viability. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-937SP. Washington, D.C.: July 28, 
2009. 

U.S. Postal Service: Mail Delivery Efficiency Has Improved, but 
Additional Actions Needed to Achieve Further Gains. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-696]. Washington, D.C.: July 15, 
2009. 

U.S. Postal Service: Network Rightsizing Needed to Help Keep USPS 
Financially Viable. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-674T]. Washington, D.C.: May 20, 
2009. 

U.S. Postal Service: Escalating Financial Problems Require Major Cost 
Reductions to Limit Losses. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-475T]. Washington, D.C.: March 25, 
2009. 

U.S. Postal Service: Deteriorating Postal Finances Require Aggressive 
Actions to Reduce Costs. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-332T]. Washington, D.C.: January 
28, 2009. 

U.S. Postal Service: USPS Has Taken Steps to Strengthen Network 
Realignment Planning and Accountability and Improve Communication. 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-1022T]. Washington, 
D.C.: July 24, 2008. 

U.S. Postal Service: Data Needed to Assess the Effectiveness of 
Outsourcing. [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-787]. 
Washington, D.C.: July 24, 2008. 

U.S. Postal Service Facilities: Improvements in Data Would Strengthen 
Maintenance and Alignment of Access to Retail Service. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-41]. Washington, D.C.: December 10, 
2007. 

U.S. Postal Service: Mail Processing Realignment Efforts Under Way 
Need Better Integration and Explanation. [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-07-717]. Washington, D.C.: June 21, 
2007. 

U.S. Postal Service: The Service's Strategy for Realigning Its Mail 
Processing Infrastructure Lacks Clarity, Criteria, and Accountability. 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-05-261]. Washington, D.C.: 
April 8, 2005. 

[End of section] 

Footnotes: 

[1] GAO, U.S. Postal Service: Strategies and Options to Facilitate 
Progress toward Financial Viability, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-455] (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 12, 
2010). 

[2] Pub. L. No 109-435, ß710, 120 Stat. 3198 (Dec. 20, 2006). 

[3] GAO, High-Risk Series: Restructuring the U.S. Postal Service to 
Achieve Sustainable Financial Viability, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-937SP] (Washington, D.C.: July 28, 
2009). USPS's transformation efforts and long-term outlook were on our 
high-risk list from 2001 to 2007. 

[4] Pub. L. No. 111-68, ß 164, 123 Stat. 2023 (Oct. 1, 2009). 

[5] [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-937SP] and GAO, 
U.S. Postal Service: Broad Restructuring Needed to Address 
Deteriorating Finances, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-790T] (Washington, D.C.: July 30, 
2009). 

[6] See [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-455] for a 
discussion of different approaches for funding USPS's retiree health 
benefit obligations. 

[7] United States Postal Service, Ensuring a Viable Postal Service for 
America: An Action Plan for the Future (Washington, D.C.: March 2010). 
USPS's plan and related material are available at the following Web 
address: [hyperlink, 
http://www.usps.com/strategicplanning/futurepostalservice.htm] 
(accessed on Apr. 9, 2010). 

[End of section] 

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