Reform of the United States Postal Service: Analysis of Hybrid Public-Private Partnership Proposed by Mailing Industry Thought-Leaders

An independent Panel of the National Academy of Public Administration today issues its findings and conclusions from its evaluation of a new hybrid public-private partnership Concept for Postal Service operations put forward by four nationally-recognized postal experts. David M. Walker, former Comptroller General of the United States, chaired the Academy’s Panel that conducted the ten-week review of the Thought-Leader White Paper. The Paper advocated that mail processing, collection, and transportation be performed by private sector companies and that the delivery function – “the last mile” – be reserved for the Postal Service.

“The Thought-Leader Concept is creative and deserves serious consideration,” noted Panel Chair Walker. “However, more study in several important areas related to the proposed hybrid public-private partnership is warranted before a decision on implementation can, or should, be made. In addition, the Postal Service faces a range of challenges not addressed by the Concept that must be addressed to ensure its longer-term sustainability.” The Panel report comments on other postal reform initiatives under consideration by the Postal Service and Congress, thus providing broader analytical context for this Concept.

The Thought-Leader Paper was put forward to address the Postal Service’s long-term financial viability and the Panel reviewed ten separate issues put forward by the Thought-Leader Paper. The Panel noted that the Thought-Leader Paper contributes to a wider dialogue on postal reform and proposes a Concept intended to leverage synergies between public and private sectors evidenced in postal upstream operations. The Panel pointed out that many upstream mail services are already provided by private sector companies and that the Postal Service could use its current authorities to pursue many aspects of the partnership Concept.

Dan G. Blair, President and CEO of the Academy, thanked the Panel for their work and contributions to the postal reform debate. “I am pleased that the Academy was given an opportunity to contribute to this important topic. The study that we reviewed represents a ‘break-through’ contribution to the postal stakeholder community, and I am confident that it will be a catalyst for a more robust and beneficial discussion about how to increase the Postal Service’s effectiveness and efficiency.”

The Panel’s report can be found at http://www.napawash.org/publications/reforming-the-u-s-postal-service/.

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