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NCJ Number: 69447 Find in a Library
Title: RURAL POST OFFICES (FROM CASES IN ACCOUNTABILITY P 93-100, 1979, BY ERASMUS H KLOMAN - SEE NCJ-69444)
Author(s): M BROSTEK
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Westview Press, Inc
Boulder, CO 80301
Sale Source: Westview Press, Inc
Marketing Director
5500 Central Avenue
Boulder, CO 80301
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE (GAO) REVIEWED THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE IN AN ATTEMPT TO RESOLVE THE SERVICE'S CONFLICTING AIMS OF ECONOMICAL SELF-SUSTENANCE AND OF PROVISION OF UNECONOMICAL SERVICES.
Abstract: WHILE RURAL POST OFFICES WERE ESTABLISHED PRIMARILY DURING THE 19TH CENTURY TO PROVIDE AN EFFECTIVE MEANS OF COMMUNICATION, THE GROWTH OF CITIES AND INDUSTRIALIZATION HAVE RENDERED THE SERVICE BOTH UNECONOMICAL AND INADEQUATE TO MEET ITS CUSTOMERS' NEEDS. FOLLOWING THE POSTAL REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1971 AND THE SERVICE'S POOR IMPLEMENTATION OF A DIRECTIVE TO CLOSE SMALL DEFICIT-RIDDEN RURAL POST OFFICES, THE GAO CONDUCTED A SURVEY TO DISCOVER WHETHER THESE OFFICES COULD BE CLOSED WITH AN EQUALLY EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE SERVICE BEING OFFERED AT LOWER COST. THE REPORT REVEALED THAT OF EVERY 10 CUSTOMERS INTERVIEWED, 9 BELIEVED THEIR NEW (ALTERNATIVE) SERVICE TO BE AS GOOD OR BETTER THAN THAT PREVIOUSLY OFFERED BY A THIRD- OR FOURTH-CLASS POST OFFICE. RURAL CUSTOMERS, AND ESPECIALLY THE ELDERLY, PREFERRED THE NEW CURBSIDE DELIVERY TO DAILY TRIPS TO THE POST OFFICE. ESTIMATES OF POTENTIAL SAVINGS INDICATED THAT WITH 12,000 OF 18,290 RURAL POST OFFICES CLOSED, COMMUNITY POST OFFICES WOULD SAVE AN AVERAGE OF FROM $4,000 TO $9,000. MOREOVER, COMMUNITY IDENTITY WOULD NOT BE OVERWHELMINGLY DESTROYED. REACTIONS TO THE REPORTS' PROPOSALS WERE ENTIRELY NEGATIVE. CONGRESS AND CITIZENS POINTED TO THE POSTAL REORGANIZATION ACT'S PROMISE THAT RURAL POST OFFICES WOULD NOT BE CLOSED SOLELY BECAUSE OF ECONOMIC DEFICIT. YET GAO'S REPORT DID UNCOVER PROBLEMS NEEDING RECTIFICATION. IN 1976, THE CONGRESS DREW UP AMENDMENTS MANDATING A MORATORIUM ON CLOSING OR CONSOLIDATING CERTAIN POST OFFICES, PROVISION OF ADEQUATE NOTICE TO PATRONS AT LEAST 60 DAYS PRIOR TO A PROPOSED CLOSING, AND A RIGHT OF APPEAL AND COMMENT BY ANY PERSONS SERVED BY THE AFFECTED POST OFFICE. FIVE NOTES AND FIVE STUDY QUESTIONS ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): US Government Accountability Office (GAO); US Postal Service
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=69447

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