Frequently Asked Questions

1. How is mail defined?

  • Mail is defined as all incoming and outgoing mail and materials that contain paper, parcels or publications weighing up to 70 pounds.
    • Any mailable matter that is accepted for mail processing and delivery by USPS.
    • The sum total of the mail at any time that is in USPS custody.
    • To deposit a mailable item into a collection box or present the item (or a mailing for large quantities of mail pieces) at a Post Office or business mail entry unit.

2. What is the Federal Mail Regulation (FMR) 102-192?

  • FMR 102-192 prescribes the policy and requirements for effective, economical, and secure management of incoming, internal, and outgoing mail and materials as well as for all service providers in Federal agencies.

3. How much does the Government spend annually on mail?

  • Federal agencies with over $1 million or greater in mail and material expenditures are required to report data annually.  The 27 agencies that are considered “large mailers” spend about $1.1 billion on mail and materials annually.  Our data includes yearly mail and material expenditure amounts from large Federal agencies.

4. What are agencies reporting requirements?

  • Agencies must report mail expenditures by mail classes and mail certifications annually.  More information can be found in the FMR 102-192, Subpart B Reporting Requirements. The Classes of Mail can be found at USPS Business Mail 101. 
    • First-Class Mail
    • Package Services
    • Periodicals
    • Priority Mail
    • Priority Mail Express
    • Standard Mail
    Agencies must report all service provider expenditures via shipping products annually.

5. How does GSA use the data reported?

  • We use this data to review, track, monitor, and analyze efficiencies for improvement, cost reductions, sustainability, and obtain an overall picture of Federal mail spend.  GSA prepares an annual report every year, and submits to Congress, when requested.

6. What is the Simplified Mail Accountability Reporting Tool (SMART)? 

  • SMART is the reporting tool used by Federal agencies to submit their annual mail and materials data.  All reported data is included in our annual mail report. Agencies should discuss their data to assist them in making cost effective decisions and sustainable improvements.

7. What are some of the mail management’s best practices?

  • Require users to justify sending mail and materials overnight with a supervisor approval and centralizing express services in the mail center.  Overnight mail is the most costly and not always the most efficient.
  • Require users to compare rates with the US Postal Service before using other related parcel service carriers. 
  • Agency Mail Managers develop a mail user’s guide for employees.
  • Agency Mail Managers audit carrier invoices to monitor performance.
  • Agency Mail Managers develop performance measurements for their mail operations in all their mail facilities and at their program levels.

8. What mail training should I take?

  • The Federal Mail Council leadership team in conjunction with GSA has developed the Federal Mail Management Training Program to include the Basic (Level 1) Course training of 9 sessions. Training is recommended for the Agency Mail Manager, mail clerks, and mail center workers.  It is available at no cost online at transportation officer training.  Intermediate (Level 2) Course training classes will have additional sessions and check the website for availability of class content.

9. What are Agency Mail Manager responsibilities?

  • Agency Mail Manager’s responsibilities are defined in Section 102-192.130 of the Federal Mail Regulation.
Last Reviewed 2016-09-20