Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How is mail defined? 
    Mail is defined as all incoming and outgoing materials that contain paper, parcels or publications weighing up to 70 pounds.

  2. What is the Federal Mail Regulation (FMR) 102-192? 
    FMR-102-192 prescribes the policy and requirements for mail in Federal agencies

  3. What authority does GSA have over mail? 
    Public Law 94-575, the Federal Records Management Amendments of 1976 (44 U.S.C. 2901-2904, as amended), requires the Administrator of General Services to provide guidance and assistance to Federal agencies to ensure economical and effective records management and defines the processing of mail by Federal agencies as a records management activity. 

  4. How much does the Government spend annually on mail? 
    Presently, only Federal agencies with over $1 million or greater in mail expenditures are required to report data annually. The 28 agencies that are considered “large mailers” spend about $1.1 billion on mail annually. Our data includes yearly mail expenditure amounts from large Federal agencies. 

  5. 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
    Priority Mail
    Priority Mail Express
    Standard Mail

  6. How does GSA use the data reported? 
    We use this data to track, monitor and analyze efficiencies for improvement and obtain an overall picture of Federal mail spend. GSA prepares an annual report every year, and submits to Congress, when requested. 

  7. What is the Simplified Mail Accountability Reporting Tool (SMART)? 
    SMART is the reporting tool used by Federal agencies to submit their annual mail data and to analyze data. Reported data is included in our annual mail report. Agencies should discuss their data to assist them in making cost effective and sustainable decisions. 

  8. What are some of the mail management’s best practices? 
    a. Require users to justify sending mail overnight with a supervisor approval and centralizing express services in the mail center. Overnight mail is the most costly. 
    b. Require users to compare rates with the US Postal Service before using other parcel service carriers. 
    c. Agency Mail Managers should develop a mail user’s guide for employees. 
    d. Agency Mail Managers should audit carrier invoices to monitor performance. 

  9. What mail training should I take? 
    The Federal Mail Executive Committee 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

  10. What are Agency Mail Manager responsibilities? 
    Agency Mail Manager’s responsibilities are defined in Section 102-192.130 of the FMR.  


Last Reviewed 2015-09-01