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Subchapter G—Administrative programs
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Part 102-192—Mail Management

Subpart A—Introduction to this Part

§102-192.5—What does this part cover?

This part prescribes policy and requirements for the effective, economical, and secure management of incoming, internal, and outgoing mail and materials in Federal agencies.

§102-192.10—What authority governs this part?

This part is governed by Section 2 of Public Law 94-575, the Federal Records Management Amendments of 1976 (44 U.S.C. 2901-2904, as amended), that 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.

§102-192.15—How are “I”, “you”, “me”, “we”, and “us” used in this part?

In this part, “I,” “me,” and “you” refer to the agency mail manager, a person working in a Federal mail operation, or the agency itself. Where the context does not make it entirely clear which is meant, the meaning is spelled out the first time a pronoun is used in the section. “We,” “us,” and “you” in the plural refer to your Federal agency.

§102-192.20—How are “must” and “should” used in this part?

In this part—

(a) “Must” identifies steps that Federal agencies are required to take; and

(b) “Should” identifies steps that the GSA recommends. In their internal policy statements, agencies may require steps that GSA recommends.

§102-192.25—Does this part apply to me?

Yes, this part applies to you if you work in mail management in a Federal agency, as defined in 102-192.35.

§102-192.30—What types of mail does this part apply to?

(a) This part applies to all materials that pass through a Federal mail center, including all incoming and outgoing materials. This includes:

(1) First Class Mail;

(2) Standard Mail;

(3) Periodicals;

(4) Package Services; and

(5) Express Mail.

(b) This part does not apply to shipments of parts or supplies from a material distribution center. A material distribution center is a warehouse that maintains and distributes an inventory of parts and supplies.

§102-192.35—What definitions apply to this part?

The following definitions apply to this part:

“Accountable mail” means any piece of mail for which a service provider and the mail center must maintain a record that shows where the mail piece is at any given time, and when and where it was delivered. Examples of accountable mail include United States Postal Service (USPS) registered mail and all expedited mail.

“Agency mail manager” means the person who manages the overall mail management program of a Federal agency.

“Class of mail” means one of the five categories of domestic mail as defined by the Mailing Standards of the USPS in the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) located at http://pe.usps.gov/. These include:

(1) Express mail.

(2) First class (includes priority mail).

(3) Periodicals.

(4) Standard mail (e.g., bulk marketing mail).

(5) Package services.

“Commercial payment process” means paying for postage using the United States Postal Service's Centralized Account Processing System or another payment approach used by the private sector.

“Commingling” means combining outgoing mail from one facility or agency with outgoing mail from at least one other source.

“Consolidation” means the process of combining into a container two or more pieces of mail directed to the same addressee or installation on the same day.

“Consolidation of facilities” means the process of combining more than one mail center into a central location. The decision to consolidate should be based on a cost analysis comparing the projected cost savings to the cost of implementation.

“Expedited mail” means mail designated for overnight and 2- or 3-day delivery by service providers. Examples of “expedited mail” include Dalsey, Hillblom, Lynn (DHL); Federal Express (FedEx); United Parcel Service (UPS); and United States Postal Service (USPS) express mail.

“Federal agency or agency, as defined in 44 U.S.C. 2901(14),” means—

(1) An executive agency, which includes:
(a) Any executive department as defined in 5 U.S.C. 101;
(b) Any wholly owned Government corporation as defined in 31 U.S.C. 9101;
(c) Any independent establishment in the executive branch as defined in 5 U.S.C. 104; and

(2) Any establishment in the legislative or judicial branch of the Government, except the Supreme Court, the Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the Architect of the Capitol, and any activities under the direction of the Architect of the Capitol.

“Federal facility or facility” means any office building, installation, base, etc., where Federal agency employees work. This includes any facility where the Federal Government pays postage expenses even though few or no Federal employees are involved in processing the mail.

“Incoming mail” means any mail that comes into a facility delivered by any service provider, such as DHL, FedEx, UPS, and USPS.

“Internal mail” means mail generated within a Federal facility that is delivered within that facility or to a nearby facility of the same agency, so long as it is delivered by agency personnel.

“Large agency” means a Federal agency whose collective total payments to all mail service providers equals or exceeds $1 million per fiscal year.

“Mail” means that as described in 102-192.30.

“Mail center” means an organization and/or place, within or associated with a Federal facility, where incoming and/or outgoing Federal mail and materials are processed.

“Mail expenditures” means direct expenses for postage, fees and services, and all other mail costs, meter fees, permit fees, etc. (e.g., payments to service providers, mail center personnel costs, mail center overhead).

“Mail piece design” means creating and printing items to be mailed so that they can be processed efficiently and effectively by USPS automated mail processing equipment.

“Official Mail” means incoming or outgoing mail that is related to official business of the Federal Government.

“Official Mail Accounting System (OMAS)” means the USPS Government-specific system used to track postage.

“Outgoing mail” means mail generated within a Federal facility that is going outside that facility.

“Personal mail” means incoming or outgoing mail that is not related to official business of the Federal Government.

“Postage” means payment for delivery service that is affixed or imprinted to a mail piece usually in the form of a postage stamp, permit, imprint, or meter impression.

“Presort” means a mail preparation process used to receive a discounted mail rate by sorting mail according to USPS standards.

“Program level” means a component, bureau, regional office, and/or a facility that generates outgoing mail.

“Service provider” means any agency or company that delivers materials and mail. Some examples of service providers are DHL, FedEx, UPS, USPS, courier services, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Pouch and Mail Division, and other Federal agencies providing mail services.

“Sustainability/Sustainable” means to create and maintain conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony. “Sustainability” efforts seek to fulfill the social, economic, and environmental needs of present and future generations.

Telework means a flexible work arrangement under which an employee performs assigned duties and responsibilities, and other authorized activities, from an approved alternate location.

“Unauthorized use of agency postage” means the use of penalty or commercial mail stamps, meter impressions, or other postage indicia for personal or unofficial use.

“Worksharing” is one way of processing outgoing mail so that the mail qualifies for reduced postage rates (e.g., presorting, bar coding, consolidating, commingling).

§102-192.40—Where can we obtain more information about the classes of mail?

You can learn more about mail classes in the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM). The DMM is available online at http://pe.usps.gov, or you can order a copy from: Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 979050, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000.

§102-192.45—How can we request a deviation from these requirements, and who can approve it?

See §§102-2.60 through 102-2.110 of this chapter to request a deviation from the requirements of this part. The Administrator of General Services and those to whom the Administrator has delegated such authority have the power to approve or deny a deviation.

Subpart B—Agency Requirements Financial Requirements for All Agencies

§102-192.50—What payment  processes are we required to use?

(a) You must pay the USPS using one or more of the following:

(1) The U.S. Treasury Intergovernmental Payment and Collection Payment (IPAC) process associated with the Official Mail Accounting System (OMAS);

(2) The USPS Centralized Account Processing System (CAPS) associated with commercial payments; or

(3) Another Treasury approved means of paying the USPS.

(b) Payments made to service providers other than USPS must be made by U.S. Treasury payment methods such as automated clearing house-electronic funds transfer, or another Treasury approved means of paying the vendor.

§102-192.55—Why must we use these payment processes?

In accordance with 44 U.S.C. 2904, GSA is required to standardize and improve accountability with respect to records management, including Federal mail management.

§102-192.60—How do we implement these payment processes?

Guidance on implementing the Intra-governmental Payment and Collection System can be found at:

http://www.fms.treas.gov/ipac/index.html

§102-192.65—What features must our finance systems have to keep track of mail expenditures?

All agencies must have an accountable system for making postage payments; that is, a system that allocates postage expenses at the program level within the agency and makes program level managers accountable for obligating and tracking those expenses. The agency will have to determine the appropriate program level for this requirement because the level at which it is cost beneficial differs widely. The agency's finance systems should track all mail expenditures separately to the program level or below, and should—

(a) Show expenses for postage and all other mail expenditures, payments to service providers, etc., separate from all other administrative expenses;

(b) Allow mail centers to establish systems to charge their customers for mail expenditures; and

(c) Identify and charge the mail expenditures that are part of printing contracts down to the program level.

Security Requirements for All Agencies

§102-192.70—What security policies and plans must we have?

(a) Agencies must have a written mail security policy that applies throughout your agency.

(b) Agencies must have a written mail security plan for each facility that processes mail, regardless of the facility's mail volume.

(c) Agencies must have a security policy for employees receiving incoming and sending outgoing mail at an alternative worksite, such as a telework center.

(d) The scope and level of detail of each facility mail security plan should be commensurate with the size and responsibilities of each facility. For small facilities, agencies may use a general plan for similar locations. For larger locations, agencies must develop a plan that is specifically tailored to the threats and risks at your location. Agencies should determine which facilities they consider small and large for the purposes of this section, so long as the basic requirements for a security plan are met at every facility.

(e) All mail managers are required to annually report the status of their mail security plans to agency headquarters. At a minimum, these reports should assure that all mail security plans comply with the requirements of this part, including annual review by a subject matter expert and regular rehearsal of responses to various emergency situations by facility personnel.

(f) A security professional who has expertise in mail center security should review the agency's mail security plan and policies annually to include identification of any deficiencies. Review of facility mail security plans can be accomplished by subject matter experts such as agency security personnel. If these experts are not available within your agency, seek assistance from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/) or the Federal Protective Service (FPS) (http://www.dhs.gov/federal-protective-service).

§102-192.75—Why must we have written security policies and plans?

All Federal mail programs must identify, prioritize, and coordinate the protection of all mail processing facilities in order to prevent, deter, and mitigate the effects of deliberate efforts to destroy, incapacitate, or exploit the mail center or the national mail infrastructure. Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD 7) at http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/nspd/hspd-7.html requires all agencies to protect key resources from terrorist attacks. All Federal mail centers are identified as key resources under the Postal and Shipping Sector Plan. Further details on the plan can be found at the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Web site at http://www.dhs.gov/.

§102-192.80—How do we develop written security policies and plans?

Agency mail managers must coordinate with their agency security service and/or the FPS or the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to develop agency mail security policies and plans. The FPS has developed standards for building construction and management, including standards for mail centers. At a minimum, the agency mail security plan must address the following topics:

(a) Risk assessment;

(b) A plan to protect staff and all other occupants of agency facilities from hazards that might be delivered in the mail;

(c) Operating procedures;

(d) A plan to provide a visible mail screening operation;

(e) Training mail center personnel;

(f) Testing and rehearsing responses to various emergency situations by agency personnel;

(g) Managing threats;

(h) Communications plan;

(i) Occupant Emergency Plan;

(j) Continuity of Operations Plan; and

(k) Annual reviews of the agency's security plan.

Reporting Requirements

§102-192.85—Who must report to GSA annually?

Large agencies, as defined in 102-192.35, must provide an annual Mail Management Report to GSA. If your agency is a cabinet level or independent agency, the agency mail manager must compile all offices or components and submit one report for the department or agency as a whole, for example, the U.S. Department of Defense or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

§102-192.90—What must we include in our annual mail management report to GSA?

You must provide an agency-wide response to the GSA requested data elements. GSA will provide the list of data elements in a Federal Management Regulation (FMR) Bulletin. GSA coordinates all mail management related FMR bulletins with the Federal Mail Executive Council and updates them as necessary. FMR bulletins are available at: http://www.gsa.gov/bulletins.

§102-192.95—Why does GSA require annual mail management reports?

GSA requires annual agency mail management reports to—

(a) Ensure that Federal agencies have the policies, procedures, and data to manage their mail operations efficiently and effectively;

(b) Ensure that appropriate security measures are in place; and

(c) Allow GSA to fulfill its responsibilities under the Federal Records Act, especially with regard to sharing best practices, information on training, and promulgating standards, procedures, and guidelines.

§102-192.100—How do we submit our annual mail management report to GSA?

You must submit annual reports using the GSA web based Simplified Mail Accountability Reporting Tool (SMART). Training is available from GSA to agency mail managers and other authorized users on how to use the SMART data reporting system. Contact the Office of Government-wide Policy, Mail Management Policy office for access and training at
federal.mail@gsa.gov.

§102-192.105—When must we submit our annual mail management report to GSA?

Beginning with FY 2014, the agency's annual mail management report is due on October 31 following the end of the fiscal year.

Performance Measurement Requirements for All Agencies

§102-192.110—At what levels in our agency must we have performance measures?

You must have performance measures for mail operations at the agency level and in all mail facilities and program levels.

§102-192.115—Why must we use performance measures?

Performance measures gauge the success of your mail management plans and processes by comparing performance over time and among organizations. Performance measures—

(a) Define goals and objectives;

(b) Enhance resource allocation; and

(c) Provide accountability.

Agency Mail Manager Requirements

§102-192.120—Must we have an agency mail manager?

Yes, every agency as defined in 102-192.35, must have an agency mail manager.

§102-192.125—What is the appropriate managerial level for an agency mail manager?

The agency mail manager should be at a managerial level that enables him or her to speak for the agency on mail management as outlined in this part.

§102-192.130—What are your general responsibilities as an agency mail manager?

In addition to carrying out the responsibilities discussed above, you should—

(a) Establish written policies and procedures to provide timely and cost effective dispatch and delivery of mail and materials;

(b) Ensure agency-wide awareness and compliance with standards and operational procedures established by all service providers used by the agency;

(c) Set policies for expedited mail, mass mailings, mailing lists, and couriers;

(d) Implement cost savings through:

(1) Consolidating and presorting wherever practical, for example, internal and external mail, and consolidation of agency-wide mail operations and official mail facilities; and

(2) Reducing the volume of agency to agency mail whenever possible.

(e) Develop and direct agency programs and plans for proper and cost effective use of transportation, equipment, and supplies used for mail;

(f) Ensure that all facility and program level mail personnel receive appropriate training and certifications to successfully perform their assigned duties;

(g) Promote professional certification for mail managers and mail center employees;

(h) Ensure that expedited mail service providers are used only when authorized by the Private Express Statutes, 39 U.S.C. 601-606;

(i) Establish written policies and procedures to minimize incoming and outgoing personal mail;

(j) Provide guidance to agency representatives who develop correspondence or design mailing materials including Business Reply Mail, letterhead, and mail piece design;

(k) Represent the agency in its relations with service providers, other agency mail managers, and GSA's Office of Government-wide Policy;

(l) Ensure agency policy incorporates Federal hazardous materials requirements set forth in 49 CFR parts 100-185;

(m) Ensure agency sustainable activities become part of the mail program by incorporating strategies in accordance with Executive Order 13514 of October 5, 2009, "Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance". Section 8 describes the Agency Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan; and

(n) Ensure safety and security requirements specified in 102-192.70 through 102-192.80 are fulfilled.

Subpart C—Mail Center Manager Requirements

§102-192.135—Must we have a mail center manager at our facility?

44 U.S.C 2904(b) directs the Administrator of General Services to provide guidance and assistance to Federal agencies to ensure economical and efficient records management. 44 U.S.C. 2901(2) and (4)(C) define the processing of mail by Federal agencies as part of records management. In carrying out its responsibilities under the Act, GSA is required to—

(a) Develop standards, procedures, and guidelines;

(b) Conduct research to improve practices and programs;

(c) Collect and disseminate information on training programs, technological developments, etc;

(d) Establish one or more interagency committees (such as the Federal Mail Executive Council, and the Interagency Mail Policy Council) as necessary to provide an exchange of information among Federal agencies;

(e) Conduct studies, inspections, or surveys;

(f) Promote economy and efficiency in the selection and utilization of space, staff, equipment, and supplies; and

(g) In the event of an emergency, at the request of DHS, cooperate with DHS in communicating with agencies about mail related issues.

§102-192.140—What types of support does GSA offer to Federal agency mail management programs?

(a) GSA supports Federal agency mail management programs by —

(1) Assisting in the development of agency policy and guidance in mail management and mail operations;

(2) Identifying best business practices and sharing them with Federal agencies;

(3) Developing and providing access to a Government-wide management information system for mail;

(4) Helping agencies develop performance measures and management information systems for mail;

(5) Maintaining a current list of agency mail managers;

(6) Establishing, developing, and maintaining interagency mail committees;

(7) Maintaining liaison with the USPS and other service providers at the national level;

(8) Maintaining a publically accessible website for mail communications policy; and

(9) Serving as a point of contact for all Federal agencies on mail issues.

(b) For further information contact: U.S. General Services Administration, Office of Government-wide Policy (MA), 1800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC 20504; telephone 202-501-1777, or email: Federal.mail@gsa.gov.

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Subchapter, G,Administrative, Programs, FMR