U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

WASHINGTON, D.C.  20250

 

DEPARTMENTAL REGULATION

Number:

3050-001

 

SUBJECT:

Mail Management

DATE: 

May 11, 2012

 

OPI: 

Office of Operations 

 

1.      PURPOSE

 

This regulation prescribes policies, responsibilities and procedures for mail management within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

 

2.      SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS/CANCELLATIONS

 

This regulation revises DR 3050-1, and cancels DR 3050-1 dated May 28, 1996.

 

3.      POLICY

 

It is the policy of this Department to comply with the Federal Management Regulations (FMR) Parts 102-192, Mail Management.  Also, it is the policy of USDA to use the most economical classes and types of mail services available, that are consistent with operational needs. Mail processing operations will be prompt, efficient and as economical as possible. USDA mail centers must adhere to the GSA objective of timely and cost-effective dispatch and delivery of mail to the action office after its receipt from the Postal Service. USDA will cooperate fully with the United States Postal Service (USPS) in order to meet USDA's written communications requirements and to assure accurate reimbursement for services performed by the USPS.

 

4.      ABBREVIATIONS

 

CASU             - Cooperative Administrative Support Unit

CFR                - Code of Federal Regulations

CMU               - Central Mail Unit

DMM              - Domestic Mail Manual, U.S. Postal Service

FMR                - Federal Management Regulations

GSA                - General Services Administration

IMM                - International Mail Manual, U.S. Postal Service

MRMD           - Mail and Reproduction Management Division

OMAS            - Official Mail Accounting System

OO                  - Office of Operations

UPS                 - United Parcel Services

USC                - United States Code

USDA             - United States Department of Agriculture

USPS              - United States Postal Service

 

5.      DEFINITIONS

 

a.       Agency Mail Manager – has oversight of the mail communications program of an agency at the national level within the Department. The Agency Mail Manager serves as a liaison to the Departmental Mail Manager and is a resource to agency personnel for mail management issues.

 

b.      Class of Mail - the five categories of domestic mail as defined by the United States Postal Service (USPS) in the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM).  The categories are:

 

(1)   Express Mail

 

(2)   First Class and Priority Mail

 

(3)   Standard Mail (e.g. bulk marketing mail)

 

(4)   Periodicals

 

(5)   Package Services

 

c.       Commercial Payment Process – a postage accounting system that is an alternative to the Official Mail Accounting System (OMAS). In a commercial payment system, postage expenses are paid at the time that the transaction occurs.

 

d.      Co-mingling - the merging of outgoing mail from one facility or agency with outgoing mail from at least one other source. 

 

e.       Departmental Mail Manager – Has oversight of the policy, planning, and coordination of USDA’s National Mail Management Program (NMMP). Ensures the Department’s compliance to mail safety and security, financial, reporting, and performance measurement policies.

 

f.       Expedited Mail - a generic term that means mail designated for delivery more quickly than the USPS’s normal delivery times (which may vary by class of mail).  Examples of expedited mail include USPS Express Mail, overnight, and two-day delivery by other service providers. 

 

g.      Facility Mail Manager - the person responsible for mail in a specific USDA mail facility.  There may be many Facility Mail Managers within USDA and its agencies.

 

h.      Incoming Mail - refers to any mail that comes into USDA delivered by any service provider, such as USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.

 

i.        Internal Mail -  mail generated within USDA that is delivered to a USDA facility, so long as it is delivered by agency personnel or a dedicated agency contractor (i.e., not a service provider).

 

j.        Mail -  all materials that might pass through the USDA mail processing center including:

 

(1)   All internal, incoming, and outgoing materials such as envelopes, bulk mail, expedited mail, individual packages up to 70 pounds, publications, and postal cards.    

 

(2)         Similar materials carried by agency personnel, contractors, the United States Postal Service (USPS) and all other carriers of such items; and

 

(3)         Electronic mail only if it is printed out and mailed as described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this section; however, this part encourages agencies to maximize the use of electronic mail in lieu of printed media, so long as it is cost-effective. 

 

k.      Mail Costs - allocations and expenses for postage and all other mail costs (e.g. payments to service providers, mail center personnel costs, mail center overhead, etc.).

 

l.        Mail Management Program - Federal Management Regulations (FMR) Parts 102-192 issued by the General Services Administration (GSA) requires federal government departments to develop and utilize efficient management procedures for their departmental mail programs. The objective of the Mail Management Program at USDA is to ensure rapid handling and accurate delivery of mail throughout all of USDA at a minimum cost consistent with USDA’s mission requirements. Within USDA, a Department level Mail Manager is appointed to oversee the Mail Management Program. In support of the Departmental Mail Manager, each USDA operating division (Agency) appoints a Mail Manager to direct the Mail Management Program at the Agency level.

 

m.    Mail Piece Design – the layout and printing of items to be mailed such that they can be processed efficiently and effectively by automated mail-processing equipment. 

n.      Mail and Reproduction Management Division (MRMD) – Has full oversight of USDA’s national print production and mail management programs. The Departmental Mail Manager is appointed by the director of MRMD.

 

o.      Mail System - all of the components of the operation including methods for capturing data on mail users, their volumes, and costs.

 

p.      Official Mail - all mail used to conduct the business of USDA is considered official mail.  As such, USDA mail is considered Government property and is subject to rules governing the use of government property. 

 

(1)         Examples of mail matter that would not generally be considered as official mail include:  Christmas cards, chain letters, job resumes, complaints (except those submitted to the Inspector General under Section 7 of the Inspector General Act of 1978), grievances, and similar personal matters. 

 

(2)         An agency head may request a ruling from the Director of Operations, as to whether a particular mail matter is official business.  Any such request should include the reason why the agency head believes the matter to be official USDA business. 

 

q.      Official Mail Accounting System (OMAS) - is the Postal Services government-unique postage accounting system. Its purpose is to track postage used by most of USDA’s agencies.  GSA has recommended that all government agencies convert to Commercial Payment Processes. 

 

r.        Outgoing Mail - generated within USDA that is going outside our facility and is delivered by a service provider.

 

s.       Personal Mail - mail received or sent at a Federal agency by an agency employee or contract worker that does not involve the official business of the agency.  

 

t.        Postage - money or fees due that are paid to any service provider for mail services or delivery.

 

u.      Private Express Statutes - refers to laws that establish the U.S. Postal Service’s limited monopoly on first-class mail delivery. The statutes allow for overnight delivery of letter mail by alternative delivery services and also for the delivery of books, magazines, and newspapers.

 

v.      Presort – an outgoing mail preparation used to receive a discounted mailing postage rate by sorting mail according to USPS standards.

 

w.    Program Level - subsidiary part of USDA that generates a significant quantity of outgoing mail.

 

x.      Service Provider - an agency or company that delivers mail.  Some examples of service providers are: USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, Courier Services, and the State Department, Diplomatic, Pouch and Mail Division. 

 

y.      Special Services - mail services that require extra payment over basic postage; e.g., certified mail, registered mail, business reply mail, certificates of mailing, return receipts, and delivery confirmation. 

 

z.       Unauthorized Use of Agency Postage - the use of penalty or commercial mail stamps, meter impressions or other postage indicia for personal or otherwise unofficial use. 

 

aa.   Unsolicited Commercial Mail - mail that may or may not be program related. Examples include: Advertisements, requests for contributions, soliciting sales or subscriptions, training materials, and flyers.  If this mail is adequately addressed for delivery, it may be forwarded to the appropriate program office.  Inadequately addressed unsolicited commercial mail may be returned to the USPS as undeliverable.  

 

bb.  Work Sharing - cost-effective ways of processing outgoing mail that qualify for reduced postage rates; examples include presorting bar coding, consolidating, and commingling. 

 

6.      RESPONSIBILTIES

 

a.       Mail and Reproduction Management Division (MRMD), Office of Operations (OO) will:

 

(1)         Provide direction, leadership and policy for Departmental Mail Services.

 

(2)         Circulate Departmental policies, standards, techniques and procedures, and represent the Department in the area of mail management.

 

(3)         Develop, implement, and provide to GSA USDA’s annual mail management report.  This plan must include:

 

(a)    Total amounts paid to all service providers.

 

(b)   Verify that facility security plans have been reviewed at the agency level.

 

(c)    Identify performance measures in use at the agency level. 

 

(d)   A description of the USDA’s plans to improve the economy of mail operations.

 

(4)         Ensure that mail costs are identified at the program level within the department.  Program level costs can be identified by tracking mailing expenses by program areas, costs estimates, financial reports, reconciled Postal Service OMAS reports, and reconciled vendor data.

 

(5)         Establish written policies and procedures to provide timely and cost-effective dispatch and delivery of mail. 

 

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

 

(7)         Monitor the agency’s mailings and other mail management activities, especially expedited mail, mass mailings, mailing lists, and couriers, and seek opportunities to implement cost-effective improvements and/or to enhance performance of the agency’s mission. 

 

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

 

(9)         Ensure that expedited mail and couriers are used only as authorized by the Private Express Statutes (39 U.S.C. 601-606) and when necessary and cost-effective. 

 

(10)     Observe written policies and procedures to minimize personal       mail or packages received or sent via incoming, outgoing, and/or        internal agency mail. 

 

(a)       Mail Center personnel are not required to deliver personal mail or packages received through their facility, unless authorized to do so in writing by their supervisor or the head of the office under special temporary circumstances.  

 

(b)      Employees in transit as a result of a change in duty station, or on temporary detail, or temporarily assigned to a remote field location, may request the use of an office address until their situations are stabilized.

 

(c)       Employees should be discouraged from using their office address for delivery of savings bonds, salary checks, and per diem checks. 

       

(11)     Provide a liaison with the USPS and GSA, adherence to their rules, regulations and ensuring correct, speedy and economical movement of USDA mail within the postal system. 

 

(12)     Provide adequate liaison with the USPS on reimbursement for postal services.

 

(13)     Provide training assistance in mail management and mail services operations. 

 

(14)     Ensure that USDA’s national mail management program complies with all applicable mail policies and procedures, including this Departmental Regulation and the Federal Management Regulations (FMR) Parts 102-192, Mail Management.

 

b.      Department Agency Administrators and Staff Office Directors will:

 

(1)         Establish a mail management program and ensure that their employees are aware of and comply with the provisions of the program.

 

(2)         Appoint a qualified individual familiar with mail management as Agency / Facility Mail Manager to manage, control and coordinate matters regarding mail management and services within their local and field offices. The name, complete mailing address, and telephone number of the appointed person (or any replacement) will be sent to the Departmental Mail Manager.

 

(3)         Work closely with program personnel to minimize postage and associated printing expenses through improved mail piece design, mail list management, electronic transmission of data in lieu of mail, and other appropriate measures. 

 

(4)         Coordinate all of the office’s large mailings and print jobs to ensure that the most efficient and effective procedures are used. 

 

(5)         Work closely with the Departmental Mail Manager, Agency Mail Manager, mail technical experts, and mail Facility Managers that handle significant quantities of mail or print functions for their program.

 

(6)         Seek opportunities to centralize or consolidate mail services when USDA agencies are collocated in Federal Buildings or in nearby locations, in order to insure efficiency and economy to the government. These services may be currently available through a Cooperative Administrative Support Unit (CASU).

 

(7)         Evaluate the use of Post Office Box rentals to ensure that economical and efficient systems are utilized for the receipt of incoming mail.

 

(8)         Review and reconcile reports of postal accountability (OMAS or commercial vendors) to ensure accurate billing.

 

(9)         Implement performance measures for mail operations at the agency level and in all local and field office facilities and programs.

 

(10)     Observe written policies and procedures to reduce personal mail or packages received or sent via incoming, outgoing, and/or internal agency mail. 

 

(11)     Ensure their agency’s national mail management program complies with all applicable mail policies and procedures, including this Departmental Regulation and the Federal Management Regulations (FMR) Parts 102-192, Mail Management.

 

c.       Departmental Mail Manager is responsible for:

 

(1)         Establishing and maintaining a system that tracks financial and other performance data. Also, providing MRMD at the end of each fiscal year, as required, with pertinent information and reports concerning mailing practices, volumes of official and commercial mail costs. 

 

(2)         Working with MRMD and agency budget personnel to implement commercial payment processes (where feasible) while working under temporary deviations. 

 

(3)         Working with agency accounting personnel to ensure that financial systems show allocations and expenses for postage and all other mail costs separately from all other administrative expenses. 

 

(4)         Ensuring that bills from all service providers are reconciled and paid on a timely basis. 

 

(5)         Coordinating with MRMD on matters regarding USPS services and reimbursements.

 

(6)         Ensuring that their organization utilizes postal products and services that are efficient and economical.

 

(7)         Keeping members of their organization informed of changes in regulations and mailing requirements as provided by MRMD.

 

(8)         Continually reviewing and evaluating the use of mail products and services, within their organization, to ensure that economies are derived that benefit the organization.

 

(9)         Ensuring that users at the program levels receive the training needed to reduce, track, and budget for their mailing expenses.

 

(10)     Working with agency executives to ensure that, to the maximum practical extent, the person who makes the decision to mail any significant number of pieces of mail is the same person who controls the funds for postage. 

 

(11)     Developing and directing Departmental programs and plans for proper and cost-effective use of transportation, equipment, and supplies used for mail.

 

(12)     Providing guidance to agency correspondence managers on correspondence management decisions such as development and design of mailing materials including Business Reply Mail, Letterhead, and Mail Piece Design.

 

(13)     Representing the Department in its relations with mail service providers (usually as a Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative), other agency mail managers, and the GSA Office of Governmentwide Policy.

 

(14)     Keeping USDA personnel informed of the objectives, policies, standards, and procedures for prompt, accurate and economical mail operations. 

 

(15)     Ensuring that outgoing mail is economically and expeditiously dispatched. 

 

(16)     Providing liaison with the USPS and GSA, adherence to their rules, regulations and ensuring correct, speedy, and economical movement of USDA mail within the postal system. Also, provide adequate liaison with the USPS on reimbursement of postal services.

 

(17)     Seeking opportunities to implement cost-effective improvements and to enhance performance of the agency’s mission.

 

(18)     Establishing written policies and procedures to minimize incoming and outgoing personal mail.

 

(19)     Providing continuous monitoring of USDA’s national Mail Management Program to achieve improvements.

 

(20)     Ensuring the Department’s National Mail Management Program complies with all applicable mail policies, and procedures, including this Departmental Regulation and Federal Management Regulations (FMR) Parts 102-192, Mail Management.

 

d.      Agency and/or Facility Mail Manager is responsible for:

 

(1)         Representing and performing for their agency at the national level while demonstrating a level of commitment to their role and responsibilities as a USDA Agency and/or Facility Mail Manager.

 

(2)         Ensuring their agency’s national mail management program complies with all applicable mail policies and procedures, including this Departmental Regulation and the Federal Management Regulations (FMR) Parts 102-192, Mail Management.

 

(3)         Providing consistent representation for their agency at internal agency mail managers’ meetings, discussions, and other various communications. Participating in a mail manager orientation.

 

(4)         Maintaining relationships with other agency/facility mail managers, external mail service providers, and mail technical experts.

 

(5)         Developing and monitoring the postage budget and expenditures for their agency at the national level and providing postage budget allocations and/or amendments to the Departmental Mail Manager. Also, providing in timely manner, monthly, quarterly, and/or annual reports to the Departmental Mail Manager. Typical reports include total postage, shipping, and related fees for their entire agency (headquarters and field offices) that is paid to each and every mailing and shipping service providers.

 

(6)         Implementing a written mail security policy that applies throughout the agency regardless of the facility’s mail volume.

 

(7)         Observing written policies and procedures to reduce personal mail or packages received or sent via incoming, outgoing, and/or internal agency mail. 

 

(9)         Coordinating with program personnel to minimize postage and associated printing expenses through improved mail piece design, electronic transmission of data in lieu of mail, and other appropriate measures.

 

(10)     Ensuring that all addresses on agency letters and packages meet address specifications. Also, ensuring that all mailing lists have been validated.  

 

(11)     Actively seeking opportunities to remain current on new technologies and practices that could reduce mailing costs or make use of mail services more effectively.

 

(12)     Coordinating all of the agency or program's large mailings and associated print jobs to ensure that the most efficient and effective procedures are used.

 

(13)     Collaborating with agency finance officials to establish procedures for the timely processing of funds owed to service providers.

 

(14)     Addressing, including machine readability, formatting, use of correct street addresses, and minimizing use of hand-written addresses.

 

(15)     Ensuring that a USPS mail piece design analyst is consulted when creating a new mail piece.

 

(16)     Reviewing large mailings by mail managers before they are sent to printing or a print contractor.

 

(17)     Acceptance and processing of incoming and outgoing personal mail.

 

(18)     Limiting unsolicited mail and mail addressed to unknown persons and former employees.

 

(19)     Reporting all activities to include all postage costs associated with mailing, printing, and materials, to the agency mail manager, and

 

(20)     Administering policies for incoming and outgoing personal mail. In general, personal mail should be discouraged or prohibited. However, an agency may establish a policy to accept and process personal mail for personnel living on a Federal facility, personnel stationed outside the United States, or personnel in other situations who would otherwise suffer hardship.

 

e.        All USDA Mail Facilities will:

 

(1)         Receive technical direction on USDA mail management policies, procedures, and issues from their National Agency or Facility Mail Managers

 

(2)         Have a written mail security policy that applies throughout the agency regardless of the facility’s mail volume.

 

(3)         Review outgoing mail to ensure that it is properly prepared and conforms to standards specified in the IMM and Eligibility Module in the DMM, and other appropriate sections. Ensure that outgoing mail meets all standards established by their service provider(s) for weight, size, hazardous materials content, etc. 

 

(4)         Work closely with all facility personnel, especially program level users who develop large mailings, to minimize postage and associated printing expenses through improved mail piece design, mail list management, electronic transmission of data in lieu of mail, and other appropriate measures; keeping current on new technologies that could be applied to reduce mailing costs. 

 

(5)         Work with local managers to ensure that, to the maximum practical extent, the person who makes the decision to mail any significant number of pieces of mail is the same person who controls the funds for postage. 

 

(6)         Ensure that expedited mail and couriers are used only when authorized by the Private Express Statutes (39 U.S.C. 601-606) and when necessary and cost-effective. 

 

(7)         Provide centralized control of all mail processing activities at the facility, including all regularly scheduled, small package, and expedited service providers, couriers, equipment, and personnel. 

 

(8)         Review unauthorized use, loss, or theft of postage, including any unauthorized use of penalty or commercial mail stamps, meter impressions or other postage indicia, and immediately report such incidents to the USDA Inspector General. 

 

(9)         Provide training opportunities for all levels of agency personnel at the mail facility on incoming, outgoing, internal mail and security. 

 

(10)     Obtain and refer to current postal publications appropriate to their mailing operations.

 

(11)     Deliver all mail that is adequately addressed to the appropriate mail stop in a timely and cost-effective way.  All mail that is inadequately addressed will be returned to the USPS as undeliverable. 

 

(12)     Ensuring their national mail management program complies with all applicable mail policies and procedures, including this Departmental Regulation and the Federal Management Regulations (FMR) Parts 102-192, Mail Management.

 

7.   REFERENCES

 

Basic laws and regulations applicable to official mail are:

 

a.       Title 39, USC, Chapter 32, which provides for the use of Penalty mail by executive agencies.

 

b.      Title 18, USC, Section 1719, Franking Privilege," which provides penalties for the misuse of Government mail.

 

c.       FMR 102-192 establishes and defines the mail management function in Government agencies.

 

d.      Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), USPS, which provides regulations for domestic mail matter entering the USPS system.

 

e.       International Mail Manual (IMM), USPS, which provides guidance for preparation and postage costs for international mail.

 

 

8.   MAIL OPTIONS AND USER RESPONSIBILITIES

 

a.       To ensure timely receipt and economy, select the class of mail and special service on the basis of the priority of the material being mailed. The agency Mail Manager will consult MRMD, when there are questions as to the appropriate class or service to be used. FOR EACH MAILING, IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE ORIGINATOR TO IDENTIFY THE CLASS AND SPECIAL SERVICE DESIRED.

 

b.      All official outbound postal mail must be typed, using USPS standardized address format (see Appendix A & B). Outbound mail, generated by headquarter offices, that is not typed will not be accepted for processing by the Central Mail Unit (CMU). The USPS offers incentives for quality addresses. Typed mail is readable by optical character readers. Therefore, typed mail will receive expeditious handling and the potential for discounted postage rates.

 

c.       Official mail must be separated according to the class of mail and special service requested before it is presented to the post office.

 

9.   INTERNAL MAIL SERVICE

 

a.       Authorized Use of Internal Mail Services - Internal mail services are limited to official mail. Personal mail, intended for internal or external delivery, will not be picked up or delivered* by Government or contractor employees since it would impede the productivity of MRMD and the Government’s efficiency and economy (*see DR 3050-001,Section 6a-(10) & FMR, Parts 102-192, Mail Management, Subpart F, (i) for stipulations).

 

b.      Establishing Route Stops - Route stops will be established and maintained by MRMD in collaboration with the offices. Action offices will immediately notify MRMD, Mail Services Branch, Automation Relocation Team (ART) regarding changes in personnel receiving mail at respective mail drops.

 

c.       Scheduling Runs - Internal mail service runs should be scheduled to coincide with USPS delivery and pick up and with as much frequency needed to prevent a buildup of mail at any one location.

 

d.      Published Schedules - Internal service schedules are to be published and circulated to mail originators. Schedules will include times of USPS deliveries, interoffice pickup and delivery, and a cutoff time to receive mail to be processed for the last daily USPS mailing.

 

e.       Enroute Sorting – Forward Sorting during an internal mail run will expedite delivery to offices on the same run if the volume of mail is not too great. Large volumes of mail to be forward sorted should be returned to the mail unit to eliminate delays to the balance of the route and disruption of the published schedule.

 

f.       Interoffice Mail - Mail between agencies/staff offices within the Department must clearly identify the intended recipient by name, agency, and mail stop to ensure delivery without delay.

 

 

10.   INCOMING MAIL

 

a.       Official Mail - Mail directed to officials or employees of the Department at their office address will be delivered to that office when such mail is claimed both by the official or employee and by the office. This also applies to mail addressed in this manner to former officials or employees of the Department. Such mail will be delivered to the appropriate program office for action.

 

b.      Routing - In order to speed the processing of incoming mail, the guidelines below should be followed.

 

(1)         Route adequately addressed mail directly to the action office without opening the envelope unless instructions have been issued to open specific categories.

 

(2)         Write routing directions on envelopes that have been opened rather than on a routing form and attach the envelope to the correspondence.

 

(3)         Use office organizational and/or mail stop codes rather than the complete office title. Room numbers are to be used where they are required to make delivery.

 

(4)         Limit date/time stamping to classes of mail for which date/time stamping protects the interest of the Government, its employees and/or the public.

 

(5)         Maintain an up-to-date routing guide to assist in accurate routing, and keep it current on organizational, functional, and personnel changes.

 

c.       Sorting - Incoming mail will be sorted to provide for minimum essential handling between the time it is received and the time it reaches the action office. A maximum of three sorts to achieve final delivery should be adequate.

 

d.      Special Handling - Special instructions should be provided to each mail station processing mail requiring special handling. The following items of mail require special handling: Registered mail, certified mail with return receipt, delivery confirmation, and mail brought to the Department by local independent couriers. 

 

e.       Postage Due Mail - The USPS will offer to deliver mail with insufficient postage.

 

(1)         Official Mail - Payment of postage due for official mail will be paid through an OMAS postage due account. Government agencies can no longer use penalty meter strips or penalty mail stamps to pay postage due.

 

(2)         Public Mail - The Washington, DC, mail center refuses postage due mail received in the center. Each agency is to establish a policy to accept or refuse postage due mail received from the public at their mail centers. 

 

 

11.  OUTGOING MAIL

 

a.       Outgoing mail standards include the selection of the most cost-effective mail service by the originator, to facilitate transmission of official mail, use of appropriate envelope specifications, and direct accountability methods.

 

b.      Electronic Mail Service - Electronic Mail will be used for official business when it can be demonstrated that its use is cost-effective and will increase efficiency.

 

c.       Authorized Use of Official Mail - Official mail may only be used for mailing articles, documents and packages that are required to conduct Government business.

 

d.      Unauthorized Use of Official Mail - Mail such as personal letters, chain letters, Christmas cards, job resumes and applications, Freedom of Information and Privacy Act requests and appeals, complaints, grievances, and all similar materials which do not relate exclusively to the business of the Government may not be sent as penalty or postage and fees paid mail. Federal employees and individuals outside the Government are prohibited by law and regulations from using penalty mail for private use. Anyone found using penalty mail for unofficial purposes may be fined up to $300. Federal employees are also subject to disciplinary action.

 

e.       Quasi-Official Mail - Any agency or office head may authorize the use of official mail services (not official postage) for community or government employee-related activities to be conducted under their auspices. The examples that follow are some activities that may be included:

 

- Government employee retirement functions.

- Agency/office sponsored sporting or recreation events.

- Agency/office sponsored special events.

- Red Cross blood bank appeals.

- State or local government sponsored activities.

 

f.       Return Address

 

(1)         A complete return address must be indicated on outgoing official mail. The upper left corner of official mail shall contain the Departmental return address and identify the agency or staff office (stop code) of origin identified as the ZIP+4.

 

(2)         The statement "Official Business," shall appear immediately below the return address of all official mail.

 

 

12.  ENVELOPE STANDARDS/SPECIFICATIONS

 

Envelope standardization is essential to meet the requirements established by the USPS, GSA and the Government Printing Office. All envelopes will be prepared for mailing in a manner that will accommodate the high-speed technology currently in use by the USPS.

 

a.       Standards

 

(1)         Except for USPS required items and appropriate slogans that can be included on ad plates for metered mail, no other printed, stamped, or affixed markings or design shall be placed on official envelopes or on the front of official postcards without the approval of the Departmental Senior Information Resource Management official. Requests for markings or design additions will be submitted to the Departmental Mail Manager, OO-MRMD, and will include a determination, in each instance, that use of a given marking or design will either:

 

(a)          reduce costs;

 

(b)         expedite mail delivery or handling;

 

(c)          aid in the delivery of services to the public; or

 

(d)         promote a program or activity having major national impact.

 

(2)         Except for self-mailers, no printing is permitted on the inside of envelopes.

 

(3)         Envelopes dispatched will use the most economical service consistent with delivery needs and must meet USPS requirements.

 

(4)         The smallest standard size envelope available, that will accommodate the material to be sent, will be used. The USPS levies extra charges on larger size envelopes.

 

(5)         Addresses will include, at a minimum, the five digit Zip Code and, when available, Zip+4 Code.

 

(6)         Addresses will be typed, clear, correct, and properly placed on all envelopes.

 

(7)         Addresses will be completely visible through window envelopes.

 

(8)         Letter size window envelopes will be used to the maximum extent possible, except for mailing material that:

 

(a)          contains national security information;

(b)         is highly confidential to the Department or the addressee;

(c)          contains material that is to be registered; or

(d)         is sent to high level officials in Government or the private sector.

 

b.      Specifications.

 

(1)         Letter Envelope - Letter size envelopes are rectangle in shape with minimum dimensions of 5 inches in length, 3.5 inches in height and .007 inches in thickness and maximum dimensions of 6 1/8 inches in height, 11 ½ inches in length and ¼ inch in thickness. The standard letter size envelopes used Departmentwide is white, approximately 9.25 by 4.25 inches with black printing. Letter envelopes are used for one to five pages of correspondence that can be folded to .25 inch maximum thickness.

 

(2)         Flat Envelopes - Flat envelopes are rectangular in shape and exceed one or more of the maximum dimensions for letter size envelopes but do not exceed 15 inches in length, 12 inches in height, or .75 inches in thickness. The minimum size for flat envelopes is 6 1/8 inches in height, 11 ½ inches in length and ¼ inch thickness.  Flat envelopes will be used for communications that cannot be folded or, if folded, will exceed the .25 inch maximum width permitted for letter size envelopes. All new envelopes should be reviewed by the Departmental Mail Manager for format and USPS requirements prior to printing. The standard flat envelopes used Departmentwide are:

 

(a)          White or Brown 12 by 9.5 inches (White preferred)

 

(b)         White or Brown 15 by 10 inches (White preferred)

 

(3)         Batch Mailing - When several pieces of mail (at least six pieces) are sent to the same address, the mail should be consolidated into a single flat envelope for mailing.

 

(4)         Mail Pouches - When there is a recurring high volume of mail between two offices and the volume is too great for batch mailing, mail pouches should be considered as a cost-effective alternate to individual mailings.

 

(5)         Labels - Imprinted labels are to be used on imprinted flat envelopes and parcels too large to be mailed in flat envelopes.

 

(6)         Postcards - In order to qualify for the postcard rate, cards must be a minimum of 3-1/2 inches by 5 inches and be a maximum of 4-1/4 inches by 6 inches and will be imprinted with the same markings and indicia required for envelopes. Postcards that exceed the above measurements will be charged the full First-Class rate by the USPS.


APPENDIX A

Addressing Formats

 

Domestic

MR AND MRS JOHN A SAMPLE

5505 W SUNSET BLVD APT 230

HOLLYWOOD CA  90028-8521

 

 

MR THOMAS SMITH, DIRECTOR

AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE

US DEPT OF AGRICULTURE

12 E BUSINESS LN STE 209

KRYTON TN  38188-0002

 

 

  International

 

MS INGRID DIETRIC-FISCHER

HARTMANNSTRASSE 7

5300 BOON 1

GERMANY

 

MS HELEN SAUNDERS

1010 CLEAR STREET

OTTAWA OB1

CANADA

MS C P APPLE
APARTADO 3068
46807 PUERTO VALLARTA JALISCO
MEXICO


APPENDIX B

STANDARD ADDRESS ABBREVIATIONS

TWO-LETTER STATE AND POSSESSION ABBREVIATIONS

 

 

 

 

Alabama

AL

Alaska

AK

Arizona

AZ

Arkansas

AR

American Somoa

AS

California

CA

Colorado

CO

Connecticut

CT

Delaware

DE

District of Columbia

DC

Federal Sate of Micronesia

FM

Florida

FL

Georgia

GA

Guam

GU

Hawaii

HI

Idaho

ID

Illinois

IL

Indiana

IN

Iowa

IA

Kansas

KS

Kentucky

KY

Louisiana

LA

Maine

ME

Marshall Islands

MH

Maryland

MD

Massachusetts

MA

Michigan

MI

Minnesota

MN

Mississippi

MS

Missouri

MO

Montana

MT

Nebraska

NE

Nevada

NV

New Hampshire

NH

New Jersey

NJ

New Mexico

NM

New York

NY

North Carolina

NC

North Dakota

ND

Northern Mariana Island

MP

Ohio

OH

Oklahoma

OK

Oregon

OR

Palau

PW

Pennsylvania

PA

Puerto Rico

PR

Rhode Island

RI

South Carolina

SC

South Dakota

SD

Tennessee

TN

Texas

TX

Utah

UT

Vermont

VT

Virgin Islands

VI

Virginia

VA

Washington

WA

West Virginia

WV

Wisconsin

WI

Wyoming

WY

 

 

 

 

 

 

GEOGRAPHICAL DIRECTIONAL ABBREVIATIONS

 

 

 

 

North

N

East

E

South

S

West

W

Northeast

NE

Southeast

SE

Northwest

NW

Southwest

SW

 

 

 

 

SECONDARY ADDRESS UNIT INDICATORS

 

 

 

 

Apartment

          APT

Basement

          BSMT

Building

          BLDG

Department

          DEPT

Floor

          FL

Front

          FRNT

Hanger

         HNGR

Key

          KEY

Lobby

         LBBY

Lot

          LOT

Lower

         LOWR

Office

          OFC

Penthouse

         PH

Pier

          PIER

Rear

         REAR

Room

          RM

Side

         SIDE

Slip

          SLIP

Space

         SPC

Stop

         STOP

Suite

         STE

Trailer

         TRLR

Unit

         UNIT

Upper

         UPPR

 

 

 

 

STREET ABBREVIATIONS

 

 

 

 

Alley

ALY

Annex

ANX

Arcade

ARC

Avenue

AVE

Bayou

BYU

Beach

BCH

Bend

BND

Bluff

BLF

Bluffs

BLFS

Bottom

BTM

Boulevard

BLVD

Branch

BR

Bridge

BRG

Brook

BRK

Brooks

BRKS

Burg

BG

Bypass

BYP

Camp

CP

Canyon

CYN

Cape

CPE

Causeway

CSWY

Center

CTR

Centers

CTRS

Circle

CIR

Circles

CIRS

Cliff

CLF

Cliffs

CLFS

Club

CLB

Common

CMN

Commons

CMNS

Corner

COR

Corners

CORS

Course

CRSE

Court

CT

Courts

CTS

Cove

CV

Coves

CVS

Creek

CRK

Crescent

CRES

Crest

CRST

Crossing

XING

Crossroad

XRD

Crossroads

XRDS

Curve

CURV

Dale

DL

Dam

DM

Divide

DV

Drive

DR

Drives

DRS

Estate

EST

Estates

ESTS

Expressway

EXP

Extension

EXT

Extensions

EXTS

Fall

FALL

Falls

FLS

Ferry

FRY

Field

FLD

Fields

FLDS

Flat

FLT

Flats

FLTS

Ford

FRD

Fords

FRDS

Forest

FRST

Forge

FRG

Forges

FRGS

Fork

FRK

Forks

FRKS

Fort

FT

Freeway

FWY

Garden

GDN

Garden

GDNS

Gateway

GTWY

Glen

GLN

Glens

GLNS

Green

GRN

Greens

GRNS

Grove

GRV

Groves

GRVS

Harbor

HBR

Harbors

HBRS

Haven

HVN

Heights

HTS

Highway

HWY

Hill

HL

Hills

HLS

Hollow

HOLW

Inlet

INLT

Island

IS

Islands

ISS

Isle

ISLE

Junction

JCT

Junctions

JCTS

Key

KY

Knoll

KNL

Knolls

KNLS

Lake

LK

Lakes

LKS

Land

LAND

Landing

LNDG

Lane

LN

Light

LGT

Lights

LGTS

Loaf

LF

Lock

LCK

Locks

LCKS

Lodge

LDG

Loop

LOOP

Mall

MALL

Manor

MNR

Manors

MNRS

Meadow

MDW

Meadows

MDWS

Mews

MEWS

Mill

ML

Mills

MLS

Mission

MSN

Motorway

MTWY

Mount

MT

Mountain

MTN

Mountains

MTNS

Neck

NCK

Orchard

ORCH

Oval

OVAL

Overpass

OPAS

Park

PARK

Parks

PARK

Parkway

PKWY

Parkways

PKWY

Pass

PASS

Passage

PSGE

Path

PATH

Pike

PIKE

Pine

PNE

Pines

PNES

Place

PL

Plain

PLN

Plains

PLNS

Plaza

PLZ

Point

PT

Points

PTS

Port

PRT

Ports

PRTS

Prairie

PR

Radial

RADL

Ramp

RAMP

Ranch

RNCH

Rapid

RPD

Rapids

RPDS

Rest

RST

Ridge

RDG

Ridges

RDGS

River

RIV

Road

RD

Roads

RDS

Route

RTE

Row

ROW

Rue

RUE

Run

RUN

Shoal

SHL

Shoals

SHLS

Shore

SHR

Shores

SHRS

Skyway

SKWY

Spring

SPG

Springs

SPGS

Spur

SPUR

Spurs

SPUR

Square

SQ

Squares

SQS

Station

STA

Stravenue

STRA

Stream

STRM

Street

ST

Streets

STS

Summit

SMT

Terrace

TER

Throughway

TRWY

Trace

TRCE

Track

Trak

Trafficway

TRFY

Trail

TRL

Trailer

TRLR

Tunnel

TUNL

Turnpike

TPKE

Underpass

UPAS

Union

UN

Unions

UNS

Valley

VLY

Valleys

VLYS

Viaduct

VIA

View

VW

Views

VWS

Village

VLG

Villages

VLGS

Ville

VL

Vista

VIS

Walk

WALK

Walks

WALK

Wall

WALL

Way

WAY

Ways

WAYS

Well

WL

Wells

WLS