Transportation companies again dominate this year’s Top 150 U.S. Postal Service Suppliers list. All told, USPS spent nearly $16 billion on purchases in FY 2018, about $900 million more than last year.  Not surprisingly for an agency charged with moving the mail, six of the top ten contractors provide transportation services or equipment.

The

David Williams Operations Update at PostCom June 2012Not your typical federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service is an “independent establishment” of the executive branch of the United States government. (39 U.S.C. § 201.)  As a result, many federal procurement rules do not apply to the Postal Service. Here are the major differences between USPS’s purchasing policies and those of other

Cover page - Nov 2014 postal seminarEvery Postal Service contractor should know the answer to certain fundamental questions: What procurement rules apply to the Postal Service and how do they differ from other agencies? What contract provisions are most likely to cause problems during performance? How do I identify and respond to changes and changed conditions? What recourse do I have when disputes arise?

That’s why our firm is presenting a full-day seminar on “Postal Service Contracting: What Every Contractor Should Know,” at the Westin Tysons Corner hotel on Thursday, November 6, 2014.

We start with the basics

We start with a primer on the creation, structure, and current management of the Postal Service. We provide vital background and statistical information that all postal contractors should know. We explore the pressing issues confronting the Postal Service today, its plans for the future, and how these issues will impact contractors. We conclude the session by setting out the 23 most important “culture pointers” encountered in the unique Postal Service contracting environment.


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Cover of OIG Sept 18 2013 report.jpgDe-regulation of the U.S. Postal Service’s purchasing policies has stymied the prosecution of defective pricing fraud cases, according to a September 18, 2013 report issued by the USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG).  U.S. Attorney’s offices have thus declined to criminally prosecute suppliers for submitting defective cost or pricing data in procurement actions valued at $36 million. The OIG therefore recommends that the Postal Service require suppliers to certify that cost or pricing data are accurate, complete, and current. USPS management, however, disagrees. The Postal Service believes its interests are already fully protected and the disadvantages of imposing a new certification requirement would outweigh any benefits.


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Thumbnail image for Cover from Top 150 FY 2012 USPS suppliers.jpgFedEx was the U.S. Postal Service’s largest contractor in fiscal year 2012 in a list of the agency’s Top 150 suppliers compiled and released today by Husch Blackwell’s Postal Service Contracting practice group. This marks a decade of Federal Express Corporation holding the No. 1 spot on the list. The next largest USPS supplier is military mail shipper Kalitta Air. Six of the Postal Service’s top ten suppliers served the agency’s transportation needs. The list is compiled annually by David P. Hendel, a partner in the firm whose government contracts practice focuses on Postal Service contracting matters.
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Postal GhostWhile dozing over some catalogs that had arrived in the mail, I was visited by three Postal Service ghosts:  the Ghosts of Postal Past, Postal Present, and Postal Future.

The Ghost of Postal Past

The Ghost of Postal Past was a merry ole soul, though not even that old. He presented himself to me as he was in Fiscal Year 2006 – just six years ago. Back then, he was quite large. He had 673 processing facilities, 36,721 retail and delivery facilities, and a total volume of 213 billion pieces of mail. He had revenues of nearly $73 billion – almost $3 billion more than the year before. This had been his fourth consecutive year of positive net income, and the seventh consecutive year of increasing total factor productivity.


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Christiansted Post Office - St. Croix - Virgin Islands.jpgContractors are entitled to recover consultant and attorney costs reasonably incurred in preparing, pricing, and negotiating a change order under federal government contracts, including U.S. Postal Service contracts. That’s the holding in Tip Top Constr., Inc. v. Donahoe, 695 F.3d 1276 (Fed. Cir. 2012). The court overturned a Postal Service Board of Contract Appeals decision that had erroneously limited the contractor’s recovery of these costs. End result: if an agency changes your contract (whether by unilateral direction or constructive change), your request for an equitable price adjustment may include reasonable consultant and attorney costs.
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The Postal Service spent $2.8 billion on 16,993 Highway Contract Route (HCR) contracts in 2011, according to a newly released audit report by the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG).  The OIG conducted the audit to assess the integrity of data in the Transportation Contract Support System (TCSS). OIG found the TCSS data is accurate. In a spot-check of 196 sampled contracts, OIG did not find a single data error. But there was one area of disagreement with management. OIG contended that 94% of the sampled contracts did not have proper funding approval documentation prior to contract award. Postal management disagreed with this conclusion, saying that advance funding approval was obtained through other methods.
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