cp OLNCNAL OOVCRNYCNT OIVUION MAY 11 m 0 D-114874 I(. -- __ _ -. .-- .- _.-..-- . -.--. - --- _ --_- _-.__.__ - -. I The Ronorable J. Benmtt. Johnston United States Senate . Dear Senator Johnston: Your P;ebruary 4, 1977, letter requested an update of our Octobet 29, 1976, report on the quality of mail service in Louisiaha. In that report we pointed out a number of actiorik the Postal Service had taken cr proposed to imorove mail service in Louisiana. With the exception of the installation of a letter sorting machine scheduled for April 1977 in ShreveDort, these actions have been completed. Rowever, mail de1 ivery performance in Louis iana under the Service’s normal de1 ivery commitments has declined during the one-year period suboequenc, to our previous review. Delivery performance statistics comparing available 1977 data with that in our previous report indicated that under the upgraded commitments mail service has improved for overnight area mail and decl !.ned for 2- and 3-day area mail. DELIVERYPERFORMANCE IN LOUISIAKA First-class mail delivery perfortiance in Louisiana has declined. As you will recall, delivery performance is measured by the Postal Service in terms of its ability to meet commit- ments for overnight, 2- and 3-day delivery. The Service’s goal ‘is to meet these ccrmmitments 95 percent of the time. Using Service reports, we have summarized the Service’s first-class mail delivery performance in Louisiana under normal commitments and under the upgraded delivery commitments of the Service Improvemsst Program. Under normal commitments, mail delivery performance in Louisiana for the year endinq December 31, 1976, was lower than the one-year per iOd covered in our previous review. The following table shows the comparison. GGD-77-57 RELEASED : . ..-..- -. __ ___ _ .. -- -. . . I. I . B-114874 Percent of Louisiana mail de1 ivered on time (note a) Year ending l/2/76 Year ending 12/31/76 (note b) c Origin Destination Or igin Cestination -- .- - -. .r&*r-night .-.--. 9-5 --- _. s- __ _...-__.- _._ -4- - -- -. g4- _ ._._---. . 2-day 94 94 92 l 92 3-day ,90 8 91 88 88 i/The percentages used are a composite of the performance percentages of the nine sectional center facilities within Louisiana. g/Data for the 3-month period Karch 27, 1976 through June 18, 1976 was not available. A comparison of the December 31, 1976, data with that of the Southern Region and the Hation disclosed mail delivery performance in Louisiana was generally below regional and national performance in overnight area nail and always below in 3-day area mail. Rowever, Z-day area mail performance was generally egual to or better than regional and national performance. While the table above deals with the entire State, the following data shows the delivery performance for each of the nine sectional center facilities i/ in Louisiana for overnight, 2- and 3-day areas. . AL/ A sectional center frlcflity is a mechanized mail handling facility for processing incoming and outgoing mail for 2er ipheral local post off ices in i: designated service area. . 2 . - . . ._. . . . me- -.- -- . -. , a-114874 2. Del ivery performance for Lou isian; sectional center facilities for the year ending December 31, 1976 . Overnight 2-day 3-day Area Origin Destination Or igin pestindtion Or iqin Destinatio. New Or leans 91 92 90 89 89 go --- -- ._ - -- .- __.- ..-. ...____------~ -- -- _- _-.-.-.- -.- . - Thibadaux 90 87 - 95 97 l 85 91 Bammond 93 93 88 90 85 go / * Lafayette 97 96 92 93 85 90 Baton Rouge 95 I 94 92 91 89 87 AlexanJr ia 97 96 94 94 90 89 Lake Charles 95 98 93 95 82 91 .- ,I Shr’eoepor t 95 94 94 93 92 84 I9onroe 96 95 92 91 84 85 This table shows that not all geographical areas receive the same level of service. For example, a large volume area such as New Orleans has a lower performance score ‘than many of the other Louisiana facilities. This large volume, which fails to meet the Service’s uoels, imoacts greatly on the state-wide statistics and overshadows areas where higher scores ace achieved yet the volume is generally much lower. ‘Our earlier report discussed delivery performances under the Service Improvement Progrclm- a program which eliminated airmail and upgraded service commitments of first-class mail. we reported that Louisiana’s success in meeting test commitments was slightly lower than its success in meeting normal commitments. Del ivery performances under the upgraded comm i tments have improved for overnight area mail and declined for 2- and 3-day area mail. The following table compares delivery performances detailed in our October 29, 1976 report with more recent data. . 3 ; -- B-114874 Percent of Louisiana mail delivered on time under-- Lhe Service Improvement Program (note a! As detailed in Accounting our 10/26/76 6. period 4 report (note b) -- _ _ - . .- ___.-.^_. .-----Orig-in Destination------ Origin; - Destination- - 1 _ -- . Overnight 09 94. . 94 94 2-day ;2 90 88 85 3-day . II 07 92 86 09 i/The percentages’ used are a composite of the performance percentages of the nine sectional center facilities within Louisiana. k/January 1, 1977, to January 28, 1977. Data for other accounting periods was not available. Two other comparisons were made with the data available for the Service Improvement Program. First, Louisiana data was compared with that of the Southern Reqion and the Nation. Hail delivery performance was equal to national and below regional performance for overnight areas and generally below regional and national performance for 2- and 3-day areas. Second, the available data was compared to the same period last year. This cornpar ison showed that mail delivery performance for overnight areas was equal to last year’s performance while the 2- and 3-day areas were below last year’s performance. Service officials told us that as a result of the cancellation of some dir transportation to New Orleans, mail destined for the New Orleans State Distribution Center was not arriving in sufficient time for processing in order to meet delivery commitments. The officials said that, in all probability, delivery commitments will have to be revised downward because of the reduction in air service. %~vfsing delivery Louisiana’s delivery commitments downward should help performance statistics but will not . 4 . .. ..- . ._. . .. _ - _- - - --- - ; 1‘5 . L.\r-r.“-- B-114874 i. improve service. What. the acticn will do is pro*Jide postal patrons with a better idea of how lc;sg it will take for their letters to be delivered. STATUS OF POSTAL SERVICE ACTIONS Fi2zfmm-xm~~~~ In October, we reported 0:: several actions the Service had taken or proposed t_o impxove mail gerv&cp_ _inJoeuis iana. - - We recently- askW;We ‘Seryice for the status of those act ions. We were informed that to help alleviate the crush of mail at New Orleans, arriving 9 percent of the 2- and 3-day mail has been diverted from Hew Orleans to Shreveport. This represents mail destined for Louisiana from all states in the Southern, Region except from the following zip code locationa. Locat ion First 3 digits of ZIP Code Plor ida 320-339 Oklahoma 730-749 Wobile, Alabama 365-366 Part of Tennessee 370-372; 382-385 Part of Mississippi 3691 387-397 Service officials also informed us that the capacity of letter sorting math ines at Baton Rouge and ShreveDor t is _being increased. A six-position machine in Baton Pouqe was expanded to 12 poa i tions, This change combined with a similar conversion performed earlier increased capacitv 33 percent. Shreveport scheduled converting an eight-oos; t ion letter sorting machine to 12 positions for Anril 1977, to go along with the 120position machine already in place. This .will increase capacity by 20 percent. Although the machine capacity will increase in both cities, mail processing at Baton Rouge and Shreveport will remain virtually unchanged except for future plans to process city secondary mail on the letter sorting machines instead of manually. This change should result in increased nro- ductivity in that both cities will be able to process more pieces per hour. 5 - . _ . . -_ . . .~_ ---- _.-_-. ,- - .-. _. * . ‘B-114874 AS requested by your staff, we did not obtain formal agency comments. If we can be of further assistance,, please let UJ know. Sincerely yours, / ___. - _- -.--- -. -- :..__.____ r.-.-- - -- . IL&Kg ---.-. __-..---.-..- Victor 5. Lowe Director 4 . I . 6
Updated Review of the Quality of Mail Service in Louisiana
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-05-11.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)