Ms. Carolyn Austin–Diggs opened the meeting welcoming every agency that is part one of the leadership team to include our newest member, Desiree McKinney, Agency Mail Manager at the Department of Commerce who was unable to attend our last council meeting due to a schedule conflict.
Ms. Austin-Diggs discussed Last Known Address questionnaire and next work group meeting date as well as our current Intermediate Training Courseware availability that has 7 sessions and a final exam. You can achieve 13 CLPs and you receive CLPs per session as well as a certificate once you pass the exam.
Ms. Austin-Diggs thanked everyone for all their hard work and continued success.
Ms. Lois Mandell discussed where we are today with GSAs mail authority, the status of Bill HR 194: Federal Agency Mail Management Act of 2017. Currently, the bill is in the Senate for approval and shows a 54% of passing. If it is approved the next step will be to send it to the President of the United States for his approval. We will inform the mail community as to the bills progress as we near the Sept 30, End of Year date.
Lois also mentioned the upcoming GSA survey that will be sent to the mail community. It will be sent in August and everyone will have 2 weeks to respond (unless extended). The survey will be laid out by policy groups (there are 9 groups in OGP). Respondents will be asked to select one to two groups that they interact with most frequently. Mail and transportation are listed separately in the survey.
As part of the Executive Order 13771 Regulatory Reform, GSA requested a completed review of all their Federal Management Regulations. Comments were due by the end of July and just recently an extension has been granted till August 14. You can always check out www.regulations.gov and provide comments. Lois thanked the interagency working group who has helped offer suggested changes to the FMR 102-192 and noted the individual names that work in DOD, DHS, USPS and GSA.
Current status on initiatives past and present:
Intermediate Training Content Courseware mail stats were added for mail managers to review employee progress. Question to members - Has anyone reviewed the mail stats that shows employee progress as to who has completed all training, what sessions are completed and pending by agency as well as component and sub agency. DOL, Tom Ritchie, responded and he has reviewed the stats and thought it was useful. Lois suggested agencies consider adding a training requirement to annual performance plans to encourage people to take advantage of OGP and other available training. There was some discussion about whether there was interest in an advanced training course and, if so, topics to select. Reach out to Cynthia if interested in joining a working group.
Work group 173 Payment Modernization – Please contact Jennifer Howard at Jennifer.L.Howard@usps.gov. She will add you to the attendee list and send you a calendar invite with the information to join the meetings. The meetings are held via WebEx. This work group discusses the Enterprise Payment System Solution that will replace CAPS in 2018 and eventually OMAS. This group meets every 2 weeks and the next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 9.
Work group UG 5 Undeliverable Addressed Mail – Please contact Robert Nashwick at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will add you to the attendee list and send you a calendar invite. After every meeting you will receive meeting notes which are very helpful. You can also join the meeting using WebEx. You will discuss Move Update information and any changes that are forthcoming on address changes. Please note that USPS Address Management products are moving to a more secure encryption method and other items such as File Transfer Protocol (FTP) will be discontinued as well as changes to Pub 97 and the Product Tracking and Reporting (PTR) tool, to name a few. GSA sends out USPS Industry Alerts to the mail community (these are email addresses that we have from folks attending our education forum or have been asked to be added to our listing) and we ask that you forward them to all your mail personnel. For your information - Next Meeting is on August 9 at 1:30 PM (EST) – Proposed Agenda:
Digital Mail New Initiative: DOD, Greg Nelson, will discuss the pilot and current status at the DOD Post Office with Sonny (Sonny is the lead POC and also provided a training session on this topic at our mail education forum. His presentation is noted on the GSA website at gsa.gov/mailpolicy under the Training header). Greg will share this information with DOL, Tom Ritchie as he is interested in setting up a pilot. Does the team want to start a work group initiative?
SMART Salesforce Migration is moving along as scheduled. A reminder that the User Acceptance Testing (UAT) which includes a demo of the new system is being held on August 16. It will be a full day from 9-4 PM. The demo will be held at 1800 F Street as well as virtual. A calendar invite will be sent to all participants containing all the information the week before the UAT date. If you are interested in attending, please send Cynthia the names and email addresses who want to participate by noon, August 8. To-date we have around 10 names from 4 agencies. This is your last chance to review and provide feedback.
SMART/Salesforce Application: Please remember that all requests will be submitted to the SMART help desk and this includes SMART password resets. Cynthia will no longer be able to assist in this area once the new system goes live. Also, the Tools tab will be removed. You will no longer be able to add or delete any users. Suggest you review and make any necessary changes now in SMART before this August 16 demo.
Last Known Address initiative is moving forward. A questionnaire was sent to the team and all but 1 agency has responded. Our next meeting is August 10, and we will discuss your responses as well as receive information on the latest Move Update that we may want to include in our current policies. Currently, the working team consists of DOD, VA, USDA, HHS (CMS), DOL, IRS, SSA, DHS, GSA and USPS.
2018 National Postal Forum will be held in San Antonio, Texas, May 6-9. Don’t miss it if you can!! Please start to prepare your request for funding availability as soon as you can. This is a chance for all mail personnel to attend all the learning and training sessions on USPS products and tools, network with other government agency personnel as well as Industry Partners and meet the USPS management team.
If you want to prepare a presentation at the forum or collaborate with other agencies to present, this is always an option. GSA plans on presenting at the forum with the USPS and CMS again. If you have any topics that may be of interest to the mail community, that is a good way to get started. GSA will consider partnering with your agency. The fee to attend is less if you are a presenter.
Next meeting will be scheduled in early December as long as we have the authority to continue the FMC meetings. DOL Tom Ritchie and DOC, Desiree McKinney agreed that we should continue the meetings in Dec but to have them scheduled early in the month. The team agreed that the Dec, April and August meeting months are okay to continue.
DOD (Greg Nelson) will present their updates on Postage Application Alternatives at our next meeting. This information will assist agencies will reviewing their equipment decisions.
Question to the council members: A question was asked to everyone if they had heard about the changes to the security mail pouches and their colors. Louis Wilkinson from HHS responded: The answer to your question is the only accountable mail that would a security pouch (i.e. green pouch) is Registered mail, better known as Reg mail. The reason for this accountable piece to be incorporated is the VALUE of letter or package. Other accountable pieces, i.e. express, certified, signature confirmation or etc… are not treated in the structural way as a registered piece. Equipment used for this Reg mail, would be a canvas pouch with rotary lock for security and keep in possession until designated drop off point.
As always, please provide items that you want to discuss. The FMC agenda and meeting notes are also located on the GSA website at www.gsa.gov/mailpolicy at https://gsa.gov/portal/category/104683