USPS uniquely positioned to take lead on e-government services, says IG

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Opportunities exist for the Postal Service to assist other agencies in better serving citizens by leveraging its physical and digital assets to establish a shared e-government platform, according to a Jan. 7 USPS Inspector General report (.pdf).

The IG envisions USPS offering both government agencies and consumers the convenience and cost savings associated with a digital channel, along with a large physical footprint for face-to-face services as needed.

USPS could provide a comprehensive and securely authenticated solution necessary to support a full suite of e-government communications and transactions, according to the IG. And, USPS's extensive network of retail facilities and carriers could serve as a physical access channel to government services for users who are not willing or unable to use the Internet, or where a face-to-face transaction is needed, auditors say.

The IG believes USPS should focus on e-government in five basic categories:  communications management, online and in-person identification, front office services for direct citizen contact, electronic payments, and broadband access. Agencies that would benefit from the USPS's e-government product and service offerings include the Defense Department, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Internal Revenue Service, Small Business Administration, Social Security Administration, and Treasury Department.

For USPS to develop an e-government service portfolio, it will need to create an implementation plan, concludes the IG. "Pursuing the most actionable opportunities first will provide quick wins to demonstrate that the Postal Service is uniquely positioned to partner with other agencies in enhancing existing services and delivering new customer-centric services in the most efficient, effective, and considerate manner," the report states.

For more:
-download the IG report (.pdf)

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