Clarification Required Over Green and Secure Initiative
The USPS is delaying the Move Update Census assessment implementation at least 30 days (maybe longer) since they have linked it to the Green and Secure initiative, which is going through the Federal Register process. This gives the mailing industry more time to analyze March mailer scorecards and develop corrective measures for the new Move Update assessment method.
The mailing industry is pushing for USPS to delay implementation for 90 days minimum, which has been a postal service agreement whenever changes are announced.
Green and Secure is a new initiative that the postal service has proposed to allow the USPS to dispose of undeliverable mail so that mailers can be exempt from the move update census assessment. The postal service is expected to issue a final rule on Green and Secure around the end of February, after reviewing Federal Register comments and implementing changes to the scorecard on February 25.
Green and Secure Initiative
There is a question in the mailing industry as to whether the Green and Secure method proposal provides “safe harbor” from the USPS Postal Inspection Service. In addition, the Domestic Mail Manual does not offer specific language saying that if you use Green and Secure, you are exempt from move update requirements.
The ambiguity between the different sections of the Federal Register and the Domestic Mail Manual creates room for interpretation, and has to be clarified.
If the USPS allows “safe harbor” from the postal inspection audits for Green and Secure, it can be considered an official move update method and can help first-class mailers that are already having challenges with the current thresholds for move update assessments.
In First-Class mail, if you use a Service Type ID that turns on secure destruction, those pieces are exempt from the move update census assessment measurement. The same thing with marketing mail – you would have to use a Change Service Requested Service Type ID to participate. This is also an option for First-Class mail.
All of this is complicated by the fact that the new Move Update Census Method, Green and Secure, and Free ACS are linked together. Many question why that has to be the case. Mailers are now forced to continue to pay for ACS records while these initiatives are finalized and implemented. There is no reason they can’t be decoupled, or that the postal service can’t at least allow for Free ACS for mailers that meet the Full Service 95% threshold.
Update: Board of Governor Vote and Promotions
We are hearing that, in the next week or two, there could be a confirmation vote on the nominated board of governors. We could potentially have governors in place within the next month or so. If this happens, the USPS promotions could be filed, and we might see them implemented in another month or month and a half after that – meaning the mailing industry would have the back half of 2018 to take advantage of promotions. Right now, this is just speculation, but we are hearing that there is movement to get this going. Having a Board of Governors, allows the USPS to get advice and make better decisions.