Newspaper Association Supports USPS Policy Change

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The National Newspaper Association, Washington, yesterday said that it is supporting a change in U.S. Postal Service policy toward collection of revenue deficiencies. Richard Porras, USPS chief financial officer, said last week at the Mailers' Technical Advisory Committee that the USPS will now issue warnings before assessing the deficiency and allow a local reliance defense for those mailers that need to rely on postal service.

Deficiencies are assessed by the USPS for outstanding postal charges due to incorrect mailing preparations or documentation. During the past year, the NNA's community newspaper members faced large deficiencies from $3,000 to $1 million. Newspapers that accepted local advice from their postmasters on complex postal regulations and followed postal instructions were then fined by overly aggressive revenue inspectors under the new revenue assurance program.

NNA, along with other organizations representing mailing interests, voiced strong objections to this program, which was launched by the USPS Department of Finance two years ago.

"We appreciate the efforts of Porras and chief marketing officer and senior vice president Allen Kane on the postal side, and task force members of MTAC on this issue," said Max Heath, NNA postal committee chairman. "This policy shift is a big victory for our members. We need to actively shape the final policy and cannot yet offer a blanket endorsement until we see an end to new revenue deficiencies and waivers of the most flagrant deficiencies levied against NNA members.

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