1.22.8  Mailing and Shipping Equipment

Manual Transmittal

August 03, 2012

Purpose

(1) This transmits new IRM 1.22.8, Mail and Transportation Management, Mailing and Shipping Equipment.

Material Changes

(1) The IRM highlights the importance of mailing and shipping equipment.

Effect on Other Documents


None

Audience

IRS Employees

Effective Date

(08-03-2012)


Crystal Philcox
Director, Distribution
Wage and Investment Division

1.22.8.1  (08-03-2012)
Introduction

  1. Every IRS office, whether operated by a staffed mailroom or self-serviced by individual IRS employees, needs equipment for mailing and shipping. This IRM section will cover postage meters, Small Package Carrier (SPC) shipping systems and SPC web based shipping.

  2. Employees are reminded that it is forbidden to use Government property for conducting personal business or for other unauthorized personal purposes. Government property includes:

    • Office Supplies

    • Telephone and other telecommunications equipment and services

    • Government mail carried by agency personnel, contractors, the U.S. Postal Service and all other carriers

    • Automated data processing capabilities

    • Printing and reproduction facilities

    • Government records and Government vehicles, per 5 CFR 2635.101 and 107

      Note:

      See IRM 10.8.27, IRS Policy On Limited Personal Use of Government Information Technology Resources, for more information on when an employee can use IRS equipment for personal purposes.

1.22.8.2  (08-03-2012)
Postage Meters

  1. Postage meters are available only by lease from authorized meter providers. All IRS meters must be penalty postage meters to facilitate payment through the Official Mail Accounting System (OMAS). The United States Postal Service (USPS) holds providers responsible for the control, operation, maintenance and replacement of their meters when necessary. No one other than an authorized provider may possess a postage meter without a valid rental agreement.

  2. The Midstates Procurement office has negotiated a national meter contract to provide nationwide postage meter equipment and maintenance to IRS offices. The provider is subject to change when the current contract expires. Therefore, it is important to check with the appropriate Territory Point of Contact (TPOC) for the current provider.

  3. All IRS postage meters must use the remote Computerized Meter Resetting System (CMRS), which allows a meter to be reset/refilled using telephone technology. The initial dollar amount of postage set and subsequent refills are paid through the OMAS, which is established with the USPS.

  4. The amount of postage to be placed on the meter should be equal to the average amount of postage expended in a month. This applies to the initial fill and subsequent refills.

1.22.8.2.1  (08-03-2012)
Postage Meter Providers

  1. A list of authorized postage meter providers is contained in Chapter 604 of the USPS Domestic Mail Manual (DMM).

1.22.8.2.2  (08-03-2012)
Postage Meter Customer Responsibilities

  1. Meter licensee responsibilities include:

    1. Securing the meter to prevent any unauthorized use and prevent access to the meter components.

    2. Keeping the meter in IRS custody until returned to the authorized provider or Post Office.

    3. Recording each day's readings of the ascending and descending registers.

1.22.8.2.3  (08-03-2012)
Postage Meter License

  1. USPS requires authorized providers to electronically submit the necessary customer information to the designated Postal Service processing facility in order for the Postal Service to authorize a customer to use a postage meter. There is no application or license fee.

  2. USPS authorizes use of the postage meter when the electronic application is accepted. Conditions that apply to this authorization are:

    1. Customer must provide updated address information to the provider.

    2. Postage meter providers must conduct scheduled inspections of meters.

    3. A defective meter, loss, or theft of a meter must be reported immediately to the provider.

1.22.8.2.4  (08-03-2012)
Examination of Postage Meters

  1. Postage meter inspections are required every three months according to Postal Service regulations. Meters refilled at least once every three months only require annual examination by the USPS.

  2. If a postage meter inspection is not performed, USPS will not allow the meter to be refilled.

1.22.8.2.5  (08-03-2012)
Change of Postage Meter Location

  1. The licensing Post Office and the meter provider must be notified of any change in the name, telephone number, meter location, or any other information contained on the original meter license. The licensing Post Office will issue a modified meter license reflecting the updated information.

  2. If an office relocation requires the mail to be processed at a different Post Office and the meter license has not been updated, the Post Office may refuse IRS mail.

1.22.8.2.6  (08-03-2012)
Defective Postage Meter

  1. Faulty meters must be immediately reported to the meter provider. Examples of a faulty meter include those that have a mechanical or electrical malfunction or are inoperable. The provider must pickup the meter, and take it to the licensing Post Office for service within three business days of notification. The provider is responsible for providing a replacement meter. The meter provider will take the replacement meter to the licensing Post Office to be sealed and placed into service before delivering it to the required location. The licensing Post Office will issue a modified meter license that reflects the updated information.

1.22.8.2.7  (08-03-2012)
Postage Meter Equipment Failure

  1. When equipment fails and it is difficult to place a meter imprint on outgoing mail, the postage meter provider's local representative should be contacted. If mail must be processed before the equipment repairs and/or replacement can be made, the following options are available:

    1. Maintain a supply of postage stamps - A small supply of postage stamps stored in the mailroom can be used to process urgent outgoing mail until the meter is repaired or replaced.

    2. Arrange for mail to be metered by the nearest IRS office - This option must be coordinated by the TPOC/Local Point of Contact (LPOC).

1.22.8.2.8  (08-03-2012)
Transferring and Refunding Postage

  1. When a meter is taken out of service, all unused postage loaded on the meter is credited to the IRS OMAS account after the meter is examined by the USPS. Copies of daily ascending and descending meter readings may be required as supporting documentation.

1.22.8.2.9  (08-03-2012)
Postage Meter Security

  1. The security of the postage meter requires the following:

    1. Access to the meter must be controlled. The meter is equipped with a lock that allows a designated person using a security key to lock the meter to the base and disable the postage printer.

    2. At the end of the workday, the meter must be placed in a locked position and the key placed in a secured area. Access to the key must be limited.

    3. The meter key used to set the postage will not be locked in the same location as the security key.

    4. Offices with after-hours cleaning must secure the meter in a locked interior room or in a locked cabinet each evening.

    5. Offices that do not have an intrusion detection system must secure the meter in a locked interior room or a locked cabinet.

1.22.8.3  (08-03-2012)
Small Package Carrier (SPC) Technology Options

  1. All shipments tendered through a SPC should use an electronic shipping label. Electronic shipping labels allow for faster processing and less handling of a package. There are two methods available for generation of an electronic shipping label:

    1. Carrier provided shipping system - This is a stand alone computer system that is provided to large office locations. These systems are typically provided to Campus/Submission Processing locations and IRS locations with a contractor staffed mailroom. A Form 9814, Request for Mail/Shipping Service, is required to generate the shipping label.

    2. Carrier web site - This is primarily used in smaller locations that do not have contract mailrooms. It is an internet-based program from which users can easily generate an electronic shipping label, using their computer, printer and plain printer paper. Users are registered and given access to use the program by a Postal and Transport Policy Section employee.

      Note:

      Employees that ship packages after the mailroom closes should request access to the Carrier web site, so that they can generate electronic shipping labels. Manually prepared labels should only be used as a last resort.

1.22.8.3.1  (08-03-2012)
Small Package Carrier (SPC)
Equipment Failure

  1. All electronic equipment and web sites are subject to failures and breakdowns. Rebooting a system and/or stepping away for 5 to 10 minutes may resolve the situation. If not, follow one of the options below:

    1. Carrier provided shipping systems - Contact the TPOC/LPOC and advise them of the breakdown. If known, call the local carrier representative and advise them of the situation. Replacement software/hardware and technical support must be provided by the equipment owner.

    2. Carrier web site - Attempt to open the internet site. If this web site will not load, the problem is internal and not external. Most web site failures are due to an IRS network problem and not related to the SPC web site.

  2. If unable to resolve, manually prepare 2nd Day Air and/or Next Day Air shipping documents to ensure timely delivery of high priority shipments. Manually prepared labels should only be used as a last resort.

1.22.8.4  (08-03-2012)
References

  1. References include:

    1. http://publish.no.irs.gov/mailtran/ChSmPKG.html

    2. 5 CFR 2635.101&107, Office of Government Ethics, Standard of Ethic Conduct


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