Rumsfeld Advisors Recommend Outsourcing Mail
As the Defense Department continues to transform its business practices, a sensitive issue hits the chopping block: military mail call.
DOD Business Advisers Tell Rumsfeld Military Mail Should Be Outsourced (InsideDefense.com, $)
A group of business advisers to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the Pentagon should outsource the collection, processing and distribution of military mail to the maximum extent possible, according to documents and sources.
Industry officials say outsourcing the military mail system could save DOD more than $200 million per year and free up personnel for higher-priority war-related roles.
Getting mail to service members deployed overseas in a timely manner has been a major challenge for the Defense Department, one that was highlighted during the contentious 2000 Bush-Gore election when military personnel experienced problems getting their absentee ballots delivered on time.
In June, Rumsfeld asked the Defense Business Board — a group of outside executives — to study how to improve the military mail system. In a “snowflake” memo to the board, Rumsfeld wrote that DOD “continues to struggle to achieve the timely delivery of mail, which is an important part of morale for our employees serving the department overseas,” according to a source who read the letter to InsideDefense.com.
One would think the DoD could get mail to the troops cheaply by utilizing the supply distribution system. For whatever reason, though, that’s not happening.
Getting mail to the troops as quickly as possible is a major morale issue and may be worth $200 million extra to achieve. If a private company can get it there just as fast or faster, though, DoD might as well save the money.