USPS eager to market financial monitoring system

USPS eager to market financial monitoring system

BY PREETI VASISHTHA | GCN STAFF

The cash-strapped Postal Service will soon market a homegrown system that tracks suspicious financial transactions at post offices and monitors clerks' compliance with laws requiring them to report such transactions.

'By August, we hope to Web-enable the system and market it to potential customers,' said Al Gillum, acting program manager.

Operation in 1999

The system, which became operational in June 1999, consists of an IBM DB2 Universal Database application running on an IBM Corp. mainframe at the Postal Service data center in San Mateo, Calif., and a reporting application at Washington headquarters where compliance officers can query and cross-reference reports.

Information is analyzed with an application developed in Focus for S/390, a reporting and development tool from Information Builders Inc. of New York.

Last March, new regulations issued by the Treasury Department set a deadline for next year for reporting all suspicious financial transactions. They also require the Postal Service to monitor compliance of its 100,000 clerks and 30,000 managers across the country.

The Postal Service hopes to target businesses that provide monetary services, including banks, as customers for the monitoring system, said Henry Gibson, the service's compliance officer for the Bank Secrecy Act.

'We believe we can provide the banks with a good window on what's happening with bank accounts and suspect money orders,' he said.

Marketing plan

By marketing the system, the service hopes to trim its deficit. USPS faces a potential loss of $2 billion to $3 billion in the current fiscal year because salaries and fuel costs are rising faster than the growth of mail revenue. Last year, the service lost $199 million, its first loss since 1994.

USPS and Information Builders are laying out the marketing plan, Gibson said, adding that they are in the process of determining the needs and requirements of potential customers.

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