June 4, 2009

UPU Reform of the Union Project Group


Draft principles regarding the structures of the UPU


General principles adopted by the U.S. delegation



1. Decision making within the UPU – as in any other similar organization – should be as decentralized as possible. Decisions should be taken at the lowest level in the organization capable of making the decision. Centralized structures slow down decisions and gravely limit the scope of activity and accomplishments that the organization achieves.

  • Within the UPU, the various CA and POC Groups should be given as much authority to manage their affairs as is reasonably possible. In particular, those extrabudgetary groups that generate their own funding should have considerable autonomy to take their own decisions within the field of activity for which they are responsible. This would include staffing and hiring decisions. These organizations are mainly the Telematics Cooperative, the EMS Cooperative, UPU*Clearing and the Direct Mail Advisory Board. The Quality of Service Fund also fits this profile, although the Fund is supported by mandatory payments required by the UPU Convention.
  • From 1995 through 2004, under a decentralized management style at the UPU, considerable innovative work was accomplished – in the creation of the Telematics Cooperative, EMS Cooperative, UPU*Clearing, the Direct Mail Advisory Board, the Quality of Service Fund, the Consultative Committee and other smaller groups – as well as strengthening of the Standards Board and the Postal Security Group, Since 2005, the only real innovation – the only Group launched within the UPU – has been the Quality Link User Group.

2. Funding to support UPU activities for competitive services, in particular EMS but also postal financial services, should come from voluntary payments to structures, such as the extrabudgetary EMS Cooperative and Telematics Cooperative.

  • There should be a clear separation between the costs for managing these Cooperatives and the UPU ordinary budget. The Cooperatives and similar extrabudgetary groups should pay their own way within the UPU, including a reasonable level of charges for overhead costs.
  • Within the UPU, the various CA and POC Groups should be given as much authority to manage their affairs as is reasonably possible. In particular, those extrabudgetary groups that generate their own funding should have considerable autonomy to take their own decisions within the field of activity for which they are responsible. These organizations are mainly Telematics Cooperative, the EMS Cooperative, UPU*Clearing and the Direct Mail Advisory Board. The Quality of Service Fund also fits this profile, although the Fund is supported by mandatory payments required by the UPU Convention.

3. Regulators should acquire a more prominent role in the future structures of the UPU.


4. Efforts should be made to achieve further separation of the responsibilities, roles and functions of the regulators and operators within the UPU.


5. Transparency should be a core principle of all UPU POC and CA bodies – that is, transparency of decision making, organization, activities and budget.


6. Working bodies should only be created at the will of the members – that is, they should be member-driven – based on a direct need and directly tied to the UPU programme and budget. Working bodies need not be permanent; they may be created on an ad hoc basis to carry out a specific project or function.



Notes drafted by Dennis Delehanty, IO/T, Department of State