INTERNATIONAL NEWS: USPS signs with Podesta Mattoon

WASHINGTON: In the face of rising costs and deficit, the US Postal

Service's Board of Governors has awarded a contract with a budget

between dollars 84,000 and dollars 99,000 to Podesta Mattoon for a

45-day project.



The Washington public affairs firm will develop a plan for the Board of

Governors as to what it can do - collectively or individually - to gain

support for postal legislative reform.



Bob Anderson, spokesman for the USPS, said the goal is to increase

public awareness for the need for postal reform legislation among a wide

cross section of postal customers, which includes both residential and

business customers. The board hopes to find allies to support the

quasi-government agency's attempt to become more flexible about offering

competitive pricing and new services.



The seemingly large price tag for the short-term project, which will be

completed July 15, is due in part to the cost of the research explained

Michelle Tessier, spokesperson for Podesta Mattoon. Also, she said that

there are some "high-level folks working on this plan," indicating that

account people with the highest billing rates are working on the

project.



There is no provision in the contract for Podesta Mattoon to implement

any part of the plan once it is complete.



Podesta won the business against two other firms, the names of which

were not disclosed.



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