Thursday, August 26, 2010

Potter Knew of Bernstock's Sole-Source Contracts

The Postal Service's sole-source contracts with associates of former executive Robert F. Bernstock had the tacit approval of Postmaster General Jack Potter, according to documents published last night.

"Potter stated he was aware of Bernstock bringing in outside contractors to the Postal Service 'almost from the start because he needed to get an infusion of new thinking and talent as quickly as possible,'" says an investigators' report of a Feb. 4 interview with Potter. "Bernstock informed Potter 'he was considering using people he was aware of as consultants, who he personally knew.'"

The report and related documents from the USPS Office of Inspector General were made public last night by The Washington Times as part of its ongoing investigation into Bernstock's brief and controversial stint as head of marketing for USPS. The Times article published last night focuses on discrepancies among the accounts given by Potter and other key officials regarding Bernstock's outside work.

"Potter advised Bernstock 'the bottom line was to follow the Postal Service procurement rules, have lawyers review the contracts, and do not circumvent the Postal Service rules and regulations,'" the OIG report said.

"Regarding whether Bernstock hired friends as contractors, Potter thinks the term 'friends' is too strong of a word. He said, "'Of course Bernstock is going to go back to his pool of resources, like former colleagues, people he worked with and thought had good skill sets.'

"Potter said it is normal for 'some people to trail each other their whole career.' He believes Bernstock reached out to people with the skills he needed and does not have a problem with Bernstock hiring former colleagues."

Potter also said some of the contracts were turning out to be excellent deals for the Postal Service because it would have cost far more to use either USPS employees or traditional contractors like McKinsey to accomplish the tasks.

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Anonymous said...

to say this stinks would be an understatement. we the peons in this organization have to put up with this when the whole lot ought to go.(no questions asked). But here we are still trodding in the mud with Potter leading. Would you want to follow Potter?

Anonymous said...

now everyone who is following this knows why the post office is in trouble. since potter became PMG the non-accountability issue has grown by leaps and bounds, all with potters approval. until managers are held accountable for their actions NOTHING will change.

by by post office!

Postal Sanity said...

Having spent 2 decades in the postal industry, we have witnessed exactly what PGM Potter has stated.

*** Quote:
"Potter said it is normal for 'some people to trail each other their whole career.'
*** End Quote

After all, Postal Industry experts don't grow on trees. Assuming sufficient expertise of the contractors hired by Berstock, alongside delivery of quality work, there is nothing wrong with hiring industry peers.

Anonymous said...

How can we remove Potter from his position?

Anonymous said...

Shame on Potter for allowing a situation like this to manifest itself into something costly and embarassing to the USPS. Shame on him also for contracting out work that can be done by USPS employees.
Being a long time Postal employee elevating throughout the ranks during his career. How would he have felt if his many career opportunities were given to a contractor? So much for loyalty Potter and for your wonderful accountability and contarcting efforts.