New CDS Questions and Answers-Southern CDS Manager, Terry Stumpff

CDS Questions and Answers submitted by Southern CDS Manager, Terry Stumpff
A question that I am frequently asked is;  With the increase volume, what are the proper procedures that CDS Suppliers should take when they are unable to complete their scheduled deliveries in time to meet the dispatch truck at the end of the day?
The short answer to each of these questions is that, as with most other operational issues, suppliers should communicate with and follow the instructions provided by their respective Administrative Official (AO).  It is important for a supplier to communicate with the AO so that the AO can instruct the supplier on the desired course of action. 

  1. Is it mandatory that suppliers return to office by Dispatch Time if they have not completed their line of travel?
  2. Are suppliers required to adjust their deliveries to make dispatch time?
  3. Should suppliers be issued 5500's for failing to make dispatch times?

These are questions that should be directed to the AO when they arise, and the supplier should comply with the AO’s desired course of action. If the supplier does not believe he will make the dispatch time, he should call the Post Office, explain the situation and seek instruction from the AO. This will allow the AO to decide whether she wants the supplier to return to the office prior to the completion of the route so that the available mail can go out on the last dispatch of value.  If the AO instructs the supplier to return to the office, the supplier should do so. 
Once the supplier has returned, the AO would then have two options: (i) they can provide the supplier an extra trip PS Form 5397 to return to the route so the supplier is compensated for the round trip from the route to the office and back to the route; or (ii) they can allow the supplier to end his day. 
As noted, for the AO to be able to make these decisions, the supplier must communicate with the AO for guidance. Further, because each decision is made on a case-by-case basis, suppliers are expected contact the AO whenever he anticipates missing the dispatch time.
When asked whether suppliers should be issued PS Form 5500s for failing to make dispatch times.  The open communication that I am urging above may moot the need for a 5500 to be issued. In any event, however, Currently, PS Form 5500 (Contract Route Irregularity Report) is the only tool used for keeping track of irregularities.  Not every irregularity is the fault of (or chargeable to) the supplier. If a dispatch is missed because the supplier was following the AO’s instructions, or because of some other extenuating circumstance outside the control of the supplier, those circumstances should be noted in the supplier’s response when the 5500 is returned.