Disposable masks

Supply Management has modified and expanded the ability of Postal Service facilities and offices to order disposable pleated face masks.

The masks (item number 4240180002515) are now available for individual site orders through the Topeka, KS, Material Distribution Center (MDC) eBuyPlus catalog.

Previously, USPS sites were instructed to order masks only through district supplies coordinators. The modified, expanded process will allow individual facilities and offices to order directly from MDC inventories and avoid paying premium prices from other eBuyPlus suppliers.

The minimum order is 1 box, which contains 50 individual masks; the maximum order is 40 boxes, or 2,000 masks. Any orders that exceed the maximum will automatically be reduced to one case of 40 boxes.

Sites that need more than 2,000 masks will continue to request them from their local district supplies coordinator.

The coordinators will continue to order and maintain ample inventory for large and emergency requests, and to redistribute quantities to ensure availability.

During the coronavirus pandemic, USPS requires all employees to wear face coverings:

• In public-facing settings when there is a state or local face covering order or directive in place; or

• When an employee who does not deal directly with the public cannot achieve or maintain social distancing in the workplace.

The COVID-19 Employee Resources Blue page has additional information under the “Supplies, Cleaning and Maintenance” tab.

New vice president

Bill Koetz has been named network and compute technology vice president, a role he has filled on an acting basis since November.

The Network and Compute Technology group was created when Information Technology was split during a Postal Service realignment in the fall.

Koetz has been with USPS for 31 years, most recently serving as computer operations manager, overseeing the organization’s data centers, computer servers, cloud, software services and the personnel that maintain the Postal Service’s internal and external applications.

He previously served as the Eagan, MN, Solutions Center manager; program manager; and business project leader.

Drama king

The Postal Service will release its stamp honoring playwright August Wilson, the 44th entry in the Black Heritage series, Jan. 28.

Wilson (1945-2005) is best known for his American Century Cycle, a series of 10 plays about African American life set in each decade of the 20th century. The plays sometimes are called the Pittsburgh Cycle because nine of the 10 are set in the Steel City, his hometown.

“August Wilson was a literary master. He understood the inherent power of language. I am overjoyed that the Postal Service has selected this inspired playwright as its 44th honoree in the coveted Black Heritage stamp series,” said Phylicia Rashad, a Tony Award-winning actress, singer and stage director who’ll help dedicate the stamp during a virtual ceremony.

The stamp’s image shows an oil portrait by Tim O’Brien that is based on a 2004 photograph by David Cooper. Ethel Kessler was the designer. Look closely behind the fedora-topped playwright and you’ll see the faint outline of a picket fence, a nod to one of Wilson’s best-known works, “Fences.”

Other participants in the virtual dedication ceremony will include Wilson’s widow, Constanza Romero; his daughter, Sakina Ansari; actor Viola Davis; Stephen McKinley Henderson, an actor and associate artistic director for the audio recordings of August Wilson’s American Century Cycle; and Joshua D. Colin, the Postal Service’s delivery operations vice president.

The event can be streamed on the Postal Service’s Facebook and Twitter pages on Jan. 28 at 11:30 a.m. EST.

The stamp will be available at Post Offices and usps.com.

Share your feedback at uspslink@usps.gov. Your comments could be included in the “Mailbag” column.

News Briefs

Scanning snapshot

Scanning snapshot. A snapshot of Postal Service scanning data shows the national rating was 96.8 percent during the week ending Jan. 22, down about a quarter of a point from one week earlier.

The data was collected Jan. 27.

Western Pacific led the four areas with a rating of 97.23 percent, while Atlantic ranked last with a 96.09 percent rating.

Among the 67 districts, Dakotas, part of Western Pacific, ranked first with a 98.4 percent rating, while Philadelphia Metro, part of Atlantic, ranked last with a 91.08 percent rating.

To see the latest data, go to the Informed Visibility website and select “Customer Experience,” followed by “DES 2 Scan Performance.”

New appointments. President Joe Biden has designated Commissioner Michael M. Kubayanda chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission, succeeding Robert G. Taub.

The commission, an independent federal agency, provides regulatory oversight of USPS.

Additionally, three individuals have been appointed to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC), a panel that evaluates stamp proposals received by the Postal Service.

The Postmaster General appoints CSAC members, who provide expertise on history, science and technology, art, education, sports and other subjects.

The new members are Kevin Butterfield, executive director of the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon; Dr. Joseph L. Kelley, a gynecologic oncologist and professor at the University of Pittsburgh; and Roger R. Ream, president of the Fund for American Studies, an educational organization founded in 1967 to prepare young people for leadership.

Stamp ceremony. The Postal Service will dedicate its latest Lunar New Year stamp during a virtual ceremony that can be viewed on the organization’s Facebook and Twitter pages on Tuesday, Feb. 2, at noon EST. The stamp commemorates the Year of the Ox.

Got news? Email your submissions to uspslink@usps.gov.