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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives


     Indian Health Manual
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Circular Exhibit 03-01-H


MAIL ROOM AND MAIL PROCEDURES

The Reyes Building mail room serves both the Reyes Building and Twinbrook Metro Plaza (TMP).  The mail room is secured and is restricted to mail room staff only.

  1. All Indian Health Service (IHS) mail destined for delivery to offices located in either building will be delivered to the central mail room located in the Reyes Building and delivered by the Division of Administrative Services (DAS).

  2. Mail will be received only during the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

  3. Each office will identify one delivery/pickup point for mail within their respective office suites.

  4. The DAS will periodically conduct training for all staff members responsible for handling and opening mail for their offices.

  5. Mail room staff will wear latex gloves at all times when handling incoming mail.

  6. Mail room staff will conduct an initial screening of all incoming mail for suspicious letters or parcels and notify the receiving office of any items they determine to be suspicious.

  7. Headquarters staff responsible for receiving and distributing mail for their work teams will conduct a second screening of incoming mail for suspicious letters or parcels and notify the supervisor of any items determined to be suspicious.

  8. Characteristics of possibly suspicious letters or parcels:

    1. There is a powdery substance visible on the outside.

    2. It is an unexpected item or an item from someone unfamiliar.

    3. It is an item addressed to someone no longer with the Agency or otherwise outdated.

    4. It is foreign mail, airmail, or special delivery mail.

    5. It has excessive postage (usually stamps, not meter strips).

    6. It has no return address, or one that is not legible or conveys the impression it may be false.

    7. It has the city or State printed in the postmark that does not match the return address.

    8. It may be of unusual weight, given the size of the package, or the package may be lopsided or oddly shaped.

    9. It is wrapped with excessive security materials, such as masking tape, etc.

    10. It is marked with restrictive endorsements, such as "Personal," or "Confidential," or "To Be Opened Only By...," or "Prize Enclosed."

    11. It has handwritten addresses or company labels.

    12. It may be a package wrapped in string from an address or region that normally uses other means of packaging.

    13. It has no postage or postage that has not been cancelled.

    14. It has improper spelling of common names, places, or titles.

    15. It has generic or incorrect titles.

    16. It has leaks, stains, or protruding wires, string, tape, etc.

    17. It is a hand delivery or drop-off for a friend.

    18. It has no return address or a nonsensical return address.

    19. It may be any letter(s) or package(s) arriving before or after a phone call from an unknown person asking if the item was received.

  9. Responses to Receiving a Suspicious Letter or Package.

    1. Do not try to open the mail piece.

    2. Do not handle the mail piece or package suspected of contamination.

    3. Notify your supervisor, who will immediately contact the Designated Official.  The Designated Official will notify the appropriate authority, such as the Inspection Service, local police, or Program Support Center Security Office.

    4. Make sure the damaged or suspicious package is isolated and the immediate area cordoned off.

    5. Ensure all people who have touched the mail piece wash their hands with soap and water.

    6. List all people who have touched the letter and/or envelope. Include contact information.

    7. Place all clothing and other items worn when a person has been in contact with the suspected mail piece in plastic bags; have the bags available for law enforcement agents.

    8. As soon as practical, the person(s) in (6)or (7) should shower with soap and water.

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