The Resolution Trust Corp. spends $16,000 a day on Federal Express delivery service but should be spending a lot less, according to Stephen M. Beard, director of the agency's office of inspections.

The RTC, which is accused routinely of wasting taxpayer dollars, has a Federal Express tab that averages $2.60 per day per employee, despite the discounted government rates.

The walk-in rate for next-morning delivery is $13. The walk-in rate for next-afternoon delivery is $9. Federal Express charges the RTC $3.75 for overnight delivery of a small package.

RTC employees used overnight service for credit card payments and to send letters to family members. But the biggest waste, according to Mr. Rea's July 28 report, was about $500,000 over two years for sending 341,500 packages to arrive at their destinations by 10:30 a.m. the next day instead of noon.

A 30% Premium

"Priority overnight service is almost 30% more expensive than government overnight service, which guarantees delivery within an hour and a half of priority service," the report noted.

The RTC's Oklahoma City office sent 87% of its packages by priority overnight, and for some Dallas, Tulsa, and Phoenix RTC accounts, priority overnight accounted for 50% of the Federal Express traffic, the report said.

It costs at least $1.48 per package to shorten the guaranteed delivery time by 90 minutes.

"Federal Express is used to mail virtually everything at RTC, from letters to training manuals," the report said.

And in January the RTC paid $780 to send 578 pounds worth of its monthly newsletter, Resolution Trust News, to its field offices overnight.

For $440 the agency could have gotten delivery two or three days later.

$1,816 a Ton

And last November, the agency's human resources department shipped more than a ton of employee benefit forms and booklets. Federal Express charged $1,816, but fourth-class postage would have been $497. Even first-class mail would have cost only $1,567.

An RTC spokeswoman said the agency is creating new guidelines on when employees should use Federal Express services. The guidelines will be distributed by the end of the month, she said.

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