mail that is sent to ITD Headquarters isnt completely
private and usually is opened before it reaches the intended
There are legitimate reasons for opening mail marked personal,
private or confidential, explains
Candy Smith, General Services support supervisor.
certified cards need to be claimed
mailroom has a number of returned green cards
that it would rather return to their rightful home.
ITD employees who use certified mail do not indicate
on the green return card where the card should be sent.
a result, the card remains in the mail room until someone
calls askingabout it.
important for those employees who use certified mail
to remember to include their name and office in the
return address box, as well as ITD's Headquarters address.
card was recently returned from: Hidden Peak Electric
in Murray, Utah. It was simply addressed to ITDs
post office box address. Anyone wanting to claim the
postcard should contact the mailroom at ext. 7816, 8022
The mailroom at Headquarters has a long-standing policy that
all mail becomes the property of ITD when it is received externally
from the U.S. Post Office. That means mail is opened prior
to routing to ITD offices. District offices have adopted their
own procedures for processing personal mail that fits their
Department policy does prohibit ITD employees from receiving
personal mail at work, but individuals should be aware that
it usually will be opened as a precaution.
The practice was implemented to protect all employees, to
ensure their health and safety and to ward off threats of
violence or injury. There are several exceptions to the practice,
however. ITD mailroom staff will not open personal envelopes
related to: Administrative License Suspensions, Title Exceptions,
the Equal Employment Opportunity office, medical tests or
official yellow ITD CONFIDENTIAL envelopes (such
as those recently used to inform employees of their merit
increases). In addition, internal ITD mail is not opened.
Basically, all outside mail with our street address
or P.O. Box 7129 is opened in the mailroom, Smith explains.
The practice significantly predates threats to mail resulting
from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. However, the security
move was applauded when mail safety became a paramount concern.
The basic premise is that safety overrides an individuals
right to mail privacy.
Sept. 11, 2001, the ITD mailroom has received only two questionable
packages that were sent out to be tested and opened. Neither
was determined to be a threat to health or safety, but demonstrates
that the precautions are well justified.
When personal mail has been opened, does that mean its contents
have been thoroughly read?
Smith explains that the mailrooms three staff members
dont have the time or desire to read the contents. But
the contents are quickly scanned to ensure there is no threat.
Illustrations: ITD's "confidential" envelope
(top) is one of the external pieces of mail that is not subject
to opening in the Headquarters mailroom. Several certified
mail cards, similar to the one above, have been returned to
the mailroom, but offer no hint about which Headquarters office
should receive them.