(a) The commissioner shall maintain and operate for state agencies, departments, institutions, and offices a central mail handling unit. Official, outgoing mail for units in St. Paul must be delivered unstamped to the unit. The unit shall also operate an interoffice mail distribution system. The department may add personnel and acquire equipment that may be necessary to operate the unit efficiently and cost-effectively. Account must be kept of the postage required on that mail, which is then a proper charge against the agency delivering the mail. To provide funds for the payment of postage, each agency shall make advance payments to the commissioner sufficient to cover its postage obligations for at least 60 days. For purposes of this section, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities is a state agency.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) or section 16C.09, the commissioner may approve the performance of mail-related functions by an agency outside the state's central mail-handling unit if the agency demonstrates it furthers program effectiveness, better use of services, greater efficiency, or greater economy in state government.