Between October 2009 and December 2011, U.S. Postal Service purchases totaled over $4 billion on newly awarded contracts and task orders. For these purchases and for all of the Postal Service’s sourcing decisions, ‘best value’ is used as the basis and determined by an analysis of a contract solicitation’s evaluation factors and weightings in combination with a price analysis. In the purchasing process, best value is generally achieved through competition, which brings market forces to bear and allows the direct comparison of proposals and lifecycle costs.

Recently, U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) auditors looked at the Postal Service’s purchasing processes to determine whether postal contracting officials appropriately assessed evaluation factors and conducted adequate price analysis to achieve best value when awarding contracts.

OIG auditors determined postal contracting officials did not provide evidence that they achieved best value when awarding contracts. Auditors identified discrepancies with 69 of the 105 purchases reviewed. We recommended contracting managers conduct periodic reviews of electronic and physical contract files and update the contract file transfer process to require receiving contract officials to certify that contract files contain required documentation. We also recommended that management direct contracting officials and higher level approvers to ensure the accuracy of Contract Authoring Management System information and adhere to Supplying Principles and Practices to obtain appropriate written approval prior to submitting or approving contract actions.

Postal Service management agreed with the OIG findings and recommendations resulting from the auditors’ review. To read this report in its entirety, click here.