A quarter of a century. Twenty-five years. It’s a long time, no matter how you say it. And that’s how long it’s been since we were created. That’s right, on September 30, 1996, President Clinton signed legislation that established us — the U. S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General — as an independent entity reporting directly to the Postal Service Governors. Prior to this, postal oversight was done by the Postal Inspection Service, which reported to the Postmaster General.
We’ve grown a lot over the past 25 years — from around 10 employees to over 1,000. Our mission is to ensure the efficiency, accountability, and integrity of the U.S. Postal Service. We play an essential role in maintaining the public’s trust in the organization.
Over the past 25 years, we’ve done a lot. Our auditors have looked into all sorts of postal issues: financial reporting, postal facility conditions, data systems, operational efficiency, cost savings, and —let’s not forget — our work on Election Mail and service performance. At the same time, our agents have been stopping and deterring mail theft and the distribution of narcotics in the mail, as well as investigating a multitude of types of fraud. We started a research team, who published a wide variety of forward-looking papers ranging from the universal service obligation to digital services to how people’s brains react to hard-copy mail. And what started with a handful of data specialists grew into a dedicated data analytics team whose work has made us a leader in this field in the IG community.
That alone is a lot to celebrate. This isn’t just the 25th anniversary of the OIG. October marks the 13th anniversary of the OIG blog. In October 2008, we published our first blog. What was the topic? The fact that we were starting a blog — and how we hoped it would help explain complex postal issues as well as facilitate dialogue with the public.
So happy anniversary to us, and happy birthday to our blog! We look forward to what the next 25 years will bring.