It’s that time of year again, when we release our Semiannual Report to Congress (SARC) — a twice yearly look at our work that reflects our mission of ensuring efficiency, accountability, and integrity in the U.S. Postal Service.
Through the first six months of this fiscal year, we issued 61 audit reports, management advisories, and PARIS risk models, and the Postal Service accepted 79 percent of our recommendations. We completed 1,141 investigations that led to 329 arrests and nearly $53 million in fines, restitutions, and recoveries, $23 million of which was turned over to the Postal Service.
Our audits and white papers featured in this SARC focus on many of the important issues facing USPS, especially around delivery, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. For example, our audit report on nationwide package delivery scanning looked at two billion package scans during a six-month period to identify improper “stop the clock” deliveries — that is, scans that occurred somewhere other than at the door (where they should have occurred) when the package was delivered.
Our investigative work can be grouped around a handful of broad focus areas: health care fraud (claimant and provider); mail theft; contract fraud; financial fraud; and narcotics. Our special agents are active in these areas, but allegations of narcotics in the mail are rapidly becoming a critical focus. We see an increasing number of narcotics cases nationwide and a growing sophistication on the part of traffickers on how to avoid detection.
We also see opportunities for data to be a useful tool in uncovering not just fraud, waste, and misuse, but also illegal activity around narcotics in the mail. We continue to rely on data analytics for many of our most important audits and investigations.