Post offices and delivery units are the Postal Service’s front door to the public. People visit them to buy stamps, drop off mail, or pick up a package. They’re also the workplace for postmasters, clerks, and carriers. That’s why it’s so important they are clean, safe, and in good condition.

The OIG regularly audits property conditions at retail and delivery units. On June 2, we released what we call a capping report. The capping report summarizes our findings from 16 property condition audits conducted in fiscal years 2020 and 2021. These reviews uncovered hundreds of issues at 46 facilities:

  • Maintenance and appearance problems including unclean lobbies with dirty or damaged fixtures and walls needing paint or repair;
  • Health and safety problems such as plumbing and electrical issues and tripping hazards; and
  • Security issues such as unlocked vehicles, insecure doors, and inoperable security cameras.

As part of the capping report, we took a second look at some of the facilities where we found the most egregious problems as well as two new facilities to see if the Postal Service was doing better at keeping its facilities in good condition.

Unfortunately, while the Postal Service fixed problems found in the initial visits, management didn’t ensure that facilities continued to be well maintained. Our auditors identified new issues at all of the revisited facilities as well as at the two new facilities. The same sorts of problems kept cropping up again.

The OIG found the problems continued to occur because the Postal Service does not have a standardized process to assess whether employees at retail and delivery units are maintaining facility standards, and we recommended the Postal Service implement one. The Postal Service agreed with the recommendation.

How do you think the Postal Service can take better care of its facilities? Could your local post office use a good cleaning or some maintenance?

Comments (23)

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  • anon

    Good day! Thanks for asking about improvements. While I have nothing but EXCELLENT things to say about our letter carrier here in Cranberry Township, PA, the USPS post office exterior is in need of significant cleaning. The exterior light colored surface is EXTREMELY dirty with heavy dust/dirt or mold. It makes me cringe when I see it. I want to power wash it myself! Don't worry... I won't do that but it is that bad. Thanks for any consideration.

    Nov 01, 2022
  • anon

    US Postal Box (blue box) located at the US Post Office in Bladenboro NC 28320, needs maintenance or replacement. Several community citizens have verbally complained to the 28320 Post Master and no action has been taken to date. This is an item the general public in the area use frequently, and an item that represents the US Postal Service standards and behaviors. It should be unacceptable for a Post Master to ignore several complaints on condition of US Postal property and not addressing local residents concerns. Residents are using Facebook discussing this issue and are stirring unnecessary bad publicity for the Post Office, Post Master needs to address the replacement of the box and eliminate the unnecessary drama.

    Oct 19, 2022
  • anon

    Postal facilities need more frequent repairs and review due to age and conditions. They also need a long range plan for properties and global and local changes in facilities and density of urban areas. Takes a lot more cooperation and planning with facilities and the union to ensure a good list of repairs and proper attention to future facilities in urban areas due to growth impacts.

    Oct 10, 2022
  • anon

    I have had a P.O. Box for several years now and the front of the building is in much need of an uplift. The iron work is chipping and needs painting, the sidewalk and steps need cleaning also a lot of marble in front needs cleaning, a nasty standing ashtray at front door needs a new idea, the door mat at front door I do believe is over twenty years old and last but disturbing the inside door has the whole bottom out and the piece just sitting in the frame. This is a beautiful old historic post office in a beautiful well kept city it is sad and uncalled for not being kept up. I hope to see some new life to this beautiful building. Thank you!

    Sep 27, 2022
  • anon

    The post office (retail) at 1190 N. Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA is dangerous for pedestrians and cars. The large bins that are not supposed to be stored outside prevent cars traveling south to see pedestrians. It is also blocking the visibility of our entrance. Our landlord has asked your post office to move the 6' bins. They will not comply and are nasty about it when asked. An older man already fell in the parking lot. He cut his lip open. Luckily for all legally bound, he did not file a suit. Please take care of this. It is dangerous.

    Sep 15, 2022
  • anon

    The PO can take better care of its facilities by supporting the staff who care for the facility. When a new program (TL-5) rolls out actually get behind it and the new system/product and the people performing the duties. Not the "we all buy in" junk we actually got when it rolled out, but really buy into it -- or not and scrap it. No issue in admitting if it was a mistake and going back to a different system. The issue is that we were told we had buy in from all levels of management, it rolled out, and we got no backing, no buy in, and our locals basically said yeah, "whatever, we are gonna do what we want to, the people at national aren't the ones who have to be in this building"... so, what good is it to say your custodians are to be treated as professionals and have a new fancy program to follow if: 1.) custodians are still just "the janitor" -- that trash on the floor is your job security; 2) no one actually follows the fancy program (from top to bottom) -- if there is a custodian trying to follow it, they get ridiculed and labeled "difficult" for it; 3.) training, training, training!!! we were promised additional monthly recurring training -- didn't (still doesn't) happen!!! (heck we don't even get our OSHA required yearly training refreshers -- and even if we did, they aren't followed). The new hire custodian training -- being told to do things that are against the TL-5 program or that the products don't really work, or that they (the trainer or site champion) can't do anything about the training facility not using the correct equipment/products because of "how clean it looks". Literally at every echelon the implementation of this "new" TL-5 system has failed. It was doomed from the start because there was no REAL buy in by upper, middle, lower or local management as well as the custodians. So, what you have are either facilities staffed for TL-5, but still doing TL-3 workload (4 custodians doing what use to take 6 custodians) or you have facilities who are running understaffed and having to prioritize the workload based on health and safety -- not appearance. And lets not forget all the additional cleaning time for COVID that was or wasn't added to the staffing packages -- if they were even correctly account for at all.

    Aug 31, 2022
  • anon

    Your building at 49th and Shattuck Avenue in Oakland California is 25 years old now and has never been repainted. It needs it badly.

    Aug 13, 2022
  • anon

    The Darby, PA Post Office is in disgraceful condition. The front door sidelights are rusting out of their frames, the front steps are crumbling, the railings are rusting and have become disengaged from the steps. These are only a few of its problems. Please send a review team ASAP!

    Aug 06, 2022
  • anon

    Most of all post office‘s need updating on the face and in the lobbies they also need new up-to-date wireless technology for serving customers the post office should increase all box sections to be able to accommodate every person in town and county this should be the only free form of delivery would be PO Box that would save them billions people have to go get their groceries anyway and get gas in their car so what is it to stop by the local post office and pick up their mail

    Aug 01, 2022
  • anon

    Another change idea I had to make the post office better is offer PO boxes to any person who wants to give up street delivery or rule delivery as many people would take this due to better security more convenience of getting their mail and being able to get it at a specific time this would save the post office money As less personnel Less vehicles …

    Aug 01, 2022
  • anon

    Yes I think the post office needs a facelift I think they need to put in many more PO boxes and get rid of the mail carriers. The only thing that guy driving around town should be delivering is packages! That that would save the post office billions and being is they can’t hire from all the news stories they should eliminate routes immediately.

    Jul 29, 2022
  • anon

    This area could use improvement on the customer facing side and from the inside employee facing. Taking maintenance more serious and using cleaning equipment, buffers, and good old elbow grease would help.

    Jul 27, 2022
  • anon

    Thank you all for you comments. The USPS OIG will consider your feedback as we plan our future work in these areas.

    Jul 06, 2022
  • anon

    My local post office does not have any seating and sometimes the wait for counter service can be long. I see old folks trying to manage the wait with large packages. Post offices need to be more friendly for our seniors and disabled people.

    Jul 15, 2022
  • anon

    My post office definitely could use some TLC. The interior is lowly lit and while the floors are clean you can tell the fixtures are dated and there is evidence of where counters were ripped out to put chairs (for an unknown reason). I would recommend that the post office look into a pay for performance contract for it's sites that have a weekly checklist of all cleaning / maintenance functions to be performed. This would then need to be signed off by either a supervisor or the postmaster of the site and submitted to a central repository for record keeping. Further there needs to be a work-order page that all employees can submit a work order, work orders for broken items should be auto-approved up to a certain dollar threshold. After that work orders would need to be reviewed by management and concurrence or non-concurrence must be followed with a strong justification. All work order items would then go to district to monitor for completion status. Finally district representatives should be making an effort to walk all the post offices in their AOR once a month. There should be a comprehensive checklist that should closely align to the cleaning/maintenance checklist and if there are discrepancies then the person signing off on that checklist would be engaged to figure out why and, if necessary, perform corrective counseling. Finally there should be a USPS wide database of post-offices and their last rennovation date. That should be used for planning/budgeting purposes to establish a normal rennovation cycle (IE: once every 5 years)

    Jun 29, 2022
  • anon

    There are homeless people around the FOY PO in DTLos Angeles. Seniors are scared to go. The lobby smells weed and needs repainting. Thank you.

    Jun 24, 2022
  • anon

    The Lodi CA 95240 needs an audit. The Postal grounds are horrendous--the lawn is dead with only weeds growing. The hedge has died, the two planters are filled with dead plants. I've contacted the local office and the District office several times to no avail. I worked at this office for 22 years--it is an embarrassment and it should be the jewel of the town l. It's an historic building with valley oak trees surrounding it. Please do something!

    Jun 22, 2022
  • anon

    This is a joke, right? Since the custodians switched to the TL-5 version of the MS-47, the plants are filthy. Management says that it's "clean dirt".

    Jun 22, 2022
  • anon

    That is b/c the intent of switching to the TL-5 version was to shorten the custodian staffing numbers -- which they did. But the way they did this was go with the bare minimum staffing at the bare minimum frequency (yes I have an office that - according to the staffing package -- does not need to have the restrooms cleaned every day. And many of the other tasks are not done on a daily basis, thus, they were able to cut the staffing. And now, health and safety are not the main concern -- neither is staffing for appropriate tasks or frequency of tasks. Now, the only thing they care about is staffing to meet their Line H obligation so they do not have to pay out a large settlement at the end of the year. "What?? Monday's work didn't get done, that's fine we will do it on Friday." Or "how about we do Wednesday's work on Saturday so I don't have to send anyone out to that office on Wednesday." Oh, and my favorite... "we have already hit the line H requirement for the week (on Wednesday) so anyone who wants to go home early just submit a 3971." Half the things you can't make up, but at the same time, can't get any one (craft employees/custodians included) to do the right or ethical thing. We are short staffed just as the rest of the USPS is... but yet some how (even though we are down 3 custodial routes -- per our supervisor, should actually be down 4 or 5 per staffing package) we are hitting Line H weekly hours though several hours of tasks are not being completed at all -- not to mention the several hours of work being completed that isn't even custodial work, yet still being recorded LDC report. I guess it really does benefit the management in offices who are "not maintenance capable" and do not have to use the eMARS recording system -- allowing them to assign work whenever and to which ever tour they want -- why even have different tours if it isn't going to be done on the correct/current tour? why even have frequency and due dates if they aren't going to be done on the correct frequency or day of the week? Heck, if all they care about is hitting that magically Line H number, I ask... why not let me come in Saturday, Sunday, and Monday working up to the 40 hr point and have Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off. Really there is no difference, at least both sides of the isle would be happy (Line H met for management and a 4 day weekend for custodian). There are some offices/people who (even though are a TL-5 facility and trained) who flat refuse to use the equipment or cleaning products -- and never have. Yet claim, "they don't work". No, the things that don't "work" are the individuals. The TL-5 system isn't the problem -- the implementation, staffing, lack of leadership and follow through are the problems. Doesn't help that in many areas they have supervisors with zero custodial, maintenance or even leadership experience in charge. Their level of comprehension is about as low as their ethics and competence level.

    Aug 31, 2022
  • anon

    My local post offices (Hunting Park, Olney and Castor in Phila) look like they are about to close. They are dark, dreary, dirty and have no forms available for the public to use (i.e. certified, express labels, etc). They have no stamp selection (one station had only one available), and no glassine envelopes to house the purhased stamps.

    Jun 22, 2022
  • anon

    Our post office in Canton, TX is well maintained, neat and supplies are always available. Employees that I deal with are friendly, knowledgeable, and try to help. The only door that is open at night is the main entrance so people with P.O. Boxes can pick up their mail. We have a great post office.

    Jun 21, 2022
  • anon

    Contract with a cleaning service and a repair service to do the painting and other things it needs

    Jun 21, 2022
  • anon

    Good luck

    Jun 21, 2022

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