Throughout the year we completed a series of audits on mail operations and delayed mail at eight postal processing facilities across the country. As we conducted our work, we began to see a consistent story. So we thought it would be useful to publish a capping report summarizing our results.
The way organizations have defined diversity has changed significantly over the past few years. Traditionally, organizations that focused on improving diversity measured success solely by the number of employees by background—race, gender identity, and ethnicity. Today we recognize that diversity is much more than numbers; it can mean a full suite of life and work experiences, background and upbringing, abilities, and gender expression. Studies have shown that a more diverse and inclusive workforce is also a more engaged and productive workforce.
Twice a year, as required by the IG Act, we publish a Semiannual Report to Congress — or SARC, as we call it — that chronicles our activities for the preceding six months.
Our Fall 2021 SARC covers the period April 1 through September 30, 2021, and it contains a wealth of details about our work in that time. You can see some of the reports and white papers we highlighted in this SARC in the infographic. For example, the pandemic continues to impact the Postal Service, thus our look at its administration of COVID-related leave. And with service performance also a concern, we devoted significant attention to postal operations.
During this period, we issued 96 reports with 287 recommendations providing a combined monetary impact of almost $3 billion. We also completed more than 1,500 investigations, leading to 520 arrests and more than $70 million in recoveries, fines, and restitution, $17 million of which went to USPS.
Each year, increased mail and package volume during the U.S. Postal Service’s peak mailing season — November through January — significantly strains the USPS processing and distribution network. And each year, the Postal Service hires temporary employees and leases additional temporary facility space to help ease the strain.
You’ve likely gone to a post office to mail a parcel to a friend or family member. Sometimes the postal clerk simply weighs the package, and other times the clerk also measures the dimensions. Or perhaps you have used the U.S. Postal Service’s flat-rate boxes and paid the flat fee. Did you ever wonder how this process works for large mailers who give the Postal Service thousands of different-sized packages daily?