A key element to the OIG’s mission is to keep Congress fully informed of problems and deficiencies relating to Postal Service programs and operations. Sometimes that means sharing our reports with Congress, and other times it means responding to reported problems and testifying before Congress.
The U.S. Postal Service has almost 80,000 rural delivery routes serviced by some 133,000 rural letter carriers. For some of those routes, USPS provides the vehicle; for others, the carrier uses a private vehicle and receives a maintenance allowance from the Postal Service for wear and tear. In fiscal year (FY) 2020, the Postal Service paid out nearly $583 million in maintenance allowances — a rise of $71 million, or 13 percent, over FY 2015.
If you’ve watched or read the news in the last few days, you probably know the Postal Service is a key part of the White House’s plan to get COVID tests to every American household that wants them. USPS is responsible for taking orders through its website and delivering up to four free COVID test kits to every household in the country. Did you know this isn’t USPS’s first time playing an essential role in a national emergency?
You’ve maybe heard a lot lately about the U.S. Postal Service’s efforts to buy new delivery vehicles and are curious about how many they will purchase. Do you wonder how USPS makes these and other major purchases? It turns out the Postal Service has its own internal contracting policies and procedures, called Supplying Principles and Practices (SP&P).
With an organization as large as the U.S. Postal Service, it’s essential to move mail under any contingency, including when postal workers go on leave. Making sure the work gets done requires efficiently shifting personnel, which may mean USPS incurs additional costs, such as having to pay overtime to other employees.