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?