on Dec 29th, 2008 in OIG | 19 comments

After blogging for several months, the Office of Inspector General wants you to know how it’s going.  So far, we’ve posted seven blogs (including this one) and received more than 100 comments. There have been a number of thoughtful observations about the Postal Service, and the Mail Transport Equipment blog actually led to a tip that resulted in the recovery of some pallets.

Our most successful post so far has been "Self Service Mail Technologies". More than 150 people participated in the survey questions about Automated Postal Centers (APCs) — the Postal Service’s self-service kiosks. As the charts below show, as of the time of this post, 76 percent of participants said they were aware of APCs, and 81 percent said they would be more likely to use the Postal Service if self-service machines were conveniently located where they shop. We intend to incorporate your survey responses and comments into our work on APCs.

 Are you aware of APC?  Pie chart:  76 percent yes; 24 percent no

Would you use APC if located where you shop?  Pie chart:  81 percent yes; 19 percent no

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, and please continue to comment. We’d also like to hear your ideas for new blog topics. What topics should we address in 2009? We welcome your suggestions.


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What about a blog on how the Office of Inspector General works?

I am just thinking to ask the similar question too. :)

I have contacted you previously and the USPS law department...no response from either.

I believe it to be a conflict of interest for you to include a link to the 'personal' website of a current USPS employee on your blog. Your link indirectly creates 'personal' income for this person.

How can you do this or, in your opinion, why is this not a conflict of interest and a violation of postal law and federal law?

Thank you for your comment. After reviewing your concern, we have decided to take down the RSS feed. We appreciate your feedback.

Hi, Blog Editor. Hey, is the RSS feed disabled or is the link to the personal website disabled? Very interested in this blog and would love to have an RSS feed. Thanks for the great work!

We've taken off an RSS feed to an external site. You can still use the RSS link in the upper right corner for this blog's content.

What isn't a violation of Postal regulations.
That's us in a nutshell.
We are the Washington Generals, the team that always plays against the Harlem Globetrotters.

Universal service obligations.

The USO is not being met when the USPS does not fulfill its obligation to meet costs and not pass excessive costs to mailers.

For example. If a 10MM investment is required to have equipment meet or exceed current USPS engineering standards, it might be acceptable to alter the physical mail standards as an avoidance to incurring that fee. For any business without a USO that would be acceptable.

The USPS, however, has an USO. And will not meet its USO if they pass on the costs to the American mailing public. You see, the 10MM cost guestimate was for the USPS. The actual cost, by phasing in alterations of physical mail, to American business is astronomical.

Would anyone on this blog care to take a guess as to how much this is going to cost you in terms of:

1. learning curve
2. engineering of non-existing equipment to facilitate nonrealistic standards
3. investment in so-called, and as of yet non-identified, equipment for new standard
4. money lost in an investment that will ultimately prove unwise and unnessary as the standards are challeged by class action law suit. (You see, the same statute that prescibes that the USPS does not have to incorporate your comments into rulemaking also points out that the USPS can sue, and be sued in its official name.)
5. clients lost
6. jobs lost

Or didn't you get my invitation to investigate if USPS vendors made a pitch to USPS personnel on how "cost prohibitive" it would be to reengineer their equipment? It seems as if someone, or some few persons decided it would be cheaper to dump on the mailers. Bad idea, guys. I've even read where they recommend using larger tabs and wafer seals. Stupid idea since no one has requalified the peel adhesion rate, or did someone silence the engineers who originally tested peel adhesion rates for the last couple of years?

Itza blog. So blog on, OIG.

When I stumbled across this blog, it took me several minutes to figure out that this was run by the post office, and not just a random personal blog. You might want to make it more obvious on the homepage what this blog is and who it's run by.

the OIG does a brilliant job at investigating and issuing reports on USPS affairs. It is obvious that a LOT of time and money is spent in preparing these reports. In some cases, there are even "follow up" reports done on the progress of previous reports suggestions. My question is simple. Does the OIG have the authority to adversely affect mgmt when these reports are blatantly ignored, or does the OIG's authority stop at merely "suggesting" changes? What is needed IMMEDIATELY is an investigation on the blatant violations being committed by mgmt in order to reduce man hours. More specifically, the issuing of discipline. The sheer volume of usps employees that have been removed in the past year should warrant some type of investigation. Never in the history of the usps have there been such a staggering number of employees "fired" from their positions. Just for the sake of arguement, i'll grant you that 50% of these were long overdue, done for "just cause", and that "due process" was adhered to..... that leaves 50%. I will tell you from personal knowledge, that in these cases, EVERY law, EVERY rule, and Every contract provision that apply to these matters is blatantly being violated in order to issue the discipline/removal. With no apparent oversight of such matters, mgmt is out of control. Our only recourse(s), grievances, nlrb, eeoc, only correct the individual error, and do not adversely affect mgmt in any way, shape or form... and so they continue.. and the violations are becoming more blatant.
The employees, and ex-employees, of the usps desperately request that the OIG investigate these matters immediately. Any delay will add thousands to the already staggering number of people whose basic rights as provided by the constitution of these great United States as well as all other applicable laws, rules, and procedures , are Blatantly being violated on a daily basis.... and yet ... mgmts numbers remain the same. I have yet to see even one member of mgmt affected by this all out war against the laborers of the Postal Service.
We are only asking that we be treated fairly, with respect, and in adherance to the policies put in place to keep this type of thing from happening. And that when it is obvious that these rules were ignored, that there be some form of adverse action taken against such people to ensure that it doesn't continue..

why not publish a suggestion of how to save money blog? someone already stepped up on the saving money with finding pallets that a business was using for other purposes, why not a where can we find waste and investigate it and fix it?

and if you saved over a billion dollars auditing 11 processing plants, whats keeping you from doing all of them? if the average savings is 100 million as stated, wouldnt it be obvious that all of them need a looking at?

I enjoy your blog and have learned alot from reading others' comments. Keep up the good work!

After all the comments & suggestions....please ACT now before it's too late.

great stuff! Thanks for keeping it up

The stuff is very informative....

Great Site, especially for those that have questions that have been previously posed and of the like. People would like to know what and how the Inspector General response to such Issues.
Inquiring minds would like to know. (:
Keep up the good work.
Thanks for Sharing,
Abner Ben

Most things that are run by self-service are done very well. Self service at the grocery store is one of the newer ideas and those have been very successful. Having self serve mailing kiosks in major foot traffic areas, such as the grocery store, or mall should do very well too.

Having self serve mailing kiosks in major foot traffic areas, such as the grocery store, or mall should do very well, i agree

As this blog seems to be more active than the MTE/Pallet blog, I'm reposting something I said over there in the hope that it generates some recovery:

USPSVet August 23, 2011
Missing plastic pallets are only part of the MTE problem.
The USPS provided pallets, sacks, letter and flats trays, as well as APCs/GPS and OTRs to mailers for the transportation of their product to Post Offices and P&DCs.
But all to often those mailers use *our* equipement for *their* own internal purposes.
*I’m not talking about a few tubs used for office storage. *I’m talking about our plastic and canvas hampers used by their employees to sort their product before it ever gets to us.
*I’m talking about using our trays, hampers, OTRs and GPCs to transport their *customers’* product to their facility for sorting.

This equipment *never* gets back to the USPS. It stays in facilities like UPS for their own use, saving them millions nationwide while we subsidize that cost. Even if some gets back to us, mailers absorb more.

The OIG need to pay visits to big and little mail consolidators to get our gear back. That cost alone should save the jobs of more than a few clerks and carriers.