Background

Federal law enforcement officers (LEO) engage in rigorous physical duties necessary to conduct investigations and apprehend criminals. LEOs may also hold secondary supervisory or administrative positions. As a result, LEOs are eligible for special retirement coverage, such as retiring at an earlier age than other federal employees. However, LEOs must generally complete at least 20 years of service by age 57 to receive this benefit.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) oversees agency retirement coverage but has authorized agency heads to designate LEO positions. Agency heads are required to notify OPM of these designations and OPM has the authority to overrule the agency’s decision.

The U.S. Postal Service designated the [redacted] in [redacted] 2013, a LEO position and changed the title to [redacted], in [redacted] 2015.

This advisory responds to a concern brought to our attention that this newly designated position does not qualify for federal LEO retirement benefits. Our objective was to determine whether the Postal Service followed applicable federal regulations for designating a LEO position for purposes of retirement coverage.

What The OIG Found

The Postal Service did not follow applicable federal regulations to designate this LEO position in [redacted] 2013. Specifically, the Postal Service did not properly notify OPM of the designation. Instead, the Postal Service notified OPM informally via email of the designation. In addition, the Postal Service did not have policies in place for designating positions as LEO. Such policies should ensure that OPM is properly notified of LEO designations. As a result, there is increased risk the Postal Service will not timely learn of an improper designation. In addition, the Postal Service could be subject to legal or administrative consequences for failing to properly notify OPM. 

Subsequent to the exit conference, the Postal Service provided supporting documentation showing they notified OPM, and OPM retroactively approved the PMG’s designation of the [redacted], as a LEO position. Consequently, we are not making a recommendation regarding this LEO designation. 

What The OIG Recommended 

We recommended management update the appropriate Postal Service manual or handbook to reflect the newly implemented policies and procedures for designating law enforcement officer positions.

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Comments (2)

  • anon

    I filed a complaint about an item I ordered thru the mail. The seller gave me this tracking number 9400109699937940009442. I paid with a US postal money order and sent by US certified mail. The postal money order number was 23135088846. The postal tracking number was 70150640000250242314. The money order was delivered and cashed. The item was claimed to be sent with the tracking number mentioned above. Based on the email I received from the USPS it was never sent and the case was closed (HQ125091978). The seller has claimed to have send a refund which I have not received yet and has not gave me a tracking number claiming he sent by regular mail with only his claim to have sent it. Since this transaction was done thru the US mail does this fall under mail fraud? If the refund does come in, then the only issue is his failure to ship the item I purchased thru the US mail. If the refund does not show up, what are my options as far as pursuing mail fraud?

    Oct 18, 2015
  • anon

    Does this recommendation address the law enforcement status of Postal Police Officers?

    Oct 09, 2015