Our objective was to determine whether the U.S. Postal Service is managing its elevator modernization program to minimize equipment downtime and the cost of repairs.

The Postal Service operates about 1,200 elevators at over 500 facilities, which includes passenger and freight elevators of various types and sizes. In November 2015, the Postal Service established the Elevator Modernization Program (EMP) to refurbish, upgrade, and modernize elevators at its facilities. The intent of the program was to improve elevator reliability for mail processing operations and ensure passenger elevators meet industry standards in terms of safety, reliability, performance, and aesthetics. Since January 2016, the EMP modernized 121 elevators at 53 facilities and expended about $146 million in capital commitments.


The Postal Service has a program in place to modernize elevators, which generally decreased repair costs, improved facilities, and had a positive impact on operations. At the individual project level, the EMP has standard operating procedures and internal control measures in place to meet schedule and budget goals. In a survey conducted during the audit, most respondents stated that EMP projects positively affected operations and were completed timely.

However, the Postal Service did not manage the EMP to minimize equipment downtime and the cost of repairs. Specifically, they did not monitor and track information in these areas to effectively measure program success. This occurred because the Postal Service did not formally establish program level goals, objectives, and measures for elevator downtime and repair costs to improve elevator safety, reliability, and performance. While management considered improving elevator reliability as a function of the EMP, they did not monitor, measure, or track information related to elevator downtime before or after completed modernization projects to identify improvement. Management also intended for the EMP to reduce elevator repair costs; however, they did not assess these costs before or after completed modernization projects to measure improvement.

Management focused on individual elevator project performance metrics such as adherence to the project budget, timelines, and completion as well as funding close out. Without program level goals, objectives, and measures in place for the EMP, management is hindered in their ability to identify project level issues or effectively measure program success, which includes elevator downtime, repair costs, and performance. Management did state that they intend to conduct a program evaluation in fiscal year 2021 and incorporate key performance indicators specific to the EMP when more projects are completed.


We recommended management develop and document program level goals, objectives, and measures for the EMP to assess elevator downtime, repair costs, and performance.

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Comments (1)

  • anon

    Help the civilians understand this because we see it differently why posting about elevators. Literally right now as I write this LLVs are catching fire on the job the OIG USPS thinks ELEVATOR's are a priority? It's been entire too long of a wait for the award of NGDV and multiple political motivated delays which have harmed the service of delivering mail, the main focus and job tasked to the USPS, not elevators. Workhorse is a top finalist, the only All American and Fully Electric Vehicle and it's clear to the American people this is the choice we want for our postal men and women. Award the contract, announce the winner so the great postal men and women can serve America safe and effectively.

    Feb 03, 2021