The objective of this audit was to determine if Express Mail refunds were valid, properly supported, and processed timely at the Atlanta, GA, Main Post Office.

OIG data analytics identified the Atlanta Main Post Office refund and void amounts for fiscal year 2017 Quarters 3 and 4 exceeded $21,000, an increase of 21 percent from the same period last year. Refunds for Express Mail were $3,838, or 18 percent of the $21,000, and were based on services not rendered or a service failure.

Unit personnel made 129 refunds to customers due to Express Mail failures during this time period.

What the OIG Found

Express Mail refunds at the Atlanta Main Post Office were processed timely; however, unit personnel did not always issue valid refunds and maintain support documentation to substantiate the refunds. Of the 129 Express Mail refunds reviewed, we found unit personnel:

  • Issued eight refunds totaling $200 that were notwarranted. Based on our review of PostalService data, service failures did not occur.
  • Did not properly maintain documentation,such as printed results of the track andconfirm inquiry, customer’s receipt, or refund form, to substantiate 33 refunds totaling $1,068.

The postmaster stated there were several temporary personnel assignments at the unit due to staff shortages, and she was aware some employees needed refresher training. The Capital Metro Area accounting manager stated the finance refresher training, which covers how to process Express Mail failure refunds, was updated in March 2018. Employees with retail operations responsibilities at the Atlanta Main Post Office are scheduled to attend this training in April 2018.

If Atlanta Main Office employees do not ensure that refunds are warranted and properly supported, they risk issuing incorrect or unauthorized Express Mail refunds. The Atlanta Main Office issued $1,268 in questionable refunds because Postal Service policy was not followed.

What the OIG Recommended

We recommend the management provide training that covers all Express Mail refund requirements to unit personnel responsible for issuing and processing Express Mail refunds.

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