The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) used data analytics to identify offices that issued the largest amount of no-fee money order refunds for miscellaneous non-postal revenue. We identified the Yale Station, New Haven, CT, issued the second largest amount of refunds compared to other offices nationally. From October 1, 2015, to September 30, 2016, the office issued 95 no-fee money orders totaling $36,865 for refunds of miscellaneous non-postal revenue.
Refunds for miscellaneous non-postal revenue occur when funds previously collected from items not directly pertaining to postage are refunded, such as unclaimed customer account funds or advance deposit account balances.
Refunds for $25 or less may be processed using cash or refunds between $25 and $1,000 may be processed using no-fee money orders. Refunds greater than $1,000 are not processed at postal retail units.
The objective was to determine whether internal controls were in place and effective for issuing no-fee money order refunds for miscellaneous non-postal revenue at the Yale Station.
What the OIG Found
Internal controls for issuing no-fee money order refunds for miscellaneous non-postal revenue needed improvement. We verified that the Yale Station issued 95 no-fee money orders, totaling $36,865, for refunds of miscellaneous non-postal revenue from October 1, 2015, to December 31, 2016. We identified the following issues:
- Of the 95 no-fee money orders issued for miscellaneous non-postal revenue refunds, the unit did not have 36 (38 percent) of the required forms on file.
- For those forms on file, retail associates did not always properly complete them to verify the refunds.
- A Postal Service official or witness signature was not always included on the form as certification and authorization for payment.
- The closeout employee did not verify the information on the daily financial report matched the refund form as required.
This occurred because the retail associates responsible for completing, certifying, and retaining the forms were not trained on the process. Also, the closeout employee stated the retail associates did not give the refund forms to her for closeout of daily financial reports. However, this same employee also issued refunds, and some of her forms were also missing.