Remotely managed post offices (RMPO) offer part-time window service hours and are required to have a post office postage meter (meter) due to limited stamp stock requirements. Postage meters print postage labels indicating payment that are affixed to mailpieces.
The Canton Center, CT, Post Office, is a four-hour RMPO with a postage meter that reported sales discrepancies. Specifically, Postal Service meter records showed $55,830 in meter usage, which is about $1,080 more than the office reported in meter sales between January 21, 2014, and February 24, 2017.
Employees are responsible for accurately reporting daily financial transactions. An administrative post office postmaster is responsible for oversight of the RMPO and its meter use.
The objective of this audit was to determine whether internal controls were in place and effective for meter use at the Canton Center Post Office.
What the OIG Found
Internal controls for meter use at the Canton Center Post Office needed improvement. We randomly sampled 150 of 579 days between February 25, 2015, and February 24, 2017, and found that employees replenished meters above the maximum allowed amount 17 of 20 times (85 percent) and did not always complete the required supporting documentation for replenishing and collecting postage through the meter. This occurred because the administrative post office postmaster did not review daily financial reports and supporting documentation, as required.
If controls over meter use are not followed, there is an increased risk the financial records could be misstated or theft could occur without detection.
As a result of this audit, the postmaster received training on the unit’s daily financial reporting system and took responsibility for meter replenishment and verification. The postmaster also provided documentation of his oversight of the Canton Center Post Office.
What the OIG Recommended
Because management took corrective actions, we are not making a recommendation at this time. However, we may follow up in the future as part of our ongoing financial control audits.