The OIG used data analytics to identify offices with lost or stolen stamp stock shipments. We identified $29,000 of net expenses related to lost or stolen stamp stock shipments at the Woodbury, MN, Post Office between May 1, 2016, and April 30, 2017.
Stamp Fulfillment Services, Kansas City, MO, fulfills stamp orders from postal retail units. Retail units are responsible for identifying and locating missing stamp stock shipments. When retail units do not resolve discrepancies timely, Accounting Services records an expense to the units for the difference.
Management advised they are strengthening overall stamp accountability and upgrading financial controls, including:
- Daily financial accountability reconciliations and semi-annual stamp counts at Stamp Fulfillment Services.
- Enhancements to tracking stamp movement and in-transits at Stamp Fulfillment Services, and stamp shipments to individual post offices.
- New tracking process and centralized review of all missing stamp stock shipments, including orders sent to the wrong unit.
- New stamp destruction process that better aligns and tracks inventory discrepancies.
The objective of this audit was to determine whether internal controls over stamp stock shipments were in place and effective at the Woodbury Post Office.
What the OIG Found
Internal controls over stamp stock shipments at the Woodbury Post Office were generally in place and effective. However, security over stamp stock shipments needed improvement. The unit did not always adequately secure stamp stock shipments. Specifically, after arrival into the unit, personnel place the stamp stock shipment in an unlocked Stamp Room where it is left unattended for about 3.5 hours until the stamp stock custodian arrives and verifies the shipment.
The unit manager stated placing the stamp stock shipments in the Stamp Room has been an ongoing practice at the station. When stamp stock is not properly secured, the Postal Service is at increased risk for theft.
As a result of our audit, management began properly securing all incoming stamp stock shipments.
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.