Background

This report presents a summary of the results of our self-initiated audits assessing mail delivery, customer service, and property conditions at four select delivery units in the Seattle, WA, region. These delivery units included the Parkland Branch in Tacoma, Kent Main Post Office (MPO) in Kent, Renton MPO in Renton, and Lacey Branch in Lacey. We judgmentally selected these delivery units based on the number of customer inquiries per route the unit received and Stop-the-Clock (STC) scans occurring at the delivery unit. We previously issued interim reports to district management for each of these units regarding the conditions we identified. In addition, we issued a report on the efficiency of operations at the Seattle Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC), which services these four delivery units.

All four delivery units are in the Washington District of the WestPac Area and have a combined total of 135 city routes and 12 rural routes. Staffing at the delivery units during our audit included 155 full-time city carriers, one part-time city carrier, 17 city carrier assistants, 10 full-time rural carriers, two part-time rural carriers, two rural replacement carriers, 32 full-time clerks, and six postal support employees.

Objective, Scope, and Methodology

Our objective was to evaluate mail delivery, customer service, and property conditions at the Parkland and Lacey Branches, and the Kent and Renton MPOs in the Seattle, WA, region.

We reviewed delivery metrics including the number of routes and carriers, mail arrival time, number of reported delayed mailpieces, package scanning, and distribution up-time. In addition, during our site visits during the week of April 4, 2022, we reviewed mail conditions and delivery unit safety, security, and maintenance conditions. We also analyzed the scan status of mailpieces at and around the carrier cases and in the “Notice Left” areas. Finally, we interviewed unit management and employees.

We conducted this audit from April through July 2022 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards and included such tests of internal controls as we considered necessary under the circumstances. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objective. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objective. We discussed our observations and conclusions with management on July 1, 2022 and included their comments where appropriate.

We relied on computer-generated data from the Product Tracking and Reporting (PTR) system, Delivery Condition Visualization, the Surface Visibility (SV) database, and the electronic Facilities Management System (eFMS). Although we did not test the validity of the controls over these systems, we assessed the accuracy of the data by reviewing existing information, comparing data from other sources, observing operations, and interviewing Postal Service officials knowledgeable about the data. We determined the data were sufficiently reliable for the purposes of this report.

Results Summary

We identified issues affecting mail delivery, customer service, and property conditions at all four delivery units. Specifically, we found deficiencies with package scanning, truck arrival scanning, and property conditions.

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