Post Office Box™ (PO Box) optional delivery service is available at over 31,000 postal facilities. The U.S. Postal Service has over 21 million PO Boxes and collected [redacted] in PO Box rent for fiscal year 2015.
Customers prepay to rent PO Boxes for 3, 6, or 12 months and can renew them beginning 30 days before the service period ends. Postal Service personnel manually block PO Box access on the first of the month for unpaid renewals. They close PO Boxes for non-payment after a 10-day grace period and return all mail to senders. In addition they reconcile PO Box rent receipts between financial and management systems, and complete PO Box annual audit reviews.
This audit was based on an allegation that a New Jersey Post Office had not collected PO Box rents since February 2013. Our objective was to assess the management of PO Box rent revenue.
What the OIG Found
The Postal Service could improve management of its PO Box revenue. At the sites we visited personnel did not always:
- Perform daily PO Box rent receipt reconciliation between financial and management systems.
- Perform manual procedures to prevent access to PO Boxes or timely stop delivery and return all mail to senders for customers who have not paid their PO Box rent.
- Identify all discrepancies in the PO Box annual audit review report. In addition, they could not locate a copy of the latest annual audit report.
These issues occurred because controls did not exist to ensure performance of these manual procedures and to complete the PO Box annual audit review. We believe these issues extend to all facilities that rent PO Boxes and, thus, believe any corrective actions should be taken nationwide. Controls could improve operations and decrease the risk that PO Boxes remain open without payment.
We did not find sufficient evidence to support the allegation of uncollected PO Box rent.
What the OIG Recommended
We recommended management develop and implement controls to ensure personnel complete reconciliations between financial and management systems. We also recommended management establish controls to ensure personnel complete manual PO Box billing procedures and correctly complete the PO Box annual audit review.