Objective

During fiscal year (FY) 2017 and 2018, the Postal Service hired 165,543 employees nationwide. Applicants must complete the initial pre-screening process, which is the first step in determining suitability for an initial job offer. The pre-screening process includes conducting the interview, drug screening, and local criminal background check.

Upon acceptance of the job offer and to further assess suitability, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service conducts a more in-depth background investigation called the National Agency Check with Inquiries (NACI).

NACI investigations are conducted for all newly hired employees as part of the post-hiring process. Based on the NACI results, the Postal Service makes a final suitability determination and the employee is either retained or separated. During the hiring process, controls are implemented to help ensure that appropriate due diligence (reviews, approval certifications, justifications, etc.) is applied.

Our objective was to assess the U.S. Postal Service’s employee background screening process to determine whether individuals selected for employment are suitable to maintain the safety and security of the mail and uphold public trust in the Postal Service. Our focus was employees with either a criminal hit on the pre-screening assessment, or unfavorable NACI results.

We conducted a two-part statistical sample to review a total of 401 employees hired nationwide during FYs 2017 and 2018. The sample was comprised of:

  • Two hundred of 5,269 employees who were hired with a criminal hit on their pre-screening background check; and
  • Two hundred and one of 6,273 employees who were hired and received an unfavorable NACI determination.

What the OIG Found

The Postal Service did not always adhere to background screening requirements in determining applicant suitability for employees with either a criminal hit on the pre-screening assessment, or unfavorable NACI results.

Of the employees we sampled who were hired with a criminal hit on their pre-screening background check:

  • Twenty-one percent (42 of 200), or 1,106 projected over the universe, had no evidence of the required hiring approval certification.
  • Four percent (seven of 200), or 211 projected over the universe, had no evidence of the required NACI investigation being conducted. Two individuals are currently employed with the Postal Service, and five have separated from the agency.

We also identified:

  • Thirty-four percent (135 of 401) of the employees, or 3,902 projected over the universe, did not have a NACI Certificate of Completion maintained in their electronic Official Personnel Folders (eOPF), as required.
  • There are inconsistent practices among the districts related to making final suitability determinations and maintaining adequate justification documentation.

These conditions occurred because the current hiring process lacks controls to validate compliance with approval certification, NACI investigations, and eOPF requirements. Additionally, for employees who receive unfavorable NACI results, there are inconsistent practices among the districts related to making final suitability determination and maintaining justification documentation because there is no formal policy or procedure promoting consistent behaviors or desired actions of management.

Ineffective controls impact the assurance that objectives are being met, the reliability of information in the decision-making process, and compliance with policy. The control gaps identified in the hiring process increase the risk that employees are not being adequately vetted for suitability and prevent timely identification of noncompliance with requirements.

What the OIG Recommended

We recommended management incorporate a review process to ensure compliance with prescribed requirements; incorporate procedures to enhance visibility in tracking and monitoring of NACI investigations; and conduct NACI investigations for the two active employees without evidence of the investigation on file.

We also recommended management implement a review process to ensure validation that NACI Certificates of Completion are in employees’ eOPFs; and establish a formal policy designating the authority to make final suitability determinations for employees who receive unfavorable NACI results.

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Comments (37)

  • anon

    I submitted my application and all relevant information for the NACI/SF85 background check back on June 18th. I have not received confirmation that I have cleared the background check since then. I spoke with in HR representative on August 3rd and was told my clearance was still pending. Can someone tell me why the clearance is taking so long and if there is anything I can do to accelerate this process?

    Aug 21, 2020
  • anon

    Can you work dor USPS with drug felons? Its been twn years.

    Aug 19, 2020
  • anon

    Good Morning I’m trying to reset my password but it’s not allowing me too can you please assist me this thank you hope to hear from you soon

    Aug 18, 2020
  • anon

    I accepted the conditional offer on July 10 of this year and have come in for fingerprinting and paperwork. When I check my online profile, it still says in process offer (ext). Just wanting to know how I can follow up and/or get more information.

    Aug 12, 2020
  • anon

    i was trying to figure out what i am missing to get the job... i have been getting email that i need to complete form 85. i thought i have done this already. kindly inform me what else i need to do or is it already done. thru email it also said to submit a fingerprint but did not tell me where...

    Aug 08, 2020
  • anon

    I submitted my GIS Background through a link they sent my info to usps in a week nw im waiting on my NACI. It was done in may how long does results normally take because its now July?

    Jul 23, 2020
  • anon

    I received an offer letter on may 28 , accepted offer letter and done the background check on 29 may.I didn't get any drug test or details regarding the finger printing. What I have to do.

    Jun 24, 2020
  • anon

    I accepted an offer, completed all background and paperwork and fingerprints. I start training in 2 days but have not been drug tested. Do they test you after training? Not a word about being tested. Do they profile who should get one ???

    Jul 04, 2020
  • anon

    They are not doing drug test at the moment.

    Aug 17, 2020
  • anon

    I'm in the same situation. Going to begin orientation on 8/24 and still nothing about the drug test.

    Aug 13, 2020
  • anon

    I’m in the same situation passed everything. Never asked for a drug screening. Given a orientation date. I start 8/3/2020. I’m curious to know if you ever got tested?

    Aug 02, 2020
  • anon

    I accepted the job offer how do I schedule a appointment for the finger prints or would they contact me about it

    Aug 21, 2020
  • anon

    Did they ever end up testing you after start date?

    Aug 07, 2020
  • anon

    Did they ever test you, I'm curious and am in the same situation, everything done but the drug test.

    Jul 20, 2020
  • anon

    Same. I have fingerprints done etc.. I will start training tomorrow and have not taken the drug test yet.

    Aug 02, 2020
  • anon

    Did they ever follow-up with you because I’m in the same predicament.

    Jul 03, 2020
  • anon

    Hi I received an offer letter and I accepted it and finish the background check but I could not do the finger printing due to im still in my present job in a different state.what should I do?

    Jun 22, 2020
  • anon

    Hi I was hired last month may 20 2020 completed everything but for some reason my background app vanish out the system so I was ask to get in contact with hr area generalist to resend a link to complete my background check thx

    Jun 17, 2020
  • anon

    Same with mine, now I can't move forward and time is running out before rescind. Contact email has failed.

    Jun 19, 2020
  • anon

    I was sent an email to get fingerprinting. and need to go to a the fingerprinting facility/provider on the USPS site. I have to have a service code and I don't know where to get that I have called the fingerprinting facilities and I need an appointment but I need the service code and need it done in 5 days.

    Jun 11, 2020
  • anon

    I had already submitted fingerprinting in USPS San Francisco and done GIS background check. When I applied for another USPS job for different city within the San Francisco Bay Area, I was selected on Pre-Hire List and now I am asked to do fingerprinting again. Am I required to do multiple fingerprinting and GIS background check for each jobs I was selected for different locations/ USPS districts?

    Jun 04, 2020
  • anon

    I completed the NACI clearance background check for postal service employment but I received an email back saying it wasn't complete. Is there anyway to check?

    May 26, 2020
  • anon

    is USPS using GIS (General Information Service) for background check?

    May 26, 2020
  • anon

    Yes it is

    May 27, 2020
  • anon

    Need a link sent to complete my background check.

    May 26, 2020
  • anon

    I did not get a link to my background check and I do not want to lose this position.

    May 25, 2020
  • anon

    I finished the new hire data collection about a week and a half ago , was just wondering how long it takes to here back on the status

    Apr 30, 2020
  • anon

    When will I get a link for a background check and drug test

    Apr 30, 2020
  • anon

    Did you get a link? I got offer on May 21st & also received 3 email remind that i have to complete consent & form SF85 but i did not get any link from them.

    May 25, 2020
  • anon

    Hey Trang, did you received email from GIS (General Information Service)?

    May 26, 2020
  • anon

    DONT HAVE LINK FOR ME A BACKGROUND CHECK

    Apr 29, 2020
  • anon

    I had received a job offer and now they said I wasn't chosen. Everything I have read said it must be because they found something in your background. There should not be anything to bring a red flag against me. I would like to find out what it was so I can check into it or clear it up. Thank You!

    Apr 27, 2020
  • anon

    Are all drug testing results for USPS and other gov. jobs being delayed because of the corona virus testing?

    Mar 11, 2020
  • anon

    No, Usps is carrying on with normal hire procedure. Process times vary w/ each candidate. Basically don't sit around waiting for the process get another job until orientation date and hire.

    Apr 28, 2020
  • anon

    How long would take to get clearance?

    Jan 27, 2020
  • anon

    I have Fallen victim of this background screening process. I was offered a job to become a carrier assistant. I accepted the offer . I completed my drug test and background screening within a timely manner. It took over nine months for me to get any information of why my hiring process was not completed. For some strange reason, my background check dragged out to the point My conditional job offer got rescinded .I never received any paperwork stating why I was rescinded I never received any paperwork to go on my file from the background screening company.

    Sep 25, 2019
  • anon

    How many people with unfavorable NACI hits have already moved in to management positions? ..and just how high will they continue to climb? Better question, how many people in EAS have felonies?

    Aug 30, 2019