Objective

This report responds to an August 7, 2020, congressional request regarding concerns that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s modifications to U.S. Postal Service staffing and policies had an adverse effect on Postal Service operations, leading to slower and less reliable mail delivery. This report also responds to a number of recent similar congressional requests. We are issuing a separate report to the Postmaster General which details these issues with recommendations for corrective action.

Our objective was to address specific concerns related to Postal Service changes put in place after the Postmaster General was sworn in on June 15, 2020, and their effect on operations; whether the changes comply with internal policies and legal requirements and sufficient notice was provided to Congress and customers; and whether the Postmaster General complied with ethical requirements.

The Postal Service is required to fulfill its universal service obligation and meet other statutory obligations in a self-sufficient manner by covering its costs through revenue generated from the sale of its products and services. Since 2007, the Postal Service has experienced sizeable financial losses, resulting from a combination of legislative and economic factors, as well as the shift in consumer and business behavior toward digital correspondence, transactions, and advertising. In its 2020 Integrated Financial Plan, the Postal Service projected a net loss of $7.6 billion for fiscal year (FY) 2020.

Unexpected at the time of these projections was the global novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease outbreak. The effects of this pandemic are still being felt across the country and its impact on the Postal Service continues to be significant. While the Postal Service experienced a sizeable increase in package volume in the initial months following the emergency declaration, letter and flat mail volume has declined by up to 20 percent since the pandemic began in March 2020.

As we have noted in a series of reports, the Postal Service has struggled in recent years to meet mail service performance standards, which it measures based on mail speed and reliability. In FY 2019, it met annual performance targets for only seven of 22 mail products (32 percent). Our recent reports have also noted that the Postal Service has numerous opportunities for greater efficiencies and cost savings.

On May 6, 2020, the Postal Service’s Board of Governors announced its selection of Louis DeJoy to serve as the 75th Postmaster General. In his remarks at an August 7, 2020, Board of Governors meeting, Mr. DeJoy announced implementation of an organizational realignment and noted that the Postal Service’s financial position was dire, stemming from substantial declines in mail volume, a broken business model, and a management strategy that has not adequately addressed these issues. Given the current situation, he noted it was critical that the Postal Service review operations and make necessary adjustments.

Conclusion

In June and July 2020, Postal Service operations executives initiated various significant cost reduction strategies on top of three initiatives the Postmaster General launched to achieve financial targets. No analysis of the service impacts of these various changes was conducted and documentation and guidance to the field for these strategies was very limited and almost exclusively oral. The resulting confusion and inconsistency in operations at postal facilities compounded the significant negative service impacts across the country.

Although the Postal Service followed applicable legal and policy requirements regarding notification of the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), these requirements are limited. We also found that documentation of the operational changes provided to Congress and customers was generally accurate but incomplete. Information the OIG reviewed to date indicates that Mr. DeJoy has met the ethics requirements related to disclosure, recusal, and divestment.

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Comments (28)

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  • anon

    The expense of using USPS keeps going up, but the service is getting worse and worse. I cannot depend on my letters, cards, etc. to be delivered in a timely manner. Many times in recents months I have mailed the same type of envelope, letter, and priced postage. Only to have some be received and others returned. Also I tried calling the USPS Customer Care Line and two of my local Post Offices. The automated helpline is impossible to use. The local offices phone either did not answer or had a busy signal? I called all more than once. I actually wish some company would give our now failing USPS a run for the money on first class mail and dependable delivery and prices.

    Nov 17, 2020
  • anon

    We have a lot of problems with our mail being delivered to the wrong address, missing packages, now after my last complaint about a missing package, we now are not getting our daily informed mail for the past month and a half it’s an email with a blank envelope. I didn’t even report the missing credit card that obviously was delivered to the wrong address. There is no attention to detail with these contractors. Very frustrating that someone can’t even put mail in the right box.

    Nov 14, 2020
  • anon

    I live in Eden Utah. Our neighbors one street over have mail delivery. We are told no delivery will be honored here. No reasons just get a PO Box or put up neighborhood mail box station ( at our expense). My question is can we be denied mail delivery? Thank you. Melinda

    Nov 14, 2020
  • anon

    I cannot go any faster!! 200 packages (all sizes from metal desks to pill bottles), 4 different pcs door-to-door mailings, trays of letters and tubs of flats ( magazines, large size envelopes ) AND 650 stops....al with-in 20 mile radius. 745 start...I am lucky to be done 5pm. This entails me peeing in a container in back of truck ( its a 20 min pee break just to drive to restroom , use it, drive back to where I left off) & NO breaks.....I guess being stopped and asked about a package that is coming...not here yet...but coming...could be considered a break. I have learned to drive , hold mail for next box , and eat a carrot all at same time...been doing this 26 yrs. Mail carriers are excellent at multi-tasking ....we have no choice...be back by dispatch... no matter what. I cannot pull around corner to switch trays and get next section of parcels closer for me to reach...(no shelves in trucks, packages on top of mail and ea other), without someone coming up to truck as I am straddling boxes, because either they need directions or hand me a outgoing letter. Directions...I was told that we should NOT give directions OR talk about customer service because this delays time we are getting done. I laugh when someone says "the lazy mail person would not get out of truck "due to blocked box by a parked car. Are u kidding me ? How long does 650 stops take? Even 30 seconds at ea stop would be 325 min...OVER 5 hrs , not counting doing all mail, going through ea parcel for sorting, scanning packages, loading truck, getting gas, etc. HOW in the world is this LAZY ??? RUNNING from truck to house and back is one way of trying to get done before dispatch. How fast do you think I am at 3:00pm after running since 10:30 am ??? As time ticks by, I am getting tired. On the bright side...there are LOTS of jobs for anybody wanting them. $20 hr...crazy isnt it ? $20 hour..WOW...Why do you think we do not have lines out the door for applications?? How many CAN pass drug test and have good driving record ??? Both of these are required. Im glad I made it to 60 with 26 yrs in. these last 8 have been pure hell. I never would guess I would be carrying metal desk from target , weighing 59 #, or a heating , going up steps to a door. I def would have not taken job in 1993 the way it is now. Im lucky, I will get pension and gap-pay for SSI until 62, then full SSI. The next person in my office has 10 yrs to go. I doubt if the jobs will be there that will qualify a pension. This is just tip of what is going on. I worked in service industry for 12 yrs before PO. The service part has left. We only need worry about packages... not mail...not being accurate...not waving...just be back by 530. what a sad joke. I am not touching on former Pres Obama who signed new law, that got rid of first class mail being delivered in 24 hrs. I bet no one knows this. This was start of tearing down processing centers and delayed first class mail.

    Nov 05, 2020
  • anon

    Does anyone remember when the mailman, if lucky, had a delivery vehicle to park at the end of a block or street and would walk to every house with his mail pouch on his shoulder to deliver/pick up mail? Now, many postmen or postwomen leave nasty note if a car is parked on a public street in front of your mailbox. And that car belongs to no one at your home. It is so bothersome to actually leave their vehicle to do the job they were hired to do. I think not having to hit every front porch on foot, carrying a big leather mailbag,and in all weather conditions should be considered a daily blessing. That car in the way is a reminder of how much easier being a mail carrier is today. Everybegative note I receive reminds me how much better USPS was and how expensive it has became. It will cost a gold mine to mail Christmas Cards 2020.

    Nov 17, 2020
  • anon

    I understand that President Trump expects as do US citizens that the post office be profitable. With recent changes in processing requirements that eliminated more effective mail sorting machines for bulk mail (specifically political advertisements), the burden on postal workers has increased due to the increase in manual processing techniques. How will this make the postal operations more cost effective? There are major issues as well with working hours and overtime hours putting strain on postal carriers and the budget. Your findings in the above complaint are not sufficient to address what are the underlying issues: "U.S. Postal Service staffing and policies had an adverse effect on Postal Service operations, leading to slower and less reliable mail delivery", and profitability. It's nice to know our Post Master General is ethical etc. but details of his performance to the measures contained in the complaint are incomplete as is the Conclusion above from the Inspector General.

    Nov 02, 2020
  • anon

    the mail delivery at po box and rural delivery has been a disappointment from the lexington office. Local mial is taking three to four days to get from local office to my box. Mail sent on two weks sgo has yet to be received. the local postmaster can give no reason. It is a shame that bills needing attention takes so log ot get to the receiptent. I am disgusted with the service on the local level.

    Oct 28, 2020
  • anon

    Postal Service On-line click-and-ship site has practically been dismantled, leaving only options to mail packages VIA PRIORITY MAIL. This is unacceptable and causes much delay and hardship for customers and local post office staff. What is the purpose of this action? Also, the USPS site no longer serves its customers well, and neither does the Stamps.com site, which refused to accept payment today for package mailing services. Is Mr. DeJoy trying to SINK the U.S. POSTAL SERVICE????

    Oct 27, 2020
  • anon

    The USPS continues to get worse, it should be totally dismantled and restructured. In my opinion, the best overall would be to sell, not that anyone would buy such a failing business. The postal workers on routes no longer wear uniforms but stretch pants over huge rears, tee shirts & sandals. They are on cell phones all the time, disrespectful, and have a don't care attitude. I really don't think there is help. I rarely use them, however, when I do, it will be a total screw up!

    Oct 27, 2020
  • anon

    Ah yes sell the post office...then you would have to pay to receive your bills and then pay ups and FedEx prices to mail a package. Genius idea! The problem is not on the local level. It is way up top. They are sending empty trucks across the country. I am a postal employee but there is nothing we can do to change this. We are here to offer a service to the American people, but we cannot do that if we do not receive the mail. We wish everyone’s packages would come on time because we hear all complaints! Stop blaming lower level and start at the top. We didn’t have this problem before dejoy.

    Nov 01, 2020
  • anon

    Conservatives have been trying to undermine the Postal Service in order to hand it's business over to their keepers. 75 years of funding would be laughable, if it wasn't criminal. Now, with it's destruction from the top for political purposes, it portends the future of the formerly United States...a Putinesque oligarchy.

    Oct 25, 2020
  • anon

    "did not do a study or analysis of the impact of changes but ".....,Really?....And no heads rolled?...Kinda like making a plan to jump out of an airplane without a parachute... You will get to the ground quicker (your goal) but you made no study about the impact of your plan (pun included) on further operations........ And management still tried to weasel out of responsibility?.....Guess you know why almost nobody even bothers to returned your postal post surveys.. This fiasco just reinforces the poor opinion of management... I really dislike writing this but it is all the truth...

    Oct 23, 2020
  • anon

    DeJoy and the current board of governors must be removed. But more specifically the first paragraph of your conclusion makes the problem clear. These people do not value clear communication. Astoundingly these are the people in charge of a government quasi-agency meant to make communication easier.

    Oct 22, 2020
  • anon

    I work for post office for 34 years good it’s about time someone stood up for post office actually they should go private they union and last year carriers were caught dumping mail and they still got their jobs back. Go private so they could fire also carriers are hurt take advantage of overtime going slow Gee really!! Please I’m going anonymous

    Oct 22, 2020
  • anon

    Mail has been majorly disrupted as things I am expecting for over a month as well as bills I have sent a month ago have not been received (and repo threatened). I find this “convenient” and suspect... with all the voting by mail at this time.

    Oct 21, 2020
  • anon

    Under the stewardship of Mr. DeJoy the Postal Service has apparently, obviously, and anecdotally been decimated in its mission to deliver the mail in an efficient manner. Almost no resident has been without complaint regarding lost, or severely late delivery. Personally, everything from our Medications, to magazines have been held up. It is important to note that the Postal Service is a government mandate, not a for profit business, and, as such not expected to turn a profit.

    Oct 21, 2020
  • anon

    I fully support the US Postal Workers and appreciate everything they do to keep us all connected. What I do not support, however, is the decision to roll out operational changes in an election year that is known by all to rely more on mail-in ballots than at any other time in history. Changes, no matter how small, that give the appearance of political interference are unacceptable. Appearance alone is enough to warrant the lawsuits brought about by a number of State Attorneys General. I believe that any and all changes by this and future Postmasters General need to be transparent and made with the individual in mind. No one deserves to receive late packages, ballots, or medications when they need them most. I have worked in corporate logistics, and I can say, without a doubt, that private companies like UPS and FedEx (and Louis DeJoy) do not have these interests in mind. Please continue to monitor and investigate this situation as it develops.

    Oct 21, 2020
  • anon

    You guys can blame Dejoy all you want, but he's doing his job. What he did, he did to save money, stop making it political. USPS is 9 billion in debt. Billion with a B. He could not have predicted covid either. Any big changes for the future of the USPS will seem radical from any outside observer. I'm hopeful they will even award the contract to workhorse (a green electric truck) to help save more on costs. ***Go pick up your medication or ask someone else to do it for you.***

    Oct 21, 2020
  • anon

    He could not predict COVID, but he did not have to do so. He was selected, confirmed, and enacted well after the pandemic had started.

    Oct 22, 2020
  • anon

    Defund DeJoy.

    Oct 21, 2020
  • anon

    I’m sorry but why is information redacted for the data on the service schedule? That is not transparent.

    Oct 21, 2020
  • anon

    If I did half the things DeJoy and the board of governors did, I would be in jail. People ended up in the hospital. With no warning, medications were missing for weeks. That’s after most seniors were forced to switch to telemedicine because we were and are in a Pandemic. Then, you mess up their medication schedules. Veterans were highly impacted by DeJoy’s actions. Still, are being impacted. 40 million Americans are looking at losing the roof over their heads. Children are included in that number. Many people were and are waiting on checks that never came or came too late. It’s 13 days before an election. DeJoy has lost 5 lawsuits and has rebuffed them all. I’ve watched the daily percentage report for first class mail and it’s still below 80% in most of America. Especially in battleground states. This is beyond voter suppression. This is highly coordinated election interference. DeJoy lied about his financial contacts. Just divested 4 months after he was made aware we were aware. How much money did he make in that time? This is also illegal. So, we are up to two or three crimes. I want to believe there is not a two tiered justice system in this country but I am losing faith. DeJoy should be removed. The board should be forced to retire and replaced for allowing this to happen. Side note, having Robert Duncan as Mitch McConnell’s head chair of his re-election campaign doesn’t help American confidence in a fair and free election. They let this happen. Where is the responsibility from anyone? Thank you for your report.

    Oct 21, 2020
  • anon

    I am 65 years old and in all those years I have NEVER seen or experienced the mail being so screwed up as it is now... I have had mail lost and a package of mine passed right by my state and went all the way to Florida... it traveled more than 400 miles passed my resident and had to back track all that way back again. What I should have gotten in 3 days, it took almost 2 weeks... What is going on..? I think the new person in charge has NO CLUE what he is doing and should be replaced... And now I have another package that has by passed me again...I'm Very upset.

    Oct 21, 2020
  • anon

    I'm in the same situation. It's been 12 days and my first class package still has not left our distribution center. I could have walked it there by now. I'll be using other companies from here on out. Disgusting service!!

    Oct 25, 2020
  • anon

    thank you DeJoy for crippling small businesses across america that depend on the post office! great job!

    Oct 20, 2020
  • anon

    Dejoy needs to resign and the Postal Board of Governors should do its job and reverse his damage.

    Oct 20, 2020
  • anon

    Dejoy was appointed by whom? This is one thing to consider, and gives us the answer. . Another example of letting the patient describe the cure. The specialists should handle the problems, not the politicians. Politics and the Politicians should be removed from government and employ specialists to handle the problems. There should be resignations from our politicians as well, and a government of, by and for the people.

    Oct 21, 2020
  • anon

    Us customers that pay good money should not have to have our packages delayed by numerous days because of the election or COVID-19. 8-10 days for a priority package to be delivered is absolutely unacceptable. I will no longer be using your services. How can Fedex and UPS get it right all the time for cheaper prices. Thanks alot for the great service!

    Oct 20, 2020