Background

 

In July 2012, the U.S. Postal Service consolidated rural delivery carrier operations at the Indian Trail, NC Post Office (PO) with carrier operations at the Monroe, NC Carrier Annex. These offices are 8 miles apart in the Mid-Carolinas District. The consolidation increased rural carrier operations at the Monroe Carrier Annex from 37 routes and 34 carriers to 56 and 51, respectively. The carriers deliver mail to more than 69,000 people and service over 34,000 delivery points. This audit responds to a request from Congressman Robert Pittenger of North Carolina to review the consolidation.

 

Our objective was to determine whether a business case existed for the consolidation.

 

What The OIG Found

 

A business case existed to consolidate Indian Trail PO rural delivery operations into the Monroe Carrier Annex. No employees lost their jobs because of the consolidation and it had minimal community impact.

 

We estimated cost savings of $27,554, which is $28,790 less than management’s estimate of $56,344.

 

Our analysis showed management overstated savings for clerk workhours and mail transportation and did not include one-time moving costs in their analysis. We could not validate management’s estimate because they did not maintain cost-savings analysis supporting documentation.

 

We also found Indian Trail rural carriers had 17 percent less workroom floor space than Monroe rural carriers at the Monroe Carrier Annex because the workroom floor was not configured to accommodate increased staff and equipment. In addition, we found that management has no plans to close the Indian Trail PO and that customer service performance results improved after the consolidation and management resolved PO box mail delays at the Indian Trail PO.

 

What The OIG Recommended

 

We recommended the district manager, Mid-Carolinas District, require district officials to maintain Delivery Unit Optimization cost-savings analysis supporting documentation and re-configure workspace at the Monroe Carrier Annex to accommodate all carriers and equipment.