The Office of Inspector General is tasked with ensuring efficiency, accountability, and integrity in the U.S. Postal Service. We also have the distinct mission of helping to maintain confidence in the mail and postal system, as well as to improve the Postal Service's bottom line. We use audits and investigations to help protect the integrity of the Postal Service. Our Semiannual Report to Congress presents a snapshot of the work we did to fulfill our mission for the six-month period ending March 31, 2020. Our dynamic report format provides readers with easy access to facts and information, as well as succinct summaries of the work by area. Links are provided to the full reports featured in this report, as well as to the appendices.
Just one year ago, when we issued our Spring 2019 Semiannual Report to Congress (SARC), we were returning to work after the longest government shutdown in history. Now, as this SARC period was coming to a close, we find ourselves amid an unprecedented global health crisis. Like all other federal agencies and businesses, the U.S. Postal Service and our office have had to adjust operations and look to technology to carry out our respective missions in response to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. And in uniquely fraught times like these, when people and even entire communities must isolate themselves for protection, the Postal Service’s constitutional mandate “to bind the nation together” is never more important — or challenging.
This hasn’t been easy for anyone. I am proud of my staff, as we are able to continue our mission of ensuring efficiency, accountability, and integrity in the Postal Service with minimal disruption, while also doing our very best to keep everyone safe.
Our audits during this reporting period continued to focus on operational issues, such as a nationwide assessment of customer service and delivery scanning. We also reviewed the Postal Service’s information technology network performance and infrastructure, as well as its efforts to reduce turnover among non-career employees. We assessed management structure at the Postal Service, specifically regarding how districts are ranked and how operational manager and supervisor positions are allocated at the area, district, and facility levels. That’s just a quick sampling of our audit work during this period, as you’ll see in the following pages.
Our investigations reveal the extent to which illicit narcotics in the mail continues to be an issue. It’s not uncommon for our investigators to work jointly with their counterparts at other agencies, such as the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and other IG offices, because the cases often cross multiple lines of jurisdiction, affecting many law enforcement organizations. And it’s not just trafficking organizations shipping drugs to their networks via the mail. Traffickers are also recruiting Postal Service employees to facilitate shipments and delivery. In addition, our agents successfully closed cases involving mail theft as well as health care fraud by providers, claimants, or both.
This report, submitted pursuant to the Inspector General Act, outlines our work and activities for the six-month period ending March 31, 2020. During this period, we issued 66 audit reports, management advisories, and white papers, and the Postal Service accepted 93 percent of our recommendations. We completed 1,174 investigations that led to 401 arrests and more than $405 million in fines, restitutions, and recoveries, more than $77.7 million of which was turned over to the Postal Service.
I look forward to working with all stakeholders as we address the challenges ahead, as we maintain our focus amid an ongoing pandemic. As the crisis evolves and its impact on the financial condition of the Postal Service becomes clearer, I am confident the OIG will continue to play a key role in ensuring the integrity and accountability of America’s Postal Service, its revenue and assets, and its employees.