Objective

This report responds to a request from U.S. Congressmen Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch regarding unauthorized timecard manipulations that impacted employee workhours at selected U.S. Postal Service facilities in the Greater Boston District. Our objective was to assess whether timecard adjustments were conducted in accordance with Postal Service policy.

The Postal Service uses the Time and Attendance Collection System (TACS) to capture workhours employees spend on various post office operations. Employees record the amount of time and the operation they work by swiping electronic timecards on an electronic badge reader at each facility. Each swipe records time in TACS and is referred to as a clock ring.

A timecard adjustment occurs when a supervisor deletes, adds, or changes a clock ring in TACS to adjust an employee’s combination of work and leave hours. Time may be disallowed when a supervisor observes or has proven knowledge that an employee did not work while “on the clock.”

When this occurs, supervisors must adjust the employee’s time in TACS and prepare a written entry on Postal Service (PS) Form 1017-A, Time Disallowance Record. Supervisors must also complete required forms for deleting, adding, or changing a clock ring to document the adjustment, depending on the reason.

We reviewed a statistical sample of 199 of 5,150 total timecard adjustments for disallowed time for letter carriers at 13 of 298 sites in the Greater Boston District from April 1, 2015, through September 30, 2017. Based on issues we found for disallowed time adjustments, we also reviewed an additional 50 timecard adjustments involving deleted clock rings and extended lunch times.

What the OIG Found

Supervisors in the Greater Boston District did not systemically adjust timecards in accordance with Postal Service policy. Specifically, 89 percent (177 of 199) of PS Forms 1017-A for 177 were not completed or maintained as required when employee time is disallowed. Of the 22 forms received, 50 percent (or 11) were missing key required information, such as the date the supervisor notified the employee and/or the reason for disallowing the time. In addition, we determined supervisors at one facility deleted 30 employee clock rings and extended 20 employee lunch times without any supporting documentation to justify the adjustment. Further, we referred these issues to our Office of Investigation.

These issues occurred because supervisors were not sufficiently trained in proper procedures for disallowing time, deleting clock rings, and extending lunch times; and district and facility management did not adequately oversee facility supervisors to ensure that they performed these actions properly.

In addition, there was no formal process in place to review and monitor timecard adjustments to ensure supervisors completed forms as required.

Improperly removing employee time could lead to grievances or subject the Postal Service to fines and penalties, according to the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Department of Labor. We identified 470 hours that equated to $20,345 in unpaid wages due to supervisors not properly supporting timecard adjustments.

Finally, we determined that there are opportunities to explore TACS system controls to help ensure required information on disallowing time is captured in the system.

What the OIG Recommended

We recommended management improve training of supervisors to include procedures for disallowing time, deleting clock rings, and extending lunch times; establish a formal oversight process at district and facility levels to ensure supervisors performed these actions properly; and assess the feasibility of using systems controls in TACS to ensure supervisors make timecard adjustments in accordance with Postal Service policy.

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Comments (14)

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  • anon

    Looks like at least 1 week of training is already dedicated to time manipulations, but not in the way you suggest.

    Aug 13, 2018
  • anon

    OIG you should take a closer look at your audit some Supervisors didn’t start manipulating time till after their 6 week Supervisor TRAINING !!!!!

    Aug 13, 2018
  • anon

    That's so amazing learning new tho he

    Aug 07, 2018
  • anon

    Training???!!! For intentional theft from unsuspecting employees? They knew what they were doing. Gotta get that bonus. Theft is theft. Shame on OIG and any other responsible entity who would sweep this under the rug and send these thieves to training. SHAME SHAME SHAME on OIG. Thank you shout out to the news station. They are the only ones in the employees corner.

    Aug 05, 2018
  • anon

    Its funny how OIG has made a reason why this happened without talking to any of the carriers involved. How did they come to such a decision without looking at all avenues. How carriers are treated, is the same supervisor or manager done this multiple times and there years of employment. Who have they interviewed. This opinion is skewed by those who pay OIG to come to such a conclusion. Sad

    Aug 04, 2018
  • anon

    More Training? Will training stop supervisors from stealing time from unsuspecting carriers? I doubt it! training dosent stop someone from morally doing something knowingly wrong ie. Prompt on tacs screen for every time a supervisor disallows time MUST HAVE PROPER DOCUMENTATION (1017a form) IN OEDER TO CHANGE A CARRIERS TIME. OIG this report is a joke you admit management did improper misdeeds but cover it up with the excuse of more training JOKE! A carrier takes a nickel from an envelope you prosecute to the full extent of the law, but you take samples from thousands of manipulations (14,000) for more then 7,000 hours stolen from carriers and that's only a sample because management stopped the union time and is now in arbitration and you call it TRAINING! We have records given to us by management (Information requests) that proves management been doing this thievery since 2009 and probably earlier if given the chance to go back further. OIG if this were happening to your family members would you cover up the thievery? I doubt it! Do the right thing OIG and call for a criminal investigation and restore your honor if not your just another HACK GOVERMENT ORGANIZATION.

    Aug 04, 2018
  • anon

    It really is a disgrace that every single person involved has not already been removed from duty with no benefits to be collected. When you, as an adult, make a decision to STEAL hard earned money from middle class workers, you do so under 1 of 2 assumptions! 1 is that you will never get caught....Thief or 2, if I do get caught I will face zero consequences and take no accountability. Management breaks the contract on a daily basis in the Northeast district and the workforce adjusts and deals with it. But when you have someone who is supposed to be a "leader" stealing from the people they are paid to lead, that in my opinion warrants the carrier union breaking contract and walking out until those involved are fired or at the very least, forced to return to his/her original craft to work side by side with those they stole from. I'd be shocked if the post office success percentages dont plummet as a direct result of this circus. If the employees were smart they wouldn't really go out of their way to help keep those percentages up anymore.

    Aug 04, 2018
  • anon

    It is ridiculous that someone would steal time worked,from carriers, and it sounds like no one is going to have to answer to this crime. The post office is like the Catholic church, when someone does something wrong they move them to somewhere else where they don't know what they did wrong. Someone needs to be held responsible for this crime.

    Aug 04, 2018
  • anon

    With all due respect in your findings in the 2010 audit in NH OIG also recommended training . Training for what? Management/supervisors already have training on TACS where they are told point blank DO NOT DISALLOW TIME WITHOUT PROPER DOCUMENTATION . Boston District management slapped OIG in the face with your recommendations back then and will do it again. Boston management team is only concerned about making numbers in order to get their pay raises "pay for performance" that's what its about THEIR BUDGET AT ALL COSTS. OIG you are letting them off the hook with your weak recommendations you should start a criminal investigation because your findings only prove Boston district managers not only knew about the manipulations but condoned the activity. Your website says report fraud and waste well we did so when is the criminal recommendations coming?

    Aug 04, 2018
  • anon

    Lack of training was DEFINITELY not the issue. They knew what they were doing. Lack of integrity is more like it. This is theft!

    Aug 04, 2018
  • anon

    Fox fake news as somebody who deals with the mail carriers everyday missdelivering my mail they should get time taking away. Everywhere I have moved I would say they should fire the carriers!!!!

    Aug 03, 2018
  • anon

    What a cover-up. Seasoned supervisors around the country have been STEALING time from unsuspecting carriers who trusted management to be honest. It's a crime and all those involved should be held responsible and punished. The trust that was given was broken. To suggest it's a training issue when it's nothing less than widespread thievery is pure poppycock. Come clean. And do the right thing. Gnnnh

    Aug 03, 2018
  • anon

    This report is comical - there are some 100 supervisors in the Boston district who have been identified as participants in this fraud/theft over a prolonged period of time - if craft employees did something like this, they would be immediately removed - yet the OIG chalks it up to insufficient training - and it's no coincidence that this whitewash was released right when the arbitration for the case is beginning - Management's maggotry has no limits.

    Aug 03, 2018
  • anon

    As anonymous says, the report is a whitewash. I was going to comment that the OIG has a keen grasp of the obvious, that they don’t look beneath the surface. But that’s because they KNOW what’s beneath the surface - filth. So it’s not intellectual laziness but a cover-up that allows the OIG to call it a training issue, when, in fact, anyone with any significant experience at USPS knows it’s a selection issue. The criminals above select and promote the already or wannabe criminals below. And the beat goes on.

    Aug 06, 2018