Background

The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) initiated a U.S. Postal Service-wide series of audits to review its use of data. These audits included discussions about and analyses of the data the deputy postmaster general and the executive vice presidents use.

This audit focuses on the use of data by the chief Human Resources officer and executive vice president (CHRO), who leads the Postal Service’s Human Resources (HR) functional area. This area includes two groups – Employee Resource Management and Labor Relations. Our objective was to determine whether the CHRO effectively uses internal and external business data to manage business activities and mitigate risk.

What The OIG Found

The CHRO effectively used internal data to manage strategic goals and mitigate risk; however, the Postal Service could improve the CHRO’s ability to more efficiently access internal data to monitor and manage strategic goals if it consolidated HR legacy systems. An integrated HR system is in line with the current trend among best-in-class organizations to build comprehensive, end-to-end HR systems to replace stand-alone systems. Currently, the CHRO is seeking funding for an integrated HR system to allow more timely access to internal data.

Additionally, the CHRO did not have access to critical U.S. Department of Labor data that could improve management of the Postal Service’s workers’ compensation program and help ensure accurate billing for workers' compensation benefits. The Department of Labor bills the Postal Service annually for its workers’ compensation fees; however, it suspended Postal Service access to workers’ compensation records needed to reconcile fees paid from July 2013 to June 2014, because it concluded the Postal Service’s use of the data would violate claimants’ privacy rights.

In October 2014, the Department of Labor restored Postal Service access to workers’ compensation data; however, as of March 2015, the CHRO had not given the data to HR staff because it still contained some personally identifiable information that the Postal Service did not require; therefore, the Postal Service had not reconciled data for the July 2013 to June 2014 billing period. As a result, we estimate $13 million (about 1 percent) in disbursements at risk due to potential billing inaccuracies.

What The OIG Recommended

We recommended the CHRO instruct the HR staff to reconcile workers’ compensation data and billing for July 2013 through June 2014, to ensure accuracy. Highlights The CHRO did not have access to critical U.S. Department of Labor data that could improve management of the Postal Service’s workers’ compensation program and help ensure accurate billing for workers’ compensation benefits. 1