U.S. Postal Service delivery points are increasing each year. Package volumes are rising steadily as well. And so are customer expectations. This paradigm tends to lead to an increase in customer complaints, especially when delivery performance doesn’t meet expectations.
Most people know the start to the TV show Law & Order: In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups… If we were teeing up the OIG for an introduction in that vein, it might go like this: The OIG mission is to ensure efficiency, accountability, and integrity in the U.S. Postal Service. We do that through independent audits and investigations.
This sounds like a math problem on a standardized test: If the amount of mail processed in fiscal year (FY) 2018 declined by 5 billion pieces and total number of workers used to process mail declined by 5,000 career employees (with workhours also dropping by 4.3 million), how much did overtime costs decrease?
Answer: They didn’t. Overtime costs to process mail increased by $257 million (31 percent) in FY2018 from the previous year. What happened?
It was an especially lively six-month period covered by our most recent Semiannual Report to Congress – October 1, 2018 through March 31, 2019. The period included the partial government shutdown in December, and January saw the official appointment of our acting Inspector General to the IG position – only the third IG in our 20-year history. And then there’s all the work we did.