In this factional postal world, a lot of people seem to agree on one thing: U.S. Postal Service workers should wear uniforms, regardless of position or career status.

Comments to two previous blogs on postal uniforms support that assessment. In 2012, we ran a blog asking if rural carriers – who aren’t required to wear uniforms – should have a uniformed shirt of some kind. The response was overwhelmingly positive, as it was to a blog two years ago on uniform allowance for temporary workers.

More than 300,000 employees are eligible to participate in the Postal Service’s Uniform Program, which gives eligible employees – including letter carriers, clerks, and postal officer employees – access to a Uniform Allowance Purchase Card (UAPC) to buy approved uniform items from licensed vendors. Our recent audit report found many areas needing improvement in the program.

For example, we identified more than 2,000 purchases from non-licensed vendors during our review period. We also found employees had used the UAPC to buy non-approved items, such as flashlights, knives, and batteries. We also found license agreement documentation that was missing proper signatures. Finally, we were able to place uniform orders online and in stores with licensed vendors without having to prove we were postal employees.

We recommended management strengthen validation and reporting processes. We also recommended USPS institute a periodic reconciliation process of vendor sales transactions to the approved vendors list to identify transactions at non-licensed vendors.

Let us know if you have experienced any issues with the Uniform Program.

Comments (4)

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  • anon

    "Rural" carriers should at least wear a USPS shirt and receive an allowance for purchasing 2 or 3. A friend lives in a very safe neighborhood that for the first time in a decade recently had cars broken into. He and his wife saw an unfamiliar person on their Ring camera about 10 minutes after leaving their house. He looked into one of their vehicles on the way to the door and was carrying a black object in one hand. This carrier was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and had long unkempt hair, and an unmarked car. My friend called the police who responded but then they learned from a neighbor it was the local USPS carrier. This could be a very dangerous situation for the Carrier. Yes I know anyone can impersonate with uniforms and marking, but some attempt should still be made in that regard. Also how about simple magnetic signs for the vehicles?

    Jul 13, 2020
  • anon

    I am a uniform rep for a national company. I hear comments from several carriers bragging about about the leather coats and dress shoes purchased on their citicard, and written up by merchant as authorized shoes. I have occasionally been asked to to falsify similar items, which i have refused to do, whereupon they do online orders to get their desired items.

    Feb 29, 2020
  • anon

    YES All Postal Carriers should wear an approved Uniform, that will identify them. But, only window clerks, city carriers and maintenance employees are getting an allotment to buy uniforms. Rural Carriers DO NOT get any allowance, Contract Carriers either. And is not stated in their contracts to do it either.

    Dec 05, 2019
  • anon

    so, our station has a lot of problems. I'm educated. So, it's not lost on me the sheer dumbness (I know, not a real word) of the managers. But I'm not even blowing off steam. So what they are doing now, or really, what one of them is doing now, is they are giving people a hard time about the appearance of their uniforms. It's Florida. You get pit-stains after one day. Yep. We can't walk around in hi heels. The problem is, I wasn't given a uniform allowance well into the regular-carrier portion of my career. So, my question, can I get that money back? I would love to have all the stuff I need. But I don't. So I don't have enough socks because I always got extra shoes. Which turned out to be correct. Stuff like that. My shirts are dirty. My sweater has holes in it. My hat strap broke. Yep. My the plastic webbing in my wicker rain-style-hat broke. My strap on my bag broke. What can I do?

    Nov 28, 2019