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Focus On

Welcome to our Focus On Features

Every quarter, we summarize a body of our work on a particular subject or issue. You can read an overview of the topic along with highlights of our findings. You will also find links to the relevant OIG reports, which have complete details. Take a deep dive into some important areas of our work.


What is a Universal Service Obligation

Focus On the Universal Service Obligation

December 20, 2023

The OIG has issued a series of reports on the Postal Service’s universal service obligation (USO). As we discuss in the 2014 Guiding Principles for a New Universal Service Obligation report, unlike many other posts, the Postal Service does not have a precise definition of its USO Instead, the USO is generally agreed to be made up of a collection of laws and regulations that sometimes provide only broad guidance. There are, however, some aspects that are clearly defined, such as the requirement to deliver mail six days a week.

Focus on Next Generation Delivery Vehicles timeline

Focus on Next Generation Delivery Vehicles

September 27, 2023

The Postal Service is in the process of acquiring new delivery vehicles, including electric vehicles, to replace its aging delivery fleet. While some will be commercial, off-the-shelf vehicles, most will be Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDVs), which are purpose built to the Postal Service’s specifications. The OIG has published several reports about the Postal Service’s purchase process and preparations. In 2014, we found the Postal Service had not fully implemented its strategy for replacing delivery vehicles because of funding constraints. We recommended USPS continue to pursue its short-term plan of buying some new vehicles each year, while it worked to finalize its long-term plan.

Focus On Work On Retiree Liability Issues Timeline

USPS OIG Work on Retiree Liability Issues

June 22, 2023
Since 2009, the OIG has a done substantial amount of work in the area of employee pension and retiree health liabilities. This Focus On provides an overview of that work.
Focus On Highway Transportation Costs

Highway Transportation Costs

March 1, 2023
Highway transportation is the main method the Postal Service uses to move mail between processing facilities and from processing facilities to delivery units. Contract highway transportation accounted for $6.1 billion in costs in fiscal year (FY) 2022, 59 percent of total purchased transportation costs. In addition, the Postal Service spent $1.2 billion on labor, supplies, and other costs for its…
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The Value of Mail

October 27, 2022
In response to the ongoing concern about postal services in rural areas, the OIG has published a series of reports on this topic. We found rural postal customers value and have a greater interest in using the mail compared to urban customers. The relative size of rural areas is important. Rural areas are geographically dispersed across the country and comprise 88 percent of the area served by the…
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The Importance of the Postal Service in Rural Areas

April 18, 2022
Read this paper to learn more about rural customers need and want from USPS In response to the ongoing concern about postal services in rural areas, the OIG has published a series of reports on this topic.