The opioids epidemic, which President Trump declared a public health emergency in October 2017, has had a national impact on many people, businesses, and organizations, including the U.S. Postal Service.
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The Postal Service manages billions of dollars in contracts, ranging from multi-million dollar national contracts for services such as transportation networks and IT infrastructures, to local contracts at individual postal facilities. The sheer volume of contracts and the huge dollar value provide opportunities for contractors and employees to defraud the Postal Service.
The OIG helps the Postal Service by investigating allegations of contract fraud, waste, and misconduct. When contract improprieties are documented, special agents present the evidence for prosecution and/or administrative remedies. Contract fraud is defined as any intentional, unlawful deception designed to deprive the federal government of something of value, or to falsely secure from the United States a benefit, privilege, allowance, or consideration.
During the reporting period from October 2017 through September 2018, OIG special agents closed 50 contract fraud investigations, resulting in 10 arrests, 12 indictments, 35 administrative actions, and nearly $25 million returned to the Postal Service.