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Audit Reports

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    Alaska Mail Services Report Thumbnail
Report Number:
Report Type:
Audit Reports
Category: Transportation / Vehicles, Delivery / Mail Processing

Alaska Mail Services


The U.S. Postal Service is required to provide universal service to every person in the United States. Most of Alaska’s communities are not connected due to its vast geography and lack of surface highway and road infrastructure. To meet its mission in Alaska, the Postal Service uses airplanes, helicopters, hovercraft, and other modes of non-traditional transportation to deliver mail to 82 percent of the communities that are not accessible by road.

Alaska mail services includes two primary classifications of mail — priority and non-priority service. Priority mail consists of First-Class, Priority, and Express Mail; and non-priority mail consists of in-house non-priority and bypass mail. Bypass mail is prepared and tendered by authorized shippers directly to air carriers for transportation and delivery to rural Alaska, thus bypassing the Postal Service.

What We Did

Our objective was to evaluate the internal controls for mail movement and payment processes of the Alaska mail services. We conducted site visits in Anchorage, Bethel, and Fairbanks the week of May 23, 2022. In addition, we interviewed Postal Service management, reviewed internal controls for mail acceptance, and analyzed air carrier payments and bypass mail program costs.

Report Recommendations

# Recommendation Status Value Management Response OIG Response USPS Proposed Resolution

Develop a plan to complete the
evaluation and implementation of a solution that will provide visibility over mail
movement in Alaska.

Closed $0 Agree

Require shippers to schedule appointments to tender bypass mail to air carriers and have Postal Service officials perform mail and postage verification.

Closed $0 Agree

Establish a standard weight threshold for the verification of shipments by air carriers.

Closed $0 Agree

Backfill the network specialist position so that air carrier performance is monitored and reviewed timely and corrective action is initiated when necessary.

Closed $0 Agree

Establish a review and approval process for air carrier payments and provide oversight to ensure air carrier payments are timely and accurate. Additionally, initiate recovery of the overpayments paid to air carriers.

Closed $346,649 Agree

Issue supplemental guidance to the air carriers to remind them to submit claims within 30 days and provide written documentation to the air carrier when a claim is not submitted timely.

Closed $0 Agree

Coordinate with the Postal Service Headquarters Finance group to establish separate general ledger accounts for bypass mail program costs.

Closed $0 Agree