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Audit Reports
Category: Service Performance, Delivery / Mail Processing

Transfer of Mail Processing Operations from Selected Facilities


In April 2021, the U.S. Postal Service announced that, due to declining mail volume, it would relocate or remove unnecessary letter and flat sorting equipment as appropriate from 18 selected facilities to make space for package processing.

What We Did

Our objective was to review the Postal Service’s plan to transfer processing operations from 18 mail processing facilities to analyze adherence to established policy and identify any associated risks and opportunities. For this audit, we obtained implementation plans, reviewed Postal Service handbooks, interviewed Postal Service managers, and performed site observations.

What We Found

The Postal Service considers transferring operations from these facilities to be more simplistic than consolidations, and refers to them as “operational mail moves,” which are not defined in policy. While the Postal Service did complete project plans and individual implementation plans for the 18 mail moves, the plans did not account for all cost impacts or require retention of any supporting analysis. Additionally, the Postal Service did not update feasibility studies for eight of the facilities that met the definition of a consolidation. We also found that the Postal Service did not update its policy to reflect the organizational restructure. While the Postal Service has broad authority to run its operations, following established policy for consolidations and establishing policy for less extensive mail moves is important to ensure that risks and opportunities are fully analyzed and transparent.

Report Recommendations

# Recommendation Status Value Management Response OIG Response USPS Proposed Resolution

Develop a policy that defines and provides guidance for executing operational mail moves, which includes the requirement to perform formal analysis of potential impact and identifying risks and opportunities.

Open $0 Agree

Implement Handbook PO-408, Area Mail Processing Guidelines, Section 2-1, when removing remaining mail processing equipment and operations from facilities.

Open $0 Agree

Revise Postal Service Handbook PO-408, Area Mail Processing Guidelines, to include a timeframe for implementing a consolidation after a feasibility study has been approved and to reflect the organizational restructure.

Open $0 Agree