U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s San Francisco Division
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is responsible for ensuring the safety and security of postal employees, postal facilities, and the mail. Postal inspectors are federal law enforcement agents authorized to carry out this mission. They use various tools and resources to conduct their work. For example, postal inspectors are assigned accountable property, including vehicles, and may use other tools, such as electronic surveillance equipment, for investigative purposes. They also use an online database to track case activities, such as logging property and evidence. Postal inspectors and postal police officers are required to regularly take training to maintain proficiency when performing their work.
What We Did
Our objective was to determine whether the Postal Inspection Service’s San Francisco division implemented effective controls related to equipment, evidence, and training. We reviewed division equipment inventories and training records, conducted site visits to the division headquarters and the Sacramento, Oakland, and San Francisco domiciles; and interviewed division officials.
What We Found
We found that the San Francisco division generally followed Postal Inspection Service policy for accountable property, electronic surveillance, and evidence at the division headquarters and three domiciles; however, we identified issues related to vehicles. For example, one inspector had been driving a new vehicle that had not yet received a license plate. The division submitted paperwork to obtain the license plate and received a temporary permit; however, the inspector did not have a temporary permit affixed to the vehicle or a copy in the vehicle during our visit. Division officials confirmed that inspectors should not be driving vehicles without license plates or a temporary permit.
We also could not verify whether division personnel completed all required training from July 2021 through June 2022 because the training records were incomplete or inaccurate. This occurred because the division threat management coordinator does not have a process to verify that training data is accurately recorded in the Threat Management Training System, as required by policy.
We recommended that division officials require inspectors with new vehicles to carry a copy of temporary permits in the vehicle until they receive a license plate and create a process to verify that training data is accurately recorded.