The Office of Inspector General is tasked with ensuring efficiency, accountability, and integrity in the U.S. Postal Service. We also have the distinct mission of helping to maintain confidence in the mail and postal system, as well as to improve the Postal Service's bottom line. We use audits and investigations to help protect the integrity of the Postal Service. Our Semiannual Report to Congress presents a snapshot of the work we did to fulfill our mission for the six-month period ending September 30, 2023. Our dynamic report format provides readers with easy access to facts and information, as well as succinct summaries of the work by area. Links are provided to the full reports featured in this report, as well as to the appendices.
A Message from the Inspector General
I have always been proud of how much my organization can accomplish every year. In addition to a laser focus on the quality of our work, another key to success is ensuring we clearly communicate our findings to both Congress and stakeholders. With that in mind, over the past couple of years, we have focused on how best to share our work to make it as understandable and accessible as possible.
To this end, this past year we introduced a new, easy-to-navigate website designed to showcase our work. We continue to devote pages to both service performance and election mail and have added several ways users can look at our field operation reviews. We have added an Investigative Case Highlights page, where twice a month we feature recently closed investigations. Over the past year, we introduced a new web product called “Focus On…” that tells a story highlighting our most significant work related to a specific topic.
We have heard such great feedback about these changes that we thought we would try something new in this Semiannual Report to Congress to better tell the story of our findings. Instead of talking about our reports and investigations individually, we have grouped our most significant work over the past six months under five themes: the Delivering for America plan, service performance, labor issues, mail theft, and narcotics. We know these five topics are of great interest to Congress, postal customers, and the postal industry.
While the way we lay out our work has changed, we will continue to provide the summary statistics of our work. During the six-month period ending September 30, 2023, we issued 87 audit reports, management advisories, and white papers, and the Postal Service and Postal Regulatory Commission collectively accepted 91 percent of our recommendations. We completed 1,731 investigations that led to 309 arrests and more than $384 million in fines, restitutions, and recoveries, of which more than $94 million was returned to the Postal Service.
I am very proud of all the work we have done. I hope everyone finds the new format useful.