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 March 31, 2022. 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
The past six months have certainly been eventful. The end of the last fiscal year marked our 25th anniversary of being the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General (OIG). And this March marked another important event — the passing of the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022. This legislation broadens our role to include being the OIG of the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).
I know we are ready to face the challenges and opportunities this new role will bring. I am so proud of our team for its continued willingness and enthusiasm for change, as we continue to evolve and look for better ways to fulfill our mission. For example, we have recently put all our postal facility-related work under one audit team umbrella. This new group will do quick-hit audits on geographic clusters, allowing us to provide a more comprehensive look at mail processing and delivery issues across the country.
Over the past six months, our work has been both timely and critical. In response to congressional concerns about mail delivery delays in several Baltimore delivery units, we performed audits on those facilities, as well as on the processing plant that feeds mail to them. We also issued two reports — one audit and one white paper — on the Postal Service’s use of electric vehicles. The audit focused on the contracting clauses with the current supplier, and the white paper looked at the opportunities and challenges of the Postal Service incorporating electric vehicles into its fleet.
Our investigations team continued to play an important role in keeping the mail safe as well as returning money to the Postal Service. For example, our investigations team worked on a pharmacy kickback scheme, which involved clinics that were paid to send compound pain medications to a specific pharmacy, with formulas solely designed to achieve maximum payment from the workers’ compensation program. This investigation resulted in a $20.5 million cost avoidance to the Postal Service. Another case involved a married couple submitting fraudulent indemnity claims to the Postal Service. The combined restitution was $79,455.
This report, submitted pursuant to the Inspector General Act, outlines our work and activities for the six-month period ending March 31, 2022. During this period, we issued 51 audit reports, management advisories, and white papers, and the Postal Service accepted 88 percent of our recommendations. We completed 1,473 investigations that led to 448 arrests and more than $113 million in fines, restitutions, and recoveries, more than $14 million of which was returned to the Postal Service.
Looking forward, we will continue to provide essential oversight of the Postal Service as well as evolve into our new role of becoming OIG of the Postal Regulatory Commission. I am so proud of the work our organization has done over the past six months, and I look forward to the changes that await us.