Protecting Mail Covers in Law Enforcement Investigations

Audit Report – HR-AR-14-001 – May 28, 2014

The outside of an envelope can be an effective tool in law enforcement investigations. In fiscal year 2013 alone, the Postal Inspection Service processed about 49,000 mail covers that were used to protect national security, locate fugitives, obtain evidence, or help locate stolen property.

But significant privacy issues govern the handling of mailpieces and the information on them. For that reason, the Postal Service and Postal Inspection Service must follow detailed procedures before allowing a mail cover.

Lack of Proper Scanning Caused Missed Savings Opportunities

Audit Report - NO-AR-14-004 - May 5, 2014

The U.S. Postal Service missed the opportunity to save more than $2 million annually in transportation-related costs in southern Florida because management did not have surface visibility (SV) system data it could rely on to identify unnecessary transportation and driver workhours, our recent audit found.

Semiannual Report to Congress

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.

Benchmarking Postal Service Retirement Benefits

White Paper – HR-WP-14-002 - May 1, 2014

The U.S. Postal Service is a labor-intensive organization; it spent about $47 billion on compensation and benefits in FY 2013, including about $6 billion for retirement benefits. As part of its effort to control personnel costs, the Postal Service has identified the need to create a new retirement plan for future employees.

Security Lapses Put Vehicle Parts Stock at Risk

Audit Report – DR-AR-14-005 - March 26, 2014

It takes a lot of repair work to keep one of the nation’s largest vehicle fleets up and running. Make that 321 repair garages – or vehicle maintenance facilities – the U.S. Postal Service needs to keep its 211,000 aging vehicles in working order.

These garages must keep well stocked with a wide range of parts – everything from motors and transmissions to nuts and bolts – and maintenance personnel need to follow a number of safety procedures to protect these supplies.

International Postal Big Data: Discussion Forum Recap

May 12, 2014 (RARC-IB-14-002)

“Big Data” — large, complex datasets combined with sophisticated, powerful analytics — is helping transform science, research, and many industries by providing a level of insights  previously unavailable at unprecedented speed. For businesses in particular – including the mail and shipping industries – the knowledge gained from the real-time analysis of vast quantities of data has the potential to spur innovation on a higher scale as well as improve efficiencies and customer satisfaction.

Like, Share, Tweet: Social Media and the Postal Service

April 21, 2014 (RARC-WP-14-010)

No doubt about it, social media has revolutionized the world of communication and commerce, radically changing the way people decide what, where, and when to buy. Accordingly, most businesses and organizations now view social media as an opportunity to reach and engage large customer audiences in ways impossible before: directly, in-real time, and at lower cost.

Enhancing the Value of Mail Follow Up: Discussion Forum Recap

April 3, 2014 (RARC-IB-14-001)

Hard copy communications, and mail specifically, are not not the relic some claim them to be.  Mail can still create a powerful connection with people of all ages. This is especially true when it is well designed and digitally interactive. Although senders pay for mail to be sent, catching recipients’ eyes determines the value of the communication. Without consumer interest in mailpieces like direct mail, catalogs, or bill reminders, the mail value chain breaks down.

Downsizing Postal Service Should Step Up Knowledge Management

Audit Report - DP-AR-14-002 - 03/07/2014

The Postal Service is getting leaner. But as it trims its workforce it is also losing some of its most valuable resources: long- term employees with extensive knowledge that is vital to running a vast organization.

What America Wants and Needs from the Postal Service

February 18, 2014 (RARC-WP-14-009)

In May 2013, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) commissioned a survey to gain insight into what Internet-connected Americans want from the Postal Service, as well as what future role it could play in their lives. The OIG recently followed up with focus groups, to determine not only what people want, but also to identify particular kinds of service they need from the Postal Service. The results are detailed in a new white paper, What America Wants and Needs from the Postal Service.

Providing Non-Bank Financial Services for the Underserved

January 27, 2014 (RARC-WP-14-007)

More than a quarter of Americans live partially or completely without access to mainstream financial services and are often forced to rely on costly services like payday loans or check cashing to cover their everyday expenses. These households spent $89 billion in 2012 just on fees and interest – an average of almost 10 percent of their income.

Enriching Postal Information: Applications for Tomorrow’s Technologies

January 13, 2014 (RARC-WP-14-005)

To understand how the Postal Service might better adapt to increasing market demands for information in the Digital Age, the Postal Service Office of Inspector General worked with IBM to take a high level view of a variety of information-gathering technologies, highlighting those most relevant to the postal industry.

We found industry leaders are technology neutral; in other words, they:

Readiness for Package Growth - Delivery Operations

December 11, 2013 (Report Number: DR-MA-14-001)

Strong customer demand for goods purchased over the Internet has driven growth in the package market. From fiscal years (FYs) 2010 to 2012, U.S. Postal Service package revenue increased by $1.4 billion and volume increased by 445 million mailpieces. The package volume increased in the first three quarters of FY 2013, compared to the same period last year. This growing package segment provides the Postal Service an opportunity to expand services and increase revenue.

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The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) email subscription service makes learning about postal-related and OIG topics easier for you. We hope that you will find it useful to have the ability to customize your emails based upon your particular interests. You can sign up to receive emails for new audit reports, white papers, blog topics, and more.

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