Audit Report DR-AR-14-006 – 07/21/2014

From fiscal year (FY) 2011 to FY 2013, the percentage of city letter carriers returning after 5 p.m. nationwide grew from 25 to 38 percent. This raises concerns for carriers’ safety and media reports suggest customers are not happy when their mail arrives after dark.

Our recent audit of this issue focused on the Capital District, which saw a 14 percent increase in carriers returning late from FY 2011, Quarter 1 to FY 2013, Quarter 4. We found that processing facilities were not always meeting the times established in their integrated operating plans, which led to mail arriving later for delivery. Also, management did not always properly supervise city delivery operations.

We recommended management adjust integrated operating plans to facilitate earlier mail arrival at delivery units. We also encouraged management to adhere to Postal Service policies and procedures to improve supervision of city delivery carriers. Finally, we urged management to work with union officials to improve safety through steps that could include brightly colored, reflective clothing that makes carriers easier to see in the dark.

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