The U.S. Postal Service uses an estimated 15,500 highway contracted routes (HCRs) nationwide to move mail between cities and major facilities. The intent of the GPS strategy was to provide the Postal Service with tracking information on HCR routes of over 50 miles every 30 minutes.

In a recent audit by the Office of Inspector General, auditors found several opportunities for the Postal Service to improve and expand its GPS program. They determined existing GPS capability and infrastructure for HCRs had limited data and reporting capabilities because of contractor non-compliance. Fewer than 1,000 HCRs of the estimated 15,500 HCRs were covered by the GPS program, which cost the Postal Service about $1.6 million to implement and maintain. Consequently, the program has not achieved its intended results more than 18 months after its implementation.

Auditors also determined the GPS program offered basic tracking functionality, which they recommend could be maximized by using customized real-time, actionable data and reports in a user-friendly format. Further, the Postal Service HCR data retention polices do not require maintenance of detailed data beyond 120 days for historical analyses and for future HCR planning, contract renewal, and contractual or legal challenges by contractors. Other improvements recommended include use of real-time alerts and enhanced geo-fencing (or assigning geographical borders), fuel analysis and route optimization information, as well as integration with existing systems for enhanced transportation management.

Postal Service management agreed with the OIG findings and recommendations and plans to issue standard operating procedures and schedule training to address GPS responsibilities.

To read this report in its entirety, click here. For more on this topic and if you have ideas on how to improve the GPS program, share your thoughts on our blog.