USPS OIG Audit Report: PASS Functionality and Labor Savings

Background

From left, Northern New Jersey Distribution Clerk Erik Molan, Customer Services Supervisor Mike Porta and Distribution Clerk Henry Singleton prepare to scan packages using the PASS system elevated above them.

From left, Northern New Jersey Distribution Clerk Erik Molan, Customer Services Supervisor Mike Porta and Distribution Clerk Henry Singleton prepare to scan packages using the PASS system elevated above them.

The Passive Adaptive Scanning System (PASS) is a [redacted] scanning system used in delivery units to scan packages and identify associated delivery routes. PASS enables clerks without route knowledge training to sort packages and provides both visual and audible indicators for routing information.

PASS was also designed to provide greater package visibility through scanning and identify shortpaid (insufficient), unpaid, and duplicate postage. The U.S. Postal Service projected PASS would recover [redacted] million in shortpaid, unpaid, and duplicate postage and [redacted].

The Postal Service approved about [redacted] million to deploy 4,168 PASS units nationwide at 3,869 locations.  Our objective was to evaluate the functionality of and labor savings associated with PASS.

What The OIG Found

During our 40 site visits, we found that PASS units, as designed, enabled clerks without route knowledge training to sort packages using both visual and audible indicators for routing information. However, the revenue protection functions were developed and tested, but not activated, because the related manual functions for assessing and collecting postage identified by PASS were determined to be too costly. Over $300,000 was spent to develop revenue protection functions that will not be used with PASS. As a result, the Postal Service will not realize the [redacted].

The Postal Service has redirected its package revenue protection efforts into mail processing operations rather than the delivery operation. This revenue protection effort is in development and is not projected to begin recovering revenue until [redacted]. The program will address a shortpaid revenue gap projected to exceed [redacted].

Additionally, we found the Postal Service has no plans to use printers, handheld scanners, weight scales, and weight sets for calibration worth $2.8 million that it purchased with PASS. Since revenue protection was not activated this $2.8 million equipment investment is at risk of loss or misuse because it is not being safeguarded and repurposed.

In the final deployment of PASS (1,137 units), the Postal Service estimated that each PASS unit would save [redacted] workhours per year. The Postal Service did not include this workhour calculation for previous deployments (3,025 units), but because all PASS units give clerks the same ability to sort packages, workhour savings should be consistent for all units.

When workhour savings for the previously deployed 3,025 PASS units are calculated, delivery units save a total of about [redacted] million workhours annually, or almost [redacted] million.

What The OIG Recommended

We recommended management ensure the future revenue protection function for packages be implemented; establish a program to secure, repurpose or dispose of the printers, handheld scanners, weight scales, and weight sets for calibration; and reduce delivery unit workhours by about [redacted] million annually.

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