USPS OIG Report: Fiscal Year 2017 Statistical Tests


Origin-Destination Information System – Revenue, Pieces, and Weight (ODIS-RPW) is the primary probability sampling system used by the U.S. Postal Service to assist in estimating mail revenue, volume flow, and weight. As part of this system, data collection technicians test and record mailpiece characteristics, such as shape, postmark date, and origin ZIP code. Management observes and reviews these tests to ensure that data collection technicians employ proper procedures and that the data is accurate.

Our objective was to determine whether the Postal Service conducted ODIS-RPW tests in accordance with established policies and procedures.

What the OIG Found

The Postal Service did not always conduct statistical ODIS-RPW tests according to established policies and procedures. Specifically:

  • Data collectors did not properly record mailpiece data in two of 24 on-site tests observed. These issues are similar to those previously reported.
  • Reviewers did not identify one data entry error in one of three sampled digital data quality reviews. These reviews included 826 mailpieces with 9,912 possible characteristics.

These items did not have a material impact on financial statements.

In response to our prior reports and discussions throughout the year on the issues, management published updated Statistical Programs handbooks, provided quarterly training, and corrected the data entry errors.

What the OIG Recommended

We believe actions taken by management to update policy, provide quarterly training, and correct the data entry errors have been effective; therefore, we are not making any recommendations at this time. We will continue to monitor these issues as part of our ongoing ODIS-RPW work.

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Source: USPS Office of Inspector General

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