(September 8, 2014) Postal Service managers in the Eastern region aren’t monitoring refunds at post offices even though they increased by millions over the last few years, an Aug. 27 USPS inspector general report says.
For 2011 through 2013, post office refunds in the East increased by $2 million–from $6.8 million to $8.8 million–while associated revenue decreased by about $4 million–from about $600 million to about 596 million, the report (pdf) says.
But despite the recent uptick, Eastern area and district managers aren’t monitoring refunds because they aren’t required to do so under current USPS policy.
Managers also said they had limited resources and lack the funds since they consider financial risk from errors to be a low priority, the report says.
But without monitoring refunds, the risk of fraud against the Postal Service greatly increases, the IG says.
“Specifically, the Postal Service issues refunds when labels or meter strips are damaged or printed in error and voided,” the report says. “Accordingly, a clerk might affix labels to mail in lieu of stamps and then process a refund to obtain funds.”
The IG recommended the head of Eastern Area Operations for the USPS require area managers to monitor unit-level refunds and verify those refunds aren’t fraudulent.