By Eric Katz – September 19, 2016
The U.S. Postal Service is not realizing the savings it projected when it slowed mail delivery and closed facilities, according to a new audit, which also found the mailing agency was struggling to meet its new standards.
USPS said when it virtually eliminated overnight mail while shifting much of its two-day service to a three-day window in 2014 it would save more than $805 million. In a new report, however, the agency’s inspector general identified just 10 percent of that estimate. A large portion of the projected savings — $679 million — was slated to come from increased productivity. The IG said USPS could not document any savings from boosting its efficiency.
In fact, the IG found productivity actually declined 4.5 percent in 2015, the year after the new operating window change went into effect. The auditors added productivity has dipped an additional 2.8 percent from January to April 2016.
The Postal Service also said it would save $66 million by eliminating premium pay through shifting employees from night shifts to day shifts, but the IG found no evidence of those savings. The agency reported, however, it has cut $64.3 million in spending through labor and parts attributable to the more lax delivery schedule.
The IG found USPS has realized just 60 percent of its projected savings from cutting outgoing secondary sorting and eliminating less efficient machinery.
Postal management overall took issue with the findings in the report, expressing “significant concerns with the report’s content, analysis, and tone.” It specifically said the savings associated with the slowed delivery schedule would be achieved slowly over time. The auditors, however, rejected that premise.
Source / More: Government Executive