The President’s fiscal year (FY) 2021 budget provides funding of $261,594,000 to the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) for ongoing operational expenses. This document presents perspective and context for our budget needs and planned areas of focus for FY 2021 as well as highlights prior year accomplishments and activities.
The OIG aligns its mission resources to concentrate on the highest-risk areas for the U.S. Postal Service. We achieve significant results with an efficient, lean staff, with only one OIG employee for every 620 postal workers. The Office of Investigations (OI) helps prevent fraud and protect assets by identifying and investigating high impact cases to minimize loss and maximize recoveries for the Postal Service. The Office of Audit (OA) focuses on making impactful recommendations, identifying cost savings, and highlighting postal revenue opportunities.
Our law enforcement staff in OI accounts for more than one half of the OIG by size and requires 69 percent of our overall budget, a reflection of the size of the postal workforce and its nationwide distribution. Last year, this group’s work resulted in over 2,550 investigations, 926 convictions, and almost $375 million in fines, restitutions, recoveries, and cost avoidances. Any reductions in our budget directly impact the number of investigations we can conduct, which is of serious concern as the postal infrastructure is at increasing risk of being exploited by employees and others to traffic narcotics, such as dangerous opioids.
In addition to investigative results, we returned nearly $21 for every $1 invested in our budget in FY 2019. This return on investment (ROI) is more than twice the amount achieved in 2018 and much of this financial impact was due to work conducted by our audit staff, which completed 130 reports and issued 310 recommendations. Their efforts identified $4.8 billion in financial impact, including funds put to better use, questioned costs, and revenue impact.
A fully funded OIG is vitally important in protecting our nation’s Postal Service. The President’s budget of $261,594,000 will allow our organization to maintain ongoing operations in both our audit and investigative offices at current staffing levels.