USPS OIG Management Advisory: Delayed Mail Data in the Enterprise Data Warehouse


This management advisory presents the results of our review of delayed mail data in the Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW), which is a repository for U.S. Postal Service data. The Postal Service’s Web Mail Condition Reporting System provides and transfers delayed mail data to the EDW Network Operations Data Mart (EDW-NODM).

The EDW-NODM is one of the tools management uses to document delayed mail. The Postal Service considers Standard Mail to be delayed when it is not processed, finalized, or dispatched from a specific operation to provide subsequent operations the designated time to ensure delivery by the programmed delivery day. Delayed mail can negatively impact customer service, service performance scores, and revenue.

The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) has a risk model that identifies delayed mail issues at processing facilities nationwide. In June 2015, while researching issues identified by our risk model, we determined that delayed mail data in the EDW-NODM did not match what was reported in the Web Mail Condition Reporting System. Further research determined this issue existed for 15 processing facilities in fiscal year 2015. Our objective was to assess the completeness of delayed mail data in the EDW-NODM.

What The OIG Found

Delayed mail data in the EDW-NODM was incomplete. The Postal Service added two delayed Standard Mail data elements in August 2008, which the data transfer to the EDW-NODM did not reflect. The data elements were added when the Web Mail Condition Reporting System was modified to reflect national color code policy changes. As a result, about 993 million delayed Standard Mail pieces were not reported in the EDW-NODM from August 2008 through December 2015 (or about 2.7 percent of total delayed Standard Mail pieces reported). Accurate reporting of all delayed mail categories is essential to the Postal Service’s monitoring and improvement process. During our review, the vice president, Network Operations, said the Postal Service primarily uses the Web Mail Condition Reporting System to monitor delayed mail, but agreed that EDW-NODM reporting should be accurate and the Postal Service would correct the problem. We are making a recommendation because management has not corrected the issue.

What The OIG Recommended

We recommended the vice president, Network Operations, coordinate with Information Technology to include two modified line items for delayed mail in the EDW-NODM.

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Source: USPS Office of Inspector General

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