The U.S. Postal Service’s International Service Center in San Francisco, CA (SFO ISC) houses select international and military mail processing functions and a retail unit. In April 2020, the lessor notified the Postal Service that they were discontinuing the facility lease and subsequent discussions about potential on-airport facility alternatives proved unsuccessful. As a result, the Postal Service decided to permanently relocate processing operations to local and regional facilities and temporarily suspend retail services, steering customers to nearby post offices pending a final Postal Service decision on the unit. This report responds to a September 2021 congressional request regarding closure of the SFO ISC.
What We Did
Our objective was to evaluate Postal Service communication and documentation related to the closure. We conducted site visits to the SFO ISC, reviewed documentation, and interviewed Postal Service officials and stakeholders.
What We Found
The Postal Service did not fully communicate and document information regarding the closure. Regarding communication, while the Postal Service began notifying employees, unions, and management associations in January 2021 about closing processing operations, they did not timely notify retail customers about the service suspension and temporary relocation. Specifically, the Postal Service did not communicate the May 2021 decision to suspend retail operations until January 2022. Regarding documentation associated with the consideration of facility alternatives, management stated that there was none as their inquiries with the lessor were unsuccessful. The Postal Service also did not document processing operations service and cost impacts in a timely or complete manner.
The full cost and service impacts of these relocations are uncertain as operational adjustments continue. For example, new sorting equipment has yet to be deployed at the Los Angeles ISC and a final decision on the retail unit remains pending. The Postal Service can help mitigate this uncertainty by ensuring sufficient documentation of future service and cost impacts and timely communication of decisions.
Source: USPS Office of Inspector General