Delivery Delays – Richmond District
Our objective was to evaluate mail delivery delays in selected delivery units in the Richmond District.
Strong consumer demand for goods purchased over the Internet has driven growth in the package industry despite otherwise declining mail volume. This growing package segment provides the Postal Service an opportunity to expand services and increase revenue.
With this growth, city carriers and non-career city carrier assistants (CCAs) are delivering more packages and fewer letters to more addresses each year. To accommodate these changes, the Postal Service must adapt to this changing mail mix while maintaining service and efficiency. Meeting these expectations is key to maintaining customer confidence in the Postal Service.
The Postal Service’s goal is for 95 percent of city carriers to return from street operations before 5 p.m., and 100 percent by 6:00 p.m. By achieving this goal, the Postal Service can meet its 24-hour operational requirement to collect, distribute, and deliver mail on time.
This audit responds to concerns raised about mail service in selected post offices in the Richmond District. Customers complained their mail was not delivered, tampered with, damaged, and mis-delivered. The Richmond District has 74 delivery units, 1,415 city routes in the Delivery Operations Information System, and 1,064,670 city delivery points. Our analysis of key city delivery performance indicators including carriers returning after 7 p.m., overtime hours used, and customer complaints identified 16 delivery units with poor performance. Read More
No-Fee Post Office Boxes
The Postal Service offers no-fee post office (PO) box service to customers who do not receive any form of carrier delivery. Customers apply for the no-fee PO box service by completing an application and providing identification to a Postal Service employee. Retail personnel determine customer eligibility and enter data into the Web Box Activity Tracking System (WebBATS), a web-based application that allows retail personnel to manage PO box inventory.
As of March 1, 2018, the Postal Service had about 21.2 million PO boxes at 33,034 retail units. This included 1.3 million no‑fee PO boxes at 12,556 retail units. We estimated the total rental value of the no-fee PO boxes was about [redacted] million annually.
We visited three retail units in the Western Area to obtain an understanding of the no-fee PO box process. We expanded our coverage by statistically selecting 205 retail units that offered no-fee PO boxes. Using high‑risk analytics, such as multiple boxes assigned to one street address and unpaid fees for additional boxes, we visited an additional 12 retail units from the statistical sample of 205 retail units to validate the data. Finally, per management’s request, we visited an additional two retail units.
In total, we visited 17 retail units and reviewed 1,731 no-fee PO boxes corresponding to those units from October 24, 2017, through January 19, 2018.
Our objective was to determine whether internal controls over no-fee PO boxes were effective to ensure only eligible customers received the service.