The USPS Office of Inspector General said the Postal Service exceeded planned and penalty overtime by nearly 14 million hours during the 2019 fiscal year and incurred $521.6 million in “questioned costs” as a result.
Forty-two percent of the Postal Service’s 633,108 employees had unauthorized overtime in fiscal 2019.
“Although package volume grew, overtime costs and hours trended upward and consistently exceeded their planned overtime budgets from FY 2014 to FY 2019, despite declining mail volume and increased employee levels,” the watchdog said in a report, dated August 25. “In addition, management did not always effectively manage their unauthorized overtime or ensure they had complete, accurate, and reliable employee payroll workhour data.”
In a response, included in the report, USPS executives said in some cases overtime is necessary to “meet service standard commitments and obligations for mail delivery” and may be less expensive than “straight-time” compensation due to benefits and the flexibility overtime offers.
The Postal Service has ordered restrictions on overtime hours for clerks and carriers.