According to the audit, more than half the keys used by mail carriers to open the big blue collection boxes on city sidewalks – known as arrow keys – are routinely “unaccounted for.” The report stated that of the 40 keys assigned to that post office, nine were not listed in the inventory log and 17 that were listed on the log could not be located.
Missing arrow keys, the audit report states, can result in an increased threat of undelivered mail and even mail theft.
“These thefts damage the Postal Service’s reputation and diminish public trust in the nation’s mail system,” the report said.
The audit blamed the post office’s management for the missing arrow keys, saying that it “did not properly manage and safeguard arrow keys because they did not have proper oversight of their inventory.”
“Specifically, management had carriers share the keys and did not have them sign in and out for the keys as accountability was transferred from one carrier to another,” the report clarified. “Instead, management would gather the keys at the end of the night to see if they were all there and, if not, they would wait until the following day and ask the carrier if they had the key.”
The audit also noted that between July and September 2022, nearly half – 49.87% – of routine deliveries were in fact scanned by carriers as “Delivery Attempted – No Access to Delivery Location.”