USPS OIG – Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Funding

Background

On March 27, 2020, the President of the United States signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, enacted as Public Law 116-136 (the “CARES Act”) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act authorized up to $10 billion in funding for the U.S. Postal Service from the U.S. Treasury (Treasury), should the Postal Service determine that it would be unable to fund operating expenses due to the pandemic.

In December 2020, Congress amended the CARES Act, stipulating that the Postal Service would not need to repay the funding. In January 2021, the Postal Service and Treasury signed an agreement regarding CARES Act funding allowing the Postal Service to request up to $10 billion from Treasury for pandemic-related operating expenses. The Postal Service submitted five advance requests to Treasury from March through July 2021, totaling $10 billion.

What We Did

Our objective was to assess the Postal Service’s justification for and use of funds received under the CARES Act, as amended by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, and associated disclosure requirements.

What We Found

The Postal Service prepared advance requests for CARES Act funding according to requirements in the CARES Act agreement with Treasury. Additionally, the Postal Service properly itemized expenses, as required in the agreement, which were accurate, reasonable, and properly supported. Further, the Postal Service recorded, allocated, and reported CARES Act funds according to the agreement and generally accepted accounting principles. Finally, the Postal Service established and implemented effective controls over CARES Act funding. Based on the audit results, we are not making any recommendations.

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