The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) is an independent agency of the executive branch that exercises regulatory oversight over the U.S. Postal Service, and the Office of Secretary and Administration handles all operations and administrative matters of the PRC. The secretary and chief administration officer controls the obligation of PRC funds and is responsible for acquisition planning, procurement, and supply management. A sound acquisition and contracting strategy and planning controls are imperative to support the PRC’s operational and regulatory needs.
What We Did
The objective of our audit was to evaluate acquisition planning and the internal controls over the contracting practices for the procurement of goods and services under contracts issued by the PRC. Our audit determined whether controls implemented in response to past audits were effective. We reviewed 36 contract files totaling $2,619,329, which included 13 acquisitions using PRC-drafted contracts and 23 purchase orders issued between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2022.
What We Found
We identified opportunities for the PRC to improve internal controls and policy throughout the acquisition planning and contracting process. Specifically, we found numerous instances of missing and incomplete contract and purchase order documentation, inadequate oversight of contract files, and inconsistencies in assignment of roles and responsibilities within the contracting process. Also, the PRC did not always follow their policy requirements for all acquisition types during the scope period. Further, the PRC lacked a policy documenting the closeout process for contracts and purchase order-based acquisitions.
We recommended the secretary and chief administrative officer: (1) update policy regarding purchase order issuance; (2) develop and implement a tool to verify contracting personnel consistently complete, retain, and provide oversight of contract file documentation for each acquisition type; (3) update policy to designate and clearly describe the roles and responsibilities of each individual involved in the acquisition planning and contracting process; and (4) create a policy outlining comprehensive requirements to close contracts, including a checklist of closeout documentation.