USPS operational changes had ‘significant impact’ on mail delays, watchdog finds

The Postal Service’s inspector general said operational changes implemented by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and agency executives this summer met legal requirements, but took issue with the execution of those plans, and determined they led to delays in mail delivery.

The IG report released Tuesday took a closer look at three operational changes that went into effect soon after DeJoy took office in June:

  • Eliminating late and extra trips between mail processing plants and post offices,
  • A reorganization of headquarters and field operations, and
  • A pilot implemented at nearly 400 facilities meant to get mail carriers on their routes sooner and reduce overtime.

“These initiatives undertaken individually may not have been significant,” auditors wrote. “However, launching all of these efforts at once, in addition to the changes instituted by the postmaster general, had a significant impact on the Postal Service.”

USPS officials estimated the work hours they would save with these initiatives, but the IG found the agency didn’t complete a study or analysis of the impact these changes would have on mail service — even though, as auditors stressed, the agency was going through “critical employee availability issues” because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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