Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

USPS OIG – Accuracy of Reported Service Performance

June 27, 2024

READ FULL ARTICLE AT » Office of Inspector General OIG


The Postal Service announced its intent to improve nationwide service performance as part of its Delivering for America plan. Service performance is defined by the Postal Service as the time it takes to deliver a mailpiece or package from its acceptance through its delivery. The delivery time is tracked in the Service Performance Measurement (SPM) system. The Postal Service is required to publish nationwide, regional, and local delivery performance information that reflects the most granular geographic level of performance information available. Additionally, the Postal Regulatory Commission requires the Postal Service to hire an external auditor to conduct an independent verification and validation of the SPM data. Accurate service measurement and transparency to the public is critical to providing information on how the Postal Service and its new Delivering for America initiatives are performing.

What We Did

Our objective was to assess the accuracy and reliability of the Postal Service’s reported service performance. For this audit, we reviewed the SPM statistical sampling plan, methodology, and business rules. We also reviewed the Postal Service’s external audit on the SPM and validated the accuracy of publicly reported service performance scores.

What We Found

The SPM system accurately calculates service performance scores using data gathered from scans made by clerks at collection, mail carriers at delivery, and automated scans from mail-processing equipment. However, we found that the data collected from scans during collections and delivery may not be representative of the universe due to limitations with technology and carrier non-compliance with scanning. Additionally, we found package performance metrics publicized by the Postal Service are missing important context and could mislead readers. We also identified multiple concerns regarding the independence, accuracy, reliability, and completeness of the external auditor’s quarterly assessments of the SPM system and found issues with compliance with generally accepted government auditing standards (GAGAS).


We made seven recommendations to address issues with reported service performance. Management agreed with recommendations 1, 2, and 5 and disagreed with recommendations 3, 4, 6, and 7. Management’s comments and our evaluation are at the end of each finding and recommendation. The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General considers management’s comments responsive to recommendations 1 and 2 and corrective actions should resolve the issues identified in the report. We consider management’s comments unresponsive to recommendations 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 and will continue to work with management through the formal audit resolution process.

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