The Postal Service conducts background screenings to gather sufficient information about a person’s character, reputation, and allegiance to the United States to determine eligibility for appointment or suitability for retention as a Postal Service employee. Postal Service positions require a National Agency Check with Inquiries (NACI), which is the minimum background check needed for Postal Service employment.
An effective background screening process decreases the risk that employees do not meet Postal Service suitability requirements, which may lead to hiring unreliable employees and put Postal Service assets at risk. Starting in March 2020, the Postal Service implemented several changes to improve compliance with background screening requirements, including initiating NACI investigations for all applicants prior to hiring them, integrating the NACI investigations process into the eCareer system, integrating the NACI Certificate of Completion into the electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF) application, and issuing policy reiterating employee hiring suitability requirements.
What We Did
Our objective was to evaluate whether corrective actions taken by the Postal Service in response to prior recommendations in the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General’s Nationwide Employee Background Screening audit report (Report No. HR-AR-19-003) sufficiently addressed the issues identified and further assess the efficiency of background screening processes.
What We Found
Postal Service management’s corrective actions in response to our prior audit were effective and allowed the Postal Service to sufficiently conduct background screenings in accordance with requirements for employees hired in fiscal years (FY) 2021 and 2022. We reviewed a sample of 215 employees hired in FYs 2021 and 2022 and found completed background screenings for 214 (99 percent) employees. However, management did not ensure 88 of 215 (41 percent) NACI Certificates of Completion were documented in employees’ eOPFs during FYs 2021 and 2022, as required. Having readily available access to employees’ NACI certificates verifies for management that employees were cleared and deemed suitable for employment.
We recommended management direct appropriate human resources personnel to upload the 88 NACI Certificates of Completion that were not documented in employees’ eOPFs.