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USPS OIG – Impact of Management Operating Data System on U.S. Postal Service Costing

May 17, 2024
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Background

The Management Operating Data System (MODS) uses a systematic approach to gather, store, and report data on workload, workhours, and machine utilization. MODS data is compiled in the web-based application, Web Management Operating Data System (WebMODS). In addition to its operational uses, MODS workhours and volume data are used in Postal Service pricing and costing activities to create cost pools of similar activities as well as to calculate productivities and determine avoided costs and workshare pricing.Therefore, it is important that the Postal Service uses accurate data so that management can make sound strategic and operational decisions.

What We Did

We performed this audit as part of our mandate under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act to regularly audit Postal Service data collection systems and procedures used to collect information to prepare reports. Our objective was to assess the impact of WebMODS data on Postal Service costing.For this audit, we focused on how MODS data is collected, its impact on costing activities, and monitoring controls.

What We Found

Opportunities exist to improve the accuracy, reliability, and management of MODS data. Employees were not always clocked into the correct operation number corresponding to their assigned function, which can affect Postal Service costing. In addition, management did not ensure computer software code used to prepare productivity calculations was updated. Further, management did not effectively manage the MODS system review process to verify that facilities were using proper procedures and collecting accurate information.

Recommendations and Management’s Comments 

We made four recommendations to address the issues identified in the report. Postal Service management agreed with all recommendations. Management comments and our evaluation are at the end of the finding and recommendations. The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) considers management’s comments responsive to all recommendations. Corrective actions should resolve the issues identified in the report.

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