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USPS OIG – Management of the Postal Service’s Smartphones

August 7, 2023 ,

READ FULL ARTICLE AT » Office of Inspector General OIG

Background

The U.S. Postal Service uses smartphones as part of its larger information technology (IT) strategy to access data and systems and store large amounts of data. Smartphones help employees facilitate communications and share on-the-go information and run various software applications based on individual need. Often, these devices provide access to much of the same data and systems that would be available from an office desktop computer. As of February 2023, approximately 25,000 smartphones serviced by nine different carriers were used by approximately 23,350 individuals within the Postal Service to support its business operations and communications. The Postal Service spent about $13 million on cellular services in calendar year 2022.

What We Did

Our objective was to assess management of the inventory, lifecycle, and utilization of the Postal Service’s smartphones. We used a combination of data analytics and personnel interviews to determine if appropriate controls were in place to properly manage smartphones at the Postal Service.

What We Found

We identified opportunities for the Postal Service to improve its smartphone management practices regarding inventory, lifecycle, and utilization. Specifically, the Postal Service did not: (1) maintain an accurate and current inventory of its smartphones in its asset inventory management system; (2) maintain adequate oversight of its contractor’s performance for the minimum requirements for the service level agreements in its contract, resulting in $589,340 in excess payments; (3) verify that only supported smartphones were assigned to its users; and (4) certify that it deactivated the cellular services for employees with smartphones who separated from the agency, resulting in $318,707 in excess payments. These issues occurred because the Postal Service did not follow a standardized process for inventory and utilization reviews, and responsibilities for contract and lifecycle reviews were incomplete or ignored due to the transfer of duties resulting from its recent reorganization.

Recommendations

We made nine recommendations, including to develop processes to validate the accuracy of inventory records; review invoices for service level agreements and verify the accuracy of the contractor’s delivery; replace all unsupported smartphones with supported ones; and verify cancellation of service.

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