The U.S. Postal Service is obligated to maintain the safety and security of its employees, mail, and assets to preserve the public’s trust. It must also uphold public confidence in the reliability and integrity of Postal Service personnel, including both Postal Service and contract drivers who handle and transport mail between facilities. In its Delivering for America plan, the Postal Service describes how it will build upon existing safety programs to create the safest and healthiest environment possible for its employees, and empower employees to identify, record, and report safety concerns with the goal of reducing all kinds of accidents.
What We Did
Our objective was to assess the safety and security aspects of the Postal Service’s surface transportation network. To accomplish our objective, we conducted reviews at eight mail processing facilities nationwide to determine whether contract drivers had current security clearances and visibly displayed identification badges while working, and that proper forms were completed for badge irregularities. We also identified safety and security concerns that pose a potential threat to employees, the public, mail, and/or assets.
What We Found
We found the Postal Service did not obtain security clearances for contract drivers; contract drivers did not have valid and properly displayed identification badges; and proper forms were not always completed to document badge irregularities. Additionally, the Postal Service did not comply with safety and security policies for securing transported mail or cargo, nor with motor vehicle accident observation guidelines. Also, safety and security maintenance items were not executed timely to make necessary repairs to facilities. When the Postal Service does not enforce proper safety and security measures, there is an increased risk of lost, damaged, or stolen mail and an increased risk of accidents and injuries to employees.
We provided five recommendations to address the issues identified with contract driver identification badges and security clearances. Additionally, we recommended the Postal Service issue guidance on management oversight, including directing facility management to enforce and monitor compliance of identified safety and security deficiencies. We also recommended the Postal Service re-issue guidance and reiterate the importance of consistently observing the post-motor vehicle accident process, and finally, we provided recommendations to develop and implement plans to identify and address repair issues and to track completion of maintenance items in a timely manner.