oversight

Delivery Delays - Richmond District

Published by the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General on 2019-04-12.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

TABLE OF CONTENTS                        HIGHLIGHTS                              RESULTS   APPENDICES


                    Office of Inspector General | United States Postal Service
                    Audit Report
                    Delivery Delays -
                    Richmond District
                    Report Number DR-AR-19-005 | April 12, 2019
   TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                  HIGHLIGHTS                                                                      RESULTS        APPENDICES

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Table of Contents
        Cover
        Highlights........................................................................................................................................................... 1
           Objective........................................................................................................................................................ 1
           What the OIG Found................................................................................................................................. 1
           What the OIG Recommended.............................................................................................................. 2
        Transmittal Letter........................................................................................................................................... 3
        Results................................................................................................................................................................. 4
           Introduction/Objective............................................................................................................................ 4
           Background................................................................................................................................................... 4
           Finding #1: Untimely Mail Delivery...................................................................................................... 4
                 Distribution-Up-Time.......................................................................................................................... 5
                 Carriers Returning Late...................................................................................................................... 6
                 Recommendation #1........................................................................................................................... 6
           Finding #2: Missing Arrow Lock Keys............................................................................................... 6
                 Recommendation #2.......................................................................................................................... 8
           Finding #3: Customer Complaints Not Resolved Timely.......................................................... 8
                 Recommendation #3.......................................................................................................................... 10
           Management’s Comments...................................................................................................................... 10
           Evaluation of Management’s Comments......................................................................................... 10
        Appendices....................................................................................................................................................... 12
           Appendix A: Additional Information.................................................................................................. 13
                 Scope and Methodology................................................................................................................... 13
                 Prior Audit Coverage.......................................................................................................................... 13
           Appendix B: City Carriers and City Carrier Assistants Delivering on Routes................... 14
           Appendix C: Management’s Comments........................................................................................... 16
        Contact Information...................................................................................................................................... 18
Delivery Delays - Richmond District
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Highlights
Objective                                                                              Our analysis of city delivery operations and customer service data in these
                                                                                       16 units identified:
Our objective was to evaluate mail delivery delays in selected delivery units in the
Richmond District.                                                                     ■■ None of the 16 units achieved their goal of distributing mail to carrier
                                                                                          routes after arrival from the processing center by 8:30 a.m., known as the
Strong consumer demand for goods purchased over the Internet has driven
                                                                                          Distribution-Up-Time (DUT), during September 2018.
growth in the package industry despite otherwise declining mail volume. This
growing package segment provides the U. S. Postal Service an opportunity to            ■■ Over 18 percent of the city carriers returned to their units after 7 p.m. and as
expand services and increase revenue.                                                     late as 10 p.m. in fiscal year (FY) 2018.

With this growth, city carriers and non-career city carrier assistants (CCA) are       ■■ Fifteen of 16 units (94 percent) did not properly manage arrow lock keys (used
delivering more packages and fewer letters to more addresses each year. To                to secure and service mail receptacles), which are accountable items.
accommodate these changes, the Postal Service must adapt to this changing
                                                                                       ■■ None of the 16 units adequately addressed Enterprise Customer Care (eCC)
mail mix while maintaining service and efficiency. Meeting these expectations is
                                                                                          customer complaints. In FY 2018, the selected delivery units re-opened 811 of
key to maintaining customer confidence in the Postal Service.
                                                                                          16,243 resolved eCC cases. Further, 4,453 of 16,385 cases were not resolved
The Postal Service’s goal is for 95 percent of city carriers to return from street        within the Postal Service’s established timeframes of 1-3 days.
operations before 5 p.m., and 100 percent by 6:00 p.m. By achieving this goal,
                                                                                       These conditions occurred because:
the Postal Service can meet its 24-hour operational requirement to collect,
distribute, and deliver mail on time.                                                  ■■ Supervisors did not always use available tools to report operational and mail
                                                                                          flow issues impacting city delivery.
This audit responds to concerns raised about mail service in selected post offices
in the Richmond District. Customers complained their mail was not delivered,           ■■ Supervisors at 11 of 16 units were not effectively communicating daily
tampered with, damaged, and mis-delivered. The Richmond District has                      expectations to carriers to meet performance standards.
74 delivery units, 1,415 city routes in the
                                                                                       ■■ Supervisors did not always use the Regional Intelligent Mail Server (RIMS)
Delivery Operations Information System, “	 The Richmond District
and 1,064,670 city delivery points. Our      incurred $1.7 million annually               and the Delivery Management System (DMS) to monitor carrier route
analysis of key city delivery performance    in questioned costs for                      performance during street delivery.
indicators including carriers returning      unauthorized overtime                     ■■ Carriers were not returning arrow lock keys at the end of the day, supervisors
after 7 p.m., overtime hours used,           and penalty overtime.                        and clerks were unaware of the arrow lock key security policies, and carriers
and customer complaints identified           Furthermore, the district                    did not always sign for arrow lock keys.
16 delivery units with poor performance.     incurred questioned costs
                                                                                       ■■ Management did not follow the customer complaint resolution policy.
                                               $83,899 annually for the
What the OIG Found
                                               processing of re-opened                 As a result, we estimated the Richmond District incurred $1.7 million annually in
Mail was not always delivered timely
                                               customer complaints.”                   questioned costs for unauthorized overtime and penalty overtime. Furthermore,
in the 16 selected delivery units.

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the district incurred questioned costs $83,899 annually for the processing of re-   ■■ Direct delivery unit management to follow policies and procedures to ensure
opened customer complaints.                                                            the security and accountability of arrow lock keys.

What the OIG Recommended                                                            ■■ Direct supervisors to follow customer service policies and procedures to
                                                                                       maintain a customer complaint log and resolve customer complaints timely
We recommended management:
                                                                                       and with customer satisfaction.
■■ Direct supervisors to communicate expectations to carriers and utilize
   operational and reporting tools to monitor delivery operations.




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Transmittal
Letter
                                      April 12, 2019

                                      MEMORANDUM FOR:	 JANICE L. ATHERLY, DISTRICT MANAGER,
                                      			              RICHMOND DISTRICT
                                                                                  Janet Sorensen




                                      FROM: 			                   Janet M. Sorensen
                                      			                         Deputy Assistant Inspector General
                                      			                         for Retail, Delivery, & Marketing

                                      SUBJECT:	                   Audit Report – Delivery Delays – Richmond District
                                                                  (Report Number DR-AR-19-005)

                                      This report presents the results of our audit of the Delivery Delays – Richmond District
                                      (Project Number 18RG014DR000).

                                      We appreciate the cooperation and courtesies provided by your staff. If you have any
                                      questions or need additional information, please contact Rita F. Oliver, Director, Delivery &
                                      Retail Operations, or me at 703-248-2100.

                                      Attachment

                                      cc: 	 Corporate Audit Response Management
                                            Postmaster General




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Results
Introduction/Objective                                                                                      Using eCC complaints, we generated a Word Cloud from customer’s remarks.
                                                                                                            Mail and package are the most common words found in these complaints
This report presents the results of our self-initiated audit of the delivery delays in
                                                                                                            (see Figure 1).
the Richmond District (Project Number 18RG014DR000). This audit responds
to concerns raised about mail service in selected units in the Richmond District.                           Figure 1. eCC Customer Complaints Word Cloud – FY 2018
Customers complained their mail was not delivered, tampered with, damaged,
and mis-delivered. The Richmond District has 74 delivery units and 1,415 city
routes in the Delivery Operations Information System (DOIS). Our objective was
to evaluate mail delivery delays in selected delivery units in the Richmond District.
See Appendix A for additional information about this audit.

Background
City carriers and city carrier assistants (CCA) play a vital role in the operation of
the U.S. Postal Service and are among the most visible employees to the public.
Their office duties include preparing mail and parcels for delivery and loading their
vehicles. While on the street, carriers deliver and collect mail along their route
and return to the delivery unit with collection mail. The Postal Service’s goal is for
95 percent of city letter carriers to return from street operations before 5 p.m., and
100 percent by 6:00 p.m. By achieving this goal, the Postal Service can meet its
24-hour operational requirement to collect, distribute, and deliver mail on time.
                                                                                                            Source: U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) Analysis of FY 2018 Customer Remarks in
The Postal Service has six categories of customer complaints. Two of these                                  Customer Contact Center Report Module (CCC-RPM).

six categories are “Where is My Mail” and “Where is My Package”. In fiscal
year (FY) 2018, the Capital Metro Area incurred 12 percent of the total of all
                                                                                                            Finding #1: Untimely Mail Delivery
areas in Enterprise Customer Care (eCC)1 complaints for these two categories                                Mail was not always delivered timely
and the Richmond District incurred 11 percent of the Capital Metro Area’s eCC                               in all 16 selected delivery units.
                                                                                                                                                                   “ Mail was not always delivered
complaints. In FY 2018, the 16 selected units had a combined 27 percent of the                              Specifically, none of the 16 units
                                                                                                                                                                      timely in all 16 selected delivery
Richmond District’s eCC complaints in these two categories. Over the course of                              achieved their goal of distributing mail
                                                                                                            to carrier routes by 8:30 a.m., known                     units. Specifically, none of the
FYs 2017 and 2018, the 16 selected units had a 2 percent increase in negative
customer feedback regarding “Where is My Mail” and “Where is My Package”.                                   as Distribution-Up-Time (DUT),2 during                    16 units achieved their goal of
                                                                                                            September 2018.3 This caused carriers                     distributing mail to carrier routes
                                                                                                            to start street delivery late and return                  by 8:30 a.m.”
                                                                                                            later. Specifically, we noted that in
1	 The eCC system is a tool used by the Postal Service to track customer complaints that cannot be handled immediately.
2	 DUT is the target time for distribution of mail to the letter carriers. The information is maintained for 30 days.
3	 As of March 5, 2019, the DUT for the 16 selected delivery units was 8:30 a.m.
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FY 2018, 18.47 percent of the carriers returned to their units after 7 p.m. and as
                                                                                                                                                     On
late as 10 p.m.                                                                                                  Delivery           Period                                               Total        Percentage
                                                                                                                                                   Time or      Late     Missing5
                                                                                                                  Units            Reviewed                                             Scans6       Late/Missing
                                                                                                                                                    Early
As a result, we estimated the Richmond District incurred $3.4 million in
questioned costs for unauthorized overtime (OT) and penalty overtime (POT)                                                         9/1/2018 –
                                                                                                                                                       5         19          0             24              79%
for FYs 2017 and 2018. Improving management of operational issues such as                                                          9/29/2018
mail flow and carrier route performance would eliminate excess workhours and                                                       9/1/2018 –
                                                                                                                                                       2         22          0             24              92%
avoid a cost avoidance of $3.4 million in FYs 2019 and 2020 for unauthorized OT                                                    9/29/2018
and POT.                                                                                                                           9/1/2018 –
                                                                                                                                                       22         2          0             24              8%
                                                                                                                                   9/29/2018
Distribution-Up-Time                                     “ DUT late scan times                                                     9/1/2018 –
                                                                                                                                                        1        23          0             24              96%
                                                                                                                                   9/29/2018
None of the 16 units reviewed achieved
their goal of distributing mail to carrier
                                                           ranged from 30 minutes                                                  9/1/2018 –
                                                                                                                                                       0         24          0             24             100%
                                                                                                                                   9/29/2018
routes after arrival from the processing                   up to two hours.”                                                       9/1/2018 –
center by 8:30 a.m., known as DUT,                                                                                                 9/29/2018
                                                                                                                                                       0         22          2             24             100%

during September 2018 (see Table 1). Our analysis identified that the DUT late                                                     9/1/2018 –
                                                                                                                                                       2         22          0             24              92%
scan times ranged from 30 minutes up to two hours. During our observations, we                                                     9/29/2018
noted that all 16 units received mail from the processing center late, incorrectly                                                 9/1/2018 –
                                                                                                                                                       0         48          0             48             100%
prepared, and required additional preparation time by the delivery unit staff.                                                     9/29/2018
                                                                                                                                   9/1/2018 –
We analyzed Customer Service Daily Reporting System (CSDRS)4 data for                                                                                   1        22          1             24              96%
                                                                                                                                   9/29/2018
the 16 units where we noted some delivery units reported instances of trucks
                                                                                                                                   9/1/2018 –
arriving late from the processing center, thus impacting their ability to meet the                                                 9/29/2018
                                                                                                                                                       10        86          0             96             90%
DUT standards.                                                                                                                     9/1/2018 –
                                                                                                                                                       3         21          0             24              88%
                                                                                                                                   9/29/2018
Table 1. Delivery Units Did Not Meet Scheduled Distribution Up-Time
                                                                                                                                   9/1/2018 –
                                                                                                                                                       15         9          0             24              38%
                                                                                                                                   9/29/2018
                                        On
   Delivery           Period                                               Total        Percentage                                 9/1/2018 –
                                      Time or     Late     Missing5                                                                                    0         46          2             48             100%
    Units            Reviewed                                             Scans6       Late/Missing                                9/29/2018
                                       Early
                                                                                                                                   9/1/2018 –
                     9/1/2018 –                                                                                                                        4         20          0             24              83%
                                          6         18         0             24              75%                                   9/29/2018
                     9/29/2018
                                                                                                             Source: OIG Analysis of Scan Point Management Systems Postal Service Distribution Up-Time reports.
                     9/1/2018 –
                                          3         21         0             24              88%
                     9/29/2018


4	 CSDRS is the formal delayed mail-reporting tool that provides timely information to management on mail and operational exception situations. CSDRS provides management with a snapshot of the daily condition of the
   mail and is the formal reporting process of delayed mail.
5	 Distribution scans were missing at
6	 Units with one zone had 24 scans, units with two zones had 48 scans, and units with four zones had 96 scans.

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These conditions occurred because unit supervisors did not always report                                                 delivery service managers should develop and maintain delivery units at a
operational and mail flow problems including late arriving mail, impacting city                                          high degree of efficiency and assure Postal Service standards are preserved.
delivery in the CSDRS and DOIS.7 Per Postal Service policy,8 supervisors
                                                                                                                    ■■ Supervisors did not always use the Regional Intelligent Mail Server (RIMS),
and managers are responsible for managing office operations, such as mail
                                                                                                                       Delivery Management System (DMS), or DOIS tools to monitor carrier route
distribution, to meet daily operational performance and service standards, to
                                                                                                                       performance during street delivery. The Postal Service established DMS
ensure an even flow of mail is provided to the carriers.
                                                                                                                       and RIMS to provide visibility on packages, vehicles, routes, and actual
Carriers Returning Late                                                                                                deliveries in real-time. This information also includes real-time data for the
                                                                                                                       current day activities or historical data of each month for review. According
City carriers and CCAs in the Richmond District did not meet the goal of
                                                                                                                       to Postal Service policy,10 supervisors are required to use DMS, RIMS, and
100 percent of carriers returning to the office by 6 p.m. Our analysis identified that
                                                                                                                       DOIS, to manage street delivery operations.
in FY 2018, 18.47 percent of the city carriers returned to their units after 7 p.m.
and as late as 10 p.m. (see Table 2). For example, at the                           ,                               ■■ Supervisors were not reviewing and approving OT requests on Postal Service
we identified 107 instances of city carriers delivering mail as late as 10 p.m. in                                     (PS) Form 3996, Carrier Auxiliary Control, before carriers left the office to
FY 2018 (see Appendix B).                                                                                              begin street delivery. In addition, PS Form 3999, Inspection of Letter Carrier
                                                                                                                       Route, is one of the tools management uses to supervise street delivery and
Table 2. FY 2018 City Carriers and CCAs Returning Between 6 p.m.
                                                                                                                       shows the route base mail volume, which allows the supervisor to know a
and 10 p.m. at Selected Units
                                                                                                                       carrier’s exact Line of Travel, manage route times, the modes of delivery used
                                                                                                                       and where a carrier should be and at what time.
                      Carriers           Carriers           Carriers          Carriers          Carriers
                     Returning          Returning          Returning         Returning         Returning                    Recommendation #1
                     by 6 p.m.          by 7 p.m.          by 8 p.m.         by 9 p.m.         by 10 p.m.
                                                                                                                            We recommend the Manager, Richmond District, direct supervisors
                                                                                                                            to communicate expectations to carriers and utilize operational and
      Percent           52.10%             81.53%            94.57%            98.56%             99.68%
                                                                                                                            reporting tools to monitor delivery operations.
Source: OIG analysis of Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW)-Delivery Data Mart.


These conditions occurred due to ineffective supervision and oversight of city
delivery office and street operations. Specifically, we found:                                                      Finding #2: Missing Arrow Lock Keys
■■ Supervisors at 11 of 16 units were not effectively communicating daily                                           Fifteen of 16 units (94 percent) did not properly manage arrow lock keys, which
                                                                                                                    are accountable items used to secure and service mail receptacles. Specifically,
   expectations to carriers to meet performance standards. Postal Service
                                                                                                                    we noted that arrow lock keys were missing in 13 units based on the daily log
   policy9 states that supervisors are required to discuss expectations with each
                                                                                                                    inspections. Also, 13 units had arrow lock keys in inventory that did not match the
   carrier every day. Also, if a carrier is not meeting performance standards,
                                                                                                                    daily logs, 15 units had an ineffective key distribution process, and 12 units did
   a supervisor must investigate and discuss deficiencies with that carrier. All
                                                                                                                    not maintain the master inventory key log (see Table 3).
7	    DOIS was designed to provide actionable data to the delivery unit supervisors, assisting them in managing the office activities, planning of street activities, and managing the route inspection and adjustment activities.
8	    Handbook M-39, Management of Delivery Services TL-13, 03-01-98 updated with Postal Bulletin revisions through March 18, 2004.
9	    Handbook M-39, Management of Delivery Services, Section 111.1, March 1998 – updated March 2004.
10	   Delivery Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), Tab 4, City Delivery Standard Operating Procedures Street Management Section, FY 2006.

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The Postal Inspection Service provides security guidelines to protect the mail
from theft during collection and delivery. Insufficient oversight and supervision of
accountable items such as the arrow lock key will put mail at risk for someone to                “ 13 units had arrow lock keys in inventory
steal cash and checks, packages, and to obtain personal information that can be                    that did not match the daily logs.”
used to commit identity theft.

Table 3. Arrow Lock Key Observations




   Delivery Units           Keys           Key             Keys          Master            Delivery Units                Keys           Key           Keys        Master
                          Matched      Distribution       Missing      Inventory                                       Matched      Distribution     Missing    Inventory
                          the Log        Process          Based        Maintained                                      the Log        Process        Based      Maintained
                                       Ineffective        on Log                                                                    Ineffective      on Log
                                                        Inspection                                                                                 Inspection




                                                                                       Source: OIG analysis of site observations.


                                                                                       These conditions occurred because:

                                                                                       ■■ Carriers were not returning arrow keys at the end of day after they completed
                                                                                          mail delivery.

                                                                                       ■■ A night time clerk was not always assigned to account for the arrow keys in
                                                                                          the evening when carriers returned from street delivery.




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■■ Master key logs were not maintained because arrow key security guidelines/
   policies requiring the log had not been communicated to delivery unit clerks
                                                                                                                                  “ Units did not adequately address customer
   or supervisors.
                                                                                                                                   complaints at the 16 selected delivery units.”
■■ Carriers obtained the keys from the accountable cart without signing. At one
   delivery unit, we observed carriers not required to sign for arrow keys, instead
   they just wrote the route number and left for street delivery.
                                                                                                                    Finding #3: Customer Complaints Not Resolved Timely
Postal Service policy11 states the Delivery Service Manager must ensure the
                                                                                                                    Units did not adequately address customer complaints at the 16 selected delivery
accountable items are properly handled. Additionally, when carriers return from
                                                                                                                    units and had 811 of 16,24314 resolved eCC cases re-opened15 (see Table 4).
their routes, clerks are available to check in accountable items as efficiently and
promptly as possible.12                                                                                             Table 4. FY 2018 Total eCC Delivery Complaints and Re-Opened
                                                                                                                    Cases
Postal Service policy13 further states if a clearance employee is not available,
arrow lock keys (and any other Postal Service keys in temporary use, such as
                                                                                                                                 Delivery                    Where is My   Where is My   Re-Opened
for vehicles) should be deposited in a secure location, for instance, a designated
                                                                                                                                  Units                       Package        Mail          Cases
storage box.
                                                                                                                                                                   643        259             0
Because of our findings regarding the lack of arrow lock key security
during our initial four site visits, district management issued instructions on                                                                                    398         213           50

September 21, 2018 to all facilities regarding safety and accountability of the                                                                                   1,104       623            71
arrow lock keys. In a subsequent meeting on November 8, 2018, we informed                                                                                          231         84            27
the District Manager that we noted arrow lock keys were not being secured and
                                                                                                                                                                   861        387            102
policies were not being followed at the remaining 12 units.
                                                                                                                                                                   275         102           21
       Recommendation #2
                                                                                                                                                                   893        422            97
       We recommend the Manager, Richmond District, direct the delivery
       unit management to follow Postal Service policies/procedures to                                                                                             598        220            33
       ensure the security and accountability of arrow lock keys, which could
                                                                                                                                                                   203         81            17
       include posting instructions for returning keys and maintaining key logs
       as required.                                                                                                                                                576        204            48

                                                                                                                                                                  1,878       569            142


11	   Postal Operations Manual, POM Issue 9, 633.42 Arrow Lock Keys.
12	   Handbook M-39, Accountable Property Criteria, Sections 111.2, Daily Operations, Accountable Property, 127 Office Work When Carriers Return.
13	   Arrow/Mail Key Accountability Guide, August 2017.
14	   The 16,243 are the total resolved cases for the 16 selected units and 811 of these resolved cases were re-opened.
15	   A case is re-opened when a customer is not satisfied with the resolution to their case and the re-opened date is within 90 days of the original resolution date.
16	   Includes                                                        .

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           Delivery                   Where is My            Where is My             Re-Opened                                                                                 Percentage
            Units                      Package                 Mail                    Cases                                                            Within    Outside     of Complaints
                                                                                                                Delivery Units        Resolved
                                                                                                                                                         SLA       SLA       Resolved Within
                                           518                     225                     63                                                                                      SLA
                                           345                     223                      11                                           1,533            1,177    356            76.80%
                                           485                     226                     44                                            899              815       84            90.70%
                                           238                      85                     36                                            346              264       82            76.30%
                                           775                     356                     49                                            904              563      341            62.30%
 Total                                   10,021                   4,279                    811                                           2,787           1,576     1,211          56.55%
Source: Postal Service ASR (CCC/RPM) database.
                                                                                                                                          837             737      100            88.10%

Further, 4,453 of 16,385 cases were not resolved within the Postal Service’s                                                              635             625       10           98.40%
established timeframe of 1-3 days (see Table 5). The Postal Service’s goal is
                                                                                                                                          816             703       113           86.20%
to have 90 percent of its cases resolved within these timeframes, known as the
Service Level Agreement 17(SLA).                                                                                                          368             316       52            85.90%

                                                                                                                                         1,300           1,168     132            89.80%
Table 5. FY 2018 eCC Customer Complaints and Service Level
                                                                                                              Total                     16,385           11,932   4,453           72.82%
Agreement Data
                                                                                                             Source: Postal Service ASR (CCC/RPM) database.

                                                                                  Percentage
                                                                                                             This occurred because management did not follow the Postal Service complaint
                                              Within           Outside           of Complaints
  Delivery Units           Resolved                                                                          resolution policy. We identified the selected 13 of 16 units had supervisors18
                                               SLA              SLA             Resolved Within
                                                                                      SLA                    assigned to review, manage, or resolve customer complaints within the
                                                                                                             requirement of 24 hours first contact and resolution within 72 hours, as required.
                              1,043              908              135                  87.10%
                                                                                                             However, due to other responsibilities, the supervisors were not able to resolve
                              740                485              255                 65.50%                 the customer complaints timely. Additionally, none of the 16 units we visited
                              1,929              908             1,021                 47.10%                maintained a customer complaint log enabling them to follow-up on customer
                                                                                                             complaints received at the retail window.
                               355               266               89                 74.90%

                             1,460              1,018             442                 69.70%                 Postal Service policy19 sets forth the appropriate method for handling customer
                                                                                                             complaints through the eCC process. The local post office is required to assign
                              433                403              30                   93.10%
                                                                                                             responsibility for checking eCC three times a day; contact customers within

17	 The Postal Service uses the number of resolved cases to calculate the percentage of cases resolved within the SLA agreement.
18	 Two units (                                 ) had limited duty personnel assigned to resolve the customer complaints.
19	 Postal Service’s Complaint Handling Guidelines for Residential and Small Business Customers, dated July 2015.

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24 hours to acknowledge the issue and proceed with resolution. In addition,         In response to recommendation 3, management stated it was vague and does
for those customers who issue a complaint by phone or through a walk-in, the        not allow for quantifiable closure. Management stated the Richmond District is
complaint is required to be logged in a Customer Complaint Control Log.             committed to providing high quality service to the customers and will reissue the
                                                                                    standard work instructions to supervisors on addressing and resolving customer
The Postal Service’s ability to collect, process, and resolve customer complaints
                                                                                    complaints. Management did not provide a date for reissuance.
is key to retaining customers and increasing revenue. Proper management
and timely complaint resolution is vital to the eCC resolution process. A prompt    Management disagrees with the $3,649,486 in questioned costs, and $3,649,486
response to customer complaints and the ability to handle customer concerns,        in funds put to better use stating that having a late Distribution-Up-Time does
issues, and complaints in a timely and professional manner will improve the         not necessarily correlate to additional costs. Management stated that data
customer contact experience.                                                        used to identify this as unauthorized OT is typically an administrative oversight
                                                                                    where hours were not coded properly. Additionally, management stated that
As a result of re-opened customer complaints, the Richmond District incurred
                                                                                    the OIG attributed all unauthorized OT to failure to follow the processes when
questioned costs of $167,799 in FYs 2017 and 2018. Proper management
                                                                                    management was aware of the time used and had approved locally. The
and timely resolution of eCC complaints could result in a cost avoidance of
                                                                                    Distribution-Up-Time of 8:30 a.m. is a goal as well as delivery after 1800 does not
$167,799 in FYs 2019 and 2020.
                                                                                    necessarily mean that delivery is late.

      Recommendation #3                                                             See Appendix C for management’s comments in their entirety.
      We recommend the Manager, Richmond District, direct supervisors to
      follow customer service policies and procedures to maintain a customer        Evaluation of Management’s Comments
      complaint log and resolve customer complaints timely and with customer        The OIG considers management’s comments responsive to recommendations
      satisfaction.                                                                 2 and 3 and non-responsive to recommendation 1. The corrective actions for
                                                                                    recommendation 2 and 3 should resolve the issues identified in the report.
Management’s Comments
Management disagreed with finding 1, but agreed with findings 2 and 3 of our        Regarding management’s disagreement with recommendation 1, management
report. Additionally, management disagreed with recommendations 1, 3 and the        stated the process of communicating expectations and using operational and
monetary impact and agreed with recommendation 2.                                   report tools already exist and the recommendation is vague, subjective and
                                                                                    non-quantifiable. While these processes are in place, supervisors were not
In response to recommendation 1, management disagreed and stated that the           communicating expectations to carriers and were not using the operational and
process of communicating expectations and using operational and reporting           reporting tools to monitor delivery operations during our audit. Postal Service
tools already exists. Additionally, management stated that this recommendation      policy states that supervisors are required to discuss expectations with each
is vague, subjective and non-quantifiable. The district communicates daily with     carrier every day. Also, if a carrier is not meeting performance standards,
supervisors on addressing delivery expectations.                                    a supervisor must investigate and discuss deficiencies with that carrier. All
                                                                                    delivery service managers should develop and maintain delivery units at a high
In response to recommendation 2, management reissued standard work
                                                                                    degree of efficiency and assure Postal Service standards are preserved. We
instructions on March 20, 2019 for security and accountability of arrow keys.
                                                                                    consider management’s comments unresponsive and view the disagreement as
                                                                                    unresolved until we coordinate a resolution with management.

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Regarding recommendation 3, although management stated they disagreed, the          found supervisors were not always reviewing and approving OT requests on
corrective actions outlined address the intent of the recommendation and are        PS Form 3996 before carriers left the office to begin street delivery. Regarding the
therefore responsive.                                                               portion of the monetary impact associated with re-opened customer complaints,
                                                                                    proper management and timely resolution of eCC complaints could result in
Regarding management’s disagreement with the monetary impact, the                   avoidance of additional cost. As such, we believe our calculations accurately
OIG’s analysis did not question all OT, but instead only questioned POT and         reflect the monetary impact outlined in the report.
Unauthorized OT occurring on routes. These two categories of labor compounded
with our understanding of how this OT was incurred, provides a direct example       All recommendations require OIG concurrence before closure. The OIG requests
of how improper management of these selected delivery units led to excessive        written confirmation when corrective actions are completed. All recommendations
costs incurred by the Postal Service regardless of the budget. Additionally,        should not be closed in the Postal Service’s follow-up tracking system until the
Postal Service policy states the Postal Service (PS) Form 3996, Carrier Auxiliary   OIG provides written confirmation that the recommendations can be closed.
Control is used to request OT or auxiliary assistance. During our site visits, we




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Appendices
Click on the appendix title below to
navigate to the section content.


          Appendix A: Additional Information.................................................................................................. 13
              Scope and Methodology................................................................................................................... 13
              Prior Audit Coverage.......................................................................................................................... 13
          Appendix B: City Carriers and City Carrier Assistants Delivering on Routes................... 14
          Appendix C: Management’s Comments........................................................................................... 16




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Appendix A: Additional Information
Scope and Methodology                                                                        ■■ Interviewed management to understand their daily use of the CSDRS and
                                                                                                the Mail Condition Reporting System to improve mail delivery operations and
Our objective was to evaluate mail delivery delays in selected delivery units in the
                                                                                                resolve mail arrival issues from the mail processing facilities.
Richmond District. To accomplish our objective, we:
                                                                                             We conducted this performance audit from August 2018 through April 2019
■■ Reviewed applicable laws, regulations, policies, and procedures related to
                                                                                             in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards and
   mail delivery.
                                                                                             included such tests of internal controls as we considered necessary under
■■ Judgmentally selected 16 delivery units in the Richmond District based on                 the circumstances. Those standards require that we plan and perform the
   their city delivery performance indicators which included carriers returning              audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis
   after 7 p.m., OT and POT for city carriers and city carriers assistants, and              for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objective. We believe
   customer complaints for FY 2018.                                                          that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and
                                                                                             conclusions based on our audit objective. We discussed our observations and
■■ Obtained and analyzed FYs 2017 and 2018 customer complaints from the
                                                                                             conclusions with management on March 5, 2019 and included their comments
   eCC system. Specifically, identified complaint frequency data in the Richmond             where appropriate.
   District, identified stations with the highest number of complaints related to
   inaccurate and untimely mail delivery.                                                    We relied on data obtained from Postal Service Operational systems, including
                                                                                             EDW, eFlash, SPMS, and Customer Remarks in eCC system. We assessed the
■■ Conducted interviews with station management to gain understanding of
                                                                                             reliability of data by confirming our results with management, interviewing agency
   reasons for delivery delays issues and their process to resolve customer
                                                                                             officials knowledgeable about the data and conducting limited data testing and
   complaints regarding delayed and inadequate delivery services. Additionally,
                                                                                             determined that the data were sufficiently reliable for this report.
   conducted interviews with Richmond District management regarding delayed
   mail issues.

Prior Audit Coverage
There were three audits conducted in the last two years that directly relate to this objective.

          Report Title                                      Objective                               Report Number            Final Report Date          Monetary Impact

 Delivery Delays-Atlanta              To evaluate mail delivery delays in selected delivery
                                                                                                     DR-AR-18-007                07/03/2018                 $11,175,903
 District                             units in the Atlanta District.

 City Carriers Returning After        To evaluate city carriers returning to the office after
                                                                                                     DR-AR-18-006                07/03/2018                $116,297,744
 6 P.M-South Florida District         6 p.m. in the South Florida District.

 City Carriers Returning After        To evaluate city carriers returning to the office at
                                                                                                     DR-AR-17-007                08/30/2017                $92,060,142
 6 P.M-Bay Valley District            6 p.m. in the Bay Valley District.


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Appendix B: City Carriers and City Carrier Assistants
Delivering on Routes
FY 2017 - City Carriers and CCAs Delivering on Routes Between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. at Selected Delivery Units

                                                                                                                                               Carriers Delivering
                                  Carriers Street    Carriers Delivering   Carriers Delivering    Carriers Delivering    Carriers Delivering
     Delivery Units                                                                                                                              on Routes by
                                  Delivery Hours    on Routes by 6 p.m.    on Routes by 7 p.m.   on Routes by 8 p.m.    on Routes by 9 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                     10 p.m.

                                         11,209             6,607                3,080                   718                    69                      1

                                         6,849              3,738                 1,896                  721                    187                    25

                                         14,919             9,625                 5,926                 2,686                   692                    118

                                         7,075              3,386                 1,449                 400                     92                     11

                                         6,758              3,144                 1,299                  385                    69                     11

                                        12,784              7,099                 3,166                  922                    174                    15

                                         5,930              3,345                 1,800                  688                    213                    33

                                         11,916            3,809                  834                    59                      2                     0

                                         5,464              2,088                 880                    246                    55                     8

                                         11,528             7,272                4,006                  1,759                   601                   160

                                         9,821             6,054                  3,362                 1,394                   471                   109

                                        18,760             10,996                 6,776                 3,257                  1,186                  330

                                         6,319              3,669                 2,160                 1,066                   412                    93

                                        10,474              4,118                 1,068                  154                     11                    0

                                         5,531             3,048                  1,903                 1,029                   440                   126

                                         12,175             5,595                 1,666                  149                     5                     0

                      Total             157,512            83,593                41,271                15,633                  4,679                 1,040

               Percentage                                  53.07%                26.20%                 9.92%                  2.97%                 0.66%

Source: OIG analysis of EDW-Delivery Data Mart.

20	 Includes                                          .

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Appendix B: City Carriers and City Carrier Assistants
Delivering on Routes
FY 2018 - City Carriers and CCAs Delivering on Routes Between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. at Selected Delivery Units

                                                                                                                                               Carriers Delivering
                                  Carriers Street    Carriers Delivering   Carriers Delivering    Carriers Delivering    Carriers Delivering
     Delivery Units                                                                                                                              on Routes by
                                  Delivery Hours    on Routes by 6 p.m.    on Routes by 7 p.m.   on Routes by 8 p.m.    on Routes by 9 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                     10 p.m.

                                         11,426             4,019                 1,082                  334                    60                     9

                                         7,170              4,165                 1,971                  547                    129                    27

                                        16,092              8,878                4,243                  1,414                   406                    56

                                         7,440              3,022                  851                   110                     8                     0

                                         7,226             3,600                  1,075                  251                    55                     18

                                         13,150             3,670                 504                    137                    26                     4

                                         6,341             4,369                  2,102                  548                    139                    28

                                         11,736             4,418                 1,039                  115                     12                    2

                                         5,459              3,666                 1,584                  354                    32                     2

                                         12,237             7,242                 2,794                  967                    285                    65

                                         10,521             6,222                3,034                  1,040                   413                   144

                                        20,013             11,340                5,568                  1,748                   434                   107

                                         6,646             4,344                  1,640                  540                    146                    26

                                        10,498              2,605                  241                   26                      2                     0

                                         5,959              3,412                 1,774                  580                    176                    40

                                         12,531             3,793                 873                    214                    46                     4

                      Total            164,445             78,765                30,375                 8,925                  2,369                  532

               Percentage                                  47.90%                18.47%                 5.43%                  1.44%                 0.32%

Source: OIG analysis of EDW-Delivery Data Mart.

21	 Includes                                          .

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Appendix C:
Management’s
Comments




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