The Network Processing and Transportation Directorate is responsible for auditing the U.S. Postal Service’s mail processing and transportation activities.
With regards to network processing, in order to process more than 168 billion pieces of mail annually, the Postal Service has developed a large processing infrastructure that includes 356 mail processing facilities with about 116,000 employees. The OIG’s work in this area helps the Postal Service ensure timely and accurate delivery of mail and explore ways to enhance accepting and processing mail. Part of the Network Processing and Transportation Directorate’s mission is to determine whether the Postal Service is efficiently processing mail and effectively streamlining the existing mail processing network to reduce costs. To that end, audits and reviews focusing on the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of mail processing operations, as well as logistic activities supporting these operations are conducted.
With regards to transportation, the Postal Service’s national transportation network is intertwined with all of the Postal Service’s core operations and is one of the largest transportation networks in the world. Transportation activities can be separated into several major functions, covering air transportation, surface transportation, and logistical support activities. The Postal Service uses a complex transportation system that depends on the nation’s air, rail, highway, and maritime infrastructure to move about 168 billion pieces of mail worldwide. Postal Service transportation is supported by more than 17,300 commercially contracted highway transportation routes; about 214,000 Postal Service-owned vehicles; more than 12,300 leased vehicles; transportation contracts with passenger and freight airlines; and agreements with FedEx, UPS, and other commercial shipping operators. Major logistical activities support the movement of mail and include mail transport equipment management, fuel procurement and consumption, vehicle acquisition and management, airport mail centers, information technology, and various supplies. The Postal Service strives to continue to optimize its transportation network and reduce network costs. Transportation costs the Postal Service about $8.5 billion annually.
The Network Processing and Transportation Directorate also determines whether transportation network operations and logistics are effective, efficient, and secure, and whether opportunities exist to save money. This mission is accomplished through continual risk assessment, data modeling and analysis, continuous evaluation of data reliability and management control, on-going dialog with senior Postal Service officials and other stakeholders, and rapid response to high-risk conditions. In addition, performance audits and reviews focusing on the economy, effectiveness, and efficiency of its transportation network, as well as logistic activities supporting these operations are conducted.