The U.S. Postal Service has one of the largest federal property portfolios in government. And with good reason. Its facilities support the delivery of mail to over 157 million delivery points.

One of USPS’s major responsibilities is to ensure these facilities are as safe as they can be, to protect the mail, the employees who work there, and the customers who visit every day. To meet these goals, the Postal Service relies on its managers and the Postal Inspection Service.

The Inspection Service is one of two law enforcement agencies within the Postal Service and it focuses on external crimes, mail frauds, and security issues involving postal employees and facilities. As part of this last responsibility, the Inspection Service oversees facility security and provides security training and guidance to Postal Service security employees. Among the facilities covered are Network Distribution Centers (NDCs), highly automated mail processing plants that distribute Standard Mail and provide Package Services.

Our recent audit report assessed security at 11 of the 21 NDCs. We found the Postal Service and the Postal Inspection Service security officials did not always address, in a timely manner, security deficiencies identified during assessments using the Vulnerability Risk Assessment Tool (VRAT) — an application employees use to identify security risks and vulnerabilities at facilities. Deficiencies included obstructed, damaged, or inoperable gates, fences, doors, locks, and closed circuit television systems.

We recommended management establish standard operating procedures — with timeframes — to address, monitor, and communicate identified security deficiencies. We also recommended the Postal Service establish an oversight mechanism to promote accountability and ensure compliance with VRAT requirements.

Are there other ways to improve security at postal facilities?

Comments (5)

We welcome your comments related to the topic on this page. Complaints about the Postal Service, including lost, stolen or mishandled mail, that are unrelated to the content on this page, will not be posted. Please visit the Contact Us page for information on where to file formal complaints with our agency or the Postal Service.

Leave a comment

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
  • anon

    The Post Office should be charged for breaking the law. It is against the law to change Postal listings. The Birmingham Post Office has violated Federal Law by changing the names of cities located in Jefferson County Alabama. to Birmingham, Alabama. It is against Federal Law to receive mail in Birmingham, if you live in a different city!!! Through these illegal morons in jail where they belong!!!

    Jan 19, 2018
  • anon

    The report lists HSC, PSS, the Installation Head, and the SCO-Security Control Officer as "Security Personnel" in Table 1 of the findings. While it is true the ASM identifies SCO in section 271.3, it may have been a stretch to include SCO in this report without mentioning one key point. All but the SCO in Table 1 are paid, accountable postal service positions. The SCO is not. This is an ad hoc role that while listed in the ASM, may need further review by either the OIG, USPIS, or both to determine any recommendation as a full-time paid position in select facilities such as an NDC or other critical postal infrastructure. If the safety and security of employees and the mail is a priority, and security gaps such as these have extended far to long, the continuation of SCO as a program rather than accountable individuals may need re-examination. I have no vested interested either way, however, I hope it will not take a tragedy to see there is no one dedicated full-time "on the ground" at these facilities with the experience, education, and training to address these issues.

    Jan 17, 2018
  • anon

    At my postal facility, mail is often left on the counter where it can be easily stolen or tampered with. It seems that security is not a priority for my postal employees.

    Jan 16, 2018
  • anon

    Thank you for your comment. The OIG is an independent agency of the Postal Service and many of these issues fall outside of our jurisdiction. However, we do read all blog comments and pass on relevant information to our auditors and investigators. If you have not already done so, please try contacting your local Post Office about this issue. If you have already done that, try contacting USPS Customer Service, 1 (800) 275-8777, or to file an online complaint with Customer Service (and for frequently asked questions), go to the USPS Website and enter "Customer Service Help" in the search function.

    Jan 17, 2018
  • anon

    You guys cant recommend to the PS, IS does that already and the PS does not listen, they state they do not have the money to fix it ... go to Congress and recommend they make the PS follow up on VRATs .... not to forget OSHA would have a field day at these facilities .... another hinderence is the contractors, a fence motor breaks and they charge the PS $10k, search it online it's about $2k, happens all the time, just look at the aging camera system.

    Jan 16, 2018

Share this post

Recent Comments

  • 1 day 6 hours ago
    Hello. My Priority Mail parcel is stuck in ISC NEW YORK since February 11th. Why my package doesn't moves to destination? I'm sure,there is no problem with forbidden item,because it's...
  • 1 day 8 hours ago
    I have Informed Delivery but, often I do not receive monthly bills. An example would be, my water bill, which contains the peremeters of my property, which would be a problem if it fell into the...

Monthly Archive