Registered Mail might seem like a service from yesteryear in this day and age of Intelligent Mail barcodes and Informed Delivery, which give customers a sneak peek into their mail via email alerts.
But with proof of mailing and delivery along with strict rules and controls, Registered Mail still appeals to customers who want to send valuable or irreplaceable items through the mail.
Registered Mail is a premium service that provides tracking as soon as the sender presents the mail to the U.S. Postal Service and ends at delivery. Along the way, each time the Registered Mail changes hands or moves to another office, an employee must log the action. Registered Mail pieces also require specific packaging and sealing methods for security and protection. When not in transit, Registered Mail pieces must be stored in a locked safe, room, or cage separated from other mail.
Registered Mail also includes postal insurance that covers loss, damage, or rifling up to $50,000.
Customers pay more for Registered Mail for insurance and assurance, which comes with added security. Thus, it’s important the Postal Service maintain those controls. To that end, we found the Postal Service needs to tighten some operational controls over Registered Mail.
Our recent audit report found some of the 15 post offices we reviewed had multiple control issues, including:
- Safes storing Registered Mail and other accountable items were left open and unattended during business hours.
- Registered Mail pieces were left unattended in an open area.
- Four post offices did not maintain logs recording personnel who had access to the registry room or cage.
In addition, we noted USPS had not taken corrective action based on previous OIG recommendations related to Registered Mail, including step-by-step procedural training of employees.
We recommended again management make sure employees complete the required training and monitor Registered Mail operations so that employees are complying with all policies and procedures. We also recommended USPS monitor technology for improvements, such as automated documentation, which would eliminate duplication and improve efficiencies. Other technologies might reduce risks associated with holding Registered Mail in cages or safes.
How has your experience been with Registered Mail? Do you have a high-level of confidence in the service? Are there improvements you would like to see?