The U.S. Postal Service has more work to do to improve retail facility conditions and to fix potential safety and security problems.
That’s the gist of our recent “capping” report, which summarizes findings and recommendations on our series of audits on retail facility conditions conducted last year in all seven of the Postal Service’s geographic operating areas. We identified poor and unsafe conditions at all but one of the 149 facilities we visited, including problems with appearance and employee working conditions, as well as roof, lighting, and wiring issues and other safety and security concerns.
In the capping report, we note USPS has made progress toward addressing our recommendations, but hasn’t made all the necessary facility improvements to date. We conducted follow-up visits at several facilities, including 10 with significant security and safety issues that remain unresolved. At another 49 facilities, nine either did not provide evidence or provided insufficient evidence that management had remediated the identified conditions.
Facility condition issues continue to occur for a handful of reasons, our report notes, including budgetary constraints; management overlooking facility conditions to meet operational needs; employees being unaware of the consequences of not adhering to policy or adequate facility upkeep; or the need for additional training and oversight.
We recommend that USPS develop a robust training program and communication plan to holistically address facility condition awareness, protocols, monitoring, and reporting. We also recommended the Postal Service establish an oversight mechanism to ensure safety inspections are completed accurately and deficiencies are addressed timely.
As noted in past blogs, the post office lobby is seen by many customers as the principal business office of the Postal Service. Its appearance directly affects the Postal Service’s public image, which in turn impacts the USPS brand.
We will now look at processing facilities nationwide. The safety, security and cleanliness of these facilities is also important.
Have you seen improvements at your local post office?