The objective of this audit was to determine whether internal controls were in place and effective over the management of the Gold Tree Contract Postal Unit (CPU) by the Sarasota, FL, Main Post Office.
The OIG uses data analytics to evaluate the Postal Service’s financial information. Host Administrative Offices (HAO) are required to conduct counts of the CPU stamp stock at least once a year. The data analytics identified that the HAO for the Gold Tree CPU (the Sarasota Main Post Office) did not record a stamp stock count for fiscal year (FY) 2017. The last recorded stamp count was completed in October 2015. We confirmed a stamp stock count had not been conducted in two years. The OIG conducted a count with CPU personnel during our site visit.
What the OIG Found
Internal controls were in place but were not effective. Specifically, the HAO did not:
- Monitor the CPU’s stamp stock and unused postage meter balance.
- Ensure all CPU personnel completed the required training.
- Verify money order and postage meter receipts.
- Conduct a financial audit or surety bond review during FY 2017.
- Input daily financial reports in timely fashion.
In addition, the CPU incorrectly dated the daily financial reports ahead by one business day, resulting in transactions not being recorded on the date they occurred.
HAO personnel were unaware of how to calculate the CPU’s accountability limit and therefore did not monitor stamp stock or meter levels. In addition, the CPU’s procedure for dating the daily financial reports was based on advice from previous Post Office management. Further, HAO personnel had competing priorities and did not timely transmit daily financial reports or monitor CPU operations, nor were they fully aware of policies and procedures related to monitoring the CPU operations.
Inadequate oversight of the CPU and excessive stamp stock on-site increases the risk of loss and could render the CPU no longer financially viable to the Postal Service. In addition, if transactions are not recorded on the date they occur and entered into the system on a timely basis, the Postal Service will have to make adjusting entries that may cause unresolved financial differences, creating additional work for HAO personnel.
What the OIG Recommended
We recommended district management:
- Reiterate to Host Administrative Office personnel the policies for properly monitoring Contract Postal Unit operations, to include training, conducting financial audits, and periodically reviewing stamp stock, money order, and meter activity.
- Coordinate with appropriate Host Administrative Office personnel to reiterate to Contract Postal Unit personnel the policy regarding properly recording revenue and expenses.
- Instruct Host Administrative Office personnel to train additional clerks on data entry to ensure daily financial reports are input into the electronic 1412 system the day they are received.