The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) uses data analytics, including predictive risk models and tripwires, to evaluate the U.S. Postal Service’s financial information. The analytics seek to target financial anomalies that occur at a field unit.

The OIG’s Field Financial Risk Model and the Office of Investigations’ Local Payment Tripwire identified that the Norwalk Main Office made $61,489 in local purchases and payments using no-fee money orders from October 1, 2015, to September 30, 2016.

The Postal Service prefers to pay for its goods and services through its electronic purchasing system. When that is not possible, authorized users may use assigned credit cards. Cash not to exceed $25 or a no-fee money order not to exceed $1,000 may be used to make a one-time emergency payment.

In addition, local payments made to individuals, proprietorships, or corporations with cash or money orders must be reported for tax purposes.

The objective of this audit was to determine whether internal controls were in place and effective for making local purchases and payments at the Norwalk Main Office.

What the OIG Found

Local payments were not always authorized, and internal controls needed improvement. We verified the unit made 74 local payments valued at $58,925 for electrical services from October 1, 2015, to September 30, 2016, without an authorized contract. In addition, the unit exceeded the single payment limit for no-fee money orders and split payments for invoices over $1,000.

The supervisor was aware of the preferred method of payment but stated the vendor wanted to be paid with money orders. Four months after the first payment, the postmaster contacted Postal Service Supply Management personnel to request lighting repairs and initiate the contract process. He did not receive a response and did not follow up on the request. In the meantime, the unit continued paying the vendor with no-fee money orders without an authorized contract.

Further, the unit did not report tax reportable no-fee money order payments as required. We referred this issue to the OIG’s Office of Investigations for further review.

What the OIG Recommended

We recommended management implement procedures to ensure the Norwalk Main Office uses the preferred payment methods and adheres to the no-fee money order single payment limit policy; follows up with applicable Postal Service personnel to establish a contract for electrical services; and submits required tax documentation for payments made to the vendor.

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Comments (2)

  • anon

    In January, 2017 I mailed an insured package to my Goddaughter. The contents were stolen by the time the package arrived at her address, A police report was filed. I have since filed a USPS USPS g the claim, I received a letter from the Domestic Claims Supervisor in the Accounts Payable Branch (St. Louis Service center) stating I needed to bring the letter, mailing container, wrapping and other information I had, i.e. a police report. My Goddaughter brought the information to the Hamden Post Office in Connecticut, where she was told she would have to bring proof of insurance. She then brought the proof of insurance s information to the same post office and was then told she would have to file the claim on line because all claims are handled online!!! A claim has already been filed online and I was contacted by the St. Louis Accounting Service Center to bring the materials to the post Office, which was done!!. There is something not right with this. We are getting the run around!! We have done and given every bit of information that has been request by the post office. We only want what I paid for via insurance. I paid $5.55 for insurance for a package valued at $350.00. I hope that your office will be able to resolve this situation. Respectfully submitted, Leonarda D. Lewis

    Mar 22, 2017
  • anon

    I recently kept my Post Office box going when a insurance company is going to reinbursed me will they send by the money order in the same manner I sent it.

    Mar 21, 2017