Remotely managed post offices (RMPO) offer part-time window service hours and are required to have a post office postage meter (meter) due to limited stamp stock requirements. Postage meters print a postage label, indicating payment, that is affixed to a mail piece.
The Unadilla, NE, Post Office, is a four-hour RMPO that did not report any meter sales on its daily financial reports since the meter was activated in January 2014. However, National Meter Accounting and Tracking System records indicate about $1,234 in meter sales between January 6, 2014, and March 14, 2017.
Employees are responsible for accurately reporting daily financial transactions. An administrative post office postmaster is responsible for oversight of the RMPO and its meter use.
The objective of this audit was to determine whether internal controls were in place and effective for meter use at the Unadilla Post Office.
What the OIG Found
Internal controls for meter use at the Unadilla Post Office needed improvement. The employee that sells postage at the Unadilla Post Office did not accurately report postage meter sales. We reviewed all four meter sales from March 15 through May 3, 2017, totaling $52.15, and found daily reported meter sales did not match required supporting documentation. In addition, the administrative post office postmaster did not properly perform her on-site reviews of the daily financial reports and supporting documentation so she was not aware of the meter sales reporting errors or improperly completed supporting documentation.
If controls over meter use are not followed, there is an increased risk the financial records could be misstated or theft could occur without detection.
As a result of this audit, the postmaster and the employee that sells postage at the Unadilla Post Office took training on meter usage and the postmaster implemented a process to validate daily financial reporting for accurate recording of meter transactions at the office.
What the OIG Recommended
Because management took corrective actions, we are not making a recommendation at this time. However, we may follow up in the future as part of our ongoing financial control audits.