OIG Audit Report On USPS Overtime Workhours

 Excerpts from the OIG Audit Report On USPS Overtime Workhours:

This report presents the results of our self-initiated audit of Postal Service Function 4 Overtime Workhours (Project Number 09RG009MS000). Our objective was to determine whether Postal Service officials effectively managed Function 4 workhours to reduce overtime costs. This audit addresses financial and operational risk.

Footnote:  Function 4 operations include customer service activities – both supervisory and nonsupervisory – of employees at post offices, stations, and branches involved in automated, mechanized, manual, and post office box distribution of mail, post office window, and vending equipment services and miscellaneous administrative and Central Forwarding System operations

Postal Service officials effectively managed Function 4 workhours to reduce overtime costs. Overall Function 4 overtime workhours decreased from 17.5 million in fiscal year
(FY) 2008 to 9.2 million in FY 2009. However, unauthorized overtime workhours as a percentage of total overtime workhours increased from FY 2008 to FY 2009.
Management should strengthen time and attendance procedures to reduce Function 4 unauthorized overtime costs. We estimated that in FYs 2008 and 2009, the Postal
Service incurred unrecoverable unsupported questioned costs totaling $79.6 million for unauthorized overtime workhours.

Time and Attendance Procedures Need Strengthening

Some Function 4 employees clocked in before and clocked out after their assigned workhours, resulting in 1.2 million and 965,000 unauthorized overtime workhours for FYs 2008 and 2009, respectively. This occurred because the Postal Service’s badge control process does not prevent employees from clocking in before and clocking out after their assigned workhours. In addition, managers and supervisors did not follow established time and attendance procedures. Officials stated they did not follow procedures because other duties took priority. Specifically, they did not always:

  • Control employees’ access to time cards and badges to ensure they clocked in and out according to their assigned schedules;
  • Update the Time and Attendance Collection System (TACS) to reflect changes in employees’ scheduled work times; and
  • Record authorized overtime in TACS to reduce the amount of unauthorized overtime recorded in the TACS Unauthorized Overtime Report.

We previously recommended the vice president, controller, assess the feasibility of automating the badge control process with the Electronic Badge Reader (EBR) and TACS to prevent employees from clocking in before their official workhours begin.

Although management identified two automated solutions to prevent employees from clocking in before and clocking out after their assigned workhours, they decided against
these options in favor of using the TACS reports to identify employees clocking in before normal workhours. Management indicated that the reports were sufficient to
effectively and efficiently manage clocking activity.

We interviewed 13 finance managers from high-performing district offices in the Eastern and Pacific Areas to determine the reasons for their success in controlling unauthorized
workhours and to develop best practices. Districts in the Eastern and Pacific Areas incurred the fewest Function 4 unauthorized overtime workhours in FYs 2008 and 2009.
These districts were successful in controlling unauthorized workhours because their managers and supervisors substantially complied with established time and attendance
procedures. The districts provided their managers and supervisors training on time and attendance procedures, provided overtime reports for them to use to manage
workhours, and held frequent meetings to discuss overtime workhours.

See the Full OIG Audit Report (PDF)

9 thoughts on “OIG Audit Report On USPS Overtime Workhours

  1. Failed policies and procedures is what’s strangling the Postal Service. At Cardiss Collins Facility, the injured employees are allowed to be on a pre-planned standby, nightly. They get their 8 hours of pay just to sleep, eat and be merry. It has been said before, the USPS is top heavy with a bunch of ignorant, self-seeking, clueless, vindictive managers etc. This is suppose to be a business, not some place where you exercise your demented and twisted ego.

  2. all those injured on duty employees hours are being used to cover overtime hours – a little trick of lmanagement

  3. we don’t need our hands held for everything. seems to me you have bigger things to look for like, why does the USPS keep buying crap that is marked up 500%, why is management changing colors on the mail? I don’t know how anybody gets any unauthorized overtime when I’ve heard of management going into the system to make sure that nobody has any overtime rings and if they do they (fix) it so they don’t have error reports. And why is it that we have to do lunch rings? I feel if your not leaving the building why do we have to clock out! that would save so many missed IL and then that’s where people are trying to make it up on the end tour.. and then management don’t have to deal with error reports daily!! Just my opinion….

  4. The “OIG” is a subgroup of our Postal Service that is furtively looking for a purpose
    to exist. This “in house” investigative bunch of keystone kops continuously come
    up with gaggles of ideas that are totally irrelevant or minuscule when compared to
    t;he larger issues.
    On a background of this type of work, it is hard to take these people seriously.
    Why have not THEIR auditing teams come up with a credible argument to force
    the PMG and the PRC to repeal these outlandishly lucrative “workshare postage
    rate agreements” that they have given to their LARGE CORPORATE MASS MAILER
    Go figure…..

  5. Worrying about a few units of creep time while the entire organization is in a death spiral. Priorities..? say what? Cut one redundant Supervisor position and that will cover (ALL) the unaccounted for clock ring errors that result in a few pennies of overtime paid in an entire District! Now thats an idea?

  6. why don’t you deal with the real problems of the P.O.’s budget problems it’s too many layers of management!! why is that so hard for you all to see? DUH!! You always want to blame craft employees for everything.. well guess what, everything that goes wrong is not our fault take a look at what YOU (management) is doing/or not doing because it’s not working! all of the decisions that are made are comming from HEADQUARTERS where there is no leadership! That’s where the biggest CUTS needs to be made.

  7. Petty, petty, petty. Address the real problems. Like to darn many employees in management in the first place. CUT THE FAT. REDUCE MANAGEMENT POSITIONS!

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