According to the Inspector general’s office, the USPS has not been doing a good job policing employees’ use of government travel credit cards. The OIG found $600,000 in improper charges, including “adult entertainment”, trips to Europe for family and friends, and high priced hotel accomodations:
Postal Service employees did not comply with prescribed travel policies resulting in over $600,000 in excessive travel costs for lodging and airfare in FYs 2009 and 2010. We estimate the Postal Service could realize an additional $600,000 in savings over the next 2 years, or $300,000 annually, if it takes action to curtail employee noncompliance with travel policies. Further, the Postal Service did not cancel 2,491 credit cards issued to former employees, including 53 employees listed as deceased in employee records. At the time of our audit, there was more than $37 million in open credit associated with cards of former employees.
The OIG listed examples of travel card misuse:
- One employee claimed 326 lodging nights for reimbursement over a 20-month period that, in total, exceeded the prescribed government lodging rates by $17,877.
- Postal Service employees claimed lodging charges for reimbursement for the 2009 and 2010 National Postal Forums that exceeded the prescribed government lodging rates by $88,983.
- Two employees on an extended detail assignment for the majority of FY 2009 charged a total of $11,000 over the prescribed government lodging rates.
- Three employees purchased airfare tickets, including tickets to Spain and Italy, for family and friends.
- One employee purchased an Apple computer and paid his mortgage.
- One employee used his government issued travel card more than 50 times at adult entertainment establishments.