The USPS Office of the Inspector General has released a report on the dramatic increase in overtime usage by the US Postal Service. This won’t come as big news to readers of this blog- we told you in January how the USPS had already spent almost a billion dollars in overtime in the first quarter of this fiscal year- and we first told you about the sudden increases in overtime usage exactly a year ago, on April 1, 2010.
What might be surprising is the fact that the OIG actually used a copy of our April 2010 story “As USPS cuts staff, overtime pay jumps” that someone posted on FederalSoup.com as a basis for its investigation! The very first page of the report’s cover letter says:
On April 1, 2010 an article in FederalSoup.com stated that reports filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) showed that the Postal Service paid bargaining unit employees approximately $1.3 billion in overtime during the first 6 months of FY 2010. This reflected an increase of $56 million over the same period last year. We initiated this audit to assess the reasons for the significant increases in overtime in light of the declining mail volume.
The “article in FederalSoup.com” was actually a copy of our blog post.
The OIG report notes that the Western Area used twice the number of overtime hours it had planned for in fiscal year 2010. Nationwide, the USPS used 67.8% more OT than planned. And:
we found that management used overtime to offset the increased workload at network distribution centers (NDC) that resulted from the national network conversion of bulk mail centers to NDCs. We also found that the Flats Sequencing System (FSS) deployment delays also contributed to overtime usage.
Here’s the full OIG report: