OIG investigates overtime in response to postalnews blog story

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:

USPS OIG Audit Report – Overtime Usage

  • M. Jamison

    Yes, PostalNewsBlog, you do an excellent job of presenting important stories and providing a good forum for postal issues. Although I hope the story here is less your self-congratulation and more about the continuing failure of postal management to create realistic plans and execute them with some degree of competency.
    Whatever the challenges confronting the Postal Service and whatever the ultimate solutions, without a change in the management culture the organization is going to continue to find ways to fail.

  • Danny

    Jamison well said……..period!

  • Nutzy

    The OIG wanted the USPS to run like fedX and UPS this is from a article a few days ago.Well Mr. OIG I know UPS drivers almost never work 8 hr days.Instead of adding trucks and drivers OT is the way.USPS is in this situation now not hiring any replacements making routs bigger.OT is the only way to deliver all the mail.

  • Jon

    It’s really common sense. 140,000 fewer employees equals tons of overtime. When a carrier retires and they don’t fill the position, what do you expect? Get rid of more employees and there will be even more OT used. I’m glad we have all these “investigations” going on. Idiots

  • Dan

    Every report from offices where the FSS has gone in reports staggering amounts of overtime, some say 10-12 hours days are the standard, not the exception. Management lets too many people go, and the rest of the employees have to make up the difference. Next Report: The Dramatic Increase in Sick Calls…………………


    there will be more overtime if and when we go to 5 day delivery…also with the consolidations of post offices there will be longer travel times to routes….and obviously with the increase of workload since routes were adjusted

  • Nostradamus

    The USPS seems to be positioning itself for 5-day delivery WHEN 5-DAY DELIVERY IS NOT HAPPENING.

  • carrier

    clearly, another indication of mgmt. living in their “created reality”. I have never seen more injuries due to weather conditions than this past winter, yet the mail still got delivered, even at 8 p.m. More OT? Take a look at the comp costs that have risen from 900 million dollars to 2.5 billion dollars in the past four years. And that is with reported injuries and does not include those which mgmt. sweeps under the rug. If mgmt. is this disjointed from the daily work of the craft, it underscores their lack of usefulness.

  • Rich Whittemore

    My office just got fss adjusted 3 months ago 5 people are out on iod’s because the weight and length of these routes 10 hr days are expected and v time given almost everyday.The postal management would rather pay ot and penalty than say one of their ideas doesn’t work.So much for the safety and well being of the letter carrier.

  • Ralf

    Well get ready for lots more. The MidAmerica District just Mandated working days off starting at 930am; and carry extra street time to cover lost office time.
    So Night Diff., plus carriers out til 7 &8 pm and gas ain’t gettin’ cheaper!

    The reason USPS uses so much OT & Penalty is because the operate on a expected 5 day manpower staffing system. ie..Always short-handed. Hell we all know this. OIG is just waking up, not that they’ll change anything.