OIG finds supervisors changed employees clock rings without justification, recommends better training, controls

In response to Congressional inquiries and complaints from employees, the USPS Inspector General investigated charges that supervisors falsified time and attendance records to reduce employees’ paid work hours.

The report issued last week found that supervisors did improperly modify the records, but says that the lack of documentation makes it impossible to determine whether the deletions were justified. The report doesn’t recommend discipline or criminal charges, suggesting that management improve its training and controls over time and attendance:

Management controls over time and attendance at the locations included in our audit were not adequate to ensure employees’ workhours were reported accurately. As a result, we could not determine with certainty the reasons supervisors altered employee time and attendance records. Specifically, we found that Postal Service supervisors did not complete the required Postal Service (PS) Form 1017-A, Time Disallowance Record, or PS Form 3971, Request for or Notification of Absence, from the Enterprise Resource Management System (eRMS). We also found questionable deletions of clock rings by supervisors in the Dover, NH; Gastonia, NC; and Parkville, MO Post Offices. In addition, supervisors did not follow procedures for documenting employees’ out-of-schedule changes in TACS. Furthermore, we found supervisors at the Parkville, MO Post Office improperly charged safety talks and informational meetings to operation code 782, Training.

We recommend the vice president, Controller:

1. Establish and implement controls in the Time and Attendance Collection System to document supervisors’ justification of changes to employees’ time.

We recommend the vice president, Delivery and Post Office Operations:

2. Issue supplemental guidance emphasizing the importance of completing Postal Service Form 1017-A, Time Disallowance Record, and PS Form 3971, Request for or Notification of Absence.
3. Establish a review and approval process to ensure time disallowances are appropriate and documented as required.
4. Establish periodic monitoring of clock ring deletions to ensure employee workhours are recorded accurately.
5. Provide periodic refresher training to managers, postmasters, supervisors, and acting supervisors on the Time and Attendance Collection System.
6. Issue supplemental guidance to supervisors and managers regarding the appropriate use of operation codes associated with recording safety talks and informational meetings in the Time and Attendance Collection System.

USPS OIG Audit Report – Allegations of Inaccurate Time and Attendance Records

  • Trindie

    This is not training they are lacking this is how they are trained to make their numbers look good. Call it what you want its just another arm of Management covering up for the other.

  • benny

    so in conclusion…the OIG did Nothing…NOTHING …did you expect more?

  • postman2012

    if i stoled anything , and got caught i would be fired no questions asked . they knew what they wwere doing because there are az number of transactions you must do to change a persons time. and you would know what you are doing to do it specially a number of times . if you do not fire the employee they will be able to say trainning was the problem and do this aall the time till some one complains . then they will say ops just a mistake sorry.

  • Danny

    Daily happening in every office. Every day
    Employees loose out on units worked that
    Leads to more bonuses above.!

  • Ugh

    This has nothing to do with making numbers look good or cheating for people. These supervisors are forces to fix multiple errors a day. They don’t justify because they just want to get it off of their plate. I don’t condone the behavior, but it’s the truth.


    What is needed is chips, placed in ID badges, which show where every plant employee is located every second that they are in the building. Mini-GPS. That would reduce disagreements. For carriers, GPS on the trucks and/or the satchels.

  • steward

    OIG doesn’t know why? Hasn’t heard of supervisors making their numbers, eg. budget, any way they can?

    Non-payment of Out-of-Schedule Overtime premium is going to explode with NTFT duty assignments. Isn’t that NIFTY?

    Employees should have access to their own clock rings in ePayroll.

  • postalpete

    How about the Supervisor’s that are taking care of their buddies by fixing their clock rings and justifying being late, sick or whatever. This happens daily. There needs to be a system where someone can check the inputs these Supervisor’s are making. I’m one click late and I get hassled, other people come in two hours late, call-in, etc., and nothing happens to them because their time is being fixed by someone.

  • LC 2004

    If a LC punches someone in or out goodbye J O B. Management does it everyday and they get bonuses

  • NorCalPM

    This has everything to do with cheating and making numbers look good. I don’t care what craft you work in, everyone knows falsifying time records is grounds for termination. People who change clockrings don’t document it for fear of getting caught, not because they weren’t trained. In their defense, the pressure has increased to get carriers off the street by 5pm/6pm (or you end up on a dreaded report) and decrease OT, so what’s a little fudging going to hurt if we can get away with it, right? They should be fired, just my opinion. What the media prints about USPS issues is only half of the problem, too bad the general public can’t see what’s really happening on the inside….

  • MIS

    The OIG has always done NOTHING when it comes to defending craft employees. They are and have always been on management’s side. If you don’t believe me, call them and try to report your clock ring discrepancies. You will get nothing but hostility and then they tell you that they will contact your superiors to handle the matter. The same ones that are stealing from you.

  • RS

    This is happening to often, and should indicate that higher up’s in the organization are sponsoring such actions. So when will OIG deal with the real problem, being that upper management is sponsoring such actions!

  • bill

    this should be forwarded to the dept. of labor for prosecution and to make sure procedures are created to prevent this and so the worker knows when this happens

  • fUD

    The training needed is how better to STEAL from employees and NOT GET CAUGHT. Obviously, previous training insufficient.

  • Mary

    Supervisors who change clock rings do so only to steal money from the workers, even if their manager tells them to do it. This is stealing, theft, whatever you want to call it, and these people should be FIRED, the same penalty to any theft in the Postal Service. The OIG is pussy footing around with these obvious thieves…training?? Let them get retrained in prison, where they belong.

  • maillady

    Wow! Unbelieveable. Stealing, that is all that is and they got away with it.

  • maillady2

    Wow!! This is amazing to me. Theft is theft, at least thats what i thought. But since its mamagement its o.k. to steal and get away with it. The stations where they was caught is not the only station soing this. It is done on a daily at my station…But what good is it going to be to report it…Yall know how to cover up for each other….

  • joe the plumber

    It happens every day in Roanoke VA. Supervisors keep turning their heads to the important issues. As long as their plates are cleared.

  • antecoco

    only a recommendation!!!!!, if i buy a stamp, when i am in the clock, i will get suspended or fired, supervisors and managers are robing their employees , and they only get a Letter of Recommendation
    Ridiculous, that is why they keep doing because they know there will be no consequence against them.

  • buster

    one for the good guys… How do you knuckle head craft employees like that lol

  • christian go

    Great Article. Thanks for the info, super helpful. Does anyone know where I can find a blank PS form 3971 to fill out?

  • Mailboy

    They are printed online now and you have to print one off the computer.

  • MJM

    I wonder if six 10 minute talks mandated from above are considered “informal”.

    When there’s a required video of someone talking and everyone is watching it – is that a “stand-up” and not training?

    Take 782 away and there is going to be a lot less communication (ability to read a page a minute will be a desired skill), which is a scary thought considering…

    This is a case where the manual needs to be changed to allow for the desired outcome.

    Making communication with the workforce a speed activity during which every minute directly and negatively impacts every performance indicator that’s tracked is the complete opposite of what needs to be done to successfully offer an increasingly sophisticated data product.

  • Anieca G.

    Great Article. Thanks for the info. Does anyone know where I can find a blank PS form 3971to fill out?

  • Stellar Steve, LSSA

    Recommends training? How about firing??