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 employeesâ€™ 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 employeesâ€™ 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 supervisorsâ€™ 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.