OIG Travel report: Carper says USPS leadership has ‘clearly failed to set a good example’

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate subcommittee with jurisdiction over the U.S. Postal Service, reacted to a recent Postal Service Inspector General report that details abuse of agency credit cards by postal employees:

“We’re at a point today where the Postal Service is losing a record amount of money year in and year out. Cumulative losses could total nearly $240 billion by 2020. Things are so bad that the Postal Service may actually be forced to close its doors by next Christmas. So, at a time when my colleagues and I are working so hard to stabilize the Postal Service’s finances, it is disturbing and deeply disappointing to hear this latest news about postal employees abusing agency credit cards.

“Postal management is currently pursuing tough changes such rate increases, cuts in service, and wage and benefit concessions from its employees as part of their effort to reduce costs. I’ve told the new Postmaster General and his predecessor that he and other top postal executives need to do their part as well. If they are going to ask postal employees and customers to make sacrifices to save the Postal Service, then the postal leadership certainly has a responsibility to set a good example when it comes to frugality and basic financial management. In this case, they have clearly failed. I intend to get to the bottom of how these abuses went unchecked for so long and find a way to prevent similar instances of waste and fraud moving forward.”

  • Postmaster

    Carper is clueless. Dumbass. It is high time to get rid of all executives in USPS. They are not needed..they are in large part a major reason why the USPS finances are as they are.

  • the informer

    Carper look into the post office management real estate practice of buying management houses at inflated prices and then selling them to another postal hack manager for cut rate price .lateral transfers …cash cow,its not who you …. its who you know.

  • Don

    I think they made up the story to put down the post office. If they misused the credit cards then they need to fire those employees right away. They are thiefs, they need to punish.

  • Kanye West

    Obviously the abusers will be promoted, relocated or sent to headquarters to work. They never lose their jobs.

  • waleye

    its been going for ever in GEG we had supervisor making his car payment , they made him a clerk

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  • cpttuna


  • Traveling Man, Ricky Nelson

    Heard about an instance in IN where a POOM approved $25,000 in travel for an A/POOM. The OIG investigated it and it’s all hush,hush. Both parties still working…and probably traveling too.

  • Ken

    I think he is right. For years, higher ups have been abusing the system and the little guy takes the hit. The office I work in pays supervisors and a manager $250,000 a DAY, right, A DAY to run, What a waste

  • brian

    Let’s see- if we use a generous $80K a year for an average supervisor/manager salary, that would mean your office has 812 supervisors? Don’t think so!

  • kbob

    Ken is mathematically challenged or else he is just a mad 204B.

  • Representative

    Top managers take what they want and get away with it!Who investigates complaints, the postal inspectors and who do they work for!

  • Old timer

    I’ll try not to be vindictive- but the postal service is the governments version of ENRON. I know alot of good hard working smart workers in the system, clerks-carriers-supervisors and Postmasters but with 600,000 employees a 1% ‘bad egg’ ratio puts 6000 bums in the system. Who’s to blame- maybe carriers that think taking a 2 hr lunch is owed them – or the clerk that slows down a little to get some overtime, maybe the supervisor that has no problem getting on a workers back to do something that he himself could never do, or maybe the postmaster that litterally does nothing because when the heat comes down they go on an “assignment’ somewhere. Well the answer is NONE of the Above- they are all real problems but it all starts at the top. L’Enfant Plaza is out of touch with what happens in the field- some of their so called ‘background’ is all on paper- never really did it in the field and I mean in the field at an AO, not at a plant operation. THey inturn promote VP’s at the Area that are just as little in touch- creating District Manager ‘score cards’ that reflect nothing more than playing a numbers game rather than fixing a problem. Postal math has been playing with inches versus feet, and Plan versus SPLY for way to long. Anybody that relates a 10% decrease of volume into a 10-12% decrease inhours is either on drugs or out of touch. Anybody that says they have control of when trucks depart from point to point yet can’t explain how truck are late everyday is incompetent. We let Halmark determine howmany padded envelopes they send offices and charge them for outrages overshipments yet we are told we must find better retail sales opportunities. We cut back on routes to save 10 minutes then use DUO to move the routes 10 miles and 20 minutes further to travel. THe plan is to look so bad -so whtn the big changes come in the people at the top look like miracle workers. Whether you like it or not- five day delivery is a necessity, closing Offices with no delivery is almost a necessity (minus some real rural spots), reality by the unions to do the right thing rather than fight for bums and conditions that hurt more than help. Their doesn’t need to be 3 craft unions. One union fighting for ALL the workers to get time would help everybody. The time has already come where nobody wants to take a promotion because the OT is better in the craft and the supv’s and PM get crapped on by having to do things that are almost impossible. If the USPS should be happy about anything right now- they should be glad we’r not all Egyptians or ther might be some changes where they need to be

  • Ronnie

    @Old Timer – I can agree with you on 99.9% of what you stated. I began my career with the postal service in 1974 as a PTF and have just recently retired as an EAS 17 supervisor. During the past 11 years I have worked on many details with my district and my area, and I got very exposed to a good deal of the mindset at those levels. I’m not saying all that are in permanent positions at that level are out of touch, but many are indeed. They just look at numbers on a computer screen. I know of several who had never ran a floor and had the audacity to criticize those who are busting their hump day in day out working 10/12 hours a day and getting paid for 8. One of my bosses that I worked for when they asked me to come up at the district and run our RCI team (Route Count and Inspection) told me I needed to be an asshole more. That I wasn’t mean enough. My reply to him was, I don’t have to be an asshole to get results and if that was the case than get someone else. He did not. My idea was to be firm but fair, treat everyone like I desired to be treated, with dignity and respect. Of course this did not get me real far in career and so I decided to go and ahead and retire. I do feel as if we have too many upper and mid-level mangers, that is at the district and area levels. Consolidation of districts and areas are an absolute must, but with this consolidation must come the reduction of unnecessary support positions, analysts and staff, not just a few district managers and area VP”s. Now concerning craft. They are many, many hard working and diligent craft employees I have had the pleasure of working with and those that I observed while on detail. So many of them are appreciative of the jobs they have. These are the ones that who can work without supervision and know what must be done on a daily basis. But sadly, I have seen those and worked with those who it’s like they need a babysitter sad to say. No work ethic, want to to the least little bit, wants his/her fellow craft workers to work harder so they don’t have to. I had those that I had to check on daily to ensure they were where they were suppose to be and doing what they were suppose to be doing. They called it “harassment”, I called it supervising. Yes, the postal service is at a what I feel is a serious crossroad. In my 37 years with the service I have never seen it this critical. Some painful decisions and choices have to made made if we are to remain solvent. Congress needs to return the $75 billion overpayment that OIG and others have shown we have made, but even if they do, the postal service needs to not ease up on reform. Management needs to shrink. Everyone must work smart and diligently. Technological innovations have changed the postal landscape. The postal service must adapt to survive. I say this because I had two aunts who were telephone operators in the 60’s and 70’s. You know what, there are no such things now as telephone operators, it’s automated now. You postal employees that have 15, 20, and 25 years to go, what are you going to do to ensure there is a postal service for you to retire from?

  • Postal Slug

    These and other abuses have gone on for years unabated and will continue to do so until the individuals involved are actually held accountable for their actions to the point of either being made to pay or having their jobs terminated. Until REAL ACCOUNTABILITY – beyond the level of lip service – is invoked nothing is going to change.

  • Old timer

    I can appreciate both your candor and your obvious well defined work ethic. I agree-change is in the wind and is a necessity, and postal slug brough about anothe good perspective. THey want accountability in the field but don’t want it from above. There seems a need to only hold subordinates accountable but not themselves. Having been a veteren, there is a consensus that being a boss doesn’t make you a leader and if some of our bosses were in charge of life and death decisions- alot of people would die. — 20 years ago, after having been exposed to the system long enough to understand it, I knew there were changes that had to be made but there was a goal oriented approach to performance. Some of those items still need to be changed but the attitude is fix a number not the problem. How many items are you told of that are great ‘tools’ but you are held specifically to those numbers no matter what the circumstances. Have the COO of the Postal Service come to your office and take 100 ceritfied letters to the street and get the work done in ZERO minutes because that is what you get in DOIS. Take 100 packages out with them and you gain ZERO minutes- If it can be done in zero minutes- I say fine, just do it once for me so I see how you do it. I bet most offices don’t even look at budgets anymore because the are completely unmakable. We scan to impress businesses to use the product but will not provide the information to the field to determine what routes missed Del Conf scans occur so it can be fixed the right way.We emphasize Express mail before noon, but think nothing if the truck brings it to the office already late. We don’t scan Register mail because of security issues but if one gets lost it takes the Inpections Service to try to track it down. Districts that are 100 miles away or more from AO’s dictate delivery based on weather conditions even though they may be completely different. POOM’s make statements that put you in a positions to either be subordinate or do something that is against existing regulations. Lobby operations are dictated by ‘Mystery Shopper’ results that the PO can’t even verify as being accurate.- I would like to go on, maybe on a future message- Unfortunately I must stay with the point- THEY ARE OUT OF TOUCH- thanks for your comments.

  • Deborah Epperson

    Ronnie, you were indeed an anachronism in your job as supervisor if you felt you needed to treat everyone with dignity and respect. When I joined the postal service as a clerk twelve years ago, I was shocked. As a former teacher, I was used to the culture of respect in education, and it was glaringly obvious at the post office that this was not the model there. And it has only gotten worse. Nevertheless, I had enjoyed my job as clerk until it was eliminated and I had to switch to carrier at the age of 57. I am both hard-working and diligent, and I am appreciated by those to whom I deliver mail, but I can tell you I cannot please my carrier supervisor. It is frustrating and stressful to work each day to do the best I can, and come up short. I cannot see an end out of this tunnel.