In April the manager of the postal service’s Oakland Vehicle Maintenance Facitlity pleaded guilty to defrauding the USPS of over $4 million. In 2011, five postal employees at the Detroit VMF accepted bribes to steer $13 million worth of work to one contractor.
Husch-Blackwell partner David P. Hendel suggests in an article on The Contractor’s Perspective blog that there may be more such cases, and that some of the fault lies with the USPS itself:
Such fraudulent conduct was inadvertently facilitated by the Postal Service’s revocation of its purchasing regulations in 2006 and replacement with guidelines said to be non-binding. At the same time, the Postal Service proclaimed that contractors had no right to challenge its procurement actions based on violations of its purchasing policies. By deflating its purchasing rules from legally-binding regulations to non-binding policy guidance, and weakening the bid protest process, the Postal Service has made it easier for procurement errors and outright misconduct to develop, and harder to detect.