Postal Updates

Bill McCallister

Post offices need ‘upkeep and repair,’ says USPS inspector general

July 30, 2017 08:00 AM

  • According to the United States Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General, nearly half of the inspected post offices had cleanliness and maintenance issues. The issue has already been addressed by many locations, according to local managers.

 By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

The nation’s post office lobbies are a mess.

That’s the verdict of the United States Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General.

In a July 21 posting titled “This Old Post Office,” the inspector general said, “It makes no difference what part of the country you’re in, post offices nationwide are in need of upkeep and repair.”

That finding was based in part on a review of post office lobbies in the Postal Service’s Eastern Area of the country, but the inspector general’s blog said the same problems can be found elsewhere.

In the Eastern Area, one of seven postal areas, “more than 60 percent of the facilities reviewed had building and security issues as well as Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations,” according to the report.

“Almost half of facilities had cleanliness and maintenance issues,” the blog said.

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“Nearly 70 percent did not maintain a customer complaint log or monitor how promptly complaints are resolved.”

Previous audits over the past year have found “building appearance problems ranged from mold, rodent and bug infestation to poor landscaping and foliage growing inside the facility,” the inspector general said.

The inspector general blamed some of the problem on landlords “failing to perform requested repairs.”

The report also criticized local management for establishing “competing priorities” that interfered with repairs.

Some managers blamed budget restraints for some of the bad conditions.

After the inspector general raised questions, the blog said, local managers began tackling the problems; in particular, putting up safety posters, clearing blocked doors and exits, and locking unsecured vehicles.

The Office of Inspector General said it was looking at the conditions in mail-processing plants and would be reporting on conditions in those facilities in the future.