Postal Carrier Route Studies, Great Falls, Montana

GGD-80-55: Published: Apr 15, 1980. Publicly Released: Apr 15, 1980.

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GAO reviewed 28 of the 56 postal carrier route studies made by the Postal Service in Great Falls, Montana. The review included routes for both post offices involved in the studies.

Many errors were revealed which collectively could have affected route adjustments. The errors also created an atmosphere of antagonism and distrust between Postal Service management officials and some of the letter carriers. Forms used to document the justification for adjustments to a carrier's route were usually completed in pencil and erasures on the documents were evident. In some instances, the justifications used to support the adjustments were not clearly stated. Instructions on how the studies were to be made apparently failed to provide adequate guidance for selecting the proper weeks for computing average time, determining the base office time for carriers, and determining the proper course of action for situations where carriers were on leave entire weeks or partial days when a carrier's timecard did not reflect required entries. New route studies are scheduled to begin on April 19, 1980. To ensure greater accuracy in these studies, Postal Service supervisors and a union representative will select the proper weeks for averaging. The weeks selected will be recorded in greater detail. GAO was told that the postmaster or customer service manager will provide all guidance and control over staff involved in these studies.

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