Need for Improved Control Over Local Purchases of Parts, Supplies, and Services at Post Offices

GGD-81-58: Published: Mar 25, 1981. Publicly Released: Mar 25, 1981.

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Prompted by an increased congressional interest in preventing fraud, abuse, and waste in the Federal Government, GAO examined the U.S. Postal Service's controls over parts, supplies, and services purchased by local postal facilities.

More could be done to strengthen controls over purchases by local facilities to prevent potential losses. Contrary to good internal control techniques calling for the separation of procurement-related duties, not all critical duties were separated at the postal facilities visited by GAO. The Service cannot rely on its inventory control systems because they are maintained by the same employees who are authorized to determine needs, order and receive parts and supplies, and certify invoices for payment. In addition, the payment of invoices is based on certifications that supplies and services were received, although the certifying employees rarely saw the items and often did not obtain documentation signed by employees who actually received the supplies or services.

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