Postal Service Needs To Strengthen Controls Over Employee Overtime

GGD-83-36: Published: Apr 6, 1983. Publicly Released: Apr 6, 1983.

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GAO reported on the Postal Service's need to improve overtime controls.

At the six postal facilities it reviewed, GAO found that overtime payments cost about $4.2 million dollars. Management's effort to meet its own overtime estimates was often a primary consideration when allowing overtime rather than determining whether a need for additional work was present. GAO noted that a substantial amount of overtime had been retroactively approved due to supervisors' failure to control employee work schedules. GAO found that at five of the facilities it visited the Postal Service paid an estimated $470,000 for overtime hours that had not been authorized because overtime entered into the system was automatically paid unless expressly disallowed and because supervisors did not disallow unnecessary overtime requests. GAO concluded that, although overtime provides management with manpower flexibility, improper use results in unnecessary costs.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Postal Service should require facility managers to monitor forced overtime to identify supervisors who are not fulfilling their responsibility to control work schedules.

    Agency Affected: United States Postal Service

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Postal Service should require facility managers to prepare periodic reports showing the extent of retroactively approved overtime.

    Agency Affected: United States Postal Service

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Postmaster General, to improve control over the use of overtime, should ensure that facility managers be instructed to not hire additional employees to reduce overtime until its underlying causes are determined.

    Agency Affected: United States Postal Service

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Postmaster General, to improve control over the use of overtime, should ensure that employees with constant and high overtime use be periodically identified for a determination as to whether the work can be done on straight time.

    Agency Affected: United States Postal Service

  5. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Postal Service maintains that effective control over overtime is possible without including it as a line item in the budget.

    Recommendation: The Postmaster General, to improve control over the use of overtime, should ensure that planned overtime hours be included in the work-hour budget and reported on the work-hour report.

    Agency Affected: United States Postal Service

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Postal Service should require facility managers to periodically remind supervisors and timekeepers of their respective responsibilities for maintaining control of employee work schedules.

    Agency Affected: United States Postal Service

 

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