Information on Shortages in Stamp Stock at the Main Post Office and the Carl Range Station in Irving, Texas

GGD-84-67: Published: May 1, 1984. Publicly Released: May 1, 1984.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the circumstances surrounding the claims of a former supervisor and another employee for losses of stamps worth a total of $8,000 from two Postal Service facilities.

The former supervisor stated that: (1) the Postal Inspection Service would not investigate the losses; (2) the local postmaster would not file a claim to relieve the accountable employees from paying for the losses; and (3) the postmaster applied some window clerks' overages, or balances exceeding accountable amounts, to reduce the losses, but he had not applied one overage of $1,600. As a result, the supervisor and the other employee had to pay for the losses, less applied overages. GAO found that the Postal Service did not extensively investigate the two losses because the accountable employees had not followed the required procedures for stamp accountability and, therefore, were personally liable for the losses under Service regulations. The local postmaster did not file a claim in either case to relieve the accountable employees from liability because he did not believe that the claims would be relieved under Service criteria. Further, the postmaster did not apply an additional $1,600 overage because he did not believe that it was directly related to the losses. GAO found that postal procedures concerning the charging of losses to accountable employees were followed but was not able to determine whether these cases were representative of the Service's handling of such matters.

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