Postal Inspection Service

AIMD-94-103R: Published: Apr 14, 1994. Publicly Released: Apr 14, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO compared certain operations of the Chief Postal Inspector with the operations of other Inspector Generals (IG), focusing on the: (1) appointment and removal of IG in various agencies, including the Postal Service; (2) role of the Chief Postal Inspector and other IG in providing security for their agencies' personnel and facilities; (3) scope of investigations by the Chief Postal Inspector and other IG to address physical crimes and illegal drugs within their agencies; and (4) rotation of postal inspectors between audit and investigative work and postal program offices, and whether other offices of inspectors general (OIG) have similar rotation practices. GAO noted that: (1) IG are appointed and removed by their respective agency heads; (2) unlike the other OIG, the Chief Postal Inspector is responsible for the security of postal personnel and facilities through the postal police force; (3) the Postal Inspection Service's investigations of crimes by or against its employees are broader in scope than those of the other OIG; (4) the Postal Inspection Service rotates its postal inspectors between audit and investigative assignments, while the other OIG maintain separate audit and investigation staffs; and (5) the Postal Inspection Service recruits experienced staff from the Postal Service who frequently move into Postal Service program positions, while the other OIG staff are recruited mainly from outside their agencies and infrequently move into program positions.

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