Review of Internal Audit Function of the Postal Service Inspection Service

GGD-79-6: Published: Nov 8, 1978. Publicly Released: Nov 8, 1978.

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The internal audit function of the Postal Service Inspection Service was reviewed to determine the effectiveness of internal auditing from an organizational and operating standpoint. The integration of internal auditors and inspectors within the Inspection Service has limited the benefits of the internal audit function and increased the cost to the Postal Service. The primary mission of the Inspection Service is investigation of criminal matters and ensuring the security of the mails. Internal auditing has a lesser priority, and the resources devoted to auditing have slowly declined, especially for operational/functional types of audits. In addition, about 61 percent more in retirement costs are incurred by having inspectors perform the audit function because of the early retirement benefits that inspectors are eligible to receive. Many potential benefits that could be realized are lost because written responses are not always required on all unresolved audit recommendations, and management's follow-up procedures to ensure implementation of audit recommendations are inadequate. The Postmaster General should establish the internal auditing function as an independent group separate from inspection within the Inspection Service. He should require: (1) postal management to provide written responses to all unresolved audit recommendations; (2) auditors to check reports of corrective actions taken on major audit recommendations; and (3) the Inspection Service to report continuing deficiencies to higher management levels in order to obtain needed corrective action on its recommendations.

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