Need for Tighter Controls Over Fuel Purchased by the Postal Service

GGD-80-75: Published: Jul 31, 1980. Publicly Released: Jul 31, 1980.

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The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) needs to strengthen and enforce its controls over the nearly 90 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel it uses each year. USPS needs to act to reduce its susceptibility to fraud, abuse, and waste by initiating and following sound control procedures.

USPS controls over the handling of bulk fuel receipts and disbursements, purchases of fuel from commercial service stations, and the use of fuel by USPS employees are particularly troublesome. Employees often do not verify the quantity of bulk fuel received. Thus, postauditing is nearly impossible. USPS has no way to determine whether delivered fuel meets contract specifications. Control techniques available are not always used and shortages may have gone undetected. GAO found unlocked fuel tanks. Procurement records of fuel purchased from commercial service stations are incomplete and subject to error. Postal facilities are not consistent in the way supervisors try to monitor the use of vehicles and fuel. GAO could not determine whether fuel is being used for nonpostal activities because insufficient data is maintained.

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