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U.S. Postal Service OIG

U.S. Postal Service Protection Against External Cyberattacks

Our objective was to determine if the Postal Service has an effective security posture to protect its Information Technology (IT) infrastructure from external cyberattacks and prevent unauthorized access to restricted data.

Department of Commerce OIG

NIST Was Effective in Implementing the Requirements for Awarding Funds Under the CARES Act

Our objective was to determine whether NIST is complying with the requirements of the CARES Act. Specifically, we determined (1) what steps NIST took to implement and comply with the CARES Act, (2) challenges NIST faced during implementation, and (3) NIST’s status in the processing of applications and awarding funds under the CARES Act. Overall, we found that NIST implemented and followed the requirements of the CARES Act and applicable grant award policies and procedures. In addition, NIST implemented measures to mitigate challenges resulting from an increased workload and a forced transition...

U.S. Postal Service OIG

COVID-19 Leave Administration

Our objective was to assess the Postal Service’s management of its employees’ use of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Although the FFCRA expired on December 31, 2020, the Postal Service continued to allow liberal leave usage for employees who had a sickness related to COVID‑19. On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law. This Act is similar to the FFCRA in that it created a new type of leave. Effective March 12, 2021, and continuing through September 30, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act provides...

Department of Commerce OIG

NOAA Fisheries Implemented the Requirements for Awarding Funds Under the CARES Act but Faces Challenges with the Pace of Funds Disbursement to Fishery Participants

For our evaluation of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS, also known as NOAA Fisheries) plan for the implementation of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funding, our objective was to determine whether NOAA complied with the requirements of the CARES Act. Specifically, we determined (1) what steps NOAA took in implementing the requirements for awarding funds, (2) challenges NOAA faced during implementation, and (3) NOAA’s current status in processing applications and award funds under the CARES Act...

U.S. Postal Service OIG

U.S. Postal Inspection Service Pandemic Response to Mail Fraud and Mail Theft

Our objective was to assess the Postal Inspection Service’s response to mail fraud and mail theft during the COVID-19 pandemic. After we began the audit, we received a congressional request from seven members of Congress asking us to identify what actions, if any, the Postal Inspection Service had taken to address the increase in mail theft during the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. Postal Service OIG

Customer Perceptions of the U.S. Postal Service During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The OIG conducted a nationally representative survey to understand the ways the COVID-19 pandemic may have altered customer perceptions of the Postal Service and their habits around mail and other postal-related activities. The OIG found that Americans continued to hold favorable views of the Postal Service during the pandemic, underscoring the important role USPS plays for the nation. During the pandemic, the core ways customers interacted with the Postal Service were through mail receipt, post office visits, and delivery of online orders. Nearly 70 percent of survey respondents reported...

U.S. Postal Service OIG

Impact of Pandemic on Postal Service Finances

From March through September 2020, the Postal Service separated pandemic-related expenses from daily operating expenses to determine the financial impact. These pandemic-related expenses included supplies, services, transportation expenses, and sick and annual leave expenses, among others. Some expenses, such as supplies and services, were directly tracked while others, like transportation expenses, were estimated. Our objective was to assess the impact of the pandemic on Postal Service finances.

U.S. Postal Service OIG

Service Performance of Election and Political Mail During the November 2020 General Election

Our objective was to evaluate the U.S. Postal Service’s service performance of Election and Political Mail during the November 2020 general election. We also evaluated the handling of mail for the Georgia Senate runoff election held on January 5, 2021. The Postal Service prioritized processing of Election Mail during the 2020 general election, significantly improving timeliness over the 2018 mid-term election even with significantly increased volumes of Election Mail in the mailstream. Although timeliness was slightly below goals, proper handling and timely delivery of all Election Mail...

U.S. Postal Service OIG

Pandemic Volume and Revenue Projected Scenarios

The Postal Service develops a range of financial projections as part of its financial planning. A financial projection is an estimate or forecast of a future situation or trend based on a study of present and historical trends. The main projection the Postal Service completes is the annual financial plan, which estimates revenue, volume, and expenses for each fiscal year. The fiscal year (FY) 2020 plan was approved by the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors in February 2020. On March 13, 2020, the President of the United States issued the national emergency declaration concerning the COVID...

Department of Commerce OIG

EDA Was Effective in Implementing the Requirements for Awarding Funds Under the CARES Act

This memorandum provides the results of our evaluation of the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA’s) plan for the implementation of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)1 funding. Our objective was to determine whether EDA implemented and followed the requirements of the CARES Act. Specifically, we determined (1) what steps EDA took in implementing the CARES Act, (2) challenges EDA faced during implementation, and (3) EDA’s ongoing efforts in awarding funds under the CARES Act. Overall, we found that EDA implemented and followed the requirements of the CARES Act...