UNITED STATES NEWS

Audit finds flaws — and undelivered mail — at Postal Service’s new processing facility in Virginia

Apr 3, 2024, 12:01 PM | Updated: 6:30 pm

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — An audit conducted by the Postal Service’s inspector general found significant problems at a new regional processing facility in Virginia, including water-damaged mail left unprocessed for months and a worker asleep at a forklift.

The audit, dated March 28, raises questions about the Postal Service’s plans to modernize its processing network — the Richmond facility that was the focus of the audit is the first of a planned 60 regional processing centers that USPS is launching nationwide that are supposed to streamline operations and improve efficiency.

But the audit found that problems at the Richmond center, which opened in July, have contributed to a drop in on-time service that now finds Virginia ranked worst in the nation. The inspector general said only 66% of first-class mail has been delivered within two days in the current fiscal year, compared to a national average of 87%. No other region in the U.S. fell below 80%, according to the inspector general’s office.

The Postal Service has estimated that the $23 million facility will produce $15 million annually in savings by consolidating operations. But the audit found that work hours and overtime actually increased after the center opened.

“At this time, it is unclear if the Postal Service will realize the expected savings associated with consolidating operations into the Richmond” regional processing center, the audit concluded.

Auditors also said they discovered “a general inattention to detail that resulted in mail left on or around machines, large amounts of machinable mail in manual processing, and in one case, mail over two months old left in a container in the truck yard.” They also observed a mail handler sleeping on a parked forklift.

Postal Service officials responded to the audit and said they agree with most of the 10 specific recommendations for improvement made in the report by the inspector general.

“We have undertaken extensive efforts to thoroughly address these challenges and issues in Richmond, which has led to continued performance improvement,” the officials said in their formal response to the audit.

Virginia’s two U.S. senators, Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, issued a joint statement along with U.S. Reps. Jennifer McClellan, D-Va., Bobby Scott, D=Va., Rob Wittman, R-Va., Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., Bob Good, R-Va., and Jen Kiggans, R-Va., calling on USPS to fix the problems identified in the report.

“It couldn’t be clearer that USPS has not been providing reliable service to Virginians, and we’ve been pressing for answers. This report pinpoints a number of issues, including a lack of coordination between USPS and staff at the Richmond Regional Processing and Distribution Center (RPDC),” the lawmakers said. “USPS must provide more resources and clearer guidance to management and staff at RPDC, among other steps.”

United States News

Associated Press

Takeaways from this week’s reports on the deadly 2023 Maui fire that destroyed Lahaina

HONOLULU (AP) — More than half a year after the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century burned through a historic Maui town, officials are still trying to determine exactly what went wrong and how to prevent similar catastrophes in the future. But two reports released this week are filling in some of the […]

2 hours ago

A anti-abortion supporter stands outside the House chamber, Wednesday, April 17, 2024, at the Capit...

Associated Press

Democrats clear path to bring proposed repeal of Arizona’s near-total abortion ban to a vote

Democrats in the Arizona Senate cleared a path to bring a proposed repeal of the state’s near-total ban on abortions to a vote.

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Oklahoma man arrested after authorities say he threw a pipe bomb at Satanic Temple in Massachusetts

BOSTON (AP) — An Oklahoma man was arrested Wednesday after authorities accused him of throwing a pipe bomb at the Massachusetts headquarters of a group called The Satanic Temple. The Salem-based group says on its website that it campaigns for secularism and individual liberties, and that its members don’t actually worship Satan. Sean Patrick Palmer, […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Ellen Ash Peters, first female chief justice of Connecticut Supreme Court, dies at 94

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Ellen Ash Peters, who was the first woman to serve as Connecticut’s chief justice and wrote the majority opinion in the state Supreme Court’s landmark school desegregation ruling in 1996, has died. She was 94. Peters, who also was the first female faculty member at Yale Law School, passed away Tuesday, […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Vermont farms are still recovering from flooding as they enter the growing season

BERLIN, Vt. (AP) — Hundreds of Vermont farms are still recovering from last July’s catastrophic flooding and other extreme weather as they head into this year’s growing season. Dog River Farm, in Berlin, Vermont, lost nearly all its produce crops in the July flooding. The farm removed truckloads of river silt and sand from the […]

10 hours ago

Associated Press

Appeals court leaves temporary hold on New Jersey’s county line primary ballot design in place

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal appeals court on Wednesday affirmed a lower court’s decision to order New Jersey Democrats scrap a ballot design widely viewed as helping candidates with establishment backing. The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals considered a slimmed-down appeal brought by the Camden County Democrats after the county clerks — the officials charged […]

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Audit finds flaws — and undelivered mail — at Postal Service’s new processing facility in Virginia