By CBS Baltimore Staff

DUNDALK, MD. (WJZ) — A USPS Inspector General audit of nine Baltimore region post offices detailed issues three key issues plaguing the offices: delayed mail, inaccurate reporting of mail conditions, and improper scanning. Inspectors made seven recommendations to address the findings.

Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger and Kwesi Mfume requested the audits in May after an increasing amount of constituent complaints. Ruppersberger’s office said his constituents have gone weeks without critical mail like paychecks and medicine.

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The audit reviewed the Carroll, Clifton East End, Druid, Dundalk, Essex, Loch Raven, Middle River, Parkville and Rosedale post offices. Inspectors analyzed data from October 2019 through July 2021

The audit found the Baltimore region is second only to the Chicago region for missing mail inquiries within the time frame analyzed, well above the national average.

Inspectors in June found flat mail at the Dundalk office postmarked for December 2020 that had not been delivered.

To address the delayed mail, inspectors recommended Maryland District Manager Lora McLucas take several steps:

  • Implement a process to ensure managers complete the removal process for part-time city carriers that are no longer employed
  • Implement a plan to hire and retain enough carriers
  • Open another city carrier training academy to efficiently train new carriers
  • Implement a plan to analyze available data to determine when the Baltimore postmaster should request
    additional resources from outside the Baltimore region to help deliver mail

“Because of this audit, we now have the data and more importantly, data-driven recommendations to implement real change,” said Rep. Ruppersberger.

The audit also revealed inaccurate reporting of mail conditions. Management at Dundalk, Parkville, and Rosedale did not report any delayed mail, despite tens of thousands of pieces identified as delayed.

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The inspectors recommended that McLucas implement a plan to ensure delayed mail is reported daily in an existing reporting system, and that reporting is monitored for accuracy.

Improper scanning was the final finding by inspectors. According to the report, of the 409 packages reviewed, 172 were missing a “Stop-the-Clock”  scan, had improper scans, or were improperly scanned at a location other than the delivery point.

The inspectors’ final recommendation is for McLucas to implement a plan to monitor and ensure compliance with package scanning.

McLucas was receptive to the recommendations and provided a target implementation date of at least November 30 for each recommendation.

“I will ensure the listed units continue to have a higher level of oversight by executive leadership, to make certain continuous improvements are made and all deficiencies are abated,” McLucas said in response to the audit.

McLucas became Maryland District Manager in late September.

 

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CBS Baltimore Staff