MAILING IT IN

The US Postal Service really does not want to discuss a problem with its charter flights

Nothing to see here.
Nothing to see here.
Image: US Postal Service Office of the Inspector General
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The US Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General released a management alert (pdf) on Sept. 5 amid an ongoing audit of the agency’s transportation-network operations. The bulletin is focused on one specific issue that requires “immediate attention and remediation,” warned Darrell E. Benjamin, Jr., the deputy assistant inspector general for mission operations.

But nowhere in the publicly released version of the 12-page report does it reveal what that problem is. In fact, it doesn’t reveal much about anything, other than there’s something going on with the Postal Service’s charter flights. These flights ferry mail to members of the military stationed abroad, and other international destinations. They also provide delivery to remote locations not served by regular routes.

Here’s what we know: The Postal Service’s supply-management division approved something at some point in the past two years having to do with charter flight operations:

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Whatever it was, it cost this much:

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For this many flights:

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And this much mail:

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Which was either delivered on-time, or not:

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Of course, none of this means much without a bit of necessary background:

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So with that in mind, here’s what the first few months of 2019 looked like compared to last year:

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Plentiful footnotes provide additional context:

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The Office of Inspector General put forth three individual recommendations:

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Management responded that recommendations 2 and 3 have already been implemented.

“After subsequent conversations with Postal Service management,” the report concludes, “the target implementation date for recommendation 1 is November 29, 2019.”