The United States Post Office’s (USPS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) Semiannual Report to Congress lists infrastructure modernization, IT, and cybersecurity as some of the agency’s most critical management challenges.
The report, released on Nov. 25, reviews USPS audits, investigations, and challenges between April 2019 and September 2019. The OIG made 227 recommendations in the report that ultimately resulted in more than $175 million of funding put to better use, but modernization challenges persist at the agency.
As consumer demand for letter mail declines, USPS must modernize to compete with commercial services such as digital advertising, electronic bill pay, and email, the OIG said.
“To compete effectively, the Postal Service must respond with more timely innovations that address customer demands, with increasing reliance on data to drive internal decision-making and identify opportunities for growth,” the report states.
Lack of funding for USPS has made infrastructure modernization difficult, according to the OIG. New delivery vehicles, for example, are necessary to meet the demands of the changing delivery market.
OIG also reported challenges with USPS’s digital presence. Customers are demanding a timely, relevant, and accurate digital experience that USPS is not providing. Falling behind in IT modernization also leaves the agency vulnerable to cyber threats, the inspector general said.
“The network must have the ability to meet these demands as well as the flexibility to continually adjust to the ever-changing business and regulatory environment,” the report states. “As information technology and the cyber threat landscape evolves, security continues to be an ongoing challenge.”