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USPS IG Report – Mismanagement of Vacant Properties

Office of Inspector General, USPS – Management of Vacant Properties Audit Report, Report Number SM-AR-16-002. November 6, 2015

“The U.S. Postal Service owns over 8,000 properties and leases over 23,000 properties with annual rents of more than $800 million. The Postal Service Facilities organization oversees these properties, including balancing the real estate portfolio, maximizing revenue, and managing vacant properties. Area and district personnel vacate Postal Service properties due to events such as network optimization efforts, emergency suspensions (environmental or accidental issues), and staffing shortages. As of April 2015, the Postal Service identified 62 vacant leased properties with annual lease amounts of $2.1 million and 79 vacant owned properties valued at about $48 million. This was a snapshot in time. We did not evaluate all properties identified as vacant over the past 2 fiscal years and the actions taken by the Postal Service during that timeframe. The electronic Facilities Management System is the official Postal Service record for real property. It should be used to manage all property-related projects. Our objective was to assess the management of vacant properties and identify opportunities for the Postal Service to reduce associated costs. What The OIG Found – The Postal Service could better manage its vacant properties and increase its opportunities to reduce associated costs. The Postal Service did not know how many vacant properties it owned or leased. Specifically, Facilities was not aware of some of its vacant properties and did not effectively manage the vacant properties it knew about. We identified 25 leased or owned properties that Facilities did not know were vacant. This occurred because there was no policy requiring area and district personnel to notify Facilities when properties became vacant in the field.”

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