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In October, Casey and Evans sent a letter to the U.S. Postal Service Inspector General requesting investigation into mail delays

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and U.S. Representative Dwight Evans (D-PA-3) are announcing that the United States Postal Service Office of the Inspector General (OIG) will conduct an audit evaluating the efficiency of operations at the Philadelphia, PA Processing and Distribution Center and the Delaware Processing and Distribution Center. This audit is being conducted following Senator Casey’s and Representative Evans’ letter to the OIG, requesting the investigation into mail delays. As part of this audit, OIG will also be auditing mail delivery, customer service, and property conditions at six select post offices in the Philadelphia and Delaware area, including Logan Station, Germantown Station, and North Philadelphia Station in Philadelphia.

“For years, I have heard from constituents about ongoing mail delays in Philadelphia. As long as these issues are allowed to persist, they will continue to disrupt the daily lives of Philadelphians and deny them a critical service necessary for their health, safety, and expression of their constitutional rights. I am encouraged to hear that the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General is taking these issues seriously and conducting an audit to get to the root of these persistent issues after Representative Evans and I requested they be investigated. Quality mail service—timely, secure, and responsive service—is not optional,” said Senator Casey.

Representative Evans said, “I’m very pleased that the Office of Inspector General is doing an audit as Senator Casey and I requested, and I hope this will lead to improved service for postal customers in Philadelphia and across the commonwealth.”

In October 2022, Senator Casey, Representative Evans, and Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA-8) sent a letter urging United States Postal Service Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to address the ongoing mail service issues for Pennsylvanians. The letter was sent after a Congressional oversight hearing on USPS service issues in the Commonwealth that took place in Philadelphia in September. Casey, Evans, and Cartwright demanded that the Postal Service develop and share a plan to improve mail service throughout Pennsylvania.

Over the past several years, constituents have noted persistent mail delays and theft at the Germantown Post Office in Philadelphia. These allegations include mail being delivered weeks or months late, lost packages, opened envelopes with money or gift cards removed, and other issues. In March of 2021, constituents informed the members of Congress who represented Philadelphia that over 2,000 pieces of mail were discovered dumped in bags in a lot near the Germantown post office. These bags of mail were dropped off at a nearby police station, where local authorities alerted the federal government.

Read the letter to the Inspector General here and below.

October 3, 2022

The Honorable Tammy L. Whitcomb
Inspector General, U.S. Postal Service
Office of the Inspector General
1735 N. Lynn Street
Arlington, Virginia 22209

Dear Inspector General Whitcomb:

We write to bring your attention to serious concerns regarding operations at the Germantown Post Office at 5209 Greene Street in Philadelphia, including reports of mail delivery delays and theft. Despite repeated attempts by community members to resolve these issues with the Philadelphia Postmaster General and other senior postal service officials, the reports of serious service issues have persisted. Our constituents have told our offices that these delays have led to unnecessary hardships like paying late fees on missed bills and being unable to respond in a timely manner to critical documents like parole paperwork. We write to request that your office investigate these complaints as well as the response by the USPS and provide the below-requested information.

Over the past several years, our offices have received reports from many constituents regarding mail delays and theft at the Germantown Post Office. Press reports have brought to light similar issues including mail being delivered weeks or months late, lost packages, receiving opened envelopes with checks, money or gift cards removed and other issues.1 Our constituents also informed our offices that in March of 2021, over 2,000 pieces of dumped mail were discovered near the Germantown post office. These bags of mail were subsequently taken to a nearby police station, where local authorities alerted USPS officials. These problems highlight the persistent challenges our constituents have endured with the Germantown Post Office and the need for change.

Our offices have previously brought these concerns to your office and the Postal Service. However, we are concerned that these issues remain unresolved. We request that your office audit operations at the Germantown Post Office, report back its findings to our offices, and answer the following questions:

  1. It is our understanding that the Office of the Inspector General can conduct Field Operations Review Team (FORT) audits, which entail visiting a Post Office unannounced to do a thorough review of operations. Our offices request that a FORT audit be conducted at the Germantown Post Office to deduce the cause of persistent mail issues.
  2. Our understanding is that the OIG was involved in the investigation of the 2,000 pieces of mail found in March 2021 near the Germantown Post Office. Please provide any available information about the findings of this investigation.
  3. Please provide all audits, evaluations or investigations regarding mail operations in Philadelphia County in the last five years. To the extent recommendations were issued in conjunction with these reviews, please provide a list of those that remain open. In addition, please comment on the general nature of any ongoing investigations in the region to the extent possible.
  4. The USPS has claimed that staffing delays are driving mail delivery delays and other chronic problems. What, if any, recommendations has the OIG made related to how the Postal Service can address staffing related issues either generally or at the Germantown Post Office in particular?

We recognize the extraordinary circumstances the Postal Service has been operating under in recent years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Postal Service was crucial in disbursing economic impact payments to individuals, supporting small businesses and facilitating vote-by mail in the 2020 general election. Pennsylvanians rely on the Postal Service to communicate with loved ones, engage in business, and receive critical documents and medical supplies. Quality service is not optional; it is essential.

If you or your staff have questions about this request, please direct them to our offices.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important issue.