Topline: The U.S. Postal Service is investing $9.6 billion in electrifying its delivery fleet, including procuring charging stations.
While the Postal Service completed tests and conducted other performance monitoring of the charging stations, not enough testing was done to safeguard those assets, according to a recent audit from the USPS Office of Inspector General.
Key Facts: The report found that the Postal Service conducted effective contract oversight to verify that charging stations conformed to certain requirements identified in the contracts’ statement of work, and conducted performance monitoring to evaluate the charging stations’ short-term reliability
But it found the USPS didn’t conduct long-term performance monitoring, test with Next Generation Delivery Vehicles, or test the lifespan of the charging stations.
It also found there weren’t effective management controls over the storage of charging stations. “Specifically, facility management did not employ necessary physical safety measures designed to protect and deter the theft of assets.”
Background: The inspector general’s staff wanted to determine whether the Postal Service was effectively testing performance, storing and monitoring charging stations.
They observed testing at Vienna, Virginia, conducted site observations and interviews at the MDC in Kansas; and reviewed related policies and procedures.
Facility management didn’t provide sufficient oversight or resolve security deficiencies in a timely manner, which contributed to the loss of $67,000 in assets, the report found.
The Postal Service is storing and dispersing charging stations from its Material Distribution Center (MDC) in Kansas.
The audit redacts the value of those charging stations that are considered at risk of theft until all the safeguards are implemented.
Critical Quote: “We recommended management take urgent action to finalize and implement the plan for physically safeguarding assets stored at the MDC.”
Summary: If a federal agency is going to spend almost $10 billion on elective vehicles and charging stations, it should do so carefully, and at the very least, ensure they’re not at risk of being stolen.
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