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During a recent visit to the South Houston Local Processing Center (LPC) auditors identified deficiencies that affected the efficiency of operations. As part of its peak season audit, the Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) assessed the Postal Service’s acquisition and use of these peak season annexes, including the South Houston LPC, which is associated with the North Houston Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC). Although the South Houston LPC was opened as a peak season annex with temporary, peak season staff, management employed an undocumented contingency plan and decided to keep the facility open beyond peak season. On January 2, 2024, the facility stopped processing packages bound for the immediate area and began processing packages coming from the local area to the rest of the nation. Currently, the South Houston LPC is operating as an interim processing facility, but later this year it is expected to shift operations to a traditional LPC processing letters and flats.

During the audit the OIG found delayed mail awaiting processing; delayed mail awaiting dispatch; facility conditions with safety, security, and maintenance concerns; and a lack of communication with stakeholders. During the site visit, auditors observed about 1,000 containers of delayed mail that

needed to be processed. They also saw delayed collection mail from local delivery units. In addition, they observed 1,400 containers of mail awaiting transport to other facilities. Specifically, there were 224,000 pieces of delayed mail waiting to be dispatched to other locations across the nation. Additionally, auditors observed numerous packages and pallets of letters prepared for cross-docking on the workroom floor and dock. They also saw significant amounts of surplus Mail Transport Equipment awaiting transport.