USPS Employees Expense Sports Tickets

U.S. Postal Service employees are giving their agency a bad name with excess spending on sports tickets, according to a recent audit.

USPS officials spent $14,778 on tickets for professional basketball, football and baseball games as recognition awards, the agency inspector general found. Employees also spent more than $400,000 on business meals, including beer and wine, and gift cards, purchases that did not comply with agency policies and were not justified or documented.

Spending using agency credit cards declined 10 percent in fiscal 2010 compared to the previous year, but employees continue to make "imprudent and unnecessary purchases during a time of severe economic uncertainty for the Postal Service," the IG found.

An IG audit released in February found that 173 postal employees used their government travel cards to pay for personal items and cash advances unrelated to official travel -- including airline tickets, computer and adult entertainment -- totaling $349,317 in inappropriate spending. Postal workers also spent more than $600,000 in excess of established government lodging rates, the IG found.

Officials agreed to send a memo to employees reminding them about spending policies and procedures, as well as a letter to officers about timely reporting of awards.