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Audit finds wasteful spending during USPS' 2009 fiscal year

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Although the US Postal Service has promised to drive down its own spending, a report released this month by its own inspector general's office found that agency's employees spent $792,000 on meals and events without justification in late 2008 and the first half of 2009. The USPS disclosed a net loss of $3.8 billion for fiscal year 2009.

The USPS inspector general's office also found that “purchases for ancillary items associated with conferences” – lodging, table linens and flowers – “that we consider excessive during this challenging economic time” totaled more than $54,000. The report also noted that the Postal Service cancelled 12 events that would've cost $323,334, due to financial concerns.

For its part, the USPS' management said, according to the report, which “organizational changes have been made recently to improve the efficiency of local purchasing activities.” A USPS representative could not be immediately reached for comment.

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