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Dead Dollars: Postal Service Pays $5.3 Million Annual to Deceased Lessors




Dave Lubach March 28, 2016 - Government Buildings

You can buy a lot of stamps for $5.3 million a year. And the financially strapped U.S. Postal Service is paying that much per year to lease facilities from dead people, according to an investigation by the agency’s internal watchdog.

The probe found at least 338 active leases involving 321 deceased people. The average deceased recipient of federal money according to the investigation was 9.7 years.

An article from the Sinclair Broadcast Group reports that when a lessor dies, the USPS should ascertain who takes over the ownership of the facility, get a new tax identification number and change the lease. Obviously that wasn’t happening.

The Postal Service might have avoided this problem by comparing databases provided by the Social Security Administration listing newly deceased Americans and their Social Security numbers to the Postal Service’s lease database.

And the agency’s response to the oversight appeared lackluster.

“Management stated they do not have the resources to devote to checking the life and death status of lessors for 23,000 leases, and there would be no discernable benefit to the postal service,” the report said.

This quick read was submitted by Dave Lubach, associate editor for Facility Maintenance Decisions. Reach him at dave.lubach@tradepress.com.

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