United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General--Implementation of Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act Section 603, Part 1
B-317022: Sep 25, 2008
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the United States Postal Service (USPS) requests a decision regarding the implementation of section 603 of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, Pub. L. No. 109-435, 120 Stat. 3198, 3240--41 (Dec. 20, 2006). Letter from Ronald K. Stith, Assistant Inspector General for Mission Support, USPS, to Gary L. Kepplinger, General Counsel, GAO, Aug. 18, 2008 (Request Letter). Section 603 authorizes a direct appropriation for the OIG from the Postal Service Fund. OIG asks six questions concerning the appropriation of funds to OIG and the effect such an appropriation will have on statutes that apply to OIG as a component of USPS. We answer three of the six questions below, and will respond to the remaining questions in the future.
USPS exemptions from federal fiscal laws, unless otherwise excepted by 39 U.S.C. 410(b), apply to OIG notwithstanding the enactment of section 603 of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. Because Congress may not enact a regular appropriation for OIG operations before October 1, 2008, and the statutory language authorizing appropriations for OIG is ambiguous, OIG should work with Congress to obtain a provision in the continuing resolution to ensure continued funding of OIG operations. Finally, USPS may not augment OIG's appropriations with additional money from the Postal Service Fund.