WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new government report shows 2 billion pieces of mail were delayed in delivery over the course of one year.

Montana’s U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, who sits on the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, which oversees the Postal Service, has demanded accountability for the reported intentional delays.

On Monday, the Office of Inspector General revealed its findings on the U.S. Postal Service mail delivery delays.

“We found that the Postal Service was not accurately reporting delayed mail,” the reported stated. “We projected that nationally from March 1, 2006 through Feb. 28, 2017, mail processing facilities under-reported late arriving mail by about 2 billion mail pieces.”

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The report stated, “delayed mail was inaccurately reported due to employees not being properly supervised and trained on the procedures for counting and reporting delayed mail.”

Tester’s press release stated that postal employees have reported that supervisors have been intentionally delaying mail in order to meet arbitrary quotas and goals. However the report did not outline or identify deliberate delays.

In the release, Tester also called it unacceptable and demanded the Postal Service immediately fix the problem to ensure that families and small businesses receive timely mail service.

“Any employee who deliberately delayed mail delivery or who knowingly misreported mail delivery should be terminated for violating the trust of America’s hardworking taxpayers and postal ratepayers,” Tester wrote in a letter to the Postmaster General. “Inaccurate reporting of delayed mail has cost the Postal Service severely at a time when its reputation and earnings are in dire need of rehabilitation.”

The report also noted that the delays are going unrecorded, causing daily mail condition reports to be inaccurate.

“We recommended management require formal training for all personnel involved in supervising, conducting, and reporting daily mail counts,” the Office of Inspector General wrote.

MTN’s Dustin Klemann