System Name:
Inspection Service Investigative File System.

System Locations

Office of the Chief Postal Inspector, USPS Headquarters; Inspection Service Human Resources Service Center, Security Investigation Service Center, and Criminal Investigation Service Center; Inspectors-in-Charge.

Categories of Individuals Covered by the System

  1. Subjects of investigations; complainants, informants, witnesses, and other individuals in investigations.
  2. Applicants, current and former USPS employees, contractors, and other individuals providing information related to employment suitability checks.
  3. Applicants for and appointees to sensitive positions in USPS, and individuals providing information related to security clearance checks on those individuals.

Categories of Records in the System

Records related to investigations, including person name(s), Social Security Number(s), case number, addresses, reports of postal inspectors and third parties; physical identifying characteristics (including fingerprints, voiceprints, handwriting samples, polygraph tests, photographs, or other biometrics); and employment and payroll information maintained by USPS.

Authority for Maintenance of the System

39 U.S.C. 401 and 404; and 18 U.S.C. 3061.


To support investigations of criminal, civil, or administrative matters, including applicant, employee, and contractor background investigations.

Routine Uses of Records Maintained in the System, Including Categories of Users and the Purposes of Such Uses

Standard routine uses 1. through 9. apply. In addition:

  1. A record from this system may be disclosed to the public, news media, trade associations, or organized groups to provide information of interest to the public about the activities and the accomplishments of USPS or its employees.
  2. A record relating to a person held in custody pending or during arraignment, trial, sentence, or extradition proceedings or after conviction may be disseminated to a federal, state, local, or foreign prison, probation, parole, or pardon authority or to any other agency or individual involved with the maintenance, transportation, or release of such a person.
  3. A record relating to a case or matter may be disseminated to a foreign country, through the United States Department of State or directly to the representative of such country, under an international treaty, convention, or executive agreement; or to the extent necessary to assist such country in apprehending or returning a fugitive to a jurisdiction that seeks that individual’s return.

Policies and Practices for Storing, Retrieving, Accessing, Retaining, and Disposing of Records in the System


Automated database, computer storage media, and paper.


By name or other personal identifier, subject category, or assigned case number.


Paper records, computers, and computer storage media are located in controlled-access areas under supervision of program personnel. Access to these areas is limited to authorized personnel, who must be identified with a badge. Access to records is limited to individuals whose official duties require such access. Contractors and licensees are subject to contract controls and unannounced on-site audits and inspections. Computers are protected by mechanical locks, card key systems, or other physical access control methods. The use of computer systems is regulated with installed security software, computer logon identifications, and operating system controls including access controls, terminal and transaction logging, and file management software.

Retention and Disposal

Records are retained up to 15 years. Exceptions may be granted for longer retention in specific instances. Records existing on paper are destroyed by burning, pulping, or shredding. Records existing on computer storage media are destroyed according to the applicable USPS media sanitization practice.

System Manager(s) and Address

Chief Postal Inspector, Inspection Service, United States Postal Service, 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20260.

Notification Procedure

Individuals wanting to know if information about them is maintained in this system of records must address inquiries to the system manager and include full name, address, and information sufficient to ascertain the investigation and the individual’s involvement.

Record Access Procedures

Requests for access must be made in accordance with the Notification Procedure above and USPS Privacy Act regulations regarding access to records and verification of identity under 39 CFR 266.6.

Contesting Record Procedures

See Notification Procedure and Record Access Procedures above.

Record Source Categories

Subjects, applicants, applicant references, employees, complainants, witnesses, other systems of records, other government agencies, and external public or private sources.

Systems Exempted From Certain Provisions of the Act

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j) and (k), USPS has established regulations at 39 CFR 266.9 that exempt records in this system depending on their purpose.