U.S. Postal Service officials doled out more than $37 million in contracts without allowing for competition, the agency's inspector general found.

Officials at the Postal Service who awarded contracts did not provide required documents justifying the fact that 21 of 56 awards collectively worth more than $37 million were given without being put out for competitive bidding.

The IG said the same officials failed to do price or cost analysis on 13 of the purchases to ensure the highest quality of product or service was bought.

The IG's office projected that more than $210 million of $1.3 billion USPS purchases made in 2011 and 2012 lacked required justification documents.

"If contracting officials do not seek all opportunities to compete in the marketplace, the Postal Service might overpay for products and services and not achieve the best value for purchases that can negatively impact the Postal Service's brand," the IG said.