U.S. Postal Service officials spent more than $39 million leasing trailers last year, but they have no way of tracking their locations or even confirming that they exist, according to a government watchdog.

At least 17 companies lease an estimated 10,000 trailers to the Postal Service but the OIG deputy assistant inspector general said in a report released earlier this week that "the Postal Service does not have an adequate process to document that leased trailers have been delivered and accepted."

Even worse, according to the report, the Postal Service "does not have an inventory system for leased trailers or a process to periodically validate the number of leased trailers on hand."

This isn't a new problem, either, because the Postal Service Office of Inspector General has published at least 19 reports since 2001 highlighting the situation.

The latest report came about after OIG investigators found that Northeast region postal officials could not account for 35 trailers.

Postal Service officials were paying nearly $300,000 in leasing costs for the 35 trailers, but they "could not locate any record that they received these trailers from the leasing company even though the trailers were identified at some point in their manual tracking processes," according to the report.

The report said Postal Service officials agreed with the OIG's findings and promised to fix the problem. Go here for the full report.

Mark Tapscott is executive editor of the Washington Examiner.