I propose to take Questions Nos. 11 and 18 together.
As soon as it became apparent to me that the difficulties in relation to postal deliveries were not being rectified quickly enough I emphasised to the chairman and the chief executive of An Post the priority I attached to improving the delivery times of mail, particularly to business customers in the Dublin area.
Since then An Post has concluded an agreement with the Communications Workers Union on the introduction of operational changes to improve the quality of service. The changes provide for an overall improvement in the next day delivery service, revised weekend arrangements to reduce delays in deliveries on Mondays when mail volumes increase and the introduction of part-time delivery staff for business areas to achieve earlier delivery times. Implementation of the changes has already commenced and will extend to all areas involved over the coming weeks.
I am assured by the chairman and the chief executive that these changes will quickly bring about the necessary improvements in the quality of delivery services and help to restore public confidence in An Post. I have requested officials in my Department to clearly monitor the position in the coming weeks to ensure that these unacceptable delays are eliminated through the strategy adopted by An Post.