Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Questions (107)

Denis Naughten

Question:

107. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will amend the current postal services Acts to introduce a public service obligation on An Post to maintain a minimum level of service to rural communities by providing a geographical spread of sub post offices; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23785/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

An Post is statutorily required under the Communications Regulation (Postal Services) Act 2011 to provide a universal postal service. The Act charges the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg), as the postal regulator, with the promotion of the development of the postal sector, particularly the availability of the universal postal service, the promotion of the interests of users and the facilitation of the development of competition in the sector. While the aim of the universal postal service is to ensure that all users have reasonable access to a minimum range of services of specified quality and at an affordable price, the manner in which this is to be achieved is a matter for An Post subject, of course, to appropriate regulatory oversight by ComReg in accordance with the provisions of the Act. An Post, when coming to a decision in relation to post offices in the network, takes into account a number of factors one of which, consistent with the universal service obligation, is customer access to services elsewhere in a geographic region.

Matters relating to the post office network, including the opening and closing of post offices, are an operational matter for the management and Board of An Post and one in which I have no statutory function.