In this report the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee outlines its concerns with regards to the Government's proposals for change to the ownership and administration of the Post Office network. The new role of post offices as front offices for Government services will be vital to their ongoing financial viability. The Government must set out the services that are to be delivered through this method whilst Post Office Ltd must demonstrate a clear marketing strategy to ensure post offices are promoted as the preferred outlet for such services. The new method of remuneration for 'Local' post offices may not be viable for subpostmasters, increasing the likelihood that large supermarkets will take over the Post Office mantle. There is little detail on the programme for change with regards to mutualisation and particularly on how any such mutualisation would be affected should the majority of 'Locals' be owned by a small number of major companies. The Committee recommends that the Government outline how such a situation would affect the ability of the Post Office to become a mutual organisation. On the question of a Post Office subsidy, the Committee supports the long-term objective for post offices to become financially self-sufficient. Indirect financial support, largely in the form of the Front Office Government services will be key to achieving this ambition, but some smaller offices may never achieve financial independence and they should be supported as they often deliver some of the most vital services to rural or deprived areas.Currently, the Post Office support for those systems is not available at the times when retailers are opening their businesses. ... Retailers are having to balance out a change in income with a change in staffing costs and other costs associated with the business, ... This, to me, does not work if you do not have most staff able to do that, otherwise you do not have the flexibility that, when there are ... Of course, the purpose of a pilot is to learn and to move forward addressing these things.
|Title||:||Post Office Network Transformation|
|Author||:||Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Business, Innovation and Skills Committee|
|Publisher||:||The Stationery Office - 2012-07-01|