Oversight of the Post Office Network Change Programme: fifty-third report of session 2008-09 report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence

House of Commons papers 832 2008-09

Corporate Author:
Great Britain Parliament House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts
Edward Leigh (chairman)
TSO (The Stationery Office)

In 2007, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (the Department) and Post Office Ltd agreed a 1.7 billion strategy to make the network financially sustainable, including a 150 million annual subsidy. One element of this plan was the Network Change Programme, whereby up to 2,500 post office branches were to be closed. The Programme was expected initially to cost 176 million, mainly in compensation to sub-postmasters. Annual savings of 45 million were forecast, but the Programme was expected to generate a 17 million loss in the 2006-07 to 2010-11 period of the strategic plan. The decision as to the number of post offices to be closed focused principally on the size and spread of the network that could be obtained for a particular level of funding. The series of undertakings designed to protect post office users during the closure programme were largely met. But there was criticism of the local consultation phase of the programme: too little time had been allowed for consultation; the decisions had already been made and the public were not being listened to properly. A large proportion of the benefits of the programme and the annual savings are not being separately monitored. The Department is taking action to monitor the service delivered by the post office network, which is important in ensuring that the network provides value for money and informing future strategic decisions. However, there are presently some gaps in this monitoring, particularly around the impacts of closures and setting national standards of quality of service.

Extent [2], 20, Ev 16p. ISBN 9780215541963
Size N/A Price £10.00
Format Paperback Published 12 Nov 2009
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