Tuesday 9th March 2021
Government has decided to establish an Inter -Departmental Group co-chaired by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to examine the feasibility of directing more Government business to the post office network. The Group will report back to Government by the end of July.
Minister Hildegarde Naughton stated,
Government is committed to delivering services using channels geared to the needs of the public. Government also remains committed to a sustainable Post Office Network as a key component of the economic and social infrastructure in both rural and urban areas. The pandemic has again demonstrated the strong customer service ethos of the network. Government is committed to working with An Post and postmasters to ensure that the network continues to play a strong role in delivering State services.
Developments in information and communication technology have transformed how Government and citizens interact with each other in recent years and have radically reformed the way in which Government delivers its services. The Covid pandemic has seen an increase in online engagement with Government and online systems were key in the swift processing of applications for Pandemic supports and other Government services. However, it is important to recognise that a cohort of the population does not have access to, or capacity to, avail of online services and alternative access, through traditional channels, will be essential to them and will ensure that public service delivery continues to be geared to customer irrespective of how they wish to engage with Government.
Government believes An Post has untapped potential to do more and make a further significant contribution across many areas of public, business and community life in Ireland. It is against this backdrop and as a first step, that the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan together with the Minister of State for Postal Services, Hildegarde Naughton, have today brought the Offline Services Report to Government.
Minister of State Anne Rabbitte commented:
I have admired from afar the transformation of An Post – There are powerful trends driving a need for companies to innovate, and even pivot, in today’s environment and into the future. An Post are perfectly positioned in every town to take an agile approach. They have a well established network poised and ready to innnovate.