Speaking today [Dec.2] in the House of Assembly, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Patrice Minors said that “mail with minor address infractions will now be delivered.”
The Post Office Amendment Act 2009 established a requirement for the proper addressing of all mail, and stipulated that all mail not properly addressed would be returned to sender.
Until recently, mail with missing or incorrect postal codes was considered to have an invalid or incorrect address. For the first six months of 2011 it was noted that 45% of all Return to Sender mail is postal code infractions – that is, missing or incorrect postal codes.
“I trust that this change will please the public greatly,” said the Minister.
The Minister’s full statement follows below:
Mr. Speaker, I rise this morning to bring good news with respect to a more than two-year campaign that was designed to encourage the people of Bermuda to “Get Your Mail Right.”
Based on the commercials that I’ve seen over the period it was complete with a “Get Your Mail Right” jig. I won’t entertain you with my version of the jig this morning however so Members need not be concerned.
On a serious note Mr. Speaker, the Post Office Amendment Act 2009 established a requirement for the proper addressing of all mail. It stipulated that all mail not properly addressed would be returned to sender.
Until recently, mail with missing or incorrect postal codes was considered to have an invalid or incorrect address. Under the provisions of Regulation 63 of the principal Regulations, all mail bearing an incorrect or invalid address was returned to sender even if the address of the correspondent was known to the Post Office.
In cases where the sender could not be located, which generally means that the mail did not bear a return address, the mail was disposed of in accordance with Section 64 of the Regulations.
The savings to the tax payer have been significant – almost half a million dollars a year. The cost relating to the time used to deliver incorrectly addressed mail was approximately $30,000 – $35,000 per month. These costs have been eliminated as a direct result of the decision taken not to deliver mail for address infractions.
Mr. Speaker, following a review of the Return to Sender programme for the first six months of 2011 it was noted that 45% of all Return to Sender mail is postal code infractions – that is, missing or incorrect postal codes.
This is the largest category of Return To Sender mail and can be most easily processed without significantly impacting delivery standards or increasing operating costs. It is also the category of Return to Sender mail that is the most controversial from the public’s perspective.
Therefore, after some experience with the criteria associated with incorrectly addressed mail and in consideration of the public outcry with respect to undelivered mail, the Post Office acknowledges that non-delivery is a very serious consequence for a minor address infraction that could so very easily be fixed.
It should be noted however that the non-delivery policy has reduced incorrectly addressed mail dramatically. Prior to the 2009 amendments the Post Office processed approximately 7,500 pieces of incorrectly addressed mail per day; today there are only 1,500 pieces of incorrectly addressed mail on any given day.
Mr. Speaker, the readdressing of mail is a standard practice in all postal administrations within the Universal Postal Union (UPU) postal network. The degree of readdressing varies in accordance to the postal administration’s ability to provide this service without impacting its delivery standards for first class mail and operating within the confines of the regulatory requirements.
So today Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that mail with minor address infractions will now be delivered.
I am advised that by amending the way that the mail is processed in our mail processing facilities and sub post offices, that the Post Office can significantly reduce the volume of Return To Sender mail without negatively impacting operational efficiency, increasing taxpayer costs or impacting our local delivery standards for first class mail. This will also allow the Post Office to increase our current levels of customer service to the public.
A recent Customer Service Survey indicates that 85% of the respondents were pleased with the postal service. It is anticipated that this change in operating procedure, together with the re-classification of what constitutes an incorrect address, will assist us with further increasing satisfaction ratings without jeopardizing delivery standards.
Today, 92% of all mail is delivered within two working days and we expect this mail delivery rate to remain unchanged.
As a reminder Mr. Speaker, only those items with minor address infractions such as missing or incorrect postal codes will be delivered.
I trust that this change will please the public greatly and I take this opportunity to thank all of Bermuda for their diligence in taking the necessary steps to “Get Your Mail Right.” The collective effort has contributed to greater operating efficiency and decreased costs associated with mail delivery.
Thank you Mr. Speaker.