Once-a-day mail run urged to save $38m

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 April, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 April, 2002, 12:00am

The Post Office should consider reducing its mail delivery service from twice a day to once to save $38.2 million a year, the Audit Commission said.

It said the Post Office should also tighten control on overtime claims by postmen, which it said could save a further $21.3 million a year.

At present, the office operates 1,238 delivery beats which make one delivery each day. A further 452 beats make two deliveries daily.

The commission found the performance of beats with two deliveries only slightly better than that of one-delivery beats between January 2000 and December last year.

By reducing all deliveries to once a day, 133 postmen could be redeployed, it said.

The commission also found some overtime allowance claims were not justified, resulting in spending of about $21.3 million.

The commission said that some claims had been made for overtime allowances for one to two hours a day in cases where the workload could be carried out in less than one hour.

Postmaster-General Luk Ping-chuen said a reduction in the frequency of deliveries would 'seriously impede the efficiency and competitiveness of the business community' because a substantial portion of the daily mail in commercial and industrial areas was received in the afternoon.

'It may not be in the community's interest to further reduce the number of twice-daily delivery beats at this stage,' he said, pledging to review the operation.

The Post Office also said it had been continuously reviewing the workload of postmen regarding overtime allowances claimed.