Delivery of Public Postal Service in Jamaica
The Post and Telecommunications Department (PTD) provides public mail services island-wide. In 2000, the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) established the Postal Corporation of Jamaica (PCOJ), as a transition company, to spearhead the modernisation and commercialization of the PTD. The Department operates in an increasingly competitive environment, driven by advancements in communications technology and cross border trade, which has spurred the growth of private mail services. Vision 2030 National Development Plan identifies mail services as an important vehicle for the supply of goods and services across borders in promoting trade. It is therefore essential that the PTD is equipped with the appropriate technology and institutional framework that will support a reliable, efficient and cost-effective postal service for households and business enterprises.
We conducted a performance audit on the public postal service to determine whether the current operations were cost effective in delivering this vital service to customers. The audit also sought to assess PCOJ’s progress towards modernising and commercializing the public postal service, as mandated by the GOJ.
The audit concluded that the PCOJ’s slow progress in modernising and commercializing the operations of PTD, coupled with competition from private mail service providers, has resulted in a continuing fall in mail volumes and revenue, making it more costly to provide public postal services. Further, inadequate strategic support from the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology (MSET) through the delay in finalizing the Postal Service Bill, for debate and approval of the new Postal Service Act by Parliament, would have impeded PCOJ’s flexibility to innovate and rationalize the public postal service in responding to the demands of customers for fast and efficient mail service. We noted PTD presentation to its portfolio Ministry in 2014, outlining a restructuring plan for the Department; however, we saw little evidence of implementation. We based our audit conclusions on our review of data and information obtained from PTD, PCOJ, MSET and discussions with key stakeholders. A summary of the audit findings, observations and opinion are presented below, while the details are provided in Parts Two and Three of this report.