Poczta Polska does not ensure the proper quality of universal postal services – stated the Supreme Audit Office in a report after an inspection. As indicated by the President of the Supreme Audit Office, Marian Banaś, there are still delays in delivering parcels and they are becoming more and more expensive, and in some localities residents have problems with the availability of postal services. The NIK report contains numerous inaccuracies and data that are not supported by facts, replies Poczta Polska.
The audit, which covered the years 2015-2020, covered: the Office of Electronic Communications, Poczta Polska SA – the headquarters and selected units.
Poczta Polska – the company’s revenues
As recalled, the President of the Office of Electronic Communications, after conducting a competition, in 2015 selected Poczta Polska as the operator designated to provide state-guaranteed universal postal services in 2016-2025. “Providing guaranteed services obliges the Post Office to operate not less than five days a week and to maintain postal points of contact and postal infrastructure throughout the country, also in sparsely populated areas” – explained the Supreme Audit Office. It has been noticed that such activity generates high costs, which sometimes leads to losses.
“The situation of the designated operator is complicated because, on the one hand, the law obliges it to provide services in a manner that generates costs, and at the same time is a commercial company, so it is bound by an economic account. compensation from the compensation fund created by the President of UKE from contributions of postal operators “- indicated the Chamber. Such a surcharge would take place if, during the year, revenues from universal services would not cover the costs of providing these services. However, this equalization mechanism – as it was noted – has not worked so far, Poczta Polska has not been compensated for 2013.
The Supreme Audit Office pointed out that the decrease in Poczta Polska’s revenues is mainly due to the shrinking market of traditional letters. The negative dynamics amounts to several percent per year. In turn, the development of e-commerce contributes to the growth of the courier services market.
“A new situation on the postal logistics market will also be created by the act on the so-called electronic deliveries, whereby public entities – as a rule – will send and receive correspondence in electronic form. The government has already adopted a draft of such an act” – we read.
Polish Post – price list
According to the Supreme Audit Office, the untimely delivery of items concerned most categories of items under the universal service, with the exception of economic postal parcels, whose timely delivery was well above the minimum standards. “Delays in the delivery of parcels are explained by the Post Office with shortages of staff” – indicated in the report.
As noted, in the five years covered by the audit, Poczta Polska SA increased the prices of basic universal services three times, explaining the increases by increasing costs, especially salaries. The Chamber said that prices had risen by 4.4 percent. – for a letter with the lowest dimensions, national priority, weighing up to 1 kg, up to 88.6% – for the letter of the lowest size, domestic economic.
In its report, the Supreme Audit Office noted the low activity of the President of the Office of Electronic Communications, who is responsible for monitoring and controlling universal services. “The President of UKE did not take effective measures to prevent an increase in prices for postal services. He accepted the increases, explaining them with the need to protect the economic interest of the designated operator and the need to maintain the continuity of services” – we read.
Polish Post – offices
NIK noted that “although Poczta Polska has the number of post offices required by law, this does not mean equal access to postal services throughout the country”. The report stated that in 2015-2020 (first half), the Post Office increased by 5.5 percent. decreased the number of active postal points of contact “.” As a result, the local number of inhabitants per one active postal point of contact significantly exceeded 6,000 inhabitants. disabilities.
The report positively assessed the improvement in the timely handling of complaints by the Post Office. More than half of the accepted complaints related to the loss of parcels. For five years, in connection with accepted complaints, Poczta Polska SA paid clients compensation in the total amount of over PLN 37 million, it was announced.
“The inspection did not find any significant breaches of the security of postal traffic and the secrecy of correspondence”, and “inspections of post offices did not reveal any significant breaches of customer service standards” – added the Supreme Audit Office.
NIK – conclusions after the inspection
NIK requests the Minister of State Assets, Jacek Sasin, to take steps to amend the Postal Law in order to improve the quality of universal services. This would happen, inter alia, by introducing measurable quality standards of universal services and extending the control powers of the President of UKE.
Moreover, the Chamber proposes to amend the ordinance of the Minister of Administration and Digitization of 6 May 2013 on the methodology for setting maximum annual levels of fees for universal services “with regard to adjusting the method of calculating the maximum annual levels of fees for universal services to the services changing during the year”.
NIK also asked the President of Poczta Polska with requests to locate postal points of contact taking into account the demand for postal services in a given area, as well as ensuring a uniform standard of customer service in postal points of contact taking into account the needs of people with disabilities.
Poczta Polska on the results of the NIK audit
In a statement sent to PAP, Poczta Polska emphasizes that it has complied with all applicable legal regulations in the field of accessibility to postal points of contact throughout the country. As regards the accessibility to postal points of contact on a local basis, according to the current legal status, specific regulations do not apply. If such regulations become binding, Poczta Polska will appropriately develop the network of postal points of contact to meet all the obligations imposed on it, the company said.
She added that in the audited period, the above-mentioned requirements were met redundantly.
According to Poczta, with regard to the exemplary prices selected by the Supreme Audit Office, it should be emphasized that the percentages of the increases were incorrectly presented, inconsistent with the actual state. “The report stated that the national economic letter increased by 87% in 2019 compared to 2015. The comparison was made of an unregistered economic letter weighing up to 350 g in A-size, while the price of this letter in 2015 was PLN 1.75, while in 2019, the price of a letter with the same parameters was PLN 2.60, which means an increase of 48 percent, and not an increase of 87 percent, as stated in the article “- the company explained.
She added that it shapes the pricing policy of postal services, taking into account internal and external factors. They include, among others cost of providing the service, including labor costs, changing market situation, including changes taking place on the postal market, customer behavior, competition behavior on the domestic and international market. “The pricing policy of Poczta Polska services is also analyzed in terms of customer opinions on the value of the services offered and, as a consequence, is subject to flexible changes. The change in the prices of postal services in 2015-2019 was caused in particular by the behavior of the above-mentioned factors” – it was indicated.
Moreover, as the spokesman of Poczta Polska, Justyna Siwek, added, the company regularly reports to the Office of Electronic Communications the status of adaptation of postal points of contact to the needs of disabled people. She reminded that Poczta Polska provides services through a network of postal points of contact adapted to the needs of disabled people. The issue of adapting postal points of contact to service disabled people, to the extent resulting from the above-mentioned Art. 62 of the Postal Law Act, is subject to constant monitoring, and any difficulties that may arise are eliminated, taking into account legal regulations and the operator’s financial capabilities.
Siwek added that Poczta Polska is taking steps to ensure that the rates of timely delivery of parcels as part of the universal service in domestic traffic are achieved, which have been positively assessed by the Supreme Audit Office.
According to Poczta Polska, the Supreme Audit Office rightly notes in its publication that “the situation of the designated operator is so complicated that, on the one hand, the law obliges him to provide services in a manner that generates costs, and at the same time is a commercial law company, so he is bound by an economic account” . He adds that the company currently maintains a network of branches, which in over 70 percent it is unprofitable, while the fulfillment of the Supreme Audit Office’s conclusions that go beyond the scope of the current law, the Post would incur further costs that would have neither economic nor legal justification.
As noted by Poczta Polska, the NIK report covers the years 2015-2020. “The management board of the company, operating in the current composition since mid-2020, undertook numerous activities aimed at modernizing the Post and changes in its functioning” – the company said.
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