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Postal Services: Standards

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 78467, tabled on 19 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Universal Service Obligation for letters is being met consistently, in the context of Royal Mail’s announcement of a £400 million payout to shareholders.

Answered on

24 November 2021

The Government has no role in operational or commercial decisions by Royal Mail which is a fully private business.

The Government sets the minimum requirements and service standards for the UK postal service in the Postal Services Act 2011 which designates the Office of Communications (Ofcom) as the independent regulator for the sector with the responsibility and powers to regulate postal services.

Ofcom has a duty to ensure the provision of a financially sustainable and efficient universal postal service. It monitors Royal Mail’s provision of the universal service and has powers to investigate and take enforcement action if Royal Mail fails to achieve its performance targets, taking account of all relevant factors.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.