Mail order

Post Office still important, says chief

Postmaster General Margaret Ashby has defended the General Post Office (GPO) in the face of a suggestion from a former prime minister that it should be the subject of expenditure cuts and rationalization.

Although acknowledging that the developments in technology and communication have affected the role of the GPO, she insisted that the postal service was a “social service” amassing a sustainable amount of revenue for its operations.

Although Ashby was tight-lipped about the amount of revenue generated by the 164-year-old organization, she said a “significant” amount was accumulated from the mailing services.

Earlier this year, former prime minister Owen Arthur singled out the GPO as one of the 63 statutory agencies where the Freundel Stuart administration should revisit its spending.

“We have to rationalize the operations of a post office to make it compatible with living in a world where people are no longer sending to you through the post, but sending messages and post cards by WhatsApp,” he said at the time.

But speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the Working 4 Workers campaign, a partnership between the GPO and Demario’s Cycle World in which local postal workers are honoured, the postmaster general explaiined that sending mail was not the sole occupation of the organization which employs nearly 600 workers.

“I’m not sure the former prime minister is aware of the number of revenue generating things the post office is doing,” the postmaster general said pointedly.

She pointed out that over the past few years, the GPO has delved into numerous other services.

“Yes, we are working very hard at changing our focus,” Ashby told Barbados TODAY.

“We acknowledge the fact that mail is declining year after year, so what we are doing is looking at technology and seeing how the post office can assist the average person. We think that everybody has a computer, but they don’t; we think that everybody can go online and feel comfortable, but they don’t, and so the post office is looking for different means.”

Ashby noted that the GPO offers a one-stop bill payment service similar to Surepay. Customers are also able to apply for their United States Visa at the GPO and have their passports delivered to them by courier express.

Partnering with retailers and businesses, GPO also engages in target marketing, facilitating the distribution of brochures and flyers for businesses in specific areas.

7 Responses to Mail order

  1. Jennifer April 26, 2017 at 2:39 am

    “Although Ashby was tight-lipped about the amount of revenue generated”

    This is one of the biggest problems we have as a people i.e being tight lipped. If you are defending your organization then you should open your mouth and say the revenue it is generating. When our mouths should be closed it open and vise versa. The GPO can be use as a dragnet for many government services too and the incorporation of many other international and local business services. But the tech is needed. you cannot give a man a cane ground to reap without a Collins. On saying that once again who do we blame, those politicians, not cleaning their own houses but are caretakers and overseers of other people’s houses.

    • Peter April 26, 2017 at 9:46 am

      Jennifer, you are correct. I think the word you were looking for is “TRANSPARENCY” Doesn’t the Postal service have audited reports to showcase their profit and/or losses? While I agree that electronic correspondence has taken a chunk out of their profits, There are other areas and means of generating profits. one way is to sell the express delivery services to businesses at a lower rate. compete with courier services. Offer an international delivery service whereby items can be purchased online and delivered right to your door for a small delivery fee. In most cases, the suppliers pay for that service. They in turn expedite the funds directly to the Post office.

  2. Angel April 26, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Imagine not being able to get the exact amount of postage you need, i e on tape day $12.45 but have to use a bunch of large STAMPS!! Angel

  3. Jea Alleyne April 26, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Not sure why it charges customers for their own goods which have paid postage & packing to home addresses. Barbados appears to charge additional costs on most things as opposed to other International Countries …….. Exploitative system !!

  4. Milli Watt April 26, 2017 at 9:47 am

    bout time……I got issues with getting the mail delivered. post man vex bout walking up a driveway to deliver the mail. I politely told him to leave it in the road. I would come to the PO to pick up the mail end of story.

  5. Alex Alleyne April 26, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    If Andrew Hatch was still on radio, the P.O would of have a big shake up years ago. He often pointed out the mess that was going on in there.

  6. Queeny April 26, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    While people love to criticize, putting 600 workers out if work is no easy task. People have rent, mortgages, children, grand children, nieces, nephews, sick parents, spouses to support and bills to pay. So when finding fault of this and any other institution remember people ( human beings) lively hood are at risk of negative publicity. Everyone knows someone who works at the post and all experiences aren’t badly. Some are actually good but it’s sad when praise isn’t given when it’s due.


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