Postcomm, the independent regulator for the postal services, has proposed penalties of £11.7m on Royal Mail for serious breaches of its licence obligations.
Of the total fine, Royal Mail has been fined £11.38m for its failure to meet its obligations to protect the mail and £270,000 for poor delivery performance across three London postcode areas.
“Customers are entitled to expect that when they post mail it will reach its destination,” said Nigel Stapleton, chairman of Postcomm. “But during 2004/05, around 14.6 million letters, packets and parcels in Royal Mail’s care were lost, stolen, damaged or interfered with,”
A Postcomm review uncovered serious shortcomings during 2004 and 2005, in Royal Mail’s procedures for protecting the mail. They said that the most significant weakness was the poor management of the recruitment and training process for agency staff.
In addition, Postcomm found that the framework and information systems that Royal Mail had put in place to prevent the loss, theft or damage of mail were not operating effectively.
Postcomm said that a notice has been served on Royal Mail and they now have 28 days to appeal the decision.