The House of Lords completed its line by line examination of the Postal Services Bill on Wednesday 6 April. Amendments to clauses concerning the Royal Mail Pension Plan and the continuation of the universal postal service were debated
Amendments discussed covered clauses 16-18, 21-24, 28, 29, 33-35, 37, 42-44, 48,49, 58, 60, 67 and 80, and schedules 3, 9, 11, 12 of the Bill.
Report stage – further line by line examination of the Bill – is scheduled for 4 May 2011.
The Postal Services Bill provides for the sale of shares in Royal Mail, including an employee share scheme, and for Post Office Ltd to remain in full public ownership except for a possible move to a mutual ownership structure in future.
It also makes provision for a new regulatory regime for the postal services sector, including transferring regulatory responsibility from Postcomm to OFCOM, with the primary duty of OFCOM in relation to postal services being to maintain the universal service; and for a special administration regime to protect the continuation of the universal postal service should the universal service provider be at risk of entering insolvency proceedings.
The Bill, which started in the House of Commons, completed its second reading in the Lords on 21 February.
Committee stage – line by line examination of the separate parts (clauses and schedules) of the Bill – can last for one or two days to eight or more. Any Member of the Lords can take part.