Have your say on the Postal Services Bill

28 October 2010

Do you have relevant expertise and experience or a special interest in the Government’s Postal Services Bill? If so, you can submit your views in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is going to consider this Bill.

Purpose of the Bill

To restructure the Royal Mail group and deal with its pension deficit. To change the regulation of postal services and to make provision for a special administration regime.

Key areas of the Bill

  • Part 1 of the Bill allows for an unrestricted sale of shares in Royal Mail, including provisions for 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.
  • Part 2 makes provision to transfer the Royal Mail pension deficit to the Government.
  • Part 3 alters the 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.
  • Part 4 provides for a special administrative regime to protect the continuation of the universal postal service should a privately owned Royal Mail (or other universal provider) be at risk of entering insolvency proceedings.

On Wednesday 27 October the House of Commons debated the main principles of the Bill and decided that the Bill should be given its Second Reading. The Bill has now been sent to a Public Bill Committee for scrutiny.

Deadline for submissions

The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration. The Public Bill Committee is expected to meet for the first time on 9 November and complete its consideration of the Bill on 9 December.

What should written evidence cover?

Your submission should address matters contained within the Bill and concentrate on issues where you have a special interest or expertise, and factual information of which you would like the committee to be aware.

It is helpful if the submission includes a brief introduction about you or your organisation. The submission should not have been previously published or circulated elsewhere. If you have any concerns about your submission, please contact the House of Commons Scrutiny Unit.

How should written evidence be submitted?

Your submission should be emailed to scrutiny@parliament.uk

Please note that submissions sent to the Government department in charge of the Bill will not be treated as evidence to the Public Bill Committee.

Submissions should be in the form of a Word document. A summary should be provided. Paragraphs should be numbered, but there should be no page numbering. Essential statistics or further details can be added as annexes, which should also be numbered.

To make publication easier, please avoid the use of coloured graphs, complex diagrams or pictures. As a guideline, submissions should not exceed 3,000 words.

You should also include a separate covering email containing the name, address, telephone number and email address of the person responsible for the submission. The submission should be dated.

What will happen to my evidence?

The written evidence will be circulated to all committee members to inform their consideration of the Bill. Most submissions will also be published.

They will be posted on the internet as soon as possible after the committee has started sitting, and will also be printed in hard copy at the end of the committee’s deliberations.

Contact details

The Scrutiny Unit can help with any queries about written evidence. Contact details are as follows:

  • Telephone: 020 7219 8383/8387
  • Email: scrutiny@parliament.uk
  • Fax: 020 7219 8381
  • Post: Gosia McBride, Deputy Head (Legislation), Scrutiny Unit, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA.

Further information

Imsage: iStockphoto


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