Friday, December 1, 2017

Use Speed Post, it’s better than private courier: Postal dept to defence ministry

An Army Postal Service staffer sorting mails | Photo:

Citing a CAG report, postal department says that unlike private couriers, Speed Post is legally bound by the provision of Post Office Act to provide best service.

New Delhi: Citing a report by the central auditor, the postal department has made a strong pitch to the defence ministry to do away with using private courier companies, insisting that its ‘Speed Post’ facility makes “good business sense”.
The unusual letter comes weeks after the government decided to do away with Army Postal Units in peace locations as part of a larger plan to cut non-operational flab in the military. And the communiqué by A.N. Nanda, secretary of the department of posts, cites the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) as a reference point

“In a test check conducted by the CAG in order to compare the performance/quality of Speed Post service of department of posts with private courier agencies for delivery of mails, it was found that the delivery through Speed Post is better than private courier,” says the letter, referring to an audit report.

In the letter to defence secretary Sanjay Mitra, the postal department has mentioned that unlike private couriers, the government postal system is “legally bound by the provision” of the Post Office Act to see that “best care is bestowed on mails”.

“It makes good business sense to use Speed Post instead of private couriers which are not regulated by any rules or norms unlike department of posts, which is legally bound by the provisions of the Indian Post Office Act 1898 to see that the best care is bestowed on mails,” the letter reads.

The postal department has asked the defence ministry to direct all departments, public sector units and organisations reporting to it to use Speed Post and has assured “cooperation, advice” and customised packages for special requirements. It calls Speed Post unmatched in terms of network and being customer friendly.

Listing the benefits of using the government postal system, the letter says that it has “attractive discounts for high volume customers, free pick up, internet-based tracking, cash on delivery facility and a centralised billing system”.

Incidentally, the central point of the letter comes from a CAG report on communications and the IT sector, dated 2015 when former defence secretary Shashikant Sharma was heading the government auditor.