The Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority has published its Final Decision as part of a Strategic Review of Jersey’s Postal Services.
The Strategic Review commenced in October 2022 and includes independent consumer research carried out on-Island by local market research agency 4Insight, technical support from postal market experts Copenhagen Economics and extensive consultation with local industry stakeholders.
The Authority’s goal is delivering effective supervision of postal services. This Strategic Review was launched during a period of significant change within the postal market with the review framed to reflect this context. Overall, its aim is to ensure effective regulation on a forward-looking basis. After considering the information gathered, the Authority published a Draft Decision in July 2023 explaining its findings and provisional recommendations for changes.
In publishing its Final Decision, the Authority is now taking the required steps to implement its proposed changes, which include:
- The universal service obligation: This ensures Jersey Post provides a service that collects and delivers letters five days a week. While this will not change following the review, the Authority’s work highlighted that this may need reconsidering in the future due to changing consumer demand and other commercial pressures. To capture this, a clear process has been set for any future changes.
- Quality of service: There will be new quality of service targets (which sit alongside reporting around consumer satisfaction, complaints, and refunds) for Jersey Post, which include:
- Targets for Jersey-to-Jersey mail
- Targets for dispatch and receipt of Jersey-to-UK and UK-to-Jersey mail
- Continued monitoring of end-to-end mail delivery times.
- User Council: Jersey Post will be setting up a representative body to ensure consumers can help influence the way it runs its business. The User Council will provide independent challenge to Jersey Post and independent assurance to the Authority on the quality of Jersey Post’s consumer engagement.
- Monitoring: Within the existing framework the Authority is strengthening oversight through increased reporting from postal service operators.
- Law and Policy: The Authority is recommending that Jersey’s Government updates the existing Postal Law and develops a Postal Policy to explain its expectations for the future of this important sector and steps to ensure its continued sustainability.
To support this the Authority has issued a document setting out its general reflections on the strategic review.
Peter Hetherington, Chief Economist at the Authority said: “This has been an extensive and important review of an area that is significant to Islanders. Postal services play a key role in our society and almost everyone in Jersey interacts with postal services on a regular basis.
“The changes we are making will help ensure postal regulation remains relevant in the short term. However, the review has shown that ongoing changes forecast for the postal sector means that broader updates to the legal framework are required. Government action is needed to achieve this – including the important development of a clear Postal Policy along with updates to the 2004 Postal Services Law.
“We will follow policy developments in this area closely and be available to support any planned developments with the findings of our Strategic Review providing important input.”