Monday, December 23 10:48:31
The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, has signed a contract with An Post to deliver the cash payment services to customers in receipt of social welfare.
It follows a competitive tender process to secure the best-value and best-quality provision for customers and taxpayers.
The contract will see An Post deliver over E9 billion of payments to welfare customers in 2014, involving more than 40 million transactions.
The contract is worth more than E50 million to An Post per annum, and will support jobs and communities throughout the country through An Post's network of offices.
The contract also provides certainty for the foreseeable future to welfare customers who receive their payments in cash at local post offices.
The contract will be for a minimum period of 2 years with the option to extend for one or more periods of up to 12 months each, up to a maximum of 6 years in total.
Welcoming the agreement, Minister Burton said: "Roughly half of all welfare payments - amounting to more than E9 billion a year - go through the post office network, benefiting almost one million customers. This money represents almost 20pc of Government day-to-day spending, showing the significance of this hugely important contract. An Post and its postmasters and staff have always provided a trusted and valuable service to the Department and to their local communities and I welcome the opportunity to continue working with them over the coming years."
An Post Chief Executive Donal Connell said: "We are pleased to have won this important contract and we are fully committed to providing a top quality service for both the Department of Social Protection and its customers. As leaders in the development and application of post office counter technology, An Post will continue to innovate and to invest in next generation systems and products for customers across our unique retail network."