It takes a particular kind of political stupidity to be responsible for An Post, recognise that it is barely a viable commercial entity, contribute to discussions on how offices can be kept open and at the same time make plans to take away a very large State contract!
Naughten is poorly advised by Departmental Officials who, in the matter of the Eircode postcode, were accused on several occasions of misleading an Oireachtas Committee.
Those same Officials presented Capita with a contract to design a POSTcode which now, in the form of the €50m Eircode, even An POST does not find any meaningful use for.
However, that same postcode was designed to uniquely identify every taxable property entity in the State;- no practical benefit for delivering mail or finding front doors BUT eminently useful if you want to identify every property that should be paying a TV License or the soon-to-be “Broadcast Tax”!
It is no coincidence that Capita got the Eircode contract;- them being well practiced and experienced in the aggressive extraction of TV license payments from citizens in the UK.
In the early days of the Eircode Postcode tender, prospective consortium members were seen with Capita representatives and no less than then Minister Phil Hogan in Birmingham checking out Capita’s skills in the extraction of a variety of charges!
Naughten inherited Eircode and Capita and related Departmental officials but he has been given several opportunities to recognise that he is being taken for a ride by these, however, so far he has chosen the easy political option of going along with all he is told by the vested interests.
If Capita get a contract for TV license inspections, then it will be clear that Naughten is allowing himself be lead by the nose!
Furthermore, the Dept of Communications has been criticised by the EC & the C&AG on numerous occasions for breaking/ignoring procurement rules and wasting public money;- including during the Eircode procurement. If there is to be a procurement process for new TV License Inspections, then it should NOT be conducted or the outcome influenced by the Dept of Communications. In fact, as it will soon be a Broadcast Tax, the whole matter should simply be handed over to the Revenue Commissioners and leave the inept Dept of Communications out of it completely!
The Dept of Communications, lead by Minister Naughten, is also the same organisation that used a Public Service announcement to mislead the Public on Eircode;- was subsequently found guilty of this by the ASAI BUT Naughten has done nothing to redress the matter!
The Dept of Communications………..needs to be disbanded or purged in the best interests of the Irish Public!