(Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News)
For years, the BVI Post Office has been struggling to maintain relevance as it relates to international postal services. In fact, various issues beyond the Post Office’s control have propelled the rise of international mailing services, which bite into profits that could have gone to the government entity. Now, despite the fact that Cabinet is pushing to restore letterboxes, Postmistress General (PG) Pascha Stoutt disclosed that a US matter could further affect the Post Office’s revenues.
While informing legislators of issues plaguing the Territory’s postal system, the Postmistress mentioned that there is potential for a proposal regarding self-declared rates, put forward by the USA. This, she noted, would cause major issues for the BVI Post.
In explaining that this could be trouble ahead for the already limping postal service, the Postmistress explained that the situation entails the fact that the BVI would have to pay the United States 80% of how much it would cost to deliver a packet of mail on their behalf.
Similarly, she explained that the US would have to pay the BVI 80% of its cost to deliver a packet.
Unfortunately, she said that the BVI’s postal rates are much lower than the US and other countries, and this is an issue.
Stoutt told legislators that should the proposal be approved and implemented, it would mean a major loss of revenue/expenditure for the department.
She further suggested that a Cost Accountant is needed to ensure that the costs incurred by the BVI Post to deliver and process mail are adequately covered.
Meanwhile, Cabinet in an attempt to assist domestic postal services waived the tender process in order to allow the Post Office to procure what was described as durable letterboxes. These new boxes are expected to replace those destroyed by the hurricanes of 2017.
During the Cabinet meeting held on May 30, the Cabinet decided that the boxes would be acquired from U.S. Mail Supply Inc., which was selected over and above two other companies.
It was disclosed that U.S. Mail Supply Inc. will be awarded a contract for the sum not to exceed $482,676 on the basis of durability, the manufacturing time factor and the urgency of restoring the BVI’s postal services.
The box replacement is expected to be executed in a phased manner. This year phase one would be undertaken at a cost of $257,999, in 2020 phase two would be carried out at a cost of $174,312, and in 2021 phase three at a cost of $50,365.