The Postal Services Act 2011 requires Ofcom to “carry out their functions in relation to postal services in a way that they consider will secure the provision of a universal postal service”. In doing so it requires Ofcom to “have regard to the need for the provision of a universal postal service to be efficient before the end of a reasonable period and for its provision to continue to be efficient at all times”. We have particularly noted the importance of efficiency in our 27 March 2012 statement – Securing the Universal Postal Service, Decision on the new regulatory framework – and our Final Guidance on end-to-end competition which we published on 27 March 2013.
For these reasons, we have been working to further understand how to assess efficiency in the postal sector. We set out our intention to carry out this work in our first annual monitoring update which we published on 20 November 2012 and, more recently, in the end-to-end Final Guidance. In the second annual monitoring update, which we published on 22 November 2013, we said that we would shortly publish two consultancy reports on approaches to measuring the efficiency of postal operators and efficiency programmes in some comparator European countries.
The first report, “Approaches to measuring the efficiency of postal operators” by NERA Economic Consulting, sets out the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches to assessing the efficiency for postal operators in general and for Royal Mail in different policy contexts. The report also considers the appropriate metrics to use in measuring efficiency.
The second report, “Review of Postal Operator Efficiency” by wik CONSULT, is a study on the efficiency initiatives undertaken by postal operators in six European Countries (Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden). It provides a useful background for understanding efficiency initiatives in the postal sector.
Approaches to Measuring the Efficiency of Postal Operators (PDF, 1.0 MB)
Final Report for Ofcom by NERA Economic Consulting
Review of Postal Operator Efficiency (PDF, 2.6 MB)
Study for Ofcom by WIK-Consult
2.- End-to-end competition in the postal sector, Final guidance on Ofcom’s approach to assessing the impact on the universal postal service, available at http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/e2e-guidance/statement/E2E_Guidance.pdf