Around the Block: Counting the cost of the new postcode system

Thu, Jan 30, 2014, 00:00

The announcement this week that the State will join the rest of Europe with a modern post code system is a welcome one. Mind you, the 10-year rollout timeframe might be a little ambitious given that it took the UK 50 years to get 90 per cent compliance with its system.

Capita Ireland won the Department of Communications contract to introduce a seven-character postcode for every address in Ireland, and the €25.6 million contract over 10 years seems like small change compared to some less watertight projects of late.

But we note that in late December – four weeks ago – the same department issued a new tender for the provision of technical advice and support services to assist it in the implementation of the new postcode system. But isn’t this what Capita will be doing?

Not so, apparently, the new tender is for consultancy services on the project and it will be a completely separate contract to the €25.6 million contract announced this week. It seems a little baffling that further expertise needs to be engaged to oversee a system that has already been chosen and is ready to roll.

A spokeswoman for the department said they would not know the value of the consultants’ contract until after the tender process is complete. The deadline for applications is February 13th and it will be decided within a couple of weeks. Not to worry anyway, we know what good value those consultancy contracts are.

Meanwhile those who hold dear their traditional postcode assignations of D4 and D6W, for example, can rest assured they will not have to forfeit them as existing Dublin postal districts are to remain, with the new code running in addition.