Tender process for postal codes launched

Mon, Feb 1, 2010, 00:00

MINISTER FOR Communications Eamon Ryan has announced the launch of a tender competition on the implementation of a national post codes system.

Ireland is the only EU country not to have such a system in place and the Minister has set the end of 2011 as the target date for the introduction of the new post codes.

Tenders are invited from consultants, who are expected to begin work at the end of March.

They will advise on the establishment of the system, which is estimated to cost €10-15 million.

Mr Ryan has said the future economy “depends on a national system which can access and collate spatial data”. “A national post code system will deliver benefits not only in terms of postal delivery but across the economy and in Government planning.”

If targets are met, “a national post code system will be assigned and in use throughout the country by the end of next year”.

The Government has approved an alpha-numeric postal code model which will identify groups of properties, with the first letters based on the city or town.

Each postcode will have a geo- co-ordinate at its centre and thus would be compatible with global positioning or navigation systems, allowing integration with GPS and other global navigation satellite technologies, according to the Department of Communications.

In the Dáil last week, Fine Gael criticised the Minister’s plans.

Communications spokesman Simon Coveney said that if the proposed system were introduced to rural Ireland, it would be “no better than what currently exists with the use of local districts or townlands”, because the system would only have the ability to narrow down to between 20 and 50 properties.

Mr Ryan dismissed the claim and insisted: “It will be up to the competitive tendering process to decide on which system.” He said that the tendering process “should deliver quickly in terms of the exact system we introduce”.

The Minister continued: “Post codes are right for this country and, as well as providing an effective postal code system, they should have capability to provide location code facilities for a range of applications that will develop as the smart economy evolves.”