Rabbitte to be quizzed over ComReg decision


An Oireachtas committee is seeking to question Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte, following a row with industry regulator ComReg yesterday.

ComReg has fined An Post €12 million for failing to meet next-day delivery targets. The State company plans to challenge this in the High Court.

ComReg chairman Alex Chisholm yesterday refused to outline to the Oireachtas Committee on Communications and Transport how the fine was calculated, as the issue is the subject of a court action.

After the meeting, committee chairman Tom Hayes TD said it was considering inviting Mr Rabbitte to appear before it to “clarify the issues raised today, including aspects of ComReg’s mandate”.

Mr Hayes said that the committee members were “frustrated” with the lack of clear and detailed information from the regulator.

ComReg said, in response, that it was happy to appear before the committee, which originally called it to discuss its postal strategy.

It pointed out that, in the interests of transparency, it published all consultations and strategy documents.

Communications Workers’ Union head of regulation Ian McArdle said in a statement that ComReg displayed a lack of respect for accountability and the State’s democratic structures.

He also pointed out that An Post is facing losses of €26 million this year.

Mr Rabbitte’s office did not comment.