Minister receives report on postal codes


THE INTRODUCTION of a postal code system could lead to substantial savings for Government departments and agencies and more effective data collection and sharing, a new report suggests.

The report, prepared by external consultants, was presented to Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan yesterday.

His spokeswoman said the Minister would study the findings of the report before bringing any proposals to Cabinet.

Ireland is one of a small number of European countries which does not have a detailed postal code system, outside the basic numeric code that applies to Dublin city.

According to departmental sources, the report concludes that with unique codes for each household, a standardised set would be more beneficial than having different agencies and departments working off different sets of data.

Examples of benefits include data on catchment areas that would identify hospital and schools needs and assist public transport provision and traffic management. It would also help the Department of the Environment to follow house price trends.

New codes would also bring a marked benefit to the emergency services, according to the findings.

Departmental sources accept that introducing a code across the State would involve significant start-up costs but say they would be balanced by savings across all Government departments.

A spokesman for An Post said yesterday that any decision to introduce codes would be a major national infrastructural decision and should be implemented at Government level.