The Government wants to close the Universal Postal Service (SPU) contract with CTT's administration by the end of this year.
“The Universal Postal Service (SPU) contract must be closed by the end of the year. There are a number of steps that we are taking. We have already had meetings with the unions, we have already had meetings with ANAFRE [National Association of Parishes]. We tried to identify a set of matters that could, in some way, be translated into the contract, in order to give more guarantees, whether in coverage of the territory, respect for the Parish Councils themselves, which are often net funders of the CTT service. ”, Revealed Pedro Nuno Santos, Minister of Infrastructure, at the hearing of the Parliamentary Committee on Economy, Public Works and Innovation, which took place this Tuesday in the Assembly of the Republic.
The Minister of Infrastructure announced that before closing this contract, "there will be a time for public discussion".
For his part, Alberto Souto de Miranda, Assistant Secretary of State and Communications, explained that “the postal density and the future network must have sufficient capillarity to guarantee the close relationship between citizens and establishments, post offices or post offices. ”.
The minimum criterion of one post office per municipality has to be guaranteed, but we will be more demanding than that. There are parishes with a population of 10 thousand inhabitants, 20 thousand inhabitants, so it is justified to have more than one post office per parish ”, revealed Alberto Souto de Miranda, who admitted subcontracting to the Parish Councils,“ with fair remuneration ”.
Regarding the state of play of the negotiations between the Government and CTT, the Secretary of State concluded that "things are very mature".
"There is no reason to think that by the end of the year we will not have a concession contract negotiated and agreed with CTT so that there is no gap in the provision of services," said Alberto Souto de Miranda.
The Secretary of State for Communications also admitted the existence of growing complaints about the postal distribution service, particularly for the Autonomous Regions, aggravated in a pandemic situation.
“We must distinguish what is a structural situation from what is a conjunctural situation. In the last three months, postal distribution to the Autonomous Regions is being greatly impacted by the scarcity of flights carrying mail. Therefore, it is news that complaints in the last two months, three months, have been very sensitive in these regions ”, acknowledged Alberto Souto de Miranda.
Pedro Nuno Santos also admitted the existence of complaints and dissatisfaction on the part of CTT's clients
“We have had several complaints, there is dissatisfaction regarding CTT services. We have a regulator that has been aggressive, I am not saying it in the negative sense, on the contrary. The indicators are demanding, but they are those that the people deserve to be met. Today, Anacom applies, as a result of non-compliance with these quality indicators, high fines, and in the context of a fully privatized company, this is the main, I do not say the only, instrument to try to lead the company to the service we aspire to and to which we are entitled ”, acknowledged the Minister of Infrastructure.
According to Pedro Nuno Santos, “there is still a lot of work to do with CTT”, but the nationalization scenario of the company is far away.
“Anacom has been an important part of this effort. And we obviously want the service to be of a high quality, because we do not wish less for that for the Portuguese people. The company is not public. The paths we have to follow to get CTT to do the job we want are different and more challenging than, obviously, if we had control of the company. This is not the case and this debate is not on the Government's table ”, guaranteed the Minister of Infrastructure.