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To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the costs and perceived benefits associated with the post codes system; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Mick Wallace.

For ORAL answer on Thursday, 24th October, 2013. REPLY

On 8 October 2013, I obtained Government approval for the launch of a new national postcode system that will provide a unique seven character code to every letter-box in the State in 2015.

The Government also approved, subject to contract, the appointment of a consortium headed by Capita Ireland as the company which will develop, roll-out and operate the Postcode System. This announcement follows a procurement process run by my Department.

The postcodes contract is expected to cost around €16m as the postcode system is developed and rolled out over the next 3 years and there will be a cost of about €1.2m per year over the remainder of the licence period.

Most countries have had the benefit of postcodes since the mid 1900’s. In making the move now Ireland has been able to use the technology and systems available today to move to a next generation system. The Irish code will be the first in the world to be unique to each individual address. This will alleviate the current situation whereby more than 30% of all domestic addresses are not unique. It will mean that even individual apartments and offices in large developments will each have an individual code as long as they use their own specific post-boxes.

The introduction of Postcodes will give rise to significant economic and social benefits. These benefits include:

Enabling organisations to improve existing services and develop new service offerings;

Delivery of improved efficiencies with regards to logistics including emergency service response;

The innovative approach proposed will act as a strong support for the development of digital applications in the Irish economy;

Improved efficiency and accuracy of internal business processes as a result of improved accuracy and consistency of databases across public and private sectors;

Better planning and analysis capabilities across public and private sectors;

Providing a stimulus to mail volumes through improved direct marketing capabilities; and

Facilitating improved efficiencies and quality improvements in the mails sector.

An Post will see a substantial benefit as the introduction of postcodes is likely to result in an immediate and sustained increase in mail volumes as businesses update database systems to include postcodes.

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