Postmistress General (PMG) Pasha Stoutt disclosed that a proposal made by the United States relating to postal fees can severely affect the BVI postal service which is already operating at an injured level thanks to the damages caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Mention of the proposed issues was made by the BVI PMG during her appearance before the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Assembly. During that appearance PMG Stoutt told legislators that the United States has requested self-declared rates which would severely affect the revenue of the post office.

 According to Stoutt, this self-declared rate would mean that the BVI Post Office will have to pay the United States 80% of how much it would cost to deliver a packet of mail on their behalf.

Additionally, the Postmistress noted that the US would have to pay the BVI 80% of its cost to deliver a packet. However, this reciprocal arrangement will not be in the BVI’s favour since the BVI’s postal rates are much lower than the US and other countries and this is an issue.

Therefore, Stoutt warned that the proposed initiative would mean a major loss of revenue/expenditure for the Department. She further suggested that a Cost Accountant is needed to ensure that the costs incurred by the BVI Post to deliver and process mail are adequately covered.

Cabinet Assists Domestic Mailing

During the 30 May Cabinet meeting the Government waived the tender process in order to facilitate the procurement of durable letter boxes. These boxes are expected to replace those destroyed by the hurricanes of 2017.

It was explained that Cabinet made the decision after considering the commercial and social importance of the mailbox service. Therefore, it was mentioned that the Post Office will be moving with an agreement that was made with U.S. Mail Supply Inc.

U.S. Mail Supply was selected over and above two other companies; in fact it will be awarded a contract for the sum not to exceed $482,676 on the basis of durability, the manufacturing time factor and the urgency of restoring the BVI postal services, in line with international standards, with a view to generating the much needed revenue for the Territory and decided that the project will be executed in phases.

The first phase will be carried out this year at a cost of $257,999; while the second phase will be carried out at a cost of $174,312. The final phase will take place in at a cost of $50,365.