Post Office reports improved performance
The Post Office has transformed its performance following new rules forcing people to have their mailboxes properly numbered and labelled.
Junior Economy Minister Ashfield DeVent said 92 percent of all mail is now delivered within two working days up from 70 percent before the postal regulations were modernised two years ago.
Government is also now saving $35,000 a month which was spent on postmen and administrative staff looking for correct addresses.
“By delivering mail as addressed to properly located mail boxes, processing costs have decreased and mail processing and delivery performance have improved in all measurable categories,” said Mr DeVent during the Budget debate on the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on Monday.
“This improvement is directly attributed to the public's change in addressing behaviour.”
He said 97 percent of businesses and residents now have a mailbox, up from 50 percent in 2009.
Mr DeVent said the Post Office has cut six postmen and two mail handlers from its staff as a result of new efficiencies, saving $435,000 a year in salaries. A further $150,000 has been saved in overtime costs incurred under the old system, while Bailey's Bay sub post office has closed, saving another $70,000 a year.
The MP also provided statistics on work permits, which he said are now being processed more efficiently.
He said 8,171 standard one- to five-year work permit applications were processed last year, in an average turnaround time of ten weeks. This compares to 7,392 in the previous year.
The number of temporary work permits went down from 7,361 to 6,000, he said, because companies are now often able to get standard work permits processed more quickly, reducing the need for temporary work permits to cover foreign employees' first weeks on the Island.
About two-thirds of work permit holders subject to term limits have either been granted extensions or waivers, said Mr DeVent.
There are 9,800 work permits in the private sector; of those, 6,305 would be subject to term limits. Thirty-three percent of those have been granted an exemption and a further 35 percent have been granted an extension. The remaining 31 percent are subject to term limits.
Mr DeVent also spoke of the proposed launch of Government's jobs website.
He said jobseekers will be able to go online to access and submit information on employment opportunities and assess the relevant training requirements.
They will be able to set alerts and receive emails when jobs become available, apply online for jobs and make their resume available to all interested employers.
United Bermuda Party MP Charlie Swan complained the Junior Minister took up around three-quarters of the two hours allocated for debate on the Ministry.
Mr DeVent replied: “Because this was a new Ministry, the time I took was required to make sure that the public knows what this Ministry was doing at the moment.”