Nepostel, the Netherlands' postal services company, has won a tender to provide legal, financial, and operational consultancy for the restructuring and de-regulation of the Kingdom's postal system. The deal, signed last week by Post and Telecommunications Minister Fawwaz Zu'bi and Nepostel representatives, envisages that studies and reports be ready by year's-end.
The $108,000 contract, which Nepostel clinched beating France's ICEA and Canada's CRC SOGEMA, includes drafting a new postal law, defining the financial aspects of the future separation of the postal services administration from the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, assessing the sector's performance and drawing strategies for better services.
“The plan consists of transforming the postal services into a public share-holding company, entirely owned by the government, but managed on a commercial bases by an independent party,” explained Ali Qudah, secretary general at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.
A “transition management” would then handle the country's postal services for four years, after which the government will decide whether to privatize the sector completely and bring in an international partner, or keep it for itself, although with an independent management.
The restructuring plan, Qudah told the Jordan Times in an interview on Monday, is largely inspired to the experiment of privatization of the Jordan Telecommunications Company. The original TeleCommunications Company (TCC) was also first transformed into a public share-holding company (the Jordan Telecommunications Company, JTC) before the purchase of a 40 percent stake by France Telecom last March, and its transformation into today's Jordan Telecom.
According to Qudah, a new draft Postal Law will be submitted to Parliament for endorsement within the next ordinary session of the legislature, to start this month and close in March.
Ministry figures made available to the Jordan Times showed that the postal services handled 88 million articles of mail between letters, postcards and others in 1999. Incoming mail from abroad totaled 20 million articles, while outgoing mail totaled 17 million articles. The remaining 51 million articles of mail, between letters, cards, and other postal items, were national mail.
Ministry statistics maintain that the average delivery time for national mail is three days, while postal items from abroad take on average one day to be delivered to the addressee from the moment they enter the Kingdom's central distribution center. Received and sent parcels totaled 37,103 last year — more than 19,000 of which came from abroad.
With 565 post offices and 2,900 employees across the country, the postal services are currently run with an 8.5 million Jordanian dinars operational budget, the ministry said. — ( Jordan Times )
By Francesca Sawalha
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)