Make postcode file more accessible, says Postcomm
Originally created by Royal Mail to improve the efficiency of its postal service, the PAF is now used by a wide variety of companies to verify addresses. Postcomm reviewed the management of the PAF after concerns that Royal Mail was planning to change the way it charged for the service. There were also concerns that Royal Mail might seek to exploit PAF unfairly, that maintenance was below par and that some companies received unduly preferential or discriminatory terms. Following an extensive review of the service, Postcomm has called for a separate division of Royal Mail to oversee the service. It also wants to see Royal Mail charged for use of the PAF and tighter regulatory control introduced concerning pricing and financial transparency. Nigel Stapleton, chairman of Postcomm, said, "PAF has become an essential resource for UK businesses as well as a vital part of the UK postal industry. We think it is right that Royal Mail should continue to own and manage it, but in the fully competitive mail market we need to make sure it is not used by Royal Mail to discriminate against its competitors."