Ireland To Develop National Postcode System By 2015
The Republic of Ireland is announced plans to relinquish its title as the only country in the OECD that does not have a postcode system.
Irish communications minister Pat Rabbitte said today that he has managed to persuade his cabinet colleagues in government to allow the long-awaited project to go ahead.
The system should be operational in Spring 2015, the government said, helping postal operators and emergency services, as well as individuals and businesses generally.
The new national postcode system will be developed by a consortium led by outsourcing giant Capita, based on a seven-character format using letters and numbers. The first three characters would relate to a general area or postal district, with the system incorporating the existing postal districts in Dublin.
The Irish government is also promising that Ireland will be the first country in the world to have a public database of postcodes for all properties, to allow citizens, public bodies and businesses to locate every individual household in the country.
For mail and express delivery firms, the adoption of a postcode system should help improve service efficiency considerably, sorting and directing items to unique addresses. Currently, the government says more than 30% of domestic addresses in Ireland are not unique.
Rabbitte said: “Most countries have had the benefit of such systems since the mid 1900’s. I am very glad to announce that in making the move now we have 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.”
Ireland is expected to benefit greatly from adoption of a national postcode system
The minister said there would be many benefits to the postcode system, including the improvement of satellite navigation systems.
He said: “Householders will be informed of their postcode in early 2015 and will be able to use it from then on. In the meantime the groundwork designing the code and updating private and public sector databases to accommodate the new postcode system will be undertaken.”
Further details of the new system, subject to contracts being finalised, would be announced shortly, the minister added.
Capita Ireland’s consortium won the tender to operate the postcode under licence for an initial 10 year period, with an option for a five-year extension, though a government procurement process.
John Tuohy, the CEO of Ireland’s largest independent delivery company, the Nightline Group, has welcomed the news.
He claimed that it was vital that the move to introduce postcodes remained on track for the good of the country’s economy.
“Moving a step closer to a fully-functional national postcode system might not seem a particularly significant development to some. However, it is a critical piece of infrastructure, more so as we try to make our economy smarter in order to make it more efficient,” Tuohy said.
Tuohy, whose Dublin-based private-sector company claims to deliver one in four Irish parcels at present, noted that the postcode system will help the whole delivery industry, but also other businesses, charities and public sector bodies.
“The introduction of postcodes will, almost at a stroke, see us move from the organisational standards of the 19th-century to the 21st-century,” he said.
“Now that momentum behind the project is building, it is imperative that it is not derailed by any loss of funding or confidence in the package of Budget measures which are due to be announced next week.”