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Post Office Card Account

Volume 481: debated on Monday 27 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library a copy of the access criteria laid down in the tender documents for the successor to the Post Office Card Account. (229479)

A holding reply was sent on 23 October 2008.

The contents of the tender documents are currently commercial in confidence and therefore cannot be placed in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what assessment he has made of the potential effects of awarding the Post Office Card Account contract to more than one bidder; (229747)

(2) when the decision on the award of the Post Office Card Account contract will be (a) taken and (b) announced;

(3) what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on the award of the Post Office Card Account contract.

A holding reply was sent on 23 October 2008.

This is a commercial tendering process, bound by UK and European law. We will announce the outcome when that is completed. I cannot speculate on the consequences of any particular outcome.

Whatever the outcome, people will still be able to access their pension or benefit at the Post Office if they choose to do so, and there is a range of bank accounts available at the Post Office that makes this possible. The Government remain strongly committed to a sustainable and nationwide Post Office network, on the back of the £1.7 billion funding package and new national access criteria for the Post Office that we announced last year.

Ministers have regular discussions with colleagues about the payments of benefits and pensions and wider social policy issues.