The Freight Transport Association of Ireland says it fears there may be a conflict of interest in awarding a contract to establish whether Eircode is fit for purpose to the consultants that advised the State on the postcode’s introduction.
Members of the association include delivery firms FedEx, UPS, and DHL, all of which have said they will not use the code due to its design.
“The Ombudsman has confirmed to FTA Ireland that his office is precluded by law from proceeding with our complaint, as our members have recourse to the courts on the matter if they so wish,” said association general manager Neil McDonnell.
The Ombudsman emailed the group this week saying it would not examine the complaint that the Department of Communications awarded an advice and evaluation tender to a commercial entity which was already contracted to the postcode project.
“Having examined your correspondence and receiving advise from a senior investigator, I regret to advise you that your complaint cannot be accepted by this office,” the note stated.
“This office is precluded from examining a complaint where the person affected by the action has a right of appeal to the courts.”
Mr McDonnell said his members are considering their next course of action. “The affected members will reflect on the matter early next week, when a number of alternative and additional measures are under consideration,” he said.
The department published a request for tender for the Eircode oversight contract in December 2013, which was awarded to PA Consultants.
The right for tender included a requirement for an evaluation of the “postcode and postcode address database design to ensure it is fit for purpose”.