Government Reforms of Czech Post Approved By Chamber of Deputies

Branches of the Czech Post are being reduced in 113 cities. Photo credit: KB / Brno Daily. 

Prague, April 20 (CTK) – The Czech Chamber of Deputies yesterday expressed support for efforts by the government, Interior Minister Vit Rakusan (STAN) and the Czech Post management to transform the Czech Post organisation.

The Chamber also approved an initiative for the Supreme Audit Office (NKU) to audit the activities of the Czech Post without undue delay.

The approval came yesterday at the end of a roughly four-hour extraordinary session called by the opposition ANO on the situation at Czech Post. The opposition failed to pass its draft resolutions, while the coalition majority pushed through two points raised by STAN MP Ondrej Lochman.

The controversy has been sparked by the Post Office’s decision to close about 10% of its branches. This step has already been approved by the government. ANO lawmakers accuse Rakusan, for example, of poor communication with the public and mayors regarding the future of the postal service. In the debate, they also complained that they did not have access to the analysis on which the post office had based its decision to close the branches.

Rakusan previously described the branch closures as a “life preserver.”

He told MEPs that even after the reduction in the number of branches, the Czech Republic will still have the largest postal network in the EU. Branches are being reduced in 113 cities.

It is yet to be decided whether NKU will actually audit the Czech Post. NKU’s broader leadership will decide whether to include it in the audit plan. The NKU last audited the organisation in 2017 and found some shortcomings. For example, the post office purchased furniture for its branches in 2015 and 2016, but that furniture was still in storage in 2018. “There is also no long-term development concept for the Czech Post, which the ministry should have drawn up and according to which the company should develop,” NKU said at the time.

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