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A First Class Fiddle: Royal Mail Could Face £40m Fine For Giving False Impression Of Efficiency

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Royal Mail faces a fine of up to £40million amid claims that managers rigged research to give a false impression about the efficiency of deliveries.

Staff are accused of manipulating an independent study designed to find out whether mail is delivered promptly and arrives at the correct address.

As a result senior staff were able to claim big bonuses, amounting to thousands of pounds, for apparently running a successful delivery service.

The revelations call into question the integrity of Royal Mail and the boasts of its millionaire bosses to have improved the punctuality of deliveries.

The scam involved some Royal Mail managers discovering the names and addresses of a panel of people used to measure the efficiency of postal services in a mystery shopper-style exercise.

It is claimed that special efforts were made to ensure that mail posted to them and sent by them arrived in good time.

For example, post office staff sifted through undelivered mail at the end of the day to ensure any intended for the panellists could be delivered straight away.

Another opportunity came in areas where postmen routinely empty postboxes earlier than the last collection time. Efforts were made to ensure this did not happen with the boxes used by panellists so they would not miss the last collection.

The net effect was to boost Royal Mail's score in the supposedly secret and independent investigation into performance levels.

Industry regulator Postcomm is investigating the rigging of the research and is expected to levy a multi-million pound fine.

The scam apparently originated in Scotland, but the same ploy appears to have been used by managers in other parts of the Royal Mail network.

I wonder how many other organisations govt and private rig research?

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I wonder how many other organisations govt and private rig research?

the market works against private organisations rigging research as they will ultimately be schooled by the market. They DO do it, but it is limited by commercial necessity to actually know what is really going on.

I would expect confidently that just about every major public organisation rigs the numbers.

It reminds me of the irony implicit in a seminar I attended by a Brown-ite development adviser from academia, when I suggested the market muight have a solution to the socioeconomic problem (it was a risk/insurance issue) he was addressing, his retort was 'how do you expect selfish capitalists to help when they are motivated only by money - govt organisations are motivated by human need and so are most appropriate for providing infrasturcture'. Of course they'no more selfish than the rest of us....

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