August 25, 2014
The General Post Office has been condemned as in a "death spiral", amid ongoing criticism of inefficient service and lingering structural concerns.
Dionisio D'Aguilar, Superwash president and CEO and former president of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce, decried the "horrendous" condition of the post office while criticizing the government's inaction.
The leading businessman and others have complained of companies having to find ways to simply circumvent having to use the service.
"The post office is in a death spiral; it just needs someone to kill it...It's so lousy, so backwards, so antiquated... No money has been invested in the modernization of it," claimed D'Aguilar, noting that bringing the post office up to standard was not a top priority for the government.
"I think there has been no attempt whatsoever to put one dollar into the post office, other than to pay operating expenses... It's certainly not a priority for government. I think they virtually abandoned it, and so it bumbles along in its prehistoric state.
"It's a known fact that it's inefficient. It's slow in delivery and it's classic Bahamas government. It just bumbles along, offering substandard service to the consumers. [The government] is only interested in maintaining the status quo and doing nothing innovative or interesting, and so that's where it remains," said D'Aguilar.
Aside from the continued delivery and processing problems, D'Aguilar decried the structural condition of the General Post Office building, and called for it to be demolished over safety concerns.
"The building needs to be condemned and demolished... It's just dangerous," stated D'Aguilar.
However, D'Aguilar acknowledged that businesses had largely sidestepped the issue through alternative methods of delivery,including customer pick-ups and courier services.
"People don't complain about it because there are alternatives. Businesses have alternatives so they just bypass it, but it's a pain," said D'Aguilar, adding that the privatization of the postal service offered the best solution given the service's current state.
Another local businessman, who asked to remain unnamed, similarly felt that businesses had been forced to take measures into their own hands due to frequent delays with the postal service.
"A lot of our customers are actually requesting pick-ups instead of mailing because it takes so long. We're doing a lot of pick-ups for our checks and payments because it's just not getting to us," said the source.
Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna-Martin was not available for comment up to press time. However, Hanna-Martin earlier acknowledged that the building had fallen into disrepair over the years after staff was relocated due to structural problems in April.
Bahamas Public Service Union (BPSU) Secretary General S.J. Miller last year claimed that the building posed "serious health and safety problems" for its employees.
"The government has got too many fires to fight right now. It's just not an issue for them. It's way down the list," stated D'Aguilar.
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