Communications Regulation (Postal Services) Act 2011
Financing of provision of universal postal service.
36.— (1) Where the Commission makes a determination under section 35 that the net cost of provision of a universal postal service represents an unfair financial burden on the universal postal service provider concerned it shall apportion the net cost among providers of postal services within the scope of the universal postal service and such providers shall make a contribution, in accordance with the cost apportioned to each of them, for the purposes of meeting that burden.
(2) The assessment, apportionment, collection and distribution to the universal postal service provider concerned of contributions referred to in subsection (1) shall be carried out in accordance with a mechanism (in this Part referred to as a “sharing mechanism”) provided for in regulations made by the Commission.
(3) The contributions referred to in subsection (1) shall be paid into a fund (in this section referred to as the “fund”) established for that purpose by regulations made by the Commission and maintained and, subject to subsection (8), accounted for in accordance with those regulations.
(4) The regulations referred to in subsections (2) and (3) may provide for—
(a) the sharing mechanism and fund to be administered—
(i) by the Commission, or
(ii) by a person specified in the regulations, appointed on such terms and conditions as the Commission determines, possessing, in the opinion of the Commission, the requisite degree of independence from a universal postal service provider and the postal service providers referred to in subsection (1) and who shall be under the supervision of the Commission,
(b) the making of contributions to the fund by a particular class or description of postal service providers referred to in subsection (1).
(5) In making regulations under subsections (2) and (3) for the purposes of this section, the Commission shall ensure that the sharing mechanism operates—
(a) in an objective, proportionate and transparent manner, and
(b) in a manner that does not involve or tend to give rise to any undue discrimination against—
(i) particular postal service providers or a particular class or description of postal service providers, or
(ii) particular postal service users or a particular class or description of postal service users.
(6) Any amount payable by way of a contribution pursuant to regulations made under subsections (2) and (3) that remains unpaid may be recovered by the Commission as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction and any such amount shall include interest at the rate for the time being standing specified in section 26 of the Debtors (Ireland) Act 1840, on the amount or part thereof remaining unpaid in respect of the period between the date when the amount or part thereof fell due and the date of payment of such amount or part.
(7) Where a sharing mechanism is established, the Commission shall, subject to the protection of any information which it considers confidential (within the meaning of section 24 of the Principal Act), publish an annual report—
(a) setting out the calculated net cost of the provision of a universal postal service audited or verified, as the case may be, under section 35(5)(b), and
(b) including information relating to the performance of the fund and the total amount of contributions collected and distributed from the fund to the universal postal service provider concerned during the period to which the annual report relates.
(8) The Commission shall—
(a) cause to be kept all proper and usual accounts relating to such fund as may be established pursuant to regulations made under subsection (3), and
(b) as soon as may be after the end of each financial year, submit the accounts to the Comptroller and Auditor General for audit and those accounts when so audited shall, together with—
(i) the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon, and
(ii) a report of the Commission to the Minister in relation to the performance of its functions relating to the fund in the previous year,
be presented as soon as may be after the end of the financial year to the Minister, who shall cause copies of the accounts and the reports referred to in subparagraphs (i) and (ii) to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.
Power pursuant to subs. (2) exercised (4.12.2013) by Communications Regulation (Financing of Provision of Universal Postal Service) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 469 of 2013).