Dear Post Office Limited,

Would you supply me with the total number of PO Branches you have paid Exceptional Support Payments to, as a result of your opening a nearby New Network Location Branch (White Space Filling) where such an opening has had a detrimental financial impact on an existing Branch.

Would you also include in your reply the total number of Branches that were in receipt of an exceptional payment where you have now stopped or served notice to end, the exceptional payment as of 25th May 2022.

Thank you.
Yours faithfully,

Mark Baker

information.rights@postoffice.co.uk, Post Office Limited

Our ref: FOI2022/00371

Dear Mark Baker,

I am writing with regards to your information rights request, which was
received on 25th May.

We have started to consider your request; however, we require further
information before we are able to proceed. In your email you have
requested the following shown in bold:

Would you supply me with the total number of PO Branches you have paid
Exceptional Support Payments to, as a result of your opening a nearby New
Network Location Branch (White Space Filling) where such an opening has
had a detrimental financial impact on an existing Branch.

For this question what is the date range that you would like the
information from?

Would you also include in your reply the total number of Branches that
were in receipt of an exceptional payment where you have now stopped or
served notice to end, the exceptional payment as of 25th May 2022.

The total number of Branches that were in receipt of an exceptional
payment, do you mean:

 1. The total number of Branches in relation to part 1 of your request? OR
 2. The total Branch network that have ever received an exceptional
payment, irrelevant of the reason and from what year?

As you will appreciate the statutory timescale for our response to your
request will not commence until we are supplied with the further
information which we require. In the event that we do not hear from you we
will assume that you do not wish to proceed with your request.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications

Yours sincerely,
Liesl Jackson

Information Rights Team

Finsbury Dials,

20 Finsbury Street

London, EC2Y 9AQ

Dear [email address],
Our ref: FOI2022/00371
Thank you for your reply. I am sorry my original request was not clear. To clarify I would like to know the number of branches that have received an exceptional support payment since the schemes inception up until the 25th May 2022, as a result of the impact of a new network location branch being opened in close proximity to an existing branch. I would also like to know how many of those branches who you have supported in this way are still in receipt of those support payments. To be clear I am only asking for information in relation to those branches that have suffered a loss of business due to the close locating of a new network location branch and not in relation to any other branch you may be financially supporting for other exceptional reasons.

I trust that clarifies my request.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Baker

information.rights@postoffice.co.uk, Post Office Limited

Dear Mark Baker,

Thank you for your email 25 May clarifying your recent request under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000, a reply will be sent by 28th June, which
is twenty working days from receipt of your clarification.

If for any reason we are unable to provide you with a full response within
that time, we will contact you explaining the reasons and giving a revised
date by which we will reply.

If in the meantime, should you have any questions or would like to contact
us about your request, please email or write to us at the address below.

Please be assured that we are giving this our attention and will get back
to you shortly.

Yours sincerely,

Liesl Jackson

Information Rights Team

Post Office Limited

Ground Floor

Finsbury Dials

20 Finsbury Street

London

EC2Y 9AQ

[1][Post Office request email]

Post Office Limited is committed to protecting your privacy, information
about how we do this can be found on our website at
www.postoffice.co.uk/privacy

References

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information.rights@postoffice.co.uk, Post Office Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mark,

Please find attached the response relating to your Freedom of Information
request.

Regards,

Information Rights Team

Ground Floor

Finsbury Dials

20 Finsbury Street

London

EC2Y 9AQ

Dear [email address],
Your ref/ [email address]

Thank you for your reply. Your answer is quite a surprise.
It seems very odd that the Post Office has taken the trouble to set up a support payment scheme for Branches adversely impacted by the opening of a New Network Location Branch close to them, yet has never paid out any support payments.

Are you absolutely certain you have given me a truthful answer?

I would like to give you the opportunity to double check your facts. In doing so may I suggest you first have a conversation with your Paul Liddiard Head of Postmaster Remuneration Development, Lynn Lewis Franchise Partnering Team South Wales and Northern Ireland and Laureen Johnson Area Manager Northern Ireland.

I look forward to your further response.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Baker

information.rights, Post Office Limited

Dear Mark,

Thank you for your email.

Exceptional Premium Payments have not been set up to support Branches due to a new network location Branch opening near an existing Branch. Many factors are taken into consideration for a Branch to be in receipt of an Exceptional Premium Payment.

However, should you have concerns regarding a Branch please do let us know and we will be happy to forward your email to the appropriate team.

Regards,

Data Protection and Information Rights Team
Finsbury Dials
20 Finsbury Street
London
EC2Y 9AQ
[email address]

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Dear Post Office Limited,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Post Office Limited's handling of my FOI request 'Exceptional Support Payments'.

I believe your Information Rights team are deliberately avoiding answering my request for the information I have requested. Either that or they are being obtuse. The information I have asked for is quite clear in its purpose. Which is how many branches have received support payments due to the adverse economic impact of the opening of a New Network Location Branch close to an existing Branch? I know of at least one branch in receipt of such support payments I would to know how may more branches nationally are receiving this kind of support and whether or not this support package (call it what you like) has now been withdrawn?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/e...

Yours faithfully,

Mark Baker

information.rights@postoffice.co.uk, Post Office Limited

Dear Mark Baker,

Thank you for contacting us with your request for an internal review.

This has been assigned to a caseworker (our ref: IR2022/00399).

If you have any questions, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours sincerely,
Information Rights Team
Ground Floor
Finsbury Dials
20 Finsbury Street
London EC2Y 9AQ

information.rights@postoffice.co.uk, Post Office Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mark Baker,

Please find attached the outcome of your Internal Review request.

Regards,

Information Rights Team

Ground Floor

Finsbury Dials

20 Finsbury Street

London

EC2Y 9AQ

Dear [email address],

Thank you for your reply informing me of the outcome of your internal review. Before I ask the ICO to intervene in this matter, are you able to explain the payments you are making to Carrickfergus Post Office in Northern Ireland ? I have seen all your correspondence to the Postmistress of this Branch and all the documentation she has received refer to "Exceptional Support Payments" which were authorised as a direct result of the Post Office opening two New Network Location branches within a mile of her own Branch.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Baker

information.rights, Post Office Limited

Dear Mr Baker,

Further to your email dated 3 July, we are content with the responses sent to you on 7 and 24 June, which confirm that no exceptional premium payments have been made due to the opening of a new network location branch.

We have not interpreted your specific comment relating to the Carrickfergus Post Office as a request for recorded information. However, without prejudging any future application you may make, if we were to handle this as a request for information then it is likely that we would be unable to confirm whether we held the correspondence to which you have referred, due to the exemptions at s.40 (Personal Information) and s.43 (Commercial Interests) of the FOI Act 2000.

Kind regards
Andy

Andy Jennings
Information Rights Team

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