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Post Office Act 1969

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Powers and Duties of the Post Office

7Powers of the Post Office

(1)The Post Office shall have power—

(a)to provide postal services (including cash on delivery services) and telecommunication services ;

(b)to provide a banking service of the kind commonly known as a giro system and such other services by means of which money may be remitted (whether by means of money orders, postal orders or otherwise) as it thinks fit;

(c)to provide data processing services ; and

(d)to perform services for Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, Her Majesty's Government in Northern Ireland or the government of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom or for local or national health service authorities in the United Kingdom.

(2)The Post Office shall have power, for the purpose of securing the effective exercise of any of the powers conferred on it by the foregoing subsection, or in connection with or in consequence of an exercise thereof, to do anything that appears to the Post Office to be requisite, advantageous or convenient for it to do, including in particular (but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing words) power—

(a)to construct, manufacture, produce, purchase, take on hire or hire-purchase, install, maintain and repair anything required for the purposes of its business or of the business of a subsidiary of its;

(b)to construct, manufacture, produce or purchase for supply to others any articles of a kind similar to any so required and to install, maintain, repair and test for others articles of such a kind ;

(c)to provide others with the services of persons employed by it for the purpose of undertaking for them tasks of a kind which, in the course of the provision or performance by it of any service falling within the foregoing subsection, are undertaken by persons so employed;

(d)to provide, for the benefit of others, consultancy and advisory services concerning anything that it does in exercise of its powers or has power to do and facilities for the training of persons for any purpose connected with anything that it so does or has power to do;

(e)to enter into and carry out agreements with any person for the carrying on by him, whether as its agent or otherwise, of any of the activities which itself may carry on or for the carrying on jointly by him and it of any of those activities;

(f)to acquire land which is required by it for, or in connection with, the exercise of its powers or as to which it can reasonably be foreseen that it will be so required ;

(g)to dispose (whether absolutely or for a term of years) of any part of its undertaking or any property which in its opinion is not required by it for or in connection with the exercise of its powers, and, in particular, to dispose of an interest in, or right over, any property which, subject to the interest or right, is retained by it;

(h)for the purposes of its business, to subscribe for or acquire any securities of an incorporated company or other body corporate, to procure its admission to membership of an incorporated company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital, to promote the formation of an incorporated company or participate in the promotion of such a company or to acquire an undertaking or part of an undertaking;

(i)to give or lend money to, or give a guarantee for the benefit of, any person with whom it has entered into an agreement by virtue of paragraph (e) above for the purpose of enabling him to carry out the agreement and, for the purposes of its business, to give or lend money to, or give a guarantee for the benefit of, any other person for the purposes of an undertaking carried on by him or, where that person is a body corporate, an undertaking carried on by a subsidiary of its ;

(j)to do anything for the purpose of advancing the skill of persons employed by it or that of persons who, though not so employed, are engaging themselves, or have it in contemplation to engage themselves, in work of a kind in the case of which it has or may have a direct or indirect concern in the products thereof;

(k)to promote (either by prosecuting it itself or by its promoting it by others) research into matters which affect, or arise out of, the carrying on of its business, or other matters which, though not such as aforesaid, are such as to which it appears to it that advantage will or may accrue to it as a consequence of research's being prosecuted into them;

(l)to promote the doing of such work as is requisite to enable there to be turned to account—

(i)the results of research (whether promoted by it or not) into matters affecting, or arising out of, the carrying on of its business ;

(ii)the results of research promoted by it into other matters;

(m)to provide assistance (including financial assistance) to any institution or body whose activities (or any of them) are such as, in its opinion, to be of benefit to it;

(n)to carry for hire or reward passengers in vehicles used by it for the purposes of its business ;

(o)to enter into, and carry out, agreements with persons who carry on business as carriers of goods, for the carriage by it on their behalf of goods consigned to them for carriage by them ;

(p)to provide houses, hostels and other like accommodation for persons engaged in its business ;

(q)to make loans to persons employed by it (including, in particular, loans to assist them to acquire housing accommodation) and to guarantee loans made to persons so employed (including, in particular, loans made by building societies and other bodies for housing purposes);

(r)to promote recreational activities for, and activities conducing to the welfare of, persons who are, or have been, engaged in its business or have been officers, servants or agents of the Postmaster General and the families of such persons- and to assist the promotion by others of such activities;

and may turn its resources to account so far as not required for the purposes of its business.

(3)For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that the foregoing provisions of this section relate only to the capacity of the Post Office as a statutory corporation, and nothing in those provisions shall be construed as authorising the disregard by it of any enactment or rule of law.

(4)The Post Office shall not be regarded as a common carrier in respect of any of its activities.

(5)The provisions of this section shall not be construed as limiting any power of the Post Office conferred by or under any subsequent provision of this Act.

(6)Nothing in this section shall be taken to confine the exercise of the powers thereby conferred on the Post Office to the British Islands.

8Furnishing of overseas aid by the Post Office

The Post Office shall have power—

(a)to furnish any authority or person outside the United Kingdom with assistance (whether financial, technical or of any other nature) if, in its opinion, the consequences of doing so will enure for its benefit;

(b)to enter into, and carry out, agreements with the Minister of Overseas Development whereunder it acts, at the expense of that Minister, as the instrument by means whereof technical assistance is furnished by him in exercise of the power conferred on him by section 1(1) of the Overseas Aid Act 1966.

9General duty of the Post Office

(1)It shall be the duty of the Post Office (consistently with any directions given to it under the following provisions of this Part of this Act) so to exercise its powers as to meet the social, industrial and commercial needs of the British Islands in regard to matters that are subserved by those powers and, in particular, to provide throughout those Islands (save in so far as the provision thereof is, in its opinion, impracticable or not reasonably practicable) such services for the conveyance of letters and such telephone services as satisfy all reasonable demands for them.

(2)In discharging the duty imposed on it by the foregoing subsection, the Post Office shall have regard—

(a)to the desirability of improving and developing its operating systems;

(b)to developments in the field of communications; and

(c)to efficiency and economy.

(3)Subsection (1) above shall not be taken to preclude the Post Office from interrupting, suspending or restricting, in case of emergency, any service provided by it.

(4)Nothing in this section shall be construed as imposing upon the Post Office, either directly or indirectly, any form of duty or liability enforceable by proceedings before any court.

10Power to promote and oppose Bills,

The Post Office may, with the consent of the Minister, promote, and may, without any such consent, oppose, Bills in Parliament, Bills in the Parliament of Northern Ireland and orders under the Private Legislation Procedure (Scotland) Act 1936.

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