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Royal Mail CEO accused of ‘incompetence or cluelessness’ by MPs

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The chief executive of Royal Mail has been accused of “incompetence or cluelessness” by MPs calling on the regulator Ofcom to investigate whether the company broke legal service requirements.Parliament’s cross-party business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) committee has asked the watchdog to investigate a suspected breach of the universal service obligation (USO), which requires the postal operator to deliver letters nationwide six days a week.MPs have accused Royal Mail of prioritising parcels over letters and claimed on Friday the company had “systemically failed to deliver” parts of its obligations.Royal Mail’s chief executive, Simon Thompson, gave evidence to the committee in January but, in an unusual move, was recalled last month after he was accused of giving an inaccurate testimony.Thompson then admitted digital tracking devices carried by postal workers were used to pressure them to work faster, and blamed rogue managers for using the information in breach of company policy.The chair of the committee, Darren Jones, said that, after the first hearing, he had received almost 1,500 communications, with evidence that showed tracking information from postal digital assistants (PDA) carried by workers was “100% being used” to discipline and performance-manage staff.

Thompson has argued that the devices are used to “balance the workload evenly across the whole of the team”.Jones said: “I find it hard to believe that such widespread breaches of company policy and legal obligations are down to a national network of rogue workers conspiring against management at Royal Mail.”The Labour MP said the committee had been “inundated” with evidence “challenging the accuracy of answers” given by Thompson. “Frankly, the

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