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OFT: Post Office 'anti-competitive'

The Office of Fair Trading has rapped government over its printing contracts, saying they’re anti-competitive.

The Post Office was appointed to oversee tenders for government printing, but the OFT says it also operates as a commercial printer in the local market.

And that, according to a report due to go before Tynwald later this month, means it’s anti-competitive.

However, the OFT says fears the Post Office was misusing commercially sensitive data from its rivals have proved unfounded.

The OFT carried out an investigation after a complaint from a local firm, which remains unnamed in the Council of Ministers report.

Its probe found government printing was taken off the Information Systems Division and passed to the Post Office, which then invited tenders from local companies.

After a lengthy investigation, the OFT says ‘the role of the Post Office as both the broker for procurement of Government printing and as a commercial printer competing in the local market represents an anti-competitive practice’.

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