This evening (December 19, 2017) I opened my mail box and found an “ON SERVICE” envelope addressed to me from the Minister of Industry , International Business, Commerce & Small Business Development. It turned out to be card offering me Seasons Greetings from my parliamentary representative, “The Hon. Donville Inniss, MP, JP.
I am concerned that my parliamentary representative might not be aware that posting such communication in an “ON SERVICE” envelope is contrary to section 6 of the Post Office Act. Subsection 6.(1) states:
There shall be exempt from the payment of inland postage all letters and communications transmitted by post from –
(a) any Ministry or department of the Government;
(b) such other bodies or officials as the minister may from time to time by notice published in the Official Gazette declare to be approved bodies and officials for the purposes of this section.
Subsection 6.(2) goes on to say:
Every letter of communication mentioned in subsection (1) shall –
(a) be on official business of the Ministry or department, or, as the case may be, of the other body or official from which or whom the same is forwarded;
(b) be marked “On service” and bear legibly inserted on the bottom left hand corner of the envelope under the address the designation of the Ministry or department, or, as the case may be, of the other body or official, and the official title of the sender.
I have not seen the notice in the Official Gazette which designated Ministers of the Crown as being eligible for free postage. I am therefore asking my parliamentary representative to point me to the rule that allows him free postage for his personal mail. If he can’t, I would appreciate anyone else to enlighten me.
Right now my mind is saying – abuse of office. I sincerely hope that I am wrong, not for the sake of the Minister but for the rule of law. This type of behaviour tends to make Barbados look like a banana republic.
I would be satisfied if the Postmaster General would take steps to recover this money.