Accounting separation and the prohibition of subsidizing the universal service provider are regulated by Article 36 of ZPSto-2 and the General Act on Separate Accounts and Prohibition of Subsidies, which was issued by the Agency based on ZPSto-2.
Due to the requirements of the ZPSto-2 regarding universal service prices, which must be cost-oriented, efficient, and non-discriminatory, etc., universal service providers must keep separate accounting records, clearly distinguishing between services that are part of universal service and those that are not. It must also consistently follow the principles of cost accounting.
The accounting separation system must be in compliance with the provisions of ZPSto-2. Compliance is monitored by the Agency in collaboration with an independent organization, such as an auditor. The Agency occasionally publishes compliance reports.
The Agency first inspected the accounting separation model used by Pošta Slovenije, d. o. o. in 2007, confirming that it complies with legislation. Due to changes to the legislation and irregularities it discovered, it carried out a comprehensive monitoring procedure of separate accounting records (Articles 35 and 36 of ZPSto-2), and issued the relevant decision.
Pošta Slovenije, d. o. o., is preparing a completely overhauled system of separate accounting, and the Agency is preparing a review of compliance in 2013/2014.
Prohibition of Subsidizing
One of the more important elements that a universal service provider’s separate accounting system must ensure is the monitoring of any potential subsidies to other postal and other services with services that are not included in universal service.
The net cost of providing universal service is any cost that is required for providing universal service and is connected to this service. It is calculated as the difference between the net costs of the selected universal service provider operating within the obligations of universal service, and the net costs that same provider would have incurred if it operated without the universal service obligation.
If the obligation of providing universal service leads to net costs and presents an unfair financial burden on the universal service provider, the provider is entitled to a refund from the compensation fund for providing universal service. Based on the calculation of the net costs of universal service, the Agency determines if they are indeed an unfair financial burden.
The Compensation Fund
If the universal service provider requests so, it receives a refund under the conditions stipulated in Article 19 of ZPSto-2 for the provision of universal service from the compensation fund, which was founded and is managed by the Agency.
The Agency establishes the compensation fund by opening a special bank account and keeping separate accounting records for it. All universal service providers and all providers of substitutable services must contribute to the fund, ensuring they keep appropriate separate accounting records.
The Agency has detailed the method of financing net costs in the General Act on Accounting Information and the Calculation of the Net Cost of the Obligation of Universal Postal Service.