Investigations into Post Office computer system

Sub-postmasters, including some working in the North East, were investigated for taking money from the Post Office while carrying out transactions with the Horizon computer system

Post Office
Post Office

An investigation into a Post Office computer system which left some workers accused of false accounting ‘raises questions’ about the organisation’s standards, a report reveals.

Sub-postmasters, including some working in the North East, were investigated for taking money from the Post Office while carrying out transactions with the Horizon computer system.

While the Post Office last night claimed there is no system-wide problem with their computer service, it has conceded that support and training for its sub-postmasters should be re-examined.

Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells said: “The interim review makes clear that the Horizon computer system and its supporting processes function effectively across our network. It does however raise questions about the training and support we have offered to some sub-postmasters and we are determined to address these issues. We therefore regret very much if any sub-postmaster feels that our standards of support or training have not met their needs.”

The organisation ordered their review into the Horizon system last year and it was carried out by external firm Second Sight.

Sub-postmasters across the UK have made claims since 2009 that the system was faulty and financial discrepancies had led to them being accused of theft.

One worker based in Newcastle claimed she lost her branch while a police investigation into missing money took place – a charge she was eventually cleared of.

Campaigners claim the system notified them of shortages that sometimes amounted to tens of thousands of pounds. Many of these missing amounts were paid off using workers’ own funds.

The Horizon system is used in 11,500 branches to complete around a million transactions every day.

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