Postmortems

Accounting software class action (2009 to 2020)

In the UK, the Post Office has long supported sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses who run local-level post offices, often as franchises within local shops (convenience stores) all in return for some modest financial compensation. It seems they rolled out a new computerised accounting system which may have resulted in many false allegations of theft or deception against the sub-postpeople, some of whom were convicted. A class action continues, apparently with the aim of showing that the accounting software is not robust and could not support the allegations or convictions. Public money is spent on both sides on what has become a very expensive case.

The plight of some subpostmasters was first reported in May 2009, when Computer Weekly revealed that the lives of some of them had been turned upside down after being fined, sacked, made bankrupt or even imprisoned because of unexplained accounting shortfalls. They blamed the Horizon accounting and retail system for the problems, which the Post Office rejects (see timeline of Computer Weekly articles below) .

Brought by more than 500 subpostmasters against the Post Office, the group litigation has already cost tens of millions of pounds.

The judiciary have criticised both the Post Office, and Fujitsu, the suppliers

From Computer Weekly, via RISKS digest.