Post Office IT System (Review)

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons on 16th June 2020.

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Photo of Holly Mumby-Croft Holly Mumby-Croft Conservative, Scunthorpe

What progress his Department has made on undertaking a review of the Post Office IT system.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

On 10 June, the Government announced an independent review to consider whether the Post Office has learned the necessary lessons from the Horizon trial judgments and to provide an independent and external assessment of its work to rebuild its relationship with its postmasters. We are keen to see the review launch as soon as possible, and we are in the process of identifying a chair to lead the work of the review in order to get the answers that we need and to hear those voices.

Photo of Holly Mumby-Croft Holly Mumby-Croft Conservative, Scunthorpe

I welcome that answer and the Government’s commitment to the review. Is the Minister aware of any support for postmasters and postmistresses while the situation is ongoing?

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

The December 2019 settlement comprised a comprehensive settlement of £57.75 million. The Post Office has opened a historical shortfall scheme for postmasters who were not part of the group litigation and who want shortfall issues recorded in Horizon to be investigated and addressed. Many convicted claimants are going through a further process with the Criminal Cases Review Commission, with 47 referred to the Court of Appeal. Where convictions are overturned, processes are in place for them to receive compensation if appropriate.