Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 9th July 2020.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for the 1999 presumption in law that computer systems are working properly of the (a) changes since 1999 in the design, operation and ubiquity of computer systems and (b) Post Office Horizon scandal.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

We do not intend to review the presumption as it has wide application. However, it is impossible to ignore the impact that the dispute over the Horizon Accounting System and the subsequent litigation process has had on the postmasters affected. Post Office Limited (POL) has accepted that it got things wrong in the past in its dealings with a number of postmasters and has apologised.

This Government is committed to ensuring that this apology is only the start of a process that leads to real change in the Post Office so that this situation can never be repeated.  That is the purpose of the Independent Review that Minister Paul Scully MP announced on Wednesday 10 June. The Government wants to be fully assured that the right lessons are learned for the future and concrete changes have taken place at Post Office Limited.

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