Less than a third of postal workers who sought compensation under a government program in the wake of the Horizon IT scandal received an offer to pay, nearly 17 months after it closed, MPs said.
Horizon computer system installed by mail and supplied by Fujitsu falsely suggested there was a lack of cash, resulting in 736 dangerous convictions for theft, fraud and false accounting in one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in legal history British.
The historic shortfall scheme (HSS) was put in place in 2020, with a deadline for submitting applications in August of the same year, to compensate postal workers who had not been convicted but who had instead been forced to replace the missing funds out of their own pockets.
Appearing before the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee on Tuesday, Post General Manager Nick Read said there were 2,500 HSS nominations but only 777 offers had been made. He said the size of the complaints panel doubled in October and was optimistic about future progress.
“From my perspective we will reach 50% by the end of March and we will reach over 95% by the end of the calendar year… So I hope we will make sure that as many people as possible came will be compensated and / or their families if not the individuals themselves.
Separately, those who have seen a criminal conviction overturned are entitled to interim compensation of £ 100,000, but Read said only 57 people have received the sum so far. He explained that this was due to the fact that only 72 of the 736 people the Post recognizes as having a dangerous conviction have had them canceled so far, despite attempts to contact all of them. Read told the committee that the post office failed to contact 126 of the 736, while 214 failed to respond to the letters.
When asked why they might not have responded, Read replied, “There will be a lot of people who will want to leave her behind and won’t want to see her again. “
Postmaster General Paul Scully went further in his testimony before the committee. “There is a mistrust in this whole process, not just with the post office but with the government, with everyone, because they have been through 20 years of absolute hell,” he said. “So why would they trust authority in general?” “