Strategy & Operations » Legal » Post Office to investigate accounting software over discrepancies

THE POST OFFICE is to look again at the possibility that its accounting software could have caused discrepancies in the accounts for some of its branches.

The inconsistencies have caused several sub-postmasters to be accused of false accounting, and in some cases, they have faced prison as a result. Others have had to make up the shortfalls following prosecutions.

The Post Office had maintained the issues could not have been caused by its Horizon accounting software, which was introduced by the organisation nationwide in 2000.

Allegations Horizon was causing accounting errors first emerged in October 2009 when 30 sub-postmasters came forward with complaints about the system. They were informed that collectively they owed £430,000 to the Post Office.

Since 2009, campaign group Justice for Sub-postmasters Alliance (JFSA) has pressurised the Post Office to consider the possibility of IT failings associated with the use the accounting software.

The Post Office said in a statement: “While we have absolute confidence and no evidence to suggest anything other than complete integrity of our branch accounting processes, we are committed to thoroughly reviewing these small number of individual cases where sub-postmasters have ongoing concerns.

“We are working very closely with the JFSA and others to help bring this matter to a close and are welcoming feedback from sub-postmasters and branch teams with evidence that may help us to do so.”