Fujitsu Apologises for UK Post Office IT Scandal and Commits to Compensation for Wronged Sub-Postmasters

In a hearing before a committee of MPs investigating the Horizon IT scandal that rocked the UK Post Office, Fujitsu, the Japanese IT firm behind the controversial Horizon software, issued a public apology for its role in the miscarriage of justice. The Horizon software rollout led to hundreds of sub-post managers being wrongly accused of theft, fraud, and false accounting.

Paul Patterson, the Europe Director of Fujitsu, expressed remorse before the MPs, stating, “Fujitsu would like to apologise for our part in this appalling miscarriage of justice. We were involved from the very start. We did have bugs and errors in the system, and we did help the Post Office prosecute the sub-postmasters, and for that, we are truly sorry.”

The sub-post managers faced erroneous accusations, with over 700 individuals being convicted. After more than two decades of legal battles, it was revealed that the actual cause of the issues was an IT glitch in the Horizon software.

When questioned about Fujitsu staff’s knowledge of bugs and glitches before 2010, Patterson initially provided an unclear response but later indicated, “My gut feeling would be yes.”

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Regarding compensation for the wronged sub-post managers, Patterson stated that Fujitsu had not made a provision yet but acknowledged the need to do so.

He mentioned ongoing discussions with the UK government to determine the appropriate amount for compensation, stating, “We have not made provision for that yet. I can’t put a number on that yet, but when we get to that position, we must make a provision for it.”

Fujitsu’s reputation has taken a hit, and when asked about the company’s future involvement in government contracts, Patterson admitted, “It’s very clear that our brand and our value in the UK is under question, and we will look at all of those opportunities and decide yes or no.”

Responding to a question about the company’s ethical standing, Patterson asserted, “I believe we are an ethical company. Today’s company is very different from the early 2000s.”

This week, Fujitsu faces further scrutiny as its employees appear before politicians to determine the extent of the company’s knowledge about the software bugs and whether their actions could constitute perjury.

In order to make up for what Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called “one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in our nation’s history,” the UK government plans to set aside £1 billion (€1.16 billion). Public outrage stemmed from revelations that the Post Office had its law-enforcement procedures independent of external oversight.


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