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Fujitsu apologizes to hundreds affected by UK Post Office scandal

16 Comments
By PAN PYLAS

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16 Comments
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well...the only software that doesn't have a bug in it, is software that han't been written yet.

700 post office managers were convicted of theft or fraud.

let's say you are a really stupid prosecutor. Let's say 10 PO managers are convicted. Would you not suppose some sort of collusion? would you not set up some sort of sting operation by posting a battery, cell-phone with a GPS chip set to track them?

Let's say you are the most stupid person on the planet, and you didn't think there could be collusion when 50 people were convicted.

surely, you would conclude, that there must be a more rational explanation.

so while not a QED kind of proof, the conviction of 700 PO managers shows the sheer incompetence of UK investigaros & presecutors. While of course it was ultimately determined to be a SW fault...wouldn't a single investigaor, prosecutor come to realize it had to be something like that?

unbelievable incompetence.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Nukkuheddo,

Absolutely correct, I have never heard of this till now, the fact that there were about 900 SUSPECTS all doing basically the same job, country wide, supposedly committing similar crimes seems INSANELY far fetched especially 25yrs ago......

Prosecutors clearly were dumb as rocks.....apologies to rocks everywhere!

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Knowingly submitting false evidence in a criminal trial? Isn't that a crime? And shouldn't the perpetrators be prosecuted?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

OMG..... they knew it was faulty and yet helped in the prosecution? And you want to pay your way out of this after ruining people's lives and in some cases which resulted in suicide? Whoa, time for criminal prosecution of Fujitsu if you ask me. Who knew what and when.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The Post Office investigators and prosecutors are sanctioned to carry out independent prosecutions under CPIA and Police and Criminal Evidence Act (Pace) codes without any direct police guidance or overview.

It never seemed to occur to parliament the dangers risks of direct conflict of interests.

Investigator have admitted to the inquiry of taking direct instruction from the company’s lawyers/solicitors. Strict guidelines laid out in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 were simply ignored.

Not to overstate the importance to ensure division of responsibility so as to achieve independence, transparency, accountability and consistency.

To add insult to injury quote....

"Post Office policies left it open for the same person, or group of persons, to make key investigation and prosecution decisions,”  Thus....

"Investigators repeatedly told sub-postmasters they were the only ones experiencing issues with the Horizon system and accounting shortfalls when, in reality, hundreds of people were alerting the company to problems".

I am not surprised the Post Office and Fujitsu are cowering, with grovelling public apologies.

Both Post Office/Fujitsu could be held accountable for criminal liability.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This has almost nothing to do with Fujitsu in Japan. It hasn't even made the Japanese news.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Nukkuheddo, GW,

I've read that it was the Post Office itself who were the prosecutors in most cases, in England anyway. I don't fully understand the procedure, but it seems these were private prosecutions.

https://theweek.com/law/how-the-post-office-got-its-prosecution-powers

In Scotland, it was a little different. Cases were passed from the Post Office to the public prosecution service.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2024/jan/16/post-office-horizon-scandal-scotlands-top-prosecutor-apologises-profusely-to-victims

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Looks like Fujitsu monstered the British ambassador to get their inept software used: "Documents submitted to the official inquiry into the scandal show that, in 1998, executives at the Japanese company Fujitsu, which developed the Horizon system, met with the British ambassador to Japan and warned of dire consequences for both the company and Tony Blair’s new government if the project was scrapped." The Guardian.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

At that time, the software might have been touted as the reason for the discovery of the widespread stealing

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why wasn't the Fujitsu system checked thoroughly at early stage when someone doubted the accounting system? It is weird the Post Office had no doubt for 14 years. They trusted the system too much. Computer system is going wrong once in a while. Poor branch managers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder if Fujitsu UK, was behind the NS&I implementation of 2FA, which has blocked access from overseas Carriers due to requiring lossless data compression….

1 ( +1 / -0 )

With respect, an apology is not enough although it is a beginning. Fujitsu management needs to route out IT practice by subterfuge, and set systems in place to ensure this does not happen again. It must ensure that those who should be arrested are arrested and held to account. Management needs to understand how it appears to have identified with the projection that ordinary people were merely incompetent and dishonest and really did not count in the scheme of things. It must work with the victims of this deplorable event to ensure justice, full refunds of their lost money, plus interest, and that adequate compensation determined by the victims and their families, is provided. Fujitsu as a whole needs to review and then to implement IT practices and worker education which negates the phantasy of the invincible machine. That machines are merely as good as its human practitioners is surely the only lesson to be learned.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This gives you a small taste of what AI has in store for us. I am a bit confused however because at my company we have annual audits by external auditors and they would clearly show if the accounting was wrong.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

some of whom were imprisoned for theft or fraud for the failures of the accounting software that was first introduced in 1999

It really took them 25 years to finally admit their mistake?

After ruining people life, some people go into prison, some went bankrupt and others commit suicide.

https://edition.cnn.com/2024/01/13/business/uk-post-office-fujitsu-horizon-scandal/index.html

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

It rarely does, David Brent. Scandals of Japanese companies overseas barely make it to the news in Japan. Some have been fined huge amounts in the US and it barely raises a footnote in Japan. You can almost understand it on commercial TV channels because some of them, probably like Fujitsu, are advertisers, but NHK seems to regard all the companies as national champions that world citizens love and are in awe of and that narrative is rarely tarnished.

-4 ( +13 / -17 )

@David Brent

In that case, where those profit from UK's branch go? So head office must also take their share responsibility.

https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/economics/article/3247876/fujitsu-must-pay-calls-grow-japanese-firm-foot-bill-britains-post-office-scandal

.

It hasn't even made the Japanese news.

It made but not so much,

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20240117/k10014323811000.html

.

Lesson from 2011 March. Japanese media hesitant to say something bad about big corp.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271881284_Media_Coverage_of_Fukushima_Nuclear_Power_Station_Accident_2011_A_Case_Study_of_NHK_and_BBC_WORLD_TV_Stations

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

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