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Not a question - contemplation after HORIZON case

...will any lessons be learnt by big organisations, such as HMRC?

Didn't find your answer?

As a profession, we would presumably all like to think that somebody high up in HMRC has started thinking about their MTD and RTI systems after the utter fiasco of Horizon.

The problems there were that a) those in charge were fed lies by those below "the software is infallible" and b) when the message that it had issues didget through, it was ignored/denied.

Last year, when I explained to the HMRC service person the error they had written to our client about (scaring them witless), was in fact an issue with their PAYE system, I was told that it couldn't possibly be and that if I continued to make such suggestions the call would be ended!

Those of us brought up with the introduction of computers were always taught to be cautious. Many are the times addition of ledgers proved that cynicism wise. Younger people, who have known little else, accept that the computer "must be right" and any suggestion that it isn't is shot down. They forget that software is written by humans (often immensely clever humans) and humans err.

 

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By Paul Crowley
23rd Apr 2021 13:52

Computer says no
HMRC cannot even plan CGT to have a year end cut off according to earlier threads today

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By hfiddes
23rd Apr 2021 14:51

I agree - but then I'm a bit long in the tooth as well.
The Horizon thing was bad right from the start because I remember signing a petition in support of our longstanding local postmaster in East Twickenham when he lost his job around 2002? I seem to remember the poor guy had a massive heart attack a while later.
That was when the local MP and newspaper got involved but it puzzled me at the time how it took years for wider support to build so it got to court cases etc.
Imho, anything systematic, like HMRC problems should be raised asap in a coordinated fashion concentrating on cold, hard indisputable facts to give them the evidence of a consistent failure. Could the National Audit Office be worth complaining to, I wonder?

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Replying to hfiddes:
By Paul D Utherone
23rd Apr 2021 18:11

Private Eye have been reporting on the Horizon fiasco for many years

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blue sheep
By Nigel Henshaw
23rd Apr 2021 16:30

Slightly off topic, but personally this is why I feel formal training should be a requirement before anyone can hang a sign outside that says "accountant" on it. How many times have I seen people who are very competent using software but dont understand the principles behind the numbers (double entry? whats that?)

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By frankfx
23rd Apr 2021 16:40

The First Lord of the Treasury should be texted.

A fix the problem is at the oven ready stage, but no one seems to know if the oven is gas or electric.

HMRC support lines not answering calls, therefore fix not implemented.

Jim Harra does not have BJ number.

Happy St George's Day, the Dragon slayer .

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By tom123
23rd Apr 2021 19:34

I am glad this has reached this conclusion - I have seen it over the years in the news.

Like all bureaucracies, the Post Office seems to have adopted a "don't bring me problems" approach, together with a heavy dose of "emperors new clothes".

Terrifying.

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Replying to tom123:
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By frankfx
23rd Apr 2021 20:56

tom123 wrote:

I am glad this has reached this conclusion - I have seen it over the years in the news.

Like all bureaucracies, the Post Office seems to have adopted a "don't bring me problems" approach, together with a heavy dose of "emperors new clothes".

Terrifying.

It is terrifying.

A closed mindset at senior level orchestrated a vicious and malicious campaign.

Where were the ' good guys' in the Post Office, silenced by gagging orders and non disclosure agreements?

Gift wrapped with a handsome cheque?

I look forward to the revelations.

The legal teams happy to pocket fees, following orders no doubt ,are not blameless.

The SRA should look into this modus.

Abuse of power. Writ large.

Several hundred innocent postmasters and their families deserve redress.

Once again an example of hundreds of innocents not being heard!!

Therein lies the scandal.

Swift justice is required at the very least.

Tax payer will pick up the tab, a few prison sentences would be welcomed in return.

There is the concept of Corporate Manslaughter in business.

What parallel is there for this mal conduct?

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Jason Croke
By Jason Croke
23rd Apr 2021 19:40

The Horizon case saw both Post Office and Fujitsu knowingly lie in order to protect their respective positions, not a case of the top managers being lied to by suppliers, managers knew the software was bad, Fujitsu knew the software was bad but they double downed on pretending it was perfect. Easier to jail people than to admit error.

I take your point that HMRC (and other big government projects) seem to take a view that the software is always right and the error must be with you....this case should at least challenge this idea that software is infallible.

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By tom123
24th Apr 2021 08:22

I found out yesterday that the Post Office used to have power to bring it's own prosecutions!

(thank you legal Twitter accounts..)

This is very rotten - and you just know that the PO viewed all the affected folk as "little people" too..

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