A report by forensic accountants that found computer bugs in the Post Office’s computer system has underlined the importance of basic bookkeeping and staff training, experts say.
The report by Second Sight comes after UK sub-postmasters said they had been wrongly accused of theft, fraud and false accounting. Some lost their homes and a few went to prison.
Second Sight was hired by the Post Office to investigate a handful of the sub-postmasters' claims. Although the accountant's interim report found no evidence of systemic problems with the core software, it did find bugs in it.
It found two occasions, in 2011 and 2012, when the Post Office identified “defects” in Horizon that resulted in a shortfall of about £9,000 at 76 branches. The Post Office took a year to realise that the second computer defect had happened.
The Post Office later made good those losses and the sub-postmasters were not held liable.
Sub-postmasters criticised Horizon for being too complex, having unreliable hardware and having inadequate helpdesk support, the report found.
The Post Office said the report showed...
About Nick Huber
I’m a specialist business journalist and have a particular interest in tax and technology.