And why did it mislead Parliament?
The second part of Phase 3 of the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry has come to a close.
There is so much I could write about (and have written about), but the thing which always makes me twitchy about this scandal is accountability, or the institutional and individual lack thereof.
To that end I have written a new blog post about some recent evidence to the Inquiry asked the question “Why hasn’t Fujitsu sacked Andy Dunks?“
Andy Dunks probably has a family to support and probably makes a decent living at Fujitsu, but he does seem to have been involved in providing incorrect, or at least incomplete witness statements to the criminal courts.
Also, four years ago, he sought to mislead a High Court judge. Six months after he did so, Fujitsu told the BEIS Select Committee it would dismiss anyone found to have knowingly misled the courts. Yet Dunks is still working at Fujitsu.
Anway, he gave evidence at the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry on Wednesday, and I have chosen to write a blog post about it, which I thought you might like to read.
As a company Fujitsu have done a very good job of avoiding accountability for their role in this scandal, though I am grateful to Tom Witherow (him again) for writing up (in February – apologies to Tom – I missed this) the prospect that the government might choose to sue them. We’ll see if that comes to pass.
All eyes on 27 April
The last person to give evidence to the inquiry this week was Richard Roll. I first met Richard seven years ago in a pub in Berkshire. He told me about his work at Fujitsu and agreed in principle to be interviewed about it for Panorama. Without Richard’s devastating evidence I wonder if this scandal would ever have come to light. Read my tweet thread about Richard’s day at the Inquiry on the Post Office Scandal website here.
The Inquiry is breaking until late April. There is a compensation hearing on 27 April in which, for the first time, the taxing of Subpostmasters’ HSS compensation will be examined as well as all the other ongoing disasters, and then we have a week of evidence from two former Fujitsu execs currently under police investigation – Anne Chambers and Gareth Jenkins. Should be enlightening.
Me vs Nick Higham
If you fancy a trip to Oxford I’m going to be speaking about the Post Office Scandal at the Oxford Literary Festival (other authors include Michael Morpurgo, Anthony Horowitz, Mary Berry and Cressida Cowell – I know!) at 6pm on Friday 31 March.
My interlocutor will be Nick Higham, who almost certainly won’t remember teaching me a BBC journalism module back in 2000. He has a lot to answer for. Tickets can be bought here.
Thanks to everyone who has got in touch recently and to the new subscribers who have joined this newsletter’s ever-growing army of secret emailers. It’s great to have you on board. If you ever want to drop me a line, just hit reply to this email. Unfortunately I do get a lot of correspondence and can’t reply to every email or message I get, but I do read every one and I am extremely grateful.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend (or drown your sorrows if you’re an England rugby union supporter). I’m sure I’ll be letting you know about a new podcast sometime next week.