Post Office has launched the Historical Shortfall Scheme for current and former sub-postmasters to claim shortfalls related to previous versions of its computer system Horizon.
It follows a settlement between over 550 claimant postmasters and the Post Office in the long-running Horizon trial.
The case dealt with the Post Office’s accusations of stealing by postmasters from their branches which the litigants say are caused by discrepancies in the Horizon IT system.
A week after the settlement, in which the Post Office reportedly agreed to pay £58 million to the litigants, the High Court ruled in favour of the postmasters, finding the Legacy Horizon, which was in use between 2000 and 2010, “was not robust.” On the HNG-X, the earlier version of the Modern Horizon Online, the judge said its “robustness was questionable, and did not justify the confidence placed in it by the Post Office in terms of its accuracy.”
“We are resolving past events fairly where we got things wrong,” commented Nick Read, group chief executive of Post Office.
“The launch of this scheme is an important milestone that demonstrates a more open and transparent relationship with postmasters and offers redress for those who may have experienced shortfalls related to previous versions of the computer system Horizon.”
The scheme is open to both current and former postmasters and the claims will be assessed by an independent advisory panel. A dispute resolution procedure is available for applicants not satisfied with the assessment outcome, providing further review stages and independent mediation.
The last date to submit applications is 14 August.