back to article Fujitsu finance chief says sorry for IT giant's role in Post Office Horizon scandal

Fujitsu's CFO is the latest in the the Japanese vendor's exec ranks to apologize for the megacorp's role in the Post Office Horizon scandal, widely viewed as one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in UK history. Speaking to investors, Takeshi Isobe said the board of directors of the technology and services giant was …

  1. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Devil

    Meanwhile, back at the Post Office...

    ... it's business as usual:

    What’s really going on with the Subpostmaster compensation schemes

    Article by Nick Wallis, who's been following this since 2009.

    1. adam 40 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Meanwhile, back at the Post Office...

      If they are going to "rake over the coals" as intimated by this latest article, and revisit previous compensation settled "in full and final settlement" because some of the evidential inputs to the decision making/tribunals/ombudsman were false, perhaps they should also consider funding the revised settlements, at least in part, from recovered bonuses paid out to the board over the same timeframe?

      Because it seems to me that these bonuses were awarded based on PO profitability, which would have been less if the proper settlements had been made at the correct time, based on the actual facts, not something made up.

      It's all going a bit nuclear!

  2. StewartWhite
    Unhappy

    Talk is cheap, where's the £?

    If Fujitsu actually cared (presumably this is true in a parallel universe, just not this one) then they would cough up the cash direct to the subpostmasters that reaped the whirlwind of excrement otherwise known as Horizon.

    Any fool can apologise but it's utterly meaningless in this case unless there's significant cash to follow. If there's no direct and serious monetary hit to Fujitsu then there's no moral hazard for them.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Talk is cheap, where's the £?

      > it's utterly meaningless in this case

      That is the very point of it though: Apologizing is cheap, compensating on the other hand damages your quarterly earnings statements, and thus your bonuses. Since they won't compensate, they apologize so they can say they did something.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Talk is cheap, where's the £?

      You say Fujitsu but I think the system was created by ICL and then Fujitsu bought ICL and thus inherited this mess.

      So, the key question for me is how much did Fujitsu know (and would have been reasonable for them to know) and what did they do when they got this knowledge.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: Talk is cheap, where's the £?

        > how much did Fujitsu know

        The better question is, how much should Fujitsu have known, and the answer to that is "everything". If they didn't, it's their fault: They bought the company with its assets and liabilities, they can't only claim the assets and ignore the liabilities...

      2. h3nb45h3r

        Re: Talk is cheap, where's the £?

        I'm going to say they knew everything, if only as they were mainly (OK, wholely) responsible for it all...

        A timeline:

        Fujitsu bought 80% of ICL in 1990, ICL effectively became the European arm of Jujitsu at that point.

        In 1996 the Horizon (or Pathways as it was known internally) contract was signed.

        In 1998, Fujitsu purchased the remaining 20% of ICL

        In October 1999 the first Horizon terminal was put on a Post Office Counter

        In 2022, ICL was officially rebranded Fujitsu and all ICL branding dropped.

      3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Talk is cheap, where's the £?

        The answer to that is "Yes they did know" , according to that ITV drama they had teams of people manually going through postmasters accounts at night secretly correcting the errors the system had put in.

        I believe thats not just a dramatisation / poetic license thing .

        I wonder if the crisis was limited to Fijitsu UK though , and the CEO in Japan found out only recently , but I guess with this dragging on for 20 years they surely must have herard something in the press if nowhere else.

      4. StewartWhite
        Alien

        Re: Talk is cheap, where's the £?

        It's irrelevant re how much Fujitsu knew at the time - they bought ICL and hence any assets (admittedly largely notional in this case) and liabilities are theirs to deal with. If they failed to do due diligence at the time then that's their problem although I'd certainly have no issue with them pursuing any persons/companies in the courts if they were deliberately misled but ultimately caveat emptor applies.

        If an acquiring company could avoid its liabilities/obligations by claiming it knew nothing of them at the time of acquisition then any company doing anything dodgy could just be "taken over" by an unrelated company or useful idiot (e.g. BHS and Domininc Chappell) who could then avoid any penalties by shrugging their shoulders and saying "Didn't know anything about it guv". Please note that this is not a suggestion for the current UK government to implement - it's just the kind of neo-liberal claptrap they love.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: Talk is cheap, where's the £?

          "Didn't know anything about it guv". Please note that this is not a suggestion for the current UK government to implement

          They might not have made it corporate law , but that is certainly internal government policy.

          This is why they have a these "Cabinet Reshuffles" every 5 minutes that ensure a minister is never experienced or capable in the role, from their pov it

          -pads the cv and furthers their carreers , without the need to prove / do / know anything

          -prevents any responsibility for anything with the "Didn't know anything about it guv" getout clause.

          .

          A clause used multiple times over the course of this Horizion business with a procession of home secretaries.

      5. Random person

        Re: Talk is cheap, where's the £?

        > The Post Office Horizon scandal public inquiry heard that staff working at Fujitsu’s Software Support Centre (SCC), which provides third-line tech support to Post Office branches, had “unrestricted and unauditable” remote access to branch accounts.

        > ..

        > ... “There is no functionality in Horizon for either a branch, Post Office or Fujitsu to edit, manipulate or remove transaction data once it has been recorded in a branch’s accounts.” The Post Office only admitted it was in fact possible when it was left with no choice, during a High Court case in 2019.

        https://www.computerweekly.com/news/366537376/Fujitsu-staff-had-unrestricted-and-unauditable-remote-access-to-Post-Office-branch-systems

        If you listen to the BBC radio series or read the long series of articles in "Computer Weekly" or read Nick Wallis' book you will get some answers to your questions.

        Also suggest that you look at the Horizon internal report at the inquiry website. The report was produced in 2001. Fujitsu took full ownership of ICL in 1998. Here is a paragraph from the internal report.

        > Whoever wrote this code clearly has no understanding of elementary mathematics or the most basic rules of programming.

        https://www.postofficehorizoninquiry.org.uk/sites/default/files/2022-11/FUJ00080690%20Report%20on%20the%20EPOSS%20PinICL%20Task%20Force%2014052001.pdf

    3. Bitbeisser
      Unhappy

      Re: Talk is cheap, where's the £?

      Yeah, Fujitsu should do a bit more than just issue apologies. It is a very complex issue, with apparent f***ups on various levels. And at least those that paid with their death can not be compensated anymore.

      But as far as exoneration of the falsely convicted goes, that should be done IMHO immediately, at the highest level possible. And as far as compensating the survivors of this scandal goes, it should not only happen on the back of the British tax payers, but Fujitsu needs to chip in a substantial amount as well.

      But both exoneration and compensation of the victims should not mean that those ultimately responsible, at all levels, are not going to be held accountable. I simply can't understand how this could go on for years without ANYONE in charge noticing a rather disturbing pattern and intervening, instead of partaking in covering this whole thing up until it became a TV show... :(

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Talk is cheap, where's the £?

        Is there actually some stipulation that those who died before seeing justice can't be compensated by paying out to their heirs, who also suffered because the main breadwinner lost their jobs, homes, freedom in some case? Their families were also very seriously affected, both mentally and financially.

    4. druck Silver badge

      Re: Talk is cheap, where's the £?

      If Fujitsu actually cared (presumably this is true in a parallel universe, just not this one) then they would cough up the cash direct to the subpostmasters that reaped the whirlwind of excrement otherwise known as Horizon.

      The sub-postmasters have no direct relationship with Fujitsu, so unfortunately any compensation has to go via the Post Office, and it seems they are still unwilling to do the right thing, hence the chief being given his marching orders last week.

  3. Khaptain Silver badge

    Unfitting corporate punishment

    Some people lost their careers, their income, credibility and Fujitsu only had to do pump out some pathetic corporate statement of sorry.

    In my book that doesn't balance.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Unfitting corporate punishment

      Especially after Fujitsu personally insisted on the prosecutions, good job that nobody from the Post Office, the Government or the DPP was to blame

    2. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: Unfitting corporate punishment

      It balances about as well as a Horizon nightly summary.

  4. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "Fujitsu finance chief says sorry"

    It's a strange thing (but maybe not so strange really) that in numerous languages many of the words used to apologise literally mean "let me off the hook" (e.g. "forgive me"). Real penitence is demonstrated by action.

    1. Macs1000

      Re: "Fujitsu finance chief says sorry"

      There used to be an honourable Japanese tradition of making a sincere apology by committing hara-kiri...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In case you missed it

    Former Fujitsu UK CEO (between May 2014 and June 2015) Michael Keegan resigned from his role at the Cabinet Office last week:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-68106040

    1. Lurko

      Re: In case you missed it

      Another MP's partner/relative with their snout in the government trough. Keegan was a "Crown Representative", which as far as I can see is a pretend appointment that entails 1-2 days work a week (less 20 days holiday a year) in return for about £40k plus all your expenses. From the job advert: "Successful candidates will have a track record of delivering effective change at the most senior levels." Well, that's Keegan for you.

      Whilst I know nothing of the facts, my expectation is that he only went when he was told that it would be for the good of the party, but that the pain of his loss would be appeased by a nice generous pay off, or that he'll pop up in one or more other minister-awarded sinecures in a few months time, such as non-exec director on one of the many hundreds of arms-length bodies that the past thirty years of government have created. Scroll down the link below past the government departments, until you get to the long, long list of "agencies and other public bodies", you decide where's a nice safe place for him to keep milking the public teat:

      https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations

    2. R Soul Silver badge

      Re: In case you missed it

      Michael Keegan is married to Gillian Keegan, our cosplay dimwit Education minister.

      So not the best of starting positions to learn lessons.

      Their snouts will surely remain deep in Westminster's chumocracy trough

  6. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    "The UK prime minister has promised to speed up the legal process to quash convictions and compensation for those wrongfully accused."

    He fucking hasn't though, has he. And he won't; until voters tell him that it's an issue that must be resolved before the election comes around.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The balance of public opinion is clearer on this than for any issue I can every recall in my life (and I'm no spring chicken), but the lack of progress shows that Sunak thinks it's enough to make a sweeping, supportive generalisation and that's enough. But why would the exceptionally lazy fuckers of this government speed things up? It doesn't affect them, and they already know the outcome of the next election, so they're just clinging to power purely in order to take what they can in the remaining months, for example by doubling their "loss of office payments".

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        "...the lack of progress shows that Sunak thinks it's enough to make a sweeping, supportive generalisation and that's enough"

        That much is clear. "I made the promise, what more do you want from me?"

        Following through would be nice. But you're a politician on the way out, so I have basically zero hopes this will ever get beyond the 'promise' stage.

        1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          Sunak, in my opinion, also has no incentive to sour relationship between Fujitsu and his family businesses.

      2. Spazturtle Silver badge

        I don't think he is unwilling to do it, I think he is just incapable of doing his job. Look at his flagship new bills, banning disposable vapes, this is the sort of thing that is normally done by backbenchers with private member bills.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      AFAICS the only action needed is to get a full list of all the convictions where Horizon was invlovled, including those where there was a plea, take it to the court of appeal and say "We believe all these convictions were unsafe and should be overturned". Faffing about with special legislation seems to be more a case of political theatre than anything else. Trying to look for and exclude possible real frauds is pointless as the evidence is tainted.

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

        Which is all well and good, but the court of appeal can only hear an individual case.

        Which involves the PO handing over the documents used to prosecute said postmaster as well as said postmaster handing over documents saying why they believe their conviction is unsafe.

        And the PO can point to the inquiry not having reported back and unfairly affecting the case as a result.

        All of which takes time, and then theres the other 762 cases to consider......

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Expert witness saying that in their view the previous evidence was unreliable. If there was no opposition I doubt the court would take very long to deal with it.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        As Benjamin Franklin said "it is better a hundred guilty persons should escape than one innocent person should suffer."

        It'd be strange if none of those convicted were guilty, but the odds (and evidence) says the vast majority were not.guilty.

    3. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid Silver badge

      "He fucking hasn't though, has he."

      Of course not. It's far too early for Sunak to actually do anything, he'll be keeping that powder dry until a lot closer to the election. Then he'll whip it out and feign anger and frustration at how awful this has been, that he's had enough and he's personally sorting it out now, because he's man of the people who stands up for honest hard working folks and you can trust him, good old Sunak. Definitely not because an election is coming up in a few weeks and he desperately needs the votes.

      1. adam 40 Silver badge

        ... and then the election happens, and whoever gets in, fuck all progress for the Postmasters and Postmistresses.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fujitsu finance chief says sorry for company's role in Post Office Horizon scandal - after 20 years of protest and investigations of varying thoroughness, all he does is say "oops, sorry".

    So where's the submission to the inquiry where Fujitsu acknowledges that it's software was shit. The admission that Fujitsu knew about it from the start. The admission that Fujitsu has perjured itself claiming the software wasn't shit. The admission that Fujitsu personnel frequently made "corrections" and "adjustments" which weren't documented as rigourously as accounting practices require - if at all - and shouldn't have been necessary in the first place.

    Where is the offer of meaningful compensation to the surviving victims and into the estates of those sadly no longer with us.

    So far all we have is empty, meaningless words. It makes a mockery of the traditional view of the Japanese culture of honour.

    Which just continues the insult and is, in many ways making Fujitsu even more offensive.

    Why isn't the Post Office and Fujitsu boards, past and present, already doing time?

    Evil, evil, evil people.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Why isn't the Post Office and Fujitsu boards, past and present, already doing time?"

      That is a depressingly easy one to answer.

      The enquiry was set up in such a way that any criminal prosecutions are delayed until it's completed and the PO has succeeded in dragging it out indefinitely. Witnesses' appearances have been put off because documents were unavailable or because new documents were found at the last minute and time had to be allowed to examine them. Many of these last minute documents have turned out to have been duplicates of those already in evidence. It's a great pity that these tactics weren't treated as contempt of court early on.

    2. Boring Bob

      To be fair, I doubt that he or anyone in Japan had anything to do with this.

    3. Caver_Dave Silver badge

      The full transcript will be more like:

      "Oops, sorry" [whispered] "investors, we got caught"

  8. KarMann Silver badge
    Flame

    Horizon is an EPOS....
    Did you actually manage to type that with a straight face? I couldn't.

    The UK prime minister has promised to speed up the legal process to quash convictions and compensation for those wrongfully accused.
    And punish the actual wrongdoers instead of those they wrongfully accused, right? You/they seem to have left that part off.

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: Horizon is an EPOS....

      I think the first letter stands for "Extreme".

      1. adam 40 Silver badge

        Re: Horizon is an EPOS....

        Or "Evidently"

        (if you don't cover it up)

  9. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Apols

    Oopsie daisy. Are you all okay? Apols again.

    Don't worry we care about it and we treat it seriously. Pinky promise!!!

    Phew that was easy.

    Given that all governments are implicated in this and nobody wants to do time for this nor have their assets seized, expect more platitudes and assurances until the problem goes cold and public forgets about it.

    Give it maybe three months.

    The PR teams are probably already looking how to spin it so that the public gets tired of it and then to paint victims as greedy, but tread carefully as it is better if it just naturally dies.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Apols

      So... need to make sure it doesn't naturally die.

      What else is Fujitsu implicated with? Could this be happening elsewhere?

      I'd press that button until "Fujitsu" is seen as a sort of swear word in common parlance.

  10. Sparkus

    When does.....

    the naming of names begin? Without human accountability, this is reduced to a matter of writing checks.

  11. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Never mind the apologies, show us the money.

  12. 43300 Silver badge

    The standard corporate (and government) response when they can no longer deny something:

    "we're very sorry"

    "lessons will be learned"

    Then it's back to business as usual, with no lessons having been learned at all!

    1. Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

      They do learn an important lesson: that they can do what they like with total impunity because any attempt to hold them accountable will be bogged down in bureaucracy forever. The medical profession is especially bad for this, I'm sure managers are all issued with a "lessons will be learnt" rubber stamp that magically makes all the problems go away, regardless of misconduct and criminality; they've been doing it for decades.

  13. Boring Bob

    While it is a terrible scandel with truly aweful consequences for thousands of people, is it actually anyone's fault?

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Complaints were disregarded, data was fiddled with from afar, and people were prosecuted on the basis of solid irrefutable evidence (or, at least, that's how they passed it off at the time), pursued with the zealousness of a prefect harassing a group of terrified first formers.

      So, you're right. This isn't anyone's fault. There's far too much wrongness to pin on one person.

      It's everyone's fault.

    2. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Are you Paula Vennells?

  14. R Soul Silver badge

    I would like to apologise...

    Every time I hear a corporate/government shill say "I would like to apologise for..." I silently append "but I won't or can't be arsed" to that sentence.

    Why can't these scumbags unequivocally say "I apologise".

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: I would like to apologise...

      Because that makes it personal which implies responsibility, and god forbid anybody own up to this mess.

      1. 43300 Silver badge

        Re: I would like to apologise...

        It's like the phraseology used in the classic corporate non-apology:

        "We are sorry that you feel that..."

        This is claiming (probably falsely) that they are sorry that you feel something - they are not admitting anyhting to do with the actual subject or making any comment on it.

  15. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    What can the victims do with his "sorry" ?

    Is this a magical sorry because its from a CEO ?

    Why are the journos giving elevated status and pretending that this is magically wonderful ?

  16. Vader

    What I don't understand is the inquiry.

    This should be a criminal case and it's perjury. It was good enough without proper evidence to throw the sub postmasters into prison, the same should apply to all involved. Also the post office should be stripped of its powers to prosecute someone without a 3rd party over looking it.

    An inquiry is for MP's and sorts and sweet FA will happen other than we are sorry but F them all.

    1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      You seem to forget about Fujitsu. Those that signed off on the deliverables from Fujitsu should be held criminally responsible and sent to jail when found guilty for the side effects of their failed software.

  17. gnasher729 Silver badge

    Here’s what happened: Fujitsu created software that was unreliable. In some situations information from a post office was recorded incorrectly. That can happen, but I think it would be a good interview question for a software developer how to fix the situation; how to detect that something is wrong and fix it. It’s not particularly difficult. So this was incompetence.

    But that is the start. Fujitsu not only created unreliable software, but they knew about it, kept it a secret and didn’t fix it. Having bugs within the basic functionality of the software is incompetence. Knowing about it and not fixing it, that is malicious.

    But then things got worse. So far the outcome was that they got numbers that didn’t match up. When that happens you should go and try to get the real numbers. That’s not what they did. Instead they went into postmasters’ computers (which they swore they couldn’t) and changed the numbers to make it look like the postmaster was a thief. That’s now going from malicious to criminal.

    1. Mike 125

      > It’s not particularly difficult.

      Actually, it *is* difficult. There are some hard sums and engineering required to make a deterministic distributed system.

      That's not the point. The point is that the subject is well explored and widely implemented.

      > So this was incompetence.

      So yes, and dumbfuck pig ignorance. The number of high-ups claiming "But I was told computers can't fail" as an excuse, is criminal.

      Agree with the rest of your comment.

    2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      "changed the numbers to make it look like the postmaster was a thief."

      I assumed they were chnaging the numbers to correct the system's errors to prevent "make it look like the postmaster was a thief." , and the ones sacked / jailed were were Fujitsu inevitably fucked it up .

      1. gnasher729 Silver badge

        No. The system provided numbers that didn’t add up. From that the only logical conclusion that you can draw is that at least one number is wrong. You don’t know which one.

        Then the numbers were consistently changed so that (a) they added up and (b) they showed that the postmaster was at fault.

        Analogy: There are two speeding cameras side by side. One shows I’m going 30, the other shows I’m going 60. Obviously one camera is wrong. If you took this to a judge he wouldn’t know whether to laugh or cry. To avoid embarrassment, the police changes the “30” to “60”. That’s what Fujitsu did

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Having bugs within the basic functionality of the software is incompetence. Knowing about it and not fixing it, that is malicious.

      That tried and tested business model has served Microsoft rather well for decades. It's only to be expected Crapita, Fujshitsu and the rest of the planet's suppliers of crapware would copy it.

    4. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      Which is why Fujitsu management along with those directly aprt of the projet and signing off should be criminally responsible and locked up for a long time.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rehash

    Frankly a rehashed article with a predictable blizzard of virtue signaling and ill informed opinion in the comments.

    I worked for ICL in the years running up to 97 and am fully aware of the dynamic between the retail clients support teams and IT provider. It was even worse where the client was supplying to people who were effectively subcontractors. In particular I recall a project for a significant UK Brewer and the typical backlash from the client if you were put in a position where you could be quoted/miss quoted.

    I very much expect that none of this has or will change and no amount of spleen venting will make a blind bit of difference.

    For all your Fujitsu pummelling, it might make you feel better about yourself but at the end of the day ( and enquiry) it will be a matter between the PO and it's subcontractors.

    I bet every other retail provider is breathing a sigh of relief that it wasn't them.

    1. Mike 125

      Re: Rehash

      >and it's subcontractors.

      its. I wouldn't trust your software.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Rehash

        Ooh, exemplary burn!

    2. markr555

      Re: Rehash

      WTF are you on?? "For all your Fujitsu bashing"? They had a full team working round the clock committing fraud on a daily basis, in a secret basement office. I'm pretty sure other 'retail suppliers' aren't lying in court and sending innocent folks to prison! Fujitsu deserve all the bashing people can give, and a fuck-ton more besides.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Rehash

        'WTF are you on??'

        A dose of informed perspective with a good grip on reality.

        'They had a full team working round the clock committing fraud on a daily basis, in a secret basement office.'

        What fantastical tin foil hatted world do you reside in? Have you no other way to get the upvotes you clearly crave without the hysterics and miss representation?

        P.S. if you are going to quote me then quote the words which I actually use, you might find you get a few more upvotes from those who read.

        1. StewartWhite
          FAIL

          Re: Rehash

          Try reading the copious material available in Computer Weekly and Private Eye or watching the TV drama - Fujitsu DID have a team that was specifically devoted to manually and secretly resolving Horizon's errors. If that's not good enough for you try reading the transcripts of the public inquiry.

          I get that you're trying to muddy the waters in the same way that cancer stick companies do but you are plainly and demonstrably wrong.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Rehash

            'committing fraud on a daily basis, in a secret basement office'

            'manually and secretly resolving Horizon's errors.'

            So were they in a secret office or working in secret? If so from whom? From the client or not? Because if the client was fully aware which I very much expect to be the case, they weren't working in secret.

            Despite your glib claim, it's certainly not me muddying the waters, I am waiting for the outcome of the inquiry by competent and intelligent people before passing judgement.

            The muddying is done by comment trail circle jerks like this. All the way up to and when the inquiry findings are made public they of course refute everything as being a sham and a conspiracy and will then conveniently move on and be yapping away at the sound of the next dog whistle.

            1. StewartWhite
              Flame

              Re: Rehash

              You just can't be bothered to look can you just so you can pretend that the evidence doesn't exist. We all know that the point of a public inquiry is to take so long that all the culpable individuals have moved to a different role, are retired or dead - you're either cynical or naive in the extreme if you believe anything else so your idea of waiting until it completes is nonsensical.

              In the meantime, here are just some of the numerous references to Fujitsu abusing remote access - there are plenty of others for you to find in the unlikely event that you're interested:

              https://www.computerweekly.com/news/366537376/Fujitsu-staff-had-unrestricted-and-unauditable-remote-access-to-Post-Office-branch-systems

              https://www.theregister.com/2024/01/17/post_office_inquiry_latest/

              https://www.postofficescandal.uk/post/horizon-remote-access-2016-style/

              It's also dramatised in the TV series if you would deign to watch it rather than stick your fingers in your ears and say "La, la, la - can't hear you".

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Rehash

                Laughable, you claim 'the point of a public inquiry is to take so long that all the culpable individuals have moved to a different role, are retired or dead' and then immediately accuse me of being cynical!

                None of your links constitute 'evidence' they are interpretation. Sources of information to be factored into a view at best.

                Then there is the 'drama', there are such things as factual documentaries and there are dramas.

                Do you understand the meaning of the words you use?

                I hear you but question your rationale. That's allowed isn't it? Or not here amongst these experts? Statements which start off ' we all know that...' are a massive red flag for me. No, we all don't know.

                1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

                  Re: No, we all don't know...

                  ...why there is the need to be an "anonymous coward" on this forum.

                  Sometimes an explanation is given, which we can all agree would be a valid reason. May we enquire what your reason is please?

                  (I am not your downvoter btw).

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: No, we all don't know...

                    The info in my original post should give you an inckling why I am AC on this thread.

                    If you have followed the articles and comments on this subject matter with an objective eye you will see an accelerating confirmation bias building.

                    Many years on this site have shown me that whenever someone holds up a mirror to the consensus some really don't like to be asked to question themselves.

                    Don't require your agreement. Just utilisng a feature of the site. They put the option there for a purpose.

        2. StewartWhite
          Joke

          Re: Rehash

          And who exactly is this "miss representation" of who you speak? Paula Vennels mayhaps?

      2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        Re: Rehash

        I see what your saying here, the catholic priest defense, one priest was raping kids, but thats ok because other and the pope said so.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Rehash

          No, you REALLY don’t see what I am saying so don’t pretend you do to make a totally pointless and inappropriate analogy.

    3. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: Rehash

      Quote:"

      "Frankly a rehashed article with a predictable blizzard of virtue signaling and ill informed opinion in the comments."

      Fushitshow employees could go into the horizons database and alter accounts WITHOUT leaving a transaction log, when challenged in court fushitshow employees took the stand and said "Horizons data was good, and cannot be altered once entered from the horizons terminal in the post office concerned"

      People lied in court, and innocent people were convicted and sent to jail as a result.

      How much more is there to say?

      Quote:

      "I bet every other retail provider is breathing a sigh of relief that it wasn't them."

      I think you're right there AND crossed fushitshow off the list of software vendors to approach when they want to update their computer systems.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Rehash

        'Fushitshow employees could go into the horizons database and alter accounts WITHOUT leaving a transaction log,'

        Don't see how this or any of the rest of your post addresses my point? It is a rehash, someone else has apologized and the rest of the article is a replay of what has been written previously. Nothing new on the subject.

        By the way, I guarantee you that all databases at some level are accessable for alteration without leaving an entry in a transaction log so there really isn't anything new there.

        'How much more is there to say?'

        A lot, and hopefully it's actual fact over hot air and ill informed opinion. That is what the enquiry is for.

        1. R Soul Silver badge

          Re: Rehash

          "hopefully it's actual fact over hot air and ill informed opinion. That is what the enquiry is for."

          It's not hot air. It's been proven in court that Fujitsu employees lied. Repeatedly. They testified Horizon was infallible. It wasn't. They said remote access to the subpostmaster terminals couldn't happen. It was. FFS it could even be done without leaving an audit trail! Fujitsu employees said under oath nobody could manipulate Horizon transactions or the backend database. They could. So much so Fujitsu had people doing that to "fix" the bogus balance reports Horizon shat out day after day. They were doing that for years.

          The inquiry is supposed to find out the truth and identify the guilty parties. But it won't. Just like any of the other government inquiries into scandals: Covid, Hillsborough, Grenfell, HIV contaminated blood transfusions, Windrush, mad cow disease, various serious train crashes, Equitable Life, the 2008 banking meltdown, etc, etc.

          The inquiry is to give the guilty enough time to "mislay" incriminating evidence, search for contractual loopholes to shirk responsibility and/or rehearse their "I cannot remember" defence. And of course by the time the inquiry reports, everyone responsible is either dead or out of office and it's so long ago prosecutions are deemed no longer in the public interest. A minister will then make a half-assed apology and a statement saying lessons have been learned. And then nothing happens until the next outrage. 'Twas ever thus.

          I hope the inquiry will decide who were the biggest bunch of evil, lying, perjuring bastards - the Post Office or Fujitsu. I'm not holding my breath.

    4. R Soul Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Rehash

      "at the end of the day ( and enquiry) it will be a matter between the PO and it's subcontractors."

      No it fucking isn't. It's essentially a matter between the lying provider of a catastrophically shit IT system that was unfit for purpose - Fujitsu - and the lying incompetent tossers who paid for it and were the other contract party - the Post Office. The government, in particular the Department for Business (or whatever it's called this week), also has a starring role in this almighty shitshow. Apart from being blameless victims, the subpostmasters (your subcontractors?) had no role in this whatsoever. For them it was either accept Horizon into your shop as-is or fuck off.

      BTW, it's "its contractors". It's means "it is".` I suppose it's to be expected Fujitsu's shills and astroturfers have English language skills comparable to the coding skills of their programmer colleagues.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Rehash

        Wow, living up to your adopted handle admirably.

        Highly emotional, inaccurate and peppered with bad language as you seem incapable of expressing yourself without it.

        Bound to get you upvotes in the borderline libelous circle jerk which is going on here.

        Thanks for pointing out the autocorrect issue, will be sure I remember that when I send my next expletive laiden communication. It's so important in looking competent and professional.

  19. 0laf
    Black Helicopters

    Very sorry honestly

    We're saying we're very sorry honest and it's not just to get this all behind us so we can get back to sucking that public sector money teat just as hard as we can.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Personally I don't think Sorry is enough

    Sorry is just a word and has no consequences, Fujitsu should be barred from any Government contracts for 10 years, and also any of its affiliates as well. Finally they should also be made to recompense those who had their reputations ruined because in the end Fujitsu delivered a faulty product.

  21. DeathSquid

    A Japanese Sorry

    The playbook in Japan for corporate malfeasance is some old guy with a barcode haircut say he's sorry, in a highly stage managed way. Then nobody goes to prison. Nobody involved in the Olympic scandal did time, for instance. But god help you if you are a gaijin. The police will arrest you without charge, and hold you without bail for years until they force a confession. Goshn was just the highest profile case of hostage justice.

    The executives at Fujitsu need to do jail time. They killed people, and paid themselves handsomely.

    1. munnoch Bronze badge

      Re: A Japanese Sorry

      I'm surprised that Fujitsu executives are making any public comment on this. Japanese-style or otherwise -- and, yes the justice system in Japan, and many other Asian counties, is very third world and doesn't match their level of economic development.

      This could be taken as an admission of culpability and why most companies refuse to comment whilst "ongoing" etc.

      They fact that they are kind of makes me wonder if they have been cut a deal of some sort already, or just that their lawyers believe them to be sufficiently at arm's length that it won't come home to them.

      Expect a re-branding exercise for the UK entity once its all swept away.

      When I first worked in Japan in the early 90's I had to deal with kit from Fujitsu, Hitachi and Toshiba. Fujitsu were actually about the best... No defense for Horizon though, implemented by muppets and operated by morons. Public sector writ large...

  22. Electronics'R'Us
    FAIL

    Investigator suggested dropping wording...

    From a witness statement as it could 'damage' the Horizon brand (might have been a lot less than it is now).

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-68172203

  23. ukgnome

    Stop hitting yourself

    Stop hitting yourself

    stop hitting yourself

    so sorry but you keep hitting yourself

    stop hitting yourself

    seems sorry isn't really enough is it

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and still Fushitsu are winning government contracts and they're still on lots of Public sector procurement frameworks. They won't ever be getting any business out of me or any project I happen to be involved with.

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