News story: Independent review into the Post Office Ltd Horizon IT system

  • Review will consider whether Post Office Ltd has learned necessary lessons from the Horizon dispute
  • will also provide an independent assessment of the Post Office’s work to rebuild its relationship with its postmasters
  • draft terms of reference published in the House of Commons today

The government will shortly launch an independent review to consider whether Post Office Ltd has learned lessons from the Horizon dispute and court case, and made the changes needed to ensure a similar case cannot happen again.

Today, Small Business and Postal Affairs Minister Paul Scully announced the draft terms of reference for the review via a written ministerial statement laid in the House of Commons.

It follows Post Office Ltd reaching a settlement of £57.75 million in December 2019 to conclude a long-running civil court case brought against it by a group of postmasters over issues related to its Horizon IT system.

Small Business and Postal Affairs Minister Paul Scully said:

The Horizon dispute and court case has had a devastating impact on the lives of many postmasters, and I have been deeply moved by the individual stories of those I have spoken to.

It is so important that a case like this can never happen again.

That is why this government is committed to establishing an independent review to ensure that lessons have been learned, and that concrete changes have taken place at Post Office Ltd.

We are keen to see the review launch as soon as possible, and the publication of draft terms of reference today is an important step toward this.

The terms of reference and the final timings for the review are subject to confirmation by the chair, who will be fully independent of Post Office Ltd. and the government. A chair will be appointed and announced in due course.