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Committee begins inquiry on Post Office and Horizon

9 March 2020

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee begins its inquiry on the Post Office and Horizon on the morning of Tuesday 10th March at 10.40am.


The inquiry will be looking the issues emerging from the Horizon IT Court cases, looking at the impact on sub-postmasters and its effect on the future viability of the Post Office, and examining the lessons the Government and Post Office Ltd have learned from a scandal which saw hundreds of sub-postmasters accused of fraud.

Ron Warmington and Ian Anderson from Second Sight, the forensic accountants who led the independent review of Horizon, have been added as witnesses to the second panel on Tuesday.


Tuesday 10 March, Committee Room 16, Palace of Westminster

At 10.40am

First panel:

  • Alan Bates, Justice for Sub-postmasters Alliance and former sub-postmaster
  • Wendy Buffrey, former sub-postmaster
  • Tracy Felstead, former Post Office worker

Second panel:

  • Andy Furey, Deputy General-Secretary, Communication Workers Union
  • Calum Greenhow, CEO, National Federation of Sub-postmasters
  • Ron Warmington, Second Sight Forensic Accountants
  • Ian Henderson, Second Sight Forensic Accountants

On Tuesday 24 March (am), the Committee is expected to question the current PO Ltd CEO, Nick Read, the former CEO, Paula Vennells CBE, Fujitsu, a BEIS Minister and a representative from UKGI (UK Government Investments).

The BEIS Committee in the previous Parliament looked at issues around sub-postmasters' revenue and income in its inquiry on the future of the post-office network.

Terms of reference

The case raises a series of issues which are relevant to the BEIS Committee's scrutiny of the Post Office Limited, including the following points:

  • What damage has Horizon caused to the relationship between PO Ltd and sub-postmasters and will this impact on the PO network?
  • What role did the National Federation of Sub-postmasters play in the Horizon scandal in terms of representing affected sub-postmasters?
  • What steps are the Government taking to help sub-postmasters to overturn convictions if they were based on Horizon errors?
  • Have the costs of the Horizon case adversely affected PO services and are there potentially more costs resulting from further civil and criminal litigation?
  • How transparent is PO Ltd in its decision making and in its use of public money?
  • What lessons has PO Ltd learnt and what steps is it taking to avoid similar problems?
  • What role did BEIS and UKGI (UK Government Investments) play and is it reviewing its oversight of PO Ltd following Horizon?

Further information

Image: Flickr