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Did anybody see the confrontation between Mr. Bates and The Post Office?


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If you are able to perceive this, it serves as a revelation.This incident highlights the corrupt nature of the post office and its management.A total of 700 postmasters fell victim to a fraud that resulted in the loss of their entire accumulated wealth, with the majority of them being forced to forfeit their residences. Furthermore, a portion of individuals resorted to taking their own lives. Throughout a system that was plagued by corruption This has been ongoing for a span of 20 years, resulting in a significant number of casualties throughout this period. The only issue is the individual who departed and joined ITV, which I believe is the reason for their absence.

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I am perplexed by the apparent apathy of the PO chief executive towards the suffering, especially considering her previous occupation as a priest and her current one as a chief executive in an NHS trust. Puzzling.

The whole matter is really reprehensible. Individuals in positions of power should be incarcerated.


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I fully empathise with the situation, but

What evidence leads you to believe that 700 individuals were deceived and lost their whole savings?

Did the majority of them lose their homes?

Without intending to be judgmental, it is evident that both assertions are untrue.

Transgression? Certainly

Foolish individuals? Indeed

Who was unsuccessful? Undoubtedly, the individuals responsible include the IT professionals, accountants, post office clerks, managers, lawyers, barristers, and the whole legal system that carried out their prosecution.

However, let's refrain from embellishing the real events for dramatic impact.

If it is known that all 700 individuals who were prosecuted had a complete depletion of their life savings and that a majority of them also lost their houses, please provide more specifics.

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I am not perplexed.

Individuals in high-ranking positions within big businesses often experience a significant disconnect from the day-to-day operations. They rely on reporting systems and the prevailing organisational culture to get insight into the current state of affairs.

The accountability for an organisation engaging in malevolent or malicious conduct rests with all levels of the hierarchy. Frequently, it is the individuals in the middle who are the genuine culprits, while the prominent leaders are the ones who are clearly held responsible. (However, it is noteworthy that the leaders of these organisations get exorbitant compensation, and one would expect that it is their responsibility to address the issues inside their own entities.)

Once a major company computer system is established and in operation, there is a reluctance to criticise it, even if problems arise. Especially in cases when there are champions inside the organisation who actively support and protect it. Individuals in technical and middle management positions refrain from expressing their opinions or ideas. If they really engaged in such behaviour, it might have severe repercussions on their professional trajectory. Subcontractors who may voice concerns or provide criticism are marginalised or compelled to conform due to similar factors.

In a seemingly harmless environment, you find yourself in a problematic situation that is disliked by everyone on the ground, but is officially favoured by management. Individuals adapt to it and just acknowledge the existence of idiosyncrasies. After a decade, it is replaced with a supposedly 'superior' alternative that resolves some problems but introduces other difficulties.

The transition of the PO world into a legal framework did not make it harmless, since individuals encountering technological difficulties with the IT system were subjected to criminalization.

However, disregarding that point, the fundamental systemic breakdown at all levels remained essentially same.

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I fully empathise with the scenario, but

We must remember that the nature of the company entails the handling of cash, the act of skimming, and many forms of fraud. Indistinguishable from a nearby tavern, market stall, restaurant, car wash or small-scale service garage.

The Post Office will have implemented measures to maintain financial equilibrium and oversee cash management, however it is customary for accounting issues to arise.

The primary issue that occurred here, at all levels, was a lack of early detection and acknowledgment of the problem before it escalated to the point of legal action.

The process of managing currency becomes more convenient over time as digitization becomes more prevalent. However, in the current period, there is still a significant amount of physical cash circulating.

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This situation is both intriguing and concerning, particularly when considering the possibility that several innocent individuals have confessed to crimes they did not really do. It raises the question of how many more innocent individuals are now incarcerated in our institutions. For instance A sub-postmaster was sentenced to a three-year prison term after being coerced into signing a confession.

"Senepathy Narenthiran, a former sub-postmaster, received a three-year prison sentence in 2008 due to a £275,000 deficit revealed by the Horizon system..." According to Mr. Narenthiran's statement to the MailOnline, he decided to stop trying. I inquired, 'What specific content do you need me to compose?' Please provide me with the specific information you would want me to write, and I will do it accordingly.

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Irrespective of the specifics about who did or did not undertake certain actions and when, I fail to comprehend why the supervisors, regardless of their hierarchical position, within the Post Office did not raise any doubts about the sudden deviant behaviour of 700 sub-postmasters who had previously maintained an untarnished record. This anomalous behaviour occurred around the same time, shortly after the implementation of a new computer system.

Why was there no inquiry about the presence of a shared factor?

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Using Alan Bates as an example, the campaign leader seems to have incurred a financial loss of £60k, which is the equivalent worth of the Sub-Post Office firm.

Although it is exasperating and maddening, engaging in a protracted battle against several attorneys and accountants is a considerable drain on energy. However, it is important to note that this ordeal has not resulted in 700 individuals losing their life savings and houses.

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During the period from 2000 to 2013, around 6% of post offices were affected. Could have extended farther.

Approximately 0.5% of all establishments are affected annually. In a corporation with an annual revenue of one billion dollars. (ambiguous on the interpretation in relation to a certain post office branch)

Shouldn't we focus on the more intriguing inquiry of the fate of the remaining 94%? Did the postmasters conceal the expenses themselves? Did they cease operations discreetly? Were they profiting from the computer errors?

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The specific number of casualties, whether it be 700, 550, or even only 10, is not the focal point. It remains a matter of national shame. The victims were evidently inadequately represented, deceived, and their defence attorneys were obstructed from obtaining all pertinent papers (which is undoubtedly unlawful in itself). The board bears the ultimate accountability and must have been aware of the situation ("We were unaware" is an insufficient excuse), regardless of the level at which the fraud was being conducted. Indeed, I consider it to be a fraudulent scheme. The individuals engaged in the Post Office should face legal action for corrupting the legal process, and the leaders of the Crown Prosecution Service who authorised the prosecutions should be dismissed. Vennells, specifically, should be prohibited, at a minimum, from assuming any directorship or position of trust. In my opinion, it is evident that the whole scandalous incident serves as a quintessential illustration of the activities that major organisations engage in. And I have seen such unethical behaviour in those locations.

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Apologies, but I did not mention that it was "the main focus" or "the central idea." I just highlighted the fact that, to be straightforward, excessively exaggerating the problem does not contribute much to resolving it.

Furthermore, as I already said, if the system was really defective, what was the fate of the remaining 10,300 Post Offices throughout that decade? Although they were not brought to trial, were there any allegations made against them? Were other Postmasters unaffected by the issue, or did they encounter the difficulty but conceal it by personally subsidising it?

Skimming and fraud are prevalent at post offices, banks, and any retail company that handles cash. At both the level of the owner and the employee. The majority of cases do not get to court since it is not advantageous for anybody involved to publicise or litigate a matter. Observe individuals of all ages, from the youthful to the elderly, failing to inspect the currency they are given. Indeed, most individuals do hold this view, however a notable faction does not share the same perspective.

It is absurd to suggest that the Archbishop of Canterbury should be dismissed due to the actions of a Churchwarden or Curate who embezzles a little amount of money from the collection plate in Cornwall. The task is with lower-level individuals to effectively oversee the transactions, closely monitor the figures, and promptly address any issues that arise.

IT systems such as these are abundant with account imbalances, present in all types of businesses. This is valuable information for junior accountants, sometimes known as bookkeepers. Even the average independent cab driver is aware that the financial records are consistently inaccurate.

Is it fraudulent that the financial records of your local Coop are not reconciling? Negative. It is a mundane retail job.

Would you like to meet in the market or a small pub on the weekend? Beware of the employees engaging in embezzlement by surreptitiously diverting funds, as well as defrauding those who are oblivious to their actions.

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The remarks made here disregard the psychological strain endured during an inquiry.
The innocent individuals found it seemed difficult to provide evidence or explain their lack of guilt, since the final result was manipulated by the probation officer.
Consequently, the expense associated with any kind of defence is potentially enormous. Although the intention behind this is to mitigate the punishment and maybe avoid imprisonment.

Is it foolish of me to believe that the P.O. systems will have generated revenues that appeared out of thin air? Prior to these allegations of deficiencies, it is presumed that the balance would have been zero after the retrieval of these substantial sums. The purchase order balance should have shown an unexplained positive amount.
Why didn't this, along with several other features, raise alarm bells that something major was wrong?

(Presumably), several individuals at the post office were content to passively observe while numerous lives were devastated by this situation. Accountability need to be substantial and transparent.
I see this as just another illustration of the inherent flaws of our world.

Did just the UK Post Office use Horizon?
Have other organisations been affected by the incompetent design?

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Every company experiences the negative consequences of inadequate software design. Significant write-offs and modifications are common in both banking and accounting systems.

Horizon was specifically tailored for the UK Post Office, making it exclusive to their needs and not required by any other firm. (Although it utilises general standard software packages and tools, the root cause of their issue is in the overarching design and execution of the Horizon system.)

As you correctly highlight, these individuals incurred financial losses due to rounding errors and modifications, which subsequently raised concerns. One thing that is certain is that others profited from rounding and modifications, and interestingly, they did not express any dissatisfaction about it. The probability of the Post office HQ being responsible for the financial losses incurred by the sub-postmasters is low.

The 700 incidents pertained to very little amounts of money - a few million pounds, considering the whole firm turnover of over £10,000,000,000 during the course of that decade. "When you compare a billion dollars to a few million, you are discussing substantial amounts of money."

The Accountants and Lawyers at the Post Office should have resolved this matter over ten years ago. It is evident. However, caution should be used when issuing a check of £150 million to settle all parties involved, since the primary recipients of this payment will mostly consist of attorneys and accountants from both sides. These individuals would likely utilise the money obtained from the settlement to invest in vacation properties in Southern Spain.

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I have monitored this case from its inception, when it first garnered public notice via Computer Weekly. Several noteworthy aspects caught my attention:

    Evidently, the PO administration had the belief, which was likely accurate, that a small number of sub-postmasters were engaged in embezzlement and fraudulent activities, but they lacked the necessary evidence to substantiate their claims. The fact that Horizon seemed to be detecting instances, as anticipated and shown, confirmed their perspective. The phenomenon you are referring to is known as confirmation bias.
    Fujitsu conducted a covert "data correction" initiative due to their awareness of certain operational conditions that would result in inaccurate reported balances. The absence of a transaction audit trace in this procedure is unacceptable.
    The procurement officer (PO), in collaboration with Fujitsu, failed to provide enough assistance via the helpdesk and intentionally aimed to deceive those who reported balance difficulties by asserting that they were the only one experiencing such problems, therefore isolating people with legitimate concerns.
    Evidently, none of the individuals in the PO has the intelligence or insight to formally request the helpdesk logs from Fujitsu and thoroughly examine or evaluate them. Instead, they chose to accept the notion that fraud had been detected (see to point #1).
    The Post Office undertook a deliberate and covert operation to obstruct any attempts to uncover the underlying issues raised by the sub-postmasters' grievances.

Recently, it has been revealed that the postal office intentionally deceived its targets, going so far as to accuse them of theft even though their own investigators had determined that there was no evidence to support the accusation. This was done with the sole purpose of pressuring them into admitting guilt for a lesser offence of false accounting. This technique is both corrupt and unlawful.

In the end, there are many individuals in both the PO and Fujitsu who are accountable for this situation. The individuals responsible should be identified and, more significantly, subjected to appropriate sanctions for their acts. Targeting the CEO as the symbolic leader of the organisation may seem deceptively straightforward, but there are likely many others who have even more responsibility.

Regarding the sub-postmasters who have been impacted, I do not support a general pardon for all of them, since some may have really committed acts of embezzlement and fraud. However, the duty of evaluating each case should be taken away from the Post Office and given sufficient resources to ensure a prompt resolution. To ensure compliance, the Public Official must be obligated to provide complete information in each instance without any redactions. This will also aid in identifying the individuals inside that company who should be held responsible.

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