All posts tagged: Horizon

Post Office scandal extends ‘greatly beyond Horizon’ – victims’ lawyer | Business News

Post Office scandal extends ‘greatly beyond Horizon’ – victims’ lawyer | Business News

The post office scandal extends “greatly beyond” faulty Horizon software, according to a lawyer for victims. Paul Marshall, representing former sub-postmasters, says problems with third party systems in branches, such as ATMs, have been “overlooked”. A 2013 report commissioned by the Post Office, and not made public at the time, states: “Removing the ATM reduces the risk of (the sub-postmaster) being suspended… as does the presence of lottery tickets, (banking) services, and DVLA processing.” It indicates there were issues known to the Post Office with third party systems within branches – separate to Horizon software. Barrister Paul Marshall believes, as a result, there are “no convictions” secured by the Post Office against any sub-postmaster “that could or should properly be treated as safe”. He says evidence of third party errors, such as ATMs, shows “the scandal extends considerably beyond, greatly beyond, it might be said, the limited focus of bugs in Horizon”. Blanket exoneration legislation being introduced this summer will only quash convictions brought about “by erroneous Horizon evidence”. Mr Marshall asserts that postmasters who …

Counterfeit barcode stamps furore carries echoes of Horizon scandal | Consumer affairs

Counterfeit barcode stamps furore carries echoes of Horizon scandal | Consumer affairs

I received a card through the post from a friend, along with a demand for a £5 fee, as Royal Mail claimed the barcoded stamp was counterfeit. The joke is she says she was sent this stamp by Royal Mail when she exchanged her old ones for the new barcoded kind under its Stamp Swap Out scheme. SR, Sevenoaks, Kent SS of Robertsbridge, East Sussex also received a letter with strings attached – in her case a £2.50 fee for “insufficient postage”. However, when the envelope was handed over, the stamp had been marked in pen as counterfeit. “The sender was an anxious elderly lady from church, and I find it impossible to think she’d buy a stamp from anywhere other than her local post office,” she writes. Across the country, unknown numbers of users have been similarly charged after barcoded stamps became mandatory last July. Others, who sent old stamps to the swap out scheme, have been accused by Royal Mail of potential fraud, and informed that their stamps had been confiscated as counterfeits. Many …

MSCA4Ukraine boosted with €10m funding under Horizon Europe

MSCA4Ukraine boosted with €10m funding under Horizon Europe

The European Commission has increased the budget of the MSCA4Ukraine initiative with an additional €10m funding through Horizon Europe. MSCA4Ukraine was created to support Ukrainian researchers who were displaced from their country since the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. The latest funding boost will enable these individuals to continue their essential scientific research safely across Europe. Iliana Ivanova, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, commented: “Thanks to Horizon Europe funding, researchers that had to flee Ukraine can continue their work. “This successful MSCA scheme is one of the ways in which we provide tangible support to the Ukrainian research and innovation community. Helping Ukrainian researchers and innovators is essential both now and for the sake of the future.” MSCA4Ukraine overview MSCA4Ukraine, initiated in September 2022 with an initial €25m budget from Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions under Horizon Europe, is a dedicated Commission scheme supporting displaced Ukrainian researchers to continue their work safely in Europe. Open to Ukrainian nationals, stateless persons, and those with main residence in Ukraine as of 24 …

EU Commission boosts Horizon Europe funding by €1.4bn

EU Commission boosts Horizon Europe funding by €1.4bn

The European Commission has announced it has adopted an amendment that will boost Horizon Europe funding by around €1.4bn for 2024. The amendment to the 2023-24 Work Programme of Horizon Europe will mobilise previously unallocated Horizon Europe funding, taking the 2024 budget to €7.3bn. The additional Horizon Europe funding includes a nearly €650m investment in the EU Missions to solve some of Europe’s major challenges. This includes helping over 100 cities become climate-neutral, creating a New European Bauhaus (NEB) facility, and taking key actions to support EU research and innovation activities. Iliana Ivanova, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, commented on the new Horizon Europe funding allocation: “We need to attract more newcomers to the opportunities presented by Horizon Europe in order to make the most of Europe’s potential. “This is why we are introducing experimental actions in this work programme update. Together with the roll-out of further funding for the EU Missions, the New European Bauhaus Facility and other actions, this will help maximise the impact of our research and innovation investments …

Former Royal Mail chair apologises for ‘tragic’ Post Office prosecutions | Post Office Horizon scandal

Former Royal Mail chair apologises for ‘tragic’ Post Office prosecutions | Post Office Horizon scandal

A former chair of Royal Mail has apologised for the “tragic and diabolically unfair” prosecutions of post office operators, but denied ever having been informed of suspected problems with the Post Office’s faulty Horizon computer system. Allan Leighton, who chaired Royal Mail from 2002 to 2009, when it also owned the Post Office, told a statutory inquiry that had “absolutely not” received any warnings that the Horizon system was unreliable. The Post Office is under intense scrutiny as an inquiry proceeds into the scandal over the Horizon computer system. Errors in the system, installed by the contractor Fujitsu, led to the wrongful prosecution of hundreds of post office operators for supposedly stealing money. The inquiry is scrutinising the failings that led to the scandal and whether it was covered up. Rishi Sunak described the scandal as “one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in our nation’s history”, but the government promised to quash convictions based on Horizon evidence only in January. Post office operators campaigned for justice for years, but it was only after an …

‘I always thought Horizon was robust’, ex-Post Office investigator tells inquiry | Business News

‘I always thought Horizon was robust’, ex-Post Office investigator tells inquiry | Business News

A former investigator for the Post Office has told the Horizon IT inquiry he “always thought” the accounting system was “robust” but acknowledged there were issues in some cases. It was Jon Longman’s job for 12 years from 2000 to uncover crime committed by employees, including sub-postmasters, and it has since emerged that security advisers at the company were incentivised to seek prosecutions through bonuses for convictions. Mr Longman, who gave evidence to the scandal inquiry remotely for medical reasons, said media articles made him aware of a growing number of complaints about the Horizon system, operated by Fujitsu. Money latest: Reaction to latest easing in inflation He was involved in a number of high profile cases, including that of West Byfleet sub-postmistress Seema Misra who was jailed for 15 months in 2010 – a conviction that was overturned by the Court of Appeal in 2021. Mr Longman said he agreed that a proven issue with the Horizon system in a previous case should have been disclosed to her, assisting the work of her defence …

Post Office scandal: Government would not have accepted ending Horizon software, David Mills says | Business News

Post Office scandal: Government would not have accepted ending Horizon software, David Mills says | Business News

The government would not have accepted faulty accounting software Horizon being phased out, a former Post Office chief executive told the inquiry into the wrongful prosecution of sub-postmasters. The inquiry seeks to find out who knew what and when about the accounting computer programme that falsely generated financial losses at Post Office branches across the UK and led to the conviction of hundreds of sub-postmasters who ran branches for theft and false accounting. As a result of Horizon’s errors, many other sub-postmasters lost homes, moved out of their communities, and became unwell having wracked up significant debts and had their reputations ruined. ‘Loosing £1m a day’ But it was the state of Post Office’s finances in the early to mid-2000s that was the focus for the company and government who owned it, former chief executive David Mills told the inquiry on Tuesday. When he took on the job in 2002, “Post Office Limited was insolvent. It was a crisis”, he said. Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player 3:01 Ex-Post Office boss …