Companies at the center of Post Office scandal still receive government business

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The company behind the Horizon software that wrongly prosecuted hundreds of subpostmasters is still doing business with the government.

Fujitsu vowed not to receive new tax-funded public works projects after ITV drama Mr Bates vs the Post Office sparked outrage in January.

Fujitsu still receives government contracts even after agreeing to spend taxpayer money and not undertake new public works projects

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Fujitsu still receives government contracts even after agreeing to spend taxpayer money and not undertake new public works projectsCredit: Alamy

The decision was welcomed by activists who had been distrustful of cash being given to Fujitsu since its role in the scandal came to light.

The company was awarded the £4.9bn contract after the High Court ruled in December 2019 that the Horizon software was riddled with bugs, errors and defects.

But weeks after the announcement, the Japanese company signed a £155,000 contract with the National Institute for Nuclear Research.

Company executives also told staff there would be no “outright ban” on public sector contracts.

Dave Riley, head of public sector at Fujitsu UK, said in a note that this was simply “an additional gateway check that needs to be passed”.

In response to a question about the new deal, Fujitsu said: “We will continue to work closely with the Cabinet Office to ensure that the voluntarily established guidelines are adhered to.”

From 1999 to 2015, more than 900 subpostmasters were wrongly prosecuted due to flaws in Horizon, developed by Japanese IT company Fujitsu.

The landmark Bates v Post Office High Court case, depicted in a recent ITV drama, took place between 2018 and 2019 and was brought by 555 sub-postmasters.

After the ITV show, Fujitsu’s European CEO Paul Patterson apologized to subpostmaster generals for the company’s role in the Horizon IT scandal.

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