Fujitsu’s Involvement in UK Treasury Contracts Revealed Despite Post Office Scandal

Fujitsu, the Japanese technology company, has recently come under scrutiny for securing contracts exceeding £3.4 billion with entities connected to the UK Treasury since 2019. This revelation is particularly significant considering a 2019 High Court finding that identified “bugs, errors, and defects” in Fujitsu’s Horizon software, which led to the unjust prosecution of numerous subpostmasters.

While £1.4 billion of these contracts were allocated to Treasury-related bodies post the court verdict, contracts worth over £2 billion were signed prior to the judgment. Surprisingly, despite the controversy surrounding its involvement, some of these contracts are still ongoing. However, Fujitsu has declared a pause in bidding for UK public contracts until the conclusion of the ongoing Post Office scandal inquiry.

The scrutiny of the government’s dealings with Fujitsu by the Commons’ treasury committee has brought to light significant contracts with major institutions such as HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the Bank of England (BoE). Notably, HMRC has engaged Fujitsu for contracts amounting to over £2.8 billion, with around £1.4 billion of these contracts still active. The FCA’s contracts with Fujitsu during the period under scrutiny totaled £630 million, with current contracts valued at slightly over £9 million. Additionally, the BoE had a singular contract with Fujitsu, worth over £417,000, which concluded in August 2020.

The heart of the controversy lies in Fujitsu’s Horizon system, which falsely accused more than 700 subpostmasters of financial mismanagement, resulting in one of the most severe judicial errors in recent history. Harriett Baldwin, chair of the treasury committee, has emphasized the importance of these findings in creating more transparency and oversight regarding Fujitsu’s role in public sector procurement. Baldwin also acknowledged Fujitsu’s commitment to providing compensation for the affected postmasters.

The widespread outrage generated by the scandal, exacerbated by the national television series “Mr Bates vs The Post Office,” has prompted the government to vow legal remedies for those wrongfully accused. The government aims to restore the reputations of these individuals by overturning the unjust convictions associated with the failures of the Horizon system.

FAQs:

1. What is the controversy surrounding Fujitsu?
The controversy surrounding Fujitsu revolves around its Horizon software, which was found to have “bugs, errors, and defects” by the High Court in 2019. This software falsely accused over 700 subpostmasters of financial mismanagement, leading to unjust prosecutions.

2. How much money in contracts has Fujitsu secured with UK Treasury-related entities?
Fujitsu has secured contracts exceeding £3.4 billion with entities connected to the UK Treasury since 2019. £1.4 billion of these contracts were allocated post the court verdict, while over £2 billion were signed prior to the judgment.

3. Are the contracts with Fujitsu still ongoing?
Yes, despite the controversy, some of the contracts with Fujitsu are still ongoing.

4. Is Fujitsu bidding for UK public contracts at present?
No, Fujitsu has declared a pause in bidding for UK public contracts until the conclusion of the ongoing Post Office scandal inquiry.

5. Which major institutions have significant contracts with Fujitsu?
Major institutions such as HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the Bank of England (BoE) have significant contracts with Fujitsu.

6. How much money in contracts has Fujitsu secured with HMRC?
Fujitsu has secured contracts with HMRC amounting to over £2.8 billion, with around £1.4 billion of these contracts still active.

7. What is the value of the FCA’s contracts with Fujitsu?
The FCA’s contracts with Fujitsu during the period under scrutiny totaled £630 million, with current contracts valued at slightly over £9 million.

8. Did the Bank of England have a contract with Fujitsu?
Yes, the Bank of England had a singular contract with Fujitsu, worth over £417,000, which concluded in August 2020.

Key Terms/Jargon:
– Horizon software: Refers to the software developed by Fujitsu that was used by the UK Post Office to manage financial transactions and accuse subpostmasters of financial mismanagement.

Related Links:
Fujitsu official website
UK Government website