UK Post Office Horizon payment system

Horizon is a controversial software accounting system developed by Fujitsu and used by the UK Post Office since 1999. 

The use of Horizon resulted in what many people consider the UK's largest miscarriage of justice.

Operator: Post Office
Developer: Fujitsu/ICL

Country: UK

Sector: Govt - retail

Purpose: Make benefits payments; Reduce fraud

Technology: Database

Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Ethics/values; Employment - jobs, pay
Transparency: Governance; Legal - mediation, litigation

Risks and harms 🛑

Horizon has been criticised for being inaccurate and unreliable - leading sub-postmasters to be unfairly accused, convicted and imprisoned on charges of theft and false accounting, resulting in loss of earnings and livelihoods, debt, bankruptcies, trauma and suicides - and its governance poor, unethical and untransparent.

Transparency 🙈

Legal, regulatory 👩🏼‍⚖️

Page info
Type: System
Published: October 2022
Last updated: May 2024