Dear Post Office Limited,

a) For the period 1 October to 30 September, in each of the periods 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19, how much in total was paid by Post Office Limited to the National Federation of Subpostmasters (NFSP) by way of grant, payment or other contribution to the finances of NFSP?

b) For each accounting period of Post Office Limited ending 31 March 2017, 2018 and 2019, please indicate where in the Group Accounts these payments to NSFP are accounted for.

c) Do you consider NSFP to be a related party to Post Office Limited for the purposes of UK generally accepted accounting practice?

d) Do you consider that it is necessary to make a separate disclosure of payments from Post Office Limited to NSFP in the group accounts, and if so, where has this been done?

Please provide your response in electronic form.

Yours faithfully,

Peter C. Bell

Information Rights Team, Post Office Limited

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Bell,

Please find an acknowledgement attached to your Freedom of Information
Request.

Regards,

Kerry Moodie

Information Rights Team

Ground Floor

Finsbury Dials

20 Finsbury Street

London EC2Y 9AQ

0333 665 3951

Information Rights Team, Post Office Limited

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Bell,

Please find the response attached to your Freedom of Information request.

Regards,

Kerry Moodie

Information Rights Team

Ground Floor

Finsbury Dials

20 Finsbury Street

London EC2Y 9AQ

0333 665 3951

Gadawodd Mark Baker anodiad ()

Dear Mr Bell
The Post Office have not been entirely accurate in their reply to your request for information. The Grant payments that you have queried that the Post Office make to the NFSP are heavily regulated by a Grant Funding Agreement signed in 2015. This agreement places significant controls over the NFSP by the Post Office in order for the NFSP to qualify for the Grant. Therefore the NFSP is an entity over which the Post Office has a high degree of influence and or control. As you have correctly identified this should require the Post Office to make a separate declaration of this funding in their accounts. I can supply a copy of the Grant Funding Agreement if you wish, my e-mail is cwupostmasters@Icloud.com

Gadawodd Peter C. Bell anodiad ()

At para 596 of this judgment https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uplo... ,the Judge said:

"The NFSP is not an organisation independent of the Post Office, in the sense that the word “independent” is usually understood in the English language. It is not only dependent upon the Post Office for its funding, but that funding is subject to stringent and detailed conditions that enable the Post Office to restrict the activities of the NFSP.
The Post Office effectively controls the NFSP. The agreement also enables the Post Office to seek repayment of funds already paid to the NFSP. The NFSP is a company limited by guarantee and there was no evidence that it had any other source of funding.
It is not likely to be able to repay any funds “clawed back” by the Post Office and therefore its very existence depends upon it not giving the Post Office grounds to challenge its activities. There is also evidence before the court that the NFSP has, in the past, put its own interests and the funding of its future above the interests of its members, in the e mail to which I have referred. In those circumstances, the fact that the NFSP does not support the Claimants in this litigation is entirely to be expected."

Dear Information Rights Team,

In your response you have indicated that NSFP is independent of the Post Office Limited.

However, in his judgment in Bates v Post Office Judgment (No.3) “Common Issues” [2019] EWHC 606 (QB) HH Mr Justice Fraser states, at para 596,

"The NFSP is not an organisation independent of the Post Office, in the sense that the word “independent” is usually understood in the English language."

Your response states:

"The NFSP is an independent, specialist trade association as stated on their website
https://www.nfsp.org.uk/about-us/about-us. Given this is an independent association
which is not controlled by or within the same group as Post Office Limited we do not
deem it to be a related party, nor are the payments material for separate disclosure."

In view of the comments of HH Mr Justice Fraser at paras 596 and 597 of the judgment quoted above, could I ask if you would like to revisit your response to this part of my Freedom of Information request?

The judgment can be found here: https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uplo...

Yours sincerely,

Peter C. Bell