This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Estimate of amounts taken to suspense account'.


 
Peter C. Bell 
 
Date 
5 June 2024 
 
 
 
Post Office 
100 Wood Street 
request-1064606-
London EC2V 9ER 
 
xxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx 
Your Ref: 
 
Classification: 
Public  
 
 
 
Dear Peter C. Bell, 
 
Freedom of Information Request – FOI2024/00003 
 
We are writing in response to your email received by Post Office Limited (“Post 
Office
”) on 2 January, which has been dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of 
Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”). Please accept our apologies for the delay in 
responding to your request. 
 
In your email you have requested the information shown verbatim in bold below: 
 
[Estimate of amounts taken to suspense account] 
 
When a sub-postmaster or mistress encountered a Horizon related "loss" they 

were required to make good any discrepancy in the accounts. 
 
What is your best estimate of the amounts that Post Office received from sub-

postmasters and postmistresses as a result of Horizon errors and how much of 
that amount has yet to be repaid to them. 

 
Please provide your response in electronic form.
” 
 
We can confirm that Post Office does hold the information you have requested. 
 
Firstly, for context and background information and in response to your reference 
‘amounts taken to suspense account’: Evidence relating to the use of Post Office 
suspense accounts, including historically, continues to be examined in the Post 
Office Horizon IT Inquiry, and includes evidence from Post Office’s Chief Financial 
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Post Office Limited is registered in England and Wales. Registered No. 2154540.  
Registered Office 100 Wood Street, London WC2V 7ER  
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Post Office and the Post Office logo are registered trade marks of Post Office Limited. 
 
 

 
Officer which can be found here WITN09840100 Alisdair Cameron - Witness 
Statement | Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry: (postofficehorizoninquiry.org.uk) 

 
 
As of 1 February 2024, Post Office’s current best estimate of the amounts that it 
received from postmasters as a result of shortfalls which were potentially caused by 
Horizon errors, totals £36.1m. This estimate is based on the claims for Horizon 
“losses” submitted by postmasters and those of which have been assessed by Post 
Office through the Horizon Shortfall Scheme and Overturned Convictions redress 
arrangements, which totals £34.8m. In addition, Post Office has provided 
information to the Department for Business and Trade regarding claims the 
Department has received to its GLO Scheme for Horizon “losses”, which total £1.3m.  
 
As of 1 February 2024, £22.8m has been paid by Post Office for Horizon shortfalls 
to claimants through the Horizon Shortfall Scheme and the Overturned Convictions 
redress arrangements. 
 
Please note that the schemes providing redress for postmasters operate on the 
presumption that shortfalls were caused by Horizon unless there is direct evidence 
to the contrary. 
 
Under the section 16 of FOIA duty to provide advice and assistance, you should note 
that the actual value of Horizon “losses” is likely to be materially higher than the sum 
outlined above. However, Post Office is not able to estimate this higher value with 
any appropriate level of confidence. This is because: 
 
(i) 
All the redress schemes remain open for claims; Post Office and the 
Department for Business and Trade have, as of 1 February 2024, not 
assessed all claims received, and it is believed to be certain that these 
unassessed claims will include amounts for Horizon “losses”; and  
(ii) 
Not all applications made to Post Office or the Department for Business 
and Trade by Postmasters underwent an assessment to quantify the value 
of any Horizon “loss” prior to payment being made, meaning the value of 
any Horizon “loss” within the claim is unknown. 
 
Please note, for the purpose of this response Horizon “loss” is assumed to represent 
a payment made by a postmaster to Post Office for a shortfall that they should not 
have been held responsible for because it was either potentially caused by a bug, 
 
 
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error or defect in the Horizon IT System and / or because the circumstances of the 
loss were not appropriately investigated by Post Office. 
 
It may also be of interest to you to know that the redress schemes in place for post-
masters include provision for human costs, such as personal injury, distress and in-
convenience, harassment, loss of reputation and bankruptcy costs where these are 
directly related to shortfalls. There is no exhaustive list of the types of individual 
losses being compensated, nor are there ‘caps’ on amounts. 
You can find more information about redress for postmasters on Post Office’s web-
site:  corporate.postoffice.co.uk/en/the-horizon-it-scandal/ 
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of this response, you do have a right to 
request an internal review. You can do this by writing to the address above within 40 
working days of receipt of this response stating your reasons for your internal review 
request or alternatively, by emailing xxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xx.xx. 
 
If, having requested an internal review by Post Office, you are still not satisfied with 
our response you also have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at:  
 
Information Commissioner's Office 
Wycliffe House 
Water Lane 
Wilmslow 
Cheshire SK9 5AF 
 
Telephone: 0303 123 1113 
www.ico.org.uk/foicomplaints 
 
Yours sincerely, 
 
Information Rights Team 
xxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xx.xx 
https://corporate.postoffice.co.uk/en/governance/access-to-information/access-to-
information/ 
 
 
 
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Post Office Limited is committed to protecting your privacy, information about 
how we do this can be found on our website at www.postoffice.co.uk/privacy
 
 
 
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