Risk Analysis of the Costs of Compensating Victims of the Horizon Crisis and the Decision for Critical Intervention

Eleanor Shaikh made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

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Dear Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy,


I am currently awaiting a response to FOI request FOI2021/02606, submitted to you on 23rd January 2021. On 12th February you sought clarification of the request which was sent to you the following day. I have not yet received a response which you anticipated would be by April 14th.

During the intervening delay, however, there has been a sea-change in the stance both of BEIS and of POL in their evaluation of compensation arising from Horizon issues. This will be reflected in more recent documents of the Department’s Performance and Risk Committee, probably not encompassed by FOI 2021/02606.

Specifically, I refer to Postal Minister Paul Scully’s announcement of 18th March 2021 in which he reveals ‘emergency intervention’ of the sole shareholder, without which the Post Office ‘would be unable to continue to operate its network’:

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wms/?id=2...

And during a speech to senior staff in early April, POL CEO Nick Read took the position that all victims should receive meaningful compensation including those with whom it settled at the High Court, signalling a further level of cost which POL cannot support without the financial assistance of its shareholder.

https://www.postofficetrial.com/2021/04/...

Only significant scrutiny of Horizon issues by the Department could have prompted its delayed awakening to the scale of the crisis and driven its recent change of direction. I therefore wish to extend the parameter of my inquiry but do so as a separate request so as not to delay further FOI 2021/02606.

Please can you disclose minutes of all meetings of the BEIS Performance and Risk Challenge Panel and the BEIS Performance and Risk Committee in which the revised scale of compensation claims arising from the Horizon crisis was discussed and consideration given to POL’s inability to continue its operations without ‘critical intervention’ of the shareholder.

Yours sincerely,
Eleanor Shaikh

FOI Requests, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

BEIS ref: FOI2021/10605

Dear Ms Shaikh

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 14th
April. Your request has been passed on to the appropriate official at the
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to process.

Your request is being considered under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and
we will reply at the latest by 13th May.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact the Information
Rights & Records Unit at BEIS. Please remember to quote the reference
number above in any future communications.

Kind regards,

Information Rights & Records Unit

Information Rights & Records Unit | Department for Business, Energy and
Industrial Strategy | 1 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0ET |
www.gov.uk/beis | [email address] |

FOI Requests, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Shaikh,

Please find attached our response to your request for information, our reference FOI2021/10605.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact the Information Rights and Records Unit at BEIS.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communication.

Yours sincerely,

Information Rights and Records Unit

[BEIS request email]
www.gov.uk/beis | https://twitter.com/beisgovuk

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FOI Requests, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

BEIS IR ref: IR2021/13220 Original FOI ref: FOI2021/10605

Dear Ms Shaikh

Thank you for your request for an internal review which was received on
14th May. Your request has been passed on to the appropriate official at
the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to
process.

In line with the Information Commissioners guidance, internal reviews
should be responded to within 20 working days unless they are complex, in
which case a response should be sent within 40 working days. Please be
aware that this does not include weekends and bank holidays. The
Department aims to respond to requests for internal reviews as quickly as
possible. We hope to be in contact with you again shortly with a decision
on your request.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact the Information
Rights & Records Unit at BEIS. Please remember to quote the reference
number above in any future communications.

Kind regards,
Information Rights & Records Unit

Information Rights & Records Unit | Department for Business, Energy and
Industrial Strategy | 1 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0ET |
www.gov.uk/beis | [email address] |

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FOI Requests, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Shaikh,

Please find attached our response to your request for information, our reference FOI2021/10605.

We apologise for the further delay and thank you for your continued patience. This is appreciated.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact the Information Rights and Records Unit at BEIS.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communication.

Yours sincerely,

Information Rights and Records Unit

[BEIS request email]
www.gov.uk/beis | https://twitter.com/beisgovuk

show quoted sections

FOI Requests, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Shaikh,

Please find attached the response to your request for information, our reference FOI2021/10605.

We apologise for the delay in responding.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact the Information Rights and Records Unit at BEIS.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communication.

Yours sincerely,

Information Rights and Records Unit

[BEIS request email]
www.gov.uk/beis | https://twitter.com/beisgovuk

show quoted sections