Are Fujitsu facing the consequences?
There are still hundreds of people waiting for justice from the Post Office scandal where over 700 hundred sub postmasters were unfairly prosecuted. The system, Horizon created by Fujitsu was a faulty and unreliable system which was not taken accountability for by either Fujitsu or the Post Office when they knew where the blame should have been.
Fujitsu have now publicly apologised for their part and Paul Patterson, the Fujitsu Europe boss had announced to MPs that the firm has a “moral obligation” to contribute to the compensation, as reported by the BBC.
The Guardian inform us that the compensation is estimated to be up to £1 billion and the debate Is that this should not come from the taxpayer purse but rather the large corporations which are to blame for this being needed.
There are now three Post Office compensation schemes that have been set up for victims with over 4000 people told they are eligible for pay-outs.
The faulty system made by Fujitsu was more widely trusted by bosses both at the Post Office and Fujitsu than the people who worked for them every day. There were reports of bugs and errors when the system was first put in place in 1999 and yet these were all ignored.
Is Fujitsu still in business?
Despite the seemingly genuine apologies and pledges to address the issue, Fujitsu have not lost out on any business and is still deeply ingrained in the public sector. Fujitsu continue working with the Post Office and the £95 million contract has been extended until 2025.
On top of this, Fujitsu has continued winning over government contracts worth billions with HMRC, the Ministry of Defence and, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy.
This poses the question of whether we can trust the company to be so heavily embedded in the public sector.
Fujitsu and the government
Not only do they have business within important sectors they are also integrated in the government, donating £26,000 to labour and conservative to host ‘lounges’ at each party’s conference. The Guardian has reported the depth of the link that Fujitsu has with the government and that they are so embedded they may be getting off more lightly than they should.
Simon Blagden, the Fujitsu UK chair until 2019 is a long-term conservative donor and has been appointed UK health security agency advisory board and paid from the public purse.
Michael Keegan was the CEO and then Chair of Fujitsu and was a Crown Representative of the cabinet office, he was one of the officials who would oversee the relationship with public sector suppliers. Keegan held this position from 2019 until he stepped down in January 2024.
It seems that even if Fujitsu do the right thing and pay the compensation to the victims they still may have access to the public sector and to the high court meaning they may not be affected in the long run for the injustice they have caused.
What do you think should happen?