The House of Common's Treasury Committee has written to 21 public sector organisations asking them to send details of any contracts awarded by their organisation to Fujitsu since 2019. The organisations include HMRC, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority.
The Japanese IT specialist supplier Fujitsu has faced increasing anger in its role as the provider of the Horizon IT system to the Post Office and the wrongful prosecutions of sub-postmasters. The company's chief executive for Europe, Paul Patterson, has apologised to MPs acknowledging that Fujitsu had a 'moral obligation' to help fund redress for convicted sub-postmasters.
The company has also voluntarily undertaken not to bid for current government contracts.
The committee of MPs says its move is to understand the extent to which the company has continued to be awarded government contracts since a High Court ruling in 2019 found that the system supplied to the Post Office contained bugs, errors and defects. This had meant there was a 'material risk' that faulty Horizon data was used in the Post Office prosecutions.
The public sector organisations are asked to provide the Committee with details of any contracts awarded to Fujitsu Services Ltd, or any other Fujitsu Global-owned entities since 2019, or that were in operation after 2019 and to provide:
- Details of the type of contract, including but not limited to the value, length and whether it was tendered for through open competition or directly awarded. If a contract was directly awarded, please provide the rationale.
- Whether considerations of supplier risk, including but not limited to whether the impact of reported issues with the Horizon system, were taken into account in any contracts awarded or not awarded to Fujitsu.
- Whether you took, or considered taking steps to bar Fujitsu from bidding for any contracts you put out to tender;
- Whether you received directions or advice from any other part of government or the public sector about whether Fujitsu should be allowed to take on any contract you put out for tender;
- What processes you have in place to measure the performance of any contracts, especially for software and services, and the results of any monitoring of Fujitsu’s performance;
- Whether you received internal and/or external commentary, including from auditors, on the appropriateness of any contract (and the provision within that contract) with Fujitsu;
- If you had a contract with Fujitsu, whether you considered terminating that contract, and if so why.
Treasury Committee Chair, Harriett Baldwin, said, “It’s clear that Fujitsu has questions to answer over its conduct. I think it’s important we can see the extent to which taxpayer money has been spent with Fujitsu since the High Court ruling as they are simultaneously assessed on their fitness to remain a government supplier.”
Useful guides on this topic
Horizon scandal: tax filing issues
For over twenty years more than 700 sub-postmasters were wrongly prosecuted for fraud by the Post Office. In January 2024 the Government announced a 'mass exoneration' to clear their criminal convictions and agreed to make an upfront payment of £75,000 in extra compensation.