YTread Logo
YTread Logo

Post Office Horizon IT inquiry: Former chair Alice Perkins gives evidence

Jun 12, 2024
Why was it organized? It was part of my induction. When I arrived I asked for advice on who I should meet with. Many of the meetings were internal with

post

office

executives, but many of them were with people outside the company. It seemed like you knew that the most obvious thing was to talk to one of the auditors and talk to the audit partner and who advised you to talk to the audit partner. I think he would have asked her. I don't remember exactly, but I think he would have asked for that fee that he would like to pay.
post office horizon it inquiry former chair alice perkins gives evidence
I suspect he paid close attention to what Mr. Grant told him. Yes, he was independent of the

post

office

. Yes. He was a professional person. Yes. It was part of a regulated profession. Would you agree that he would be exactly the type of person who would or could give you information about which company executives might not do so at all? That is the purpose or one of the purposes of independent auditors. That's right, yes, can we please look at winning? 0074 0122 and will appear on the screen. Yes, this is a handwritten note, right, that you took from the meeting.
post office horizon it inquiry former chair alice perkins gives evidence

More Interesting Facts About,

post office horizon it inquiry former chair alice perkins gives evidence...

I don't know if I wrote these notes while he was speaking or if I wrote them afterward, so they are contemporaneous notes. Did you write things down while he was talking or did the meeting end and then write the note sometime later? Yes, and this is in a post office notebook. Yeah, we'll just take a break. that attention please attention please e e thank you um I think we can see that this is a post office notebook if we just scroll a little bit um the logo on the bottom left a symbol on the bottom right and then one of those um messages in the top right corner, yes, we don't see things as they are, we see them as we are, can we look to the middle of the note please, and it's about two thirds of the way down the page and it starts with the words with Fujitsu , can you see that?
post office horizon it inquiry former chair alice perkins gives evidence
Yes. I wonder where that can be highlighted. It's the seventh clip. That's what you read. The Fujitsu post office made a very hard negotiation on the price, but they took back the quality guarantee. Yes, I want to ask. you about all the notes that follow, okay, that sentence and in particular three things that start with that same sentence, the Fujitsu post office made a very hard negotiation on the price, but they took back the quality. The assurance, first of all, is that Mr. Grant, the partner of Ernston Young speaking, yes, that is something he told you or words to that effect, yes, do you understand that what they told you was that the post office had made a tough deal with Fujitsu over the price of Horizon?
post office horizon it inquiry former chair alice perkins gives evidence
Yes, that's what he was telling me. Yes, but Fujitsu, for its part, had compromised the quality of the

horizon

. Yes, that is, Fujitsu had returned to quality. That's what I would have understood him to be saying at the time. Yes, and Fujitsu had taken back the warranty they had. compromised in the security that they could give Horizon yes, that is a very significant message to have received yes, wasn't it? Would you agree that this is the first meaningful message you received at this meeting? uh, yeah, I mean, I haven't looked into what it's about before, but yeah, but I think I think so and then in the next part, we should read it too, Chris, I think that's Chris's role in relation to the acquisitions, it's a reference to Mr.
Day, I think so. must be, that is, the newly appointed CFO of the Post Office, yes, Chris's role in relation to procurement, a very close relationship with Mike Young, yes, on that, and this is not Central, but just I want to get your

evidence

on this. Mr Grant said that Chris Day had a very close relationship with Mike Young or that Ernston Young had a very close relationship with Mike Young. I don't remember, I think it's probably a Chris Day reference, okay, but no. I can't be sure and then the male group RMG Raw, well, the acquisition, Kath Hariston, it's like that, yes, it has progressed in getting documentation and the process better, so this is the second thing I want to ask you about what you wrote.
Horizon Dash is a real risk for us and then as subpoints, it captures data accurately because the unfortunate cases of suspected fraud suggest that it is a systems problem. Yeah, can I first see what that means, uh, in terms of the sentence that says, Horizon is? a real risk to us, is the question, as you understand, referring to Erston Young or Ernston Young's post office, so Ernst and Young told you directly that Horizon to them was a real risk to them? Yes, that is very important information. receive, isn't it? Yes, I would agree that the computer system currently used by 11,900 post office branches, as we often hear on a daily basis, to process millions of transactions worth billions of pounds a year is a real risk for independents.
Professional auditors then it is also a real risk for the post office, isn't it? I think when I was listening to this in one of my first meetings I interpreted this point as a point from the perspective of the Auditors and their ability to audit the accounts. I wrongly believe that I would have made the connection to Horizon's operation at the branch level. I'm not sure I made that connection at the time, but I think you're getting to the next point yeah, doesn't one follow the other? Now I realize it does, but I don't think it means, I can.
I remember something about this meeting and I don't remember that that was the connection I made at that moment, but why? No, isn't it pretty simple and obvious if the auditors say that the computer system is a real risk to them? That is, it may affect your ability to pass the audit, there may be some problem with the computer system and if there is something wrong with the computer system, uh, that is important for the Post Office itself in its daily business. Yes, I see that Absol very clearly, but I think what I'm trying to tell you is at the time I did it.
I've been on the job for a few weeks, I'm absorbing a lot of information and I don't remember making the link with the weight of that link that way, if I can put it that way, the two lines below are below. is a real risk for us, they are essentially vignettes explaining some of the reasons why Horizon was seen as a real risk for Ernston Young. The two points yes, so one starts capturing and the next starts fraud cases, okay, so the first one captures data accurately. I'm clear that that was said from Erston Young's audit perspective.
The second was a different point. What Angus Grant was telling me was that there had been cases of fraud and that some of them. The suspects thought it was a systems problem, so there are no subparts. Resolving is a real risk for us, just the first one is for Ernston Young, yes, yes, the first point, as I have called it, then the way in which What I have written suggests that this is a concern raised by Ernston Young instead of something the suspects suggest, what's the next point. Yeah, again, on its own, that's pretty important information to receive, isn't it? the auditor questions whether the Horizon system captures data accurately.
Yes, he says so in his witness statement in relation to this. I'm not going to reveal it at the same time. Angus Grant had identified Horizon as a real risk to his audit team and they needed to ensure the system was capturing data accurately. Yeah, maybe we should watch it at the same time. It's a witness statement on page 48, please, let's just look at the bottom of page 47. Play the last sentence on page 47, it's mine. The meeting note would suggest that Angus Grant identified Horizon as a real risk to his audit team, which is what he told us today, yes, and that they had to ensure that the system was accurately capturing data that is not recorded in the minute is or the note is not, instead what is recorded in the note is a different point, which is a question that Erston Young raises as to whether Horizon captures the data accurately, it does not say and we had to ensure so it was, I think. what I'm saying in the witness statement is kind of a follow up to I'm not I'm not um so I had identified Horizon as a real risk to their audit team if they then went on to say that they had to provide assurance that the system was capturing data accurately.
I think it's a thought that comes from later management documents on the annual report and accounts. Yes, well, if we can put aside the thoughts that came afterwards as a result of yes, management documents and reports, yes, you suggested in your witness statement that Angus Grant had said that Erston Young had to ensure that the system was capturing data accurately. Are you rewriting history a bit here? No I dont think so. I mean, I can see why. exactly why you're asking this question, but it captures data accurately, you know, it's in the record, this wasn't a, you know, I wasn't writing a verbatim note of everything I was saying and I think the inference of This is what's questioning whether Horizon captured the data accurately and, if it didn't, then if they were going to audit the accounts, they would need to find a way around that, that's not recorded at all, no, uh, the note doesn't read. as if he were saying and we have had work to do or and we will have work to do he doesn't say that I completely agree with you I think what I'm trying to say is that this was not a formal note of In a meeting, it was like I wrote down the key points that stood out to me, but the point you recalled for your witness statement is not something you wrote down, right?
Is it true that you know that this note is deeply problematic for you because you did nothing with the information you were given. As soon as I saw this, I realized this was EXT. It seemed very, very different to me today compared to how it seemed to me at the time. I haven't looked for it. in no way in my witness statement to try to play with the truth. I am under oath and signed this in good faith as something I believe to be true. In fact, you did nothing with the information he gave you. I do not accept that your witness statement does not in any way address how this information affected you or your conduct.
It doesn't at this time. No not directly, but it did affect my behavior. Read three pieces of information that you have accepted. They were important very early in your tenure and you don't say in your witness statement what you did with them, right? highlight that Mr. Grant gave with anyone after this one on one with Mr. Grant I'm not, I just can't remember who I would have spoken to immediately after this meeting, what I was doing at the time was meeting with a great good, a lot of people who were giving me a lot of information about the post office that I had never worked at before and I was trying to take that in and make sense of it because I had never heard of

horizon

or the cases before. of the subpostmasters, this didn't set off the kind of alarm bells it obviously would if I had thought about this now, but it did absolutely inform me how I thought about the post office's relationship with Fujitsu and when in a couple of other The issue of Horizon and the Subpostmasters cases was raised with me on occasions and began to emerge in my mind as a very appropriate and real problem that he does not describe anywhere in his witness statement and that he tells anyone else. . person about what Mr.
Grant told you reflects the fact that you didn't tell anyone else reflects the fact that I simply don't remember if you discussed this with Paula Venel I don't know if you would have discussed it This is what I don't believe that he would have discussed with Paula Venel the content of each meeting he was having at that time. I think this would have made me realize how important it was to recruit someone as president. of the audacity and risk committee that was really competent to play that role um and would have influenced my way of thinking um well I already said, I repeat myself how I thought about the relationship with Fujitsu and I also thought about the finances um, the functioning of the department of finances, did you disclose this information to anyone else at the post office?
I can't answer that question because I don't remember, did you report this information to the board at that stage, was the board in embryo? um I don't mean, I don't think so, I think the answer is that I didn't come to the next board meeting and um and I discussed this with the board at the next board meeting as you say in paragraph 95. over there. it is November 10, 20121 survey 3021 152 there is no need to show that uh there is no record of you telling the board at that meeting what the gentleman had told you no, you said, tell us in your witness statement that when you were recruited uh no one told you that there was any problem with Horizon, that's correct.
Were you surprised or retracted when you were told there were problems with Horizon in one of your first meetings? I was absolutely alert about it, but I didn't do it. I didn't know how to get to the second point. I didn't know how to weigh it. At that moment, someone. The auditors could clearly see that the Fujitsu product was problematic in terms ofof quality, its quality and its ability to provide guarantee. correct, yes, specifically in relation to the accuracy of the data, yes, did you ask why no one had told you this at the time of the appointment?, not at this time.
Point no, at any time afterward, I think he was trying of dealing with the events rather than having some kind of question about why no one had told me that he had told me about this. The second Horizon Low Point is a real risk for us, it is cases of fraud. um suspect um suggest um that it is a systems problem is true, yes, can you expand on what Mr. Grant told you? I'm sorry, I can not. Did you establish a link between the data accuracy problem and criminal proceedings? I didn't see it like that at that moment why didn't you see it like that at that moment I'm a human being and I didn't see it they tell you in one sentence Horizon is a real risk for us they tell you um that the auditor is concerned if he captures the data with precision and then tell you that the sections are suggesting it's a systems problem, aren't those things clearly linked to each other now that they are absolutely clearly linked at first glance? page are linked one follows the next they weren't weren't linked that way in my mind at the time keep in mind this was the first time although I'm actually not sure if the day before there was I hadn't, um, I hadn't seen an email from Donald Brien about the Horizon accusations and the private detective, those two things were very close together, um, but this is the first time I heard of yes, I absolutely had privacy.
The email arrives two days later, okay, we'll get to the private email in a moment, but I mean, if I can try to explain what this would have felt like at the time I just named it. I have not worked in the position. office before post office covers an absolutely huge range of very different and very complex topics and I am trying to move up the learning curve as quickly as possible and absorb a huge amount of information, some of which is on topics that are completely new to I'm not trying to make excuses here, but I'm just trying to explain what I felt.
No, I didn't read Private ey and I didn't read the computer weekly. I just didn't know what I mean. This is the first time anyone has made this suggestion to me and I just didn't weigh it the way that of course everyone now, with the benefit of looking back on this, would weigh it, never mind the fact that you weren't ? imbued with the themes reading the computer weekly reading private detective make this a highlight for you this is not part of a piece or a narrative you already know this is what the auditor says and it takes up half of your note that Horizon It's a real problem, yes, but I guess what I'm trying to say here is that he was absolutely telling me that he thought Horizon had real problems and he was explaining the background to that, but what didn't jump out at me. the way I would do it now was the reference to the fraud cases and the suspect suggesting it's a systems issue uh the next line is a poll of the post office versus Fuji, too naive that's true yeah it was the meaning of what was being transmitted. to you that the relationship between the post office and Fujitsu was too nice that the post office was being too nice in relation to Fujitsu yeah okay and it was the post office that was being naive yeah uh what did you think about what you were being?
I told him that I thought I was not entirely surprised because I think it is not unusual for organizations that hire IT companies to be at a disadvantage relative to IT companies and therefore I would have been very concerned to know what the opinion was. by Angus Grant. Of the key people who would be dealing with this, you tell us in his witness statement that it is paragraph 90, there is no need to mention it. I remember from my first days at the post office I had concerns about Fujitsu's relationship with Fujitsu and whether it was an equal relationship, yes, and why did you have so many concerns?
Partly because I think that's something that, in a general sense, I might have been looking for, but at least partly because of what Angus Grant was telling me here. In what way or ways did he consider the relationship to be unequal? I think it would have had to do with the scale of the PE of the people who would have been working at Fujitsu on this contract, it would have had to do with um The level of so many people experience the experience of the people um the fact that in the departments, companies and organizations that buy services, they have often emptied um their own capacity and I knew that the acquisition of systems related to the post office up to that point had been handled in the Royal male group and that the post office was going to have to develop her ability to take care of herself and I that those would have been things that would have worried me, continues Leslie Saul you know what good, it seems so and then over dependence on Fujitsu yeah, what did you mean by over dependence on Fujitsu?
I think it was the grant that referred to overdependence on well, I guess that's the gist of what I just said. It's about the Balance of I guess you could also say the balance of power and experience information in general. Would you accept that you were given three very important pieces of information during this meeting? Yes, would you accept that they should have conditioned your behavior from then on? Yes, and I think they did. Can we turn to U? Both documents can be downloaded um win 74126 and if we look at the bottom of the page, please, the meeting with Mr.
Grant was on September 27th. Yes, and as I mentioned at one point. Two days ago Mr. Brien's private email arrived on September 29, yes, so it's an email from Mr. Brien, so he was the um uh president of the royal men's group at that time and it's for Paula venel um. and others, including you, the issue is a class action lawsuit and he says pauler. I was a little surprised to see the article privately this week about a sub poost Masters class action lawsuit. It may be a little after the horse has bolted, but it may be appropriate to have an explicit legal report on litigation in post board documents for the future.
Obviously, Alice's call. The article raises some questions about Horizon. I suspect the audit and risk committee should be interested. Have we ever had an independent audit of Horizon? Yes. Yes, this is precisely what Mr. Grant had been informing you two days earlier, is it not? Yes, it must have been quite worrying to have received this. It was the last question the president asked: have we ever had an independent meeting? Verizon audit yes, you knew at this point it must have been fresh in your mind that the independent auditors had concerns about the integrity of the data produced by Horizon yes, so why didn't you speak up?
In response to this, I have I have important information that is relevant here I don't know why I didn't do that I mean, the fact is that I didn't do that I waited for Paula to respond to this um I think I mean, I think at this point I would have thought that the question was directed at her and she wanted to hear what the post office executives responded to that question. I also remember thinking that the idea that we should have an explicit litigation report in board documents was correct and should do so if we scroll up to Paul Leno's answer.
She says you may remember that she read this before a summary summary is circulated to new board members whenever a case has gone to court. The position of the post office has been maintained. memory in at least two cases fraud was demonstrated with subsequent imprisonment. However, to avoid future doubt, the Post Office made the decision several months ago that Horizon and the new Horizon online will be independently verified by a third-party systems auditor. This is currently in process and we should have the results by the end of next month, so this is a completely reassuring message, isn't it completely reassuring?
Yes, it's one of a series of completely reassuring messages he received from senior executives at the post office over the years. from beginning to end yes, you say that your role as

chair

man of the board was, among other things, to challenge what senior executives told you. Yes, here you had the information, the information, the ammunition with which to challenge, didn't you? I had information to challenge on, yes I did, you had good information to challenge on, didn't you, yes, I did, and again, why didn't you say, wait, Paula, what about Ernst and Young, no? do you know about them?
I just can't remember if he just accepted the assurance the CEO gave him in this email. Yes, I accepted that and that is what happened constantly in your time, if someone from the company assured you that you gladly accepted the guarantee from him, not at all. On a related topic, you may have heard Miss Venel give

evidence

that she was not aware that the Post Office prosecuted its own subpostmasters until mid-2012. Did you ever get the impression that before mid-2012 Miss Venel didn't appreciate that the post office was bringing its own prosecutions I'm sorry, could you say yes?
Did you ever get the impression that before mid-2012, Ms. Venel didn't know that the Post Office prosecuted her own Masters subpost? No, she didn't know or there came a time in mid-2012 when this new news was revealed to her that, in fact, the post office did process her own sub-post Masters. No, uh, it was raised again by Le Owen, one of the non-executive directors at a board meeting, wasn't it early January 2012? Yes, can we see the minutes of the January 12, 2012 board meeting? uh survey 3021 153 um if we quickly look at the board minutes from January 12, 2012, let's see who is present um among other people um, yes, um Leo in um to Ned uh Paul lenel CEO Chris Day end CFO um officer Neil mccan senior independent director and then those who are not board members but who are present are listed and then if we go to page six, please, and look at the bottom of the page, under the heading major litigation report um Le oen then is a The director um asked for assurances that there was no basis in the claims made by the subpostmasters who had fever presented in a private detective.
Susan Kryon explained that the subpostmasters were challenging the Horizon Integrity system, however the system had been audited by the internal raw maale group. audit with the reports reviewed by deoe the audit report was very positive, the company also won all criminal proceedings in which it used evidence based on the integrity of Horizon's systems, so in this meeting you were informed, according to the minutes, that the system had been audited yes, and he had been told that the system had been audited by the internal audit of the Royal Maale group and that the plural reports had been reviewed by the DEOE.
Yes, now I think they didn't show you a copy of the internal audit of the Royal Male group. or audit reports in that meeting no, we weren't no, I think because Leon, you know, he brought it up, I'm probably, I'm sure he wouldn't have given advance notice, so to speak, that he was allowed to bring it up, so that the internal audit or audits were not shown to you nor the review or reviews of them by Deoe. No, you tell us in his witness statement, you just need to upload it. It is paragraph 107 that would have comforted you that Deoe is extremely well regarded professional firm, it was said that they reviewed the internal audit reports, yes, if we look at the entry at the bottom of the page, Susan C suggested that I delete the report of audit, now we return to the singular, with the external lawyers and if it is possible to give the report a privileged status, it will be distributed to the board, yes, that is how it works in the post office at the moment, according to your understanding, if it is an existing document, a document that had already been typed. and it was a hard copy it was on someone's desk or in their drawer or on their computer it was okay to give it to the board if that document could be given privileged status I just don't know what it is why she said that, um, did she say that?
Do you know what was the reason why she said that and returned to this area in preparation for my evidence for the investigation? I'm afraid I'm baffled by that, I'm probably referring to you as the board had the right to see relevant documents yes, they didn't have to have privileges, yes, or have a privileged status for them to pass to the board. I wouldn't have, I mean, I don't know, I mean, I wouldn't have thought about it. um, now you subsequently received a copy of the internal audit of boy group Royal. I did it later, yeah, um, it was just one report, there wasn't more than one.
Can we see it please, survey 0010 7127. I believe this is your personal copy. It's not uh, it was yeah, it's my writing, yeah, so this is the one that's marked by you,yeah, it has your handwriting, as we can see at the top, um and on the right side and um, there's more handwriting, um, further away. The document is now nine pages long, this nine-page audit or assurance review report includes the cover page. You will see that it has been identified as legally privileged. Can you see yes? Under the big legally privileged and strictly confidential black box and then on the bottom left legally privileged and strictly confidential on each page, do you know why an internal audit would be labeled this way?
No, I'm sorry to interrupt Mr. Beer, what's up? the date from March 20 to the 12th the minutes were from January, if not, yes, um, I'm just wondering if it's the same document that the minutes refer to, that's all, um, it is, sir, that exists in the January meeting a copy of this draft document um aThen you put the date February 2012 on it and then when you provide it to um uh Miss Perkins, you add the date March 2012. Very good, thank you. We have seen a discussion at the board meeting about giving the document privileged status. I looked at this document recently.
I think so, along with many others. Yes. There is no mention in the document, from start to finish, of it being prepared for litigation purposes or being prepared for the purpose of receiving legal advice. okay I I you take your word for it I can't be sure without re-reading it anyway you had been told at the board meeting that dels had reviewed this report yes yes and um I don't think there is any mention in the document that they had reviews of what's there, they didn't and that was a big mystery to me when I rewatched this, but I think I think I understand now what your understanding is.
I think I may be wrong on this, but I think I understand it from a previous one. I am a witness that this report was not independently reviewed by deoe as such, but that there was someone from deoe who had been seconded, yes, who had been part of the team and that is very different from what they had been told at the meeting of the board of directors, yes. I think it is correct that I did not see any documents at the time that said that Deoe had reviewed this report and, if so, what the result of the review was. one of my questions was: where is this deoe report that you wrote in the upper right corner at that time?
Yes and you put a circle around it. Yes, it was a note to verify about the so-called deoe review or the call. Deoe Assurance is obvious, obviously, in my mind is that we had been told that Deoe had reviewed this, whatever I said, and I guess I was mentally trying to think well, is this the deoe report or is there a separate deoe report , but I'm not afraid I can't remember it, you know, I just don't remember my thought process at the time and now you know there was no Deo. I know now, there is no report.
I only found out about it in the very recent past. You have told us that, given his professional status and independence, the fact that Deo had reviewed the report would have been an important factor for you. Yes, wasn't it important to finalize that review at that time? Well, with the benefit of hindsight, it would have been very nice to have nailed it down at the time, but I'm afraid I couldn't nail it down at the time. Can we go to page nine of the document? Please, there it is. a table in which the authors set out the extent to which progress had or had not been made, yes, in relation to 10 issues raised by Ernston Young in his performance audit from 20110 to 2011, yes, yes, these were reported in a letter and in the attached report from August 2021 and you tell us in your witness statement that you are not sure you saw that at the time.
I don't think I would have been able to see it at the time, in any case this is a record of the progress that had or had not been made against the problems identified by Ernst and Young in their management letter and report of August 2011, you will see that, In relation to the 10 problems, none of them had been completed, yes, and that in relation to four of them. including one that enjoyed a high risk rating from Ernston Young. More work is required. Yes, this was presented at the January 2012 board meeting as we considered it very positive.
I don't think we've seen the report. No, no, establish. the way it was described yes, yes, that's how you read it looking at it now, well no, that's not how I would see it now, no, it was presented to the board at the January 20, 2012 meeting as a revision. system-wide, yeah, now you know that's incorrect, it wasn't a Horizon system-wide review, right? If we go back to page one, you wrote at the top of the document, yes, what parts of this is relevant to the subpostmasters' issues. Yes, who was that question directed at? I don't know, I can't remember.
It's a question that obviously occurred to me and I would have followed up with someone, but I can't tell you. Who was? Have you ever asked anyone that question? I'm sure I would have, but did you get a response? I don't remember, I just don't remember who I would have talked to and so I don't remember what they would have said, I mean, it seems like it occurred to you that, um, one problem is that the sub postmaster U says yes and that you have a report that doesn't really match the statements it doesn't match. Don't address them, I didn't realize it was addressed to them, no, but you don't remember if you raised that with anyone and, if so, what the response was.
It would have been unusual for me to write something like that and no. to raise it and I think I'm right in saying that this document was part of the briefing that I had for a later meeting with Lord about um so I think that, you know, I think about how I worked. and how I did things, I think I would have raised this, but I'm sorry I can't add, so it's the position that we've reached, Miss Perkins, that we end up with this nine-page document that at first glance has not been approved by the deoe nor reviewed by the deoe when told it was protected by privilege, it was presented at the meeting as very positive when it is not, I think I would have thought that. mistakenly that somewhere there was a separate deoe document, that's what I would have thought and again, wouldn't you want to nail that down at the time?
No, I would absolutely want to nail it down, yes, I think so, if you look at these issues. now we all know what really happened at that time we didn't know and I'm dealing not only with this problem at this moment this problem was absolutely there on the table but it was there on the table with many other issues that I was addressing and I had to pay attention to those other issues as well as this one, so when we talk about this now I absolutely accept that there were questions that I could have followed up on and if that were the case I don't think I would have done so.
I think there were other questions that I think I probably would have followed up on, but I can't swear that I did, but I do think it's important to understand that this wasn't the only topic at the table M I'm so sorry Miss Perkins even with that context um, I I suggest that he should have followed up in circumstances where he says he took reliance on the fact that a well-known city auditing firm had reviewed a report. that was said to be very positive, you get a report that has no deo fingerprint on its face and it is not very positive, you should say wait, why was this information given to the board when it is palpably incorrect?
I've asked, I should have followed, can we turn? So that can go down, thanks to um, the meeting with James, our bun, no and the events that ultimately led to the naming of um second site. I think the first of this was that you received an email from James albal on February 23, 2012, yes, can we see it? Please poll 309 5973 and go to page two please and look at the bottom. This is the originating email in the chain. From James R. bnot to you in the sub header. postmasters and the post office dear Alice, you may remember that when we met in I think Ditchley Park I raised the issue of the Horizon computer system in use in secondary offices across the country and said I had a real concern about what how some of the subpostmasters have been treated inside and outside my constituency and then, second paragraph, can I come and see you?
I know that it is the position of the post office supported by the Federation, although not by the CWU, with which there is nothing wrong. Horizon, I am deeply skeptical about this and I hope I can persuade you to look at the matter from scratch rather than accepting that there should be a closing of ranks around the computer and then if we go up the page please thank you in kind . The day you send this to Paula Venel and Susan Kryon, um, you say hello. James R. Bnor is a Conservative MP who I believe is the

chair

man of the defense select committee.
I met him when he was in the Treasury and he was a minister in the M OD he is a completely decent person, completely decent and sensible. I will respond later today saying that of course I will meet him. I think I should probably see him on my own so he seems open and receptive, but equally if you think he should bring someone with me. I would be open to that in the briefing of course, is there anything else I should know at this time? um and we have a response from you to James ABN saying yes of course we will meet with you.
Can we go to the briefing? for the meeting with James R Bunot you received uh survey 017 9470 and um if we look please at the bottom send an email on March 12, 2012 from Susan Kryon to you here is a briefing document for your meeting with James in B KN yes yes and Can we please look at the attachment The Briefing in survey 10771 and this is the report? I just want to ask you, um, one thing about that, if we look at the middle of page one, I think that's it. third, sorry, scroll up again, yeah, it's kind of a third paragraph under the overview.
A survey, the Post Office has rigorously tested the Horizon system using independently guaranteed processes and has found it to be robust. Horizon has been in EX in successful operation for over 10 years etc so the line um the Post Office has rigorously tested the Horizon system using independently guaranteed processes and has been found to be robust at the moment When you received this, you knew that Ernston Young had done an analysis. Yes, I knew you thought Horizon was a real risk to your audit. Yes, he knew they had concerns about the accuracy of the data he produced in that context.
Yeah, when he read this, did he think this conflicts with what I've been doing? said by the partner who performed the audit, I think at this point what would have been on my mind most recently was the assurance that we had been given about the internal audit report and the assurance of that by deoe and that I regret to apologize for talking about you, but yes, at that time you received the report, yes, and you could see that it was not very positive if you go back to the table that showed you that certainly there are things in No, they are not very positive, but if you look at In the overall column showing progress, great progress had been made on most items.
Did you consider it very positive at that time? No, I do not know. I don't think he would have considered it very positive, but I think he would have considered it as real progress, but what about what the auditors themselves, the independent auditor, had said was that they left it aside? No, but I think I would have left it aside. The two things together that the auditors were concerned about the reliability of the data for audit purposes and that they had flagged it and that improvements were being made there was not the end of the story, but it wasn't totally um, it wasn't.
It wasn't a negative image, it wasn't, I absolutely see that it wasn't a very positive image, um, but I think it's more nuanced, maybe that's what I'm trying to say: you knew that the internal audit function in the group Royal M had carried out a salort review or assurance exercise which was said to have been reviewed by deoe, he saw nothing to support that ernston Young's audit partner had told him that they actually thought that um Horizon was a real risk and had concerns about the integrity of your data when you read this. Didn't you think?
Wait, that's a little strong. It's not really supported by what I've been shown and read with my own eyes. I don't remember what my reaction was. to this this was, but it's clear that I took no action at that time in relation to these um these issues that you've been raising um I think I was calmer than I should have been uh and I can Look now, looking back, I should have asked more questions about this, thank you sir, it is an appropriate time to take the morning break. Can we rest until 10 pm? 11, please, yes, certainly thank you very much, sir? and listen to us, yes, thank you, Miss Perkins, before the break, you told us that she had recently established or discovered that the extent of deo's involvement in the internal audit was that there was one person assigned to the RMG internal audit team.
Instead of having reviewed the report, as I understand it now, can we refer to survey 0033 8794? This is a March 23, 2012 email from Allwin Lions to youAll keystrokes are logged so the post office can reconstruct precisely what a sub postm has done, at first glance it must have been unless someone else told me that, but it hasn't, so you're telling me saying, that doesn't seem likely. Did anyone ever explain to you, at this time or later, what Arq data was? No, I don't think so, and any difference between Arq data and enhanced Arq data. It's not right, at the bottom of the page we can still see it.
It is recorded. The vast majority of subpostmasters manage well. Horizon provides them with free help call center training and service in D Darlington, maybe I don't know somewhere where this series of points, yes, we don't like them. Prosecuting deputy postmasters is very high. standard of proof no one pleads guilty probably the Horizon transactions that have been made are all recorded in the system via keystrokes so the post office can piece together what happened. Horizon supporting most subpostmasters getting by well essentially became the party line that was deployed over the next few years, right? Yes, she did and based on what you know, you would say this is the Miss Benold that gave it to you at a dinner at The Zeta, it seems that way, I mean, I.
You do not know? I can't swear that's the case, but it seems that if we go back to two, yes, we skip, yes, we have commissioned a series of studies of the Horizon system from internal companies. audit until Delo um didn't do it or doesn't do it is that they don't do it. I think what that means is that they don't audit Royal Mail or Fujitsu. I think that's what it says, meaning it emphasizes their independence, yes, they have looked at the integrity of the system from a management accounting perspective and maintained it, yes, based on internal audit. report, did you form an opinion about whether what you were told there was accurate or not?
I don't remember, but if you know, I think we've already established that I hadn't properly verified what the deoe's position was. If I had that email from Alwin, there might have been other Deoe studies, but I didn't. I mean, I definitely didn't know that thanks, that can go down. Thank you. You've already told us that the record at the um board meeting on March 15th where you hoped you could find a way to convince James Arbot and other MPS that the system was not to blame. um it didn't reflect your point of view yes at that time yes can we please look at survey 3 08 5836 and look at the bottom of page one please this is an email chain in which you is not involved, it's between Angela V, Bogard and Craig tutle, uh, and Miss Brandon Bogard says I met with Simon Baker today.
Alex asked Alice Perkins. Finding a way to demonstrate that the Horizon system is robust and not subject to failure as the

former

JFSA deputy postmasters claim, does that again reflect what you thought at the time that the purpose of any review contemplated at this time was find a way to prove that the system is robust absolutely not those are not my words and I'm absolutely sure that was not what I had in mind what I had in mind was that we were going to I think we were trying to Think of ways to demonstrate to you to Lord Arbuthnot and I think later Mr.
Lewin came. He joined that meeting. There was a kind of model office in the head office of the post office at that time where he could. I'm looking for. In trying to find the word here, you could model what was happening on what might be happening in a post office and I thought it would be very useful to demonstrate the system to you, but I wasn't asking anyone to spin a message here. It's the second record we have where um, the first one is a straight record in the minutes and it's a conversation between people not including you, which attributes to you a desire to tour, right?
He attributes it to me, but that doesn't mean it's correct, so there's a misunderstanding. I think there's been a misunderstanding here and I think you know I'm sorry to bring this point up again and move forward, but I think if you look at the documentation of what I said in my witness statement about how determined I was to launch an independent investigation and what I did with respect to the terms of that investigation and some of the things that I said later, there is a consistent record of my desire to prepare something that was happening to see this in an independent way uh, I in a I was prepared if you want to raise the Rock and see what was underneath, can we move on?
So please until 17 May 2012 the F. A further meeting with James R Bunot and as you said Oliver Lewin MP poll1 5479 this is a report for that meeting uh it's about 20 pages long and I think this is your version of The Briefing because it has your lyrics and can we please look at that page. 23 please can we see it here under external scrutiny at the bottom of the page thank you, the report says that Horizon and the Post Office systems environment have always been subject to external scrutiny for both assurance and accreditation purposes. ernston Young carries out an annual audit of financial systems. an independent auditor also conducts an annual audit to maintain um payment card systems in the industry's PCI accreditation the reference there to um annual audit by erston young yes yes an annual audit of financial systems do you agree to the form What is this referred to here? uh suggests um ernston young could be trusted because they had given Horizon a clean bill of health, just those highlighted words, well, the whole context of um external scrutiny and the first point, yes, but then I asked a question about that in the brand.
Well, I'll get to that in a moment, it's just what they were telling you. Yes, okay, it was essentially a new reassuring message. Yes, you can take Faith in Horizon because of the outside scrutiny, in particular by Ernston Young. an annual financial systems audit yes, but again at that time you knew that Angus Grant or Ernston Young were concerned about the situation and had specifically raised their concerns with you in an introductory meeting. Yes, at that time, were you aware of the results of the 2012 Ernston audit? young audit, this is May 17, 2012. I think maybe I don't remember the sequence that may have come next.
I mean, there was an audit and risk committee that he came to, which was in May, I think so. And I ask him if he knew at that time that the Ernston Young audit of um for the year 2011 2012 had said that, in high level summary, the IT systems could not be relied upon for audit control purposes and that they had to take some mitigating measures to pass I I I remember I can't remember if I knew it at this point because I can't remember the sequence of when I would have seen it right next to an external audit, how relevant are these to this topic, yes, you were worried, If it weren't for what you knew, the display points that there had been external scrutiny of the horizon in support of its integrity could be misleading.
He was certainly questioning, yes, he was in an inquisitive mood. Here, the report doesn't directly say that Ernston Young's audit had given Horizon a clean bill of health, no, but that's the implication, isn't it? If this type of report was regurgitated to the MPS, yes, it is intended to be reassuring when it began dialogue with MPS in early and mid-2012 about its concerns with Horizon whether steps had been taken at board level to question the appropriateness to continue to prosecute at that stage not at board level no no at that stage were you aware that criminal proceedings were continuing and we continued to rely on Horizon's evidence while you discussed the creation of an independent review.
I would have said yes. Do you know why that issue wasn't discussed at the board level? We are considering commissioning an independent review due to these concerns. about Horizon data, we continue to rely on Horizon data for criminal proceedings that were not raised by me, that were not raised by me at the time and, as far as I know, were not raised by anyone else, thank you, can we move forward? um go ahead please um to um the selection of the second site or finished actually to carry out the independent review we are moving forward a month now to June 2012 yes um and can we please look at the survey 309 6576 um this um can we see a first view um is a document prepared by the second site and its purpose is described under the um subt a proposal to conduct an independent review of past cases of fraud and theft to determine whether the facts support the company's findings and the charges filed against individuals and then if we move forward, turn to page five.
The case review approach will include the following tasks: One select a representative sample of cases that have resulted in prosecutions or court-appointed restitution. The sample should cover cases where defendants claim they did not take cash where claims have been made that the system, i.e. Horizon caused the shortage, includes old and new versions of Horizon if possible and, in thirdly, which have been taken up by um MPS, so did you know that the proposal made by The Second Site to conduct an independent review essentially involved the elements set out there, yes, because I'm sure I saw those terms of reference in the draft and I commented on them, so that involves, firstly, the selection of a representative sample of cases, secondly, include Horizon new and old yes yes um and include cases specifically raised by MPS or where and where the defendants they claim they didn't take any cash yeah yeah uh can we look at survey 80209 and the bottom of page one please so if We stop there, there is an internal email chain involving Mr.
Baker and the Miss Kryon and Miss Saul, they are not copied. They're discussing the Second Sight proposal that we just saw attached as Ron's proposal and then Simon Baker says. My view is that we make clear to Alice and Paula the distinction between the work proposed by Ron I's second site, which is an independent review of past cases, and Horizon's forensic audit of the deoe proposal and put it on the agenda to discuss it. tomorrow was the distinction between those two types of research. um was it ever clear to you. I didn't remember having this until I saw some of these documents. um when I started putting together my witness statement.
I did not do it. I was baffled by these documents. um, because my recollection was and is a clear recollection that when the discussion with Lord about got to the point of what type of review we talked about whether we should use large organizations like deoe and Lord Abbath, it was very clear that he did not want to use that type of organization, I wanted to use a different type of approach and that was very instrumental, it was very influential in my thinking, that's the way you describe things in your witness data, but it was the type of organization that was the relevant consideration yes four grand exactly or more Boutique um off the beaten path yes um uh researchers yes um rather than a distinction between the type of work that they would be doing, I think so and as I said Later in my witness statement, one of my regrets It's just that at this point I didn't stop and think more clearly with my colleagues on the board about exactly what we were trying to do here and what the best way to do it would have been.
I think, do you mind if I give you some context here? I think it's really very important to understand that when I came back from my first meeting with Lord Arnot, when I proposed that we should take a fresh look at this, I had a meeting with Mike Young and Susan Kryon and they told me that they didn't think this was a good idea. , that the system had been investigated numerous times, nothing had ever been found to be wrong and that the organization basically had too much at that time to spend establishing such a review and it was perfectly true that the organization had too much to do at that time.
I didn't think any of those reasons were a good reason not to watch this aresh and then a period passed and I don't remember how long it was, but it must have been several weeks and absolutely no one came back to me in this period of Silence. He describes it exactly as in his witness name and then I obviously knew he would do it. I need to continue this discussion with Lord Arbuthnot. I couldn't understand why he hadn't heard anything. I raised it again and was told that nothing had been done about it because it was thought to be a bad idea and you subsequently referred to this I believe. as rejection from the business, well, Alwin described it as me saying yes, this and other things were rejected from the business.
In any case, this June 6 document records the intention to make the distinction clear to you. between the type of work rather than the nature of the organization being proposed yes, that is perfectly true, yes, can we turn to a meeting they held the next day, June 7, survey 023 3736 and say, sorry , is this a document? created by I think the post office later oh yeah okayestablish a timeline yes of the mediation plan and, in fact, the events that preceded it yes, can we go to page three please, and if we just look there, it's at the bottom of the page We're seeing that now it's towards the summit, June 7, so that's the next day.
Can you see that the third Bo down a meeting takes place? Yes, with Paula venel Alice Perkins Susan kryon OLN Lions and Simon Baker, yes, so we have I have seen the discussion the day before between Mr. Baker and Miss Kryon, where the Delit proposals are discarded and the second site, is chosen the second site as preferred supplier, we have no record of this meeting on the 7th, this is the The only reference to it that I think we can find, yes, it was the matter that was discussed in the email chain the day before the 6th June, that is, with the intention of drawing your attention to the distinction between the nature of the work being carried out. in fact, it caught his attention.
I don't remember what caught my attention. That doesn't mean it wasn't like that. It was one of the reasons for preferring the second site over Deo that the second site was going to conduct a review that was much more limited in scope. That is, reviewing the system only in the context of sample cases instead of a forensic audit of the entire system, I don't have it in mind, not at all, why the decision was made at this meeting, before going to see to James R, not to prefer second place again. site on Deo, I think for the reason that, as far as I can remember, I think the main reason for this was because of this discussion I had had with Lord ABN not before about what type of organization should be used to do this review. um I guess I don't think I can add anything more so in your opinion the reason for deciding on a second site instead of uh deoe had nothing to do with the nature or scope of the audit that would be conducted out, at all, I can't.
Then let's move on to the scope of the investigation in terms of whether the convicted subpostmasters would be included in it and look at survey 309 6606 and if we look at the bottom of the page please, we'll see an email from them and if they just upload a little um it would have been for paula venelAlice, sorry, I think Paula venel Susan crashed and the Lions are fine, your email, after a conversation with Olwin yesterday, and since I'm away for a few days now, I thought I should let you know before going to where I am. about which cases should be in or out of this review.
I've been thinking more about this since yesterday. It is clear to me that we must capitalize all MP cases regardless of whether they have been decided in court if we try to draw a conclusion. Here we will be accused of choosing cases that suit us and of being vulnerable in those we omit. We will have a discussion about that instead of continuing to reflect on the topic. I don't buy the argument that we would somehow undermine the judicial process. By doing this, there are many ways that people go over ground that has been settled in court, and if not, no one would be able to get a conviction overturned, and in Otherwise, we do not believe that there is new evidence in a case in which it had been decided that we would want to do and be seen doing the right thing, so that was his opinion, his clear vision, on June 9, it was and absolutely reflects my opinion at all times.
We look, please, at paragraph 161 of your witness statement, please, which is on page 80, at the bottom of the page, paragraph 161, third line, fourth line, you say in the email of June 7 . Susan refers to the comments that Paula and I had made to her. That morning I guess in person. She also said in that email that she had thought about cases in which some postmasters had been criminally prosecuted. She thought we didn't want to be seen reopening those cases, but we should take a stand. this as a more limited review of the existing evidence, while for those who had not been prosecuted, the post office should offer a full and independent investigation uh, um, I think you're attributing it to um, uh, Susan Kryon.
I am that opinion and that was an opinion that she held strongly. I think so, I think she did hold that opinion firmly. If what you say here is accurate, you are not saying that those who have been criminally prosecuted should be left out, you are saying that a separate process should be initiated. set up for them where there is a full independent investigation right that's what she's saying right now yes and why wasn't that done how do you mean why wasn't that done? Sorry, why was it the second site? um sample case um approach to testing the integrity of the horizon taken on the one hand with a full and independent investigation uh looking at those who have been criminally prosecuted on the other are two investigations distinct from one there should have been two investigations you are asking yes I'm not asking if there should have I'm asking why there wasn't why there wasn't I don't think I mean I can't give you a detailed answer to that question I think I can't I can't answer that question.
Very sorry. Don't know. Sorry to interrupt again, but do I understand paragraph 161 correctly? My initial reading was that Miss Kryon was suggesting that there should be a more limited review of convicted people with a full and independent investigation only for those who had not been prosecuted. Am I missing something here? I don't think I think that's very true sir I've been very confused I'm afraid but I believe what you just said President it's correct yes well I think all I'm doing is reading what you've written Miss Perkins , but, but, there's no nuance I'm missing, that's right, just let me reread it, yes, please.
Yes, I think that is exactly correct, so it is a single investigation with two different ways of dealing with different categories of cases so that you understand that that is what Miss Kryon proposed a single investigation with two different approaches depending on whether the deputy postmaster or not. Had he been prosecuted or not, yes, why wasn't that done? No, I don't know, can we go back to the email chain that we were looking at in survey 309 6606? Remember that at the bottom of the page here is your email. if we just scroll down to see it, it is clear that we must include all cases regardless of whether they have been decided and the Court yes, if we scroll to the top of the page, we can see um um OLN Lion's Reply to the second email um, just to um, Miss Vel's pauler in case Susan doesn't answer this, um, since she's in Berlin and before talking to Alice, the problem that came to light with the MP case list was that they included Mishra, uh. case, you will remember the case and the publicity that she went to prison and had her baby while she was there her husband received public publicity through the radio and the press.
Susan's anxiety, and she raised this in the meeting with Alice before you joined, was whether we can now contact her. Telling you what we reviewed about the case would be a red rag against a bull. Alice feels that this is the business of backing down unnecessarily and she feels that this has been happening throughout the process and that she has to keep pushing us. Susan is receiving outside advice on the effect of this. she would have in cases that have gone through the tribunal, so you maintained the view that all cases raised by MPS should be included in the independent review.
Yes, your opinion was apparently not shared by at least Miss Kryon. Yeah, it wasn't shared by Miss Venel either, I don't know if anyone else on the post board opposed her point of view, so as I told you about a minute ago, I'm very sorry I didn't include other board members in this. process, so I'm not sure about other members. I'm certainly sure I spoke to Neil McAusland about this at some point. I can't tell you when it was and I know he had some questions about it, but I should do it with the In retrospect, what I absolutely should have done is I should have made sure that this issue, this whole issue of establishing the review, what should have done the review and who should do it, it should have come to the meeting and there should have been a proper meeting. discussion about it and I really regret not doing that.
It is suggested in the second paragraph of that email that you felt the company was backing down unnecessarily. Did you feel like the company was going backwards unnecessarily? Yes, I felt that. I partly mean, excuse me, I felt that because of the reaction I had to the original proposal because I had that negative reaction and then nothing happened and then I had to revisit the issue so I could do something and then I thought that's what we're discussing here. , that the scope should be inclusive and I was arguing that it shouldn't be who in the business was pushing back unnecessarily.
I thought Susan Kryon was definitely backing off unnecessarily. I thought Mike Young was backing down unnecessarily and those were the two people I had in mind. It was the substance of your objection that Horizon had been independently tested in the past and found to be robust and not at fault, that was one of them, yes, what were the other elements of the objection to a review independent, as it was expressed to me that, given everything else that the company was trying to do at that time, there was not the um, there was not the capacity to do this as well did you seek to understand any reasoning that was explained to you that if the case was included from SEMA Misa could this be a red rag for a bull?
I thought what he was wanting to do and maybe I was being glib with this. I just wanted these cases to be investigated independently by people who had credibility, obviously, who had credibility within the post office, but also outside. I don't think so really, I just wanted to get to the facts. thank you sir, that might be an appropriate time for the second break in the morning. Can we rest until 8pm? third meeting with Lord Arnot this is 18 June 2012 uh this time it was with other MPS and can we see a record of that meeting which I don't think you had when you wrote your witness statement? j a RB I think it's 5 Z one thank you actually it's 6 one thank you uh these are the minutes of the meeting um do you remember attending the meeting with um James R bunot other MPS yes and if we look at the bottom of the page please, the minute records that you provide background information, yes, and the perspective of the post office, introduce your colleagues and said post office is now a completely separate entity from Royal Male, thank you, um, she, came to the organization in August 2011 and became aware of the problem shortly after starting, she emphasized that the matter was very serious for the Post Office, whose business is based on its reputation for being reliable.
He said that the post office also recognized very well that the matter was very serious for some postmasters and Mistresses that involved um as it involved as it was invariably life changing and then as you turned the page please you said that now was a time of huge change at the Post Office and it was important to give MPS confidence in the business and its reputation. issue involved walking a tightrope in money matters the post office and its staff are handlers of large amounts of cash the cash does not belong to the post office it is in transit when it passes through the post office there is the problem of trying to not to put Temptation in people's paths, but in any retail business this is not possible.
That statement about putting Temptation in people's paths was that you were seeking to imply that the causes of the loss were due to um sub poost Masters taking the money without coming out and saying say it no um well I can try to explain what I think was what I was trying to say here yes please do it has been suggested that I thought or was inclined to think that sub postmasters were more likely to be tempted by the fact that there was a lot of money out there than any other group of people and that was not my position at all, it was not my position then, it is certainly not my position now, but it was not my position then, that I was aware of.
Because by then I had made several visits to different post offices. I have been very surprised by the fact that there was so much cash in the business for different reasons and I was aware of the fact that in any retail business there was and is there some level of fraud for lack of another word and this could be something that would be in the minds of some people in the organization, but it wasn't at all? I was not thinking nor did I intend to say that I thought that subpostmasters were inherently dishonest or more likely to be dishonest;
In fact, my impression from those visits was that some postmasters were doing very complex work and I had a lot of respect for them in what they were trying to do, why did you have that belief as you stated when they told you that all the cases they the post office had brought lawsuits related to theHorizon system had ruled in favor of the post office because I thought I believed what they told me that those All cases had been won by the post office. I think that was true and I believe it. I thought some people.
I really believed that some people were guilty. But it wasn't. I wasn't approaching this topic with a That said, you know they were more likely to be tempted than any other group of people mentality. I'm not sure if I'm explaining myself. Very yes, it is clear that you are saying that if we move further down, thank you. we can see what um Paula venel um then she said she said temptation is a problem uh the next paragraph of the 11,800 sub postmasters currently employed only a small number have problems uh The Horizon system is very secure every keystroke used by anyone person is recorded in an auditable file It seems that some subpostm next paragraph have been borrowing money from the account, uh, the same way they would in a retail business and then all the cases brought to trial involving the Horizon system so far They have ruled in favor of the post office.
That rather reflects the note that we believe was a record of the Zeta dinner, doesn't it? Yes, what I believe you said reflected the corporate position of the Post Office for a number of years, yes, as chairman of the board what steps would you expect your CEO to take before telling a group of MPS that all cases brought to trials have so far ruled in favor of the post office. I would have hoped it was an accurate statement. It is reasonable to trust what she had told me orally um no, not really uh we know that um at the time um a lady called Nicola Arch had been acquitted in 2004 yes um having blamed the Horizon system for the losses yes A lady called Mor mckelvie had also been acquitted in 2004 uh by a jury in Northern Ireland who blamed Horizon for the losses, yes, and Susan Palmer had been acquitted by a jury in 2007 and, in fact, the jury had sent a note saying what should ask Mrs Palmer if she disagreed with the figures Horizon had produced and the Post Office had failed to answer that question in court and had been on the wrong side of a costs order for £78,000.
The Post Office had what steps a chief executive would reasonably be expected to take to try to discover the true position. Well, I'd like you to know that it's hard to generalize, right? But I think that if you are going to say something as chief executive on behalf of the body of the organization of which you are chief executive, you should have tested those propositions by asking to see the evidence by asking key people what the facts were. Lord Arbn has told us no. believed what he was beingsaid for a minute um he thought he was being tricked um here okay and then it didn't seem to be operational in his mind okay because he trusted what um the subpostm that he actually met had been telling him yeah uh did you? you did it? um take at face value the accuracy and truth of what miss venel was saying yes I did it yes I did thank you for that can we fast forward a year please I'm not going to ask you questions about the conduct of the second site investigation you address that in some detail in your witness statement thank you can we come to the um days and weeks early for the production of the second site report on July 8, 2013?
Yes, and the board's preparation for that post and the board's response to the post yes, can we please start by looking at a survey email from June 27, 2013 309 8782 if we scroll down and look at an email email from um Martin Edwards to Paula venel can you see the one from June 27, yes, so if we scroll to the top of the page, we can see the next day it was sent to you. Yeah, okay, so let's go back to Martin Edward's email. The heading says James rbau, question mark and in the second paragraph. Second line, he says miss Venel, as discussed, we need to come up with a plan, given the likelihood that James won't agree to delay the meeting.
Stroke report, we must be very careful not to overdo our hand with Second Sight, they could result. It can be quite dangerous if we threaten them with legal action or try to replace them with another company. It's easy for this to be portrayed in the media as a heavy-handed tactic because we don't like their findings, it directly influences the existing perceptions we have. trying to counter it at the moment, so on June 27, 2013, what was your understanding of the concern among senior Post Office executives about the second site review? I understood that the executives thought that there were probably things in the interim report um statements made by the second site that were not adequately substantiated by the evidence, what steps, if any, did you take to ensure that you were fully aware of what those issues were? and the evidence that the second site was leaving out.
I think, I mean, I was bearing in mind, obviously at this stage I didn't know what was going to be in the second site report, but I would have been concerned that there might be things in that report that were critical without being properly substantiated if it were would have given some evidence that, unlike what people were saying, I just can't remember how much detail they gave me about it at the time. I think it's worth keeping in mind that this thought that the second site was advanced proposals on the Horizon system and other aspects. of the post office operations that were not fully substantiated or that the post office had not had time to um there had not been time for them to properly consider the post office evidence that had existed for some weeks before this, so this was not a new idea at this stage that this could be happening.
Was it the opinion of senior Post Office executives that the Post Office could exert some degree of influence over the second site at this time? I think I am absolutely clear that it was never my intention nor the intention of anyone on the board to influence Second Sight's evidenced findings. I was asking, sorry, Miss Burkins, about the executives. I'm sorry, I know it is and I don't believe that. was something that executives were trying to do, in your view, is it important that the post office seeks to control a narrative in the media regarding its handling of the site's second report?
For me, the important thing was that there was a lot riding on the uh reports from the second site on the second interim SES report and if they were going to find if they were going to say that they had found things that were wrong and that were supported by the evidence, that obviously it would be uncomfortable and there would be all kinds of implications and consequences of that, but that was something that I was absolutely prepared to face. What I didn't want was for there to be accusations or insinuations that there were more things that were wrong than there could be. adequately founded.
Can we please move forward to the next day? uh poll1 14499 um in the middle of the page, an email from you to Paula venel um thanks for the update. I'm glad we had the best people on these three thoughts first it's probably a red herring, but I'll mention it because it occurred to me that the lawyers are also thinking about the implications for the post office and the people who work in it if There is some suggestion from the second site that things have been Ary, perhaps at the worst. but I only need to take into account the second angle of the letters salmon maxiz.
I agree with Martin about the risks of going heavy with a deeply unattractive second site, but I haven't heard anything yet, which

gives

me hope that we can get this back on track properly. worse, I don't know the answer, keep Aiming High here, which is to avoid having an interim meeting, but I recognize that it is not under our control. Third, a constructive suggestion. Should we ask Oliver Lewin to help us change this before writing this email? Had he taken any steps to fully get to the bottom of the apparent tension between the post office and the second site over the terms of the second site's proposed findings?
I don't think anyone had a good look at it at the time. I certainly didn't get the impression. that someone had actually seen what they were going to say, I think as far as I was concerned there was just a series of discussions or meetings, but how did it become known then that they were going to say things? that were not evidenced because of the things that had been said in those conversations, so they were just oral conversations over a long period of time. I mean, this is not just something that has arrived at this point, as I have established in my witness statement.
Look at a series of events, if you will, or things that happened that made the executives and I a little concerned about what the second site was basing its findings on or what it would base its findings on if it weren't concerned at this stage of its prior experience In the business. Unnecessarily rejecting that this was happening again and this was a case of executives not wanting to face uncomfortable facts and findings. I think at this point I was becoming very skeptical about whether the second site was the right people to do this job. I am asking. asks if you were skeptical of your executives given that, you said you weren't impressed with their conduct in the very creation of this company if that concern had evaporated, no, I don't think it would have evaporated, but what I was What I was What I was most worried about was that suddenly we were getting very close to there being a public document that was obviously going to get a lot of attention and I thought I was worried about unnecessary damage to the post office as downsides rather than the inevitable dam and correctly referenced damage, but Was this all based on Whispers?
No, I don't think it was based. I would not do it. I wouldn't accept that. No. You say to keep aiming high and you tell us in your witness statement that you don't know what. Did you mean by keep aiming high? In what I was thinking, I could possibly have been thinking that there would be no report from the second site and therefore no meeting to discuss it. I think what he was expressing there was the idea that the interim report was premature and that this was that more time needed to be spent on work prior to a document that was going to be public, that's what I think he was saying there because, as I remember it, the schedule had been delayed, first of all, the schedule had been delayed a lot.
Largely originally, when the second site began their work, we believed that they believed and believed that the work would be completed in a matter of weeks, a small number of months and here we were, a year later, and the MPS were becoming perfectly understandable . I was frustrated by the fact that we were approaching the summer break and they were very interested and I completely understand why getting an update on where things were and that was what prompted the idea of ​​having an interim report, but in terms From the substance of what had been done, the moment was artificial.
Were you the one who gave the green light to your executives to take a strong position with the second site to get the second site to alter the content of their report? It was never my intention nor did I do it. try to influence executives to do anything that prevents the properly evidenced findings from the second site from being reported. My concern was that in someone else's words there would be vague language that would be interpreted negatively and for which there was no adequate substantive basis. My concern and had been my concern for some time at the end of June.
Can we use survey 0029 6944? This is a few days later, on July 1, an email from Paula Venel to you, heading the latest on the second site. Hello Alice. I'm looking forward to a proper catch up today. I thought the board was generous in its patience during tonight's discussion of the second site. It's helpful to know that they support the need to be strong and then move on to the second paragraph. I caught up. with Susan tonight, after we finished, she had ended her meeting with the seconds and was of the opinion that they now understand the risk of getting caught up in something bigger and more sensitive.
He hopes his report will be more balanced and say that. They found no evidence of systemic problems on the Horizon computer, but will confirm deficiencies in supporting processes and systems, and the fact that the Post Office has already identified and corrected several of these is not a reflection that a second site is being influenced by the post office. to the conclusions of your report, I think that's evidence of what I said a minute ago, which is that, um, it was really very important that, secondly, everything that the second site said in the interim report was based on firm demonstrable evidence rather than specifications. speculating if you want how you understood the interim report from the second site um I needed a more balanced quote.
I understood that there was arisk that it existed. I don't think anyone has seen a drawing, no, that's not the case. Go out to the fifth, so right now we're just talking about what people are saying, yes, that's absolutely correct, and that's why the board didn't see that draft report because there wasn't time, so. What I and I believe they told the board in that phone meeting we had was that there was a real risk that the second site would say things critical about post office operations that either hadn't been there. Either they hadn't had time to properly consider the evidence from the post offices or Andor were floating if they like things they had been told that they thought might be true and what the board was saying was that they were encouraging it.
They supported executives making a clear distinction between those things that were properly evidenced and adequately considered and those that were not yet and keeping in mind that this was something that everyone knew was an interim report and that there was more work to do. It is his understanding that it was at the suggestion or insistence of the post office that a line was included. That second site had found no evidence of systemic computer problems. I never understood that that was a phrase that had come from the post office executives, as I understand it. It was always like that when the post office executives heard this was going to be said, it was obviously a relief if you don't want to know what could have been said, but I never understood anyone suggesting that the second site should say: can we continue forward? please to the survey of July 3 sorry 302 7852 um this is an email um from Martin Edwards of July 3 um to you and others or to you and Paula venel and others copied and uh it says that you are attaching an information note on the first line Here is the briefing note from the meeting with James ABN.
You can see? I don't think I've seen this before, but I can see that's what he's saying. Yes, I believe this was among the documents they showed you. Yes that's fine. right, uh, if we are um, then it's July 3rd. I'll take it easy if you think it's possible not, yes, thanks. I appreciate reading it all, thank you um and if we go to the informative note, which is the um, the second one. page um key objectives and points to cover in the meeting and then if we go down, please at the bottom of the page, that's it um uh, in the two exceptions at the bottom of the page oh yes, it sounds familiar to me now, yes, thank you .
I think it was the cover email where they didn't quote me, yes, okay, we proactively disclosed the second site, two exceptions or anomalies in the systems, where sub-mailmaster accounts were affected, our internal processes and the system identified these cases. Appropriate measures have been taken and they don't. lead to any disciplinary action against sub postmar there is no reason to believe this means there are other undiscovered issues we regret that this information was not conveyed to you at an earlier stage if we considered it would materially change the investigation I have flagged it directly um, but it did not cause him any concern that, um, the two exceptions or anomalies to using the preferred language, uh, with respect to horm, were not conveyed to him at an earlier stage.
I don't remember so many things happening. At the time I just can't remember if I was irritated by that. I felt so mishandled that, well, by all, I really mean, you know, we commissioned a second site over a year earlier to do some work that had been required. It was taking me a long time. I've been told all kinds of things about, you know, the time it was taking. The way the second site was losing objectivity. Worried about how the cost was increasing. And feeling like there was a real risk that we wouldn't get the kind of report that I wanted us to get and at the same time and this is one of my digressions, I'm sorry, but I need to give you a little bit of context here.
We were negotiating the next five years of money for the post office from 2015 onwards. This was about um, you know, obviously, the future survival in any form of the post office and we had the critical meeting with Vince Cable and Joe Swinson. two or three days after this interim report was published, so that's very helpful to you, in fact, I know that tomorrow you will be asked a series of questions about the extent to which that motivated the conduct of the post office board and the conduct . from your executive, I think what I'm trying to point out here is that we were at a time when we were very anxious about all kinds of things, at that time we were sensitive to criticism, there were just a lot of things to try and a lot There are other things going on too and I think what I'm really trying to say and maybe it took me too long to say it is that I can't.
I haven't had all of this in my head, so, you can. I don't remember your reaction when they told you that there are two problems with the system that you were not previously informed of. I think I would have been irritated by that. Yes, I said that a minute ago and that there was an apology. be handed over to the MPS yes, sorry, it has not been approved, yes, I mean clearly, that was, it wasn't, that was bad, um, this note says that there is no reason to believe that this means that there are other undiscovered problems In the context of what we know now, that's quite a statement, yes, but, as far as you know, what steps were taken to establish whether the fact that there were two errors, I'll call them, was not indicative of there being others? undiscovered errors?
At that point I can't, I can't help you with that, I'm afraid, I mean, certainly, I don't think I would have concluded from this, from what is said here, that it followed that there would be no other errors. or anomalies or what they were called at the time, do you agree that it is a logical question if two previously undiscovered errors have been revealed? What steps should we take to establish if there are any other undiscovered bugs, I think? The impression we were getting from the executives was that they actually had their processes. Well, it says this here, their processes had identified these cases.
In other words, these were things that had been found within the postal system, um and so. It was a consolation that those who told us that the post office had found them were never suggested that far from the post office revealing the errors to the second site it was Gareth Jenkins of Fujitsu, who had fact, no, no, no, in fact, this was essentially presented to them as good news. Yes, our systems work exactly. Can we move on to Second s interim report of survey 44406 from July 8 and this? is a copy of the interim report and it reveals that on page six, we turn to it, please, at the top of the page, in paragraph 6.5, the receipts and mismatches, sorry, the receipts mismatch error and payments affects 62 branches and then, in 6.6, the local suspense account. bug affecting um 14 branches um and then if we move on to page eight please um 8.2 so far um we have found no evidence of systemic system wide bracketing issues with Horizon, yes we are aware of two incidents in defects or errors arose that took some time to identify and correct and then occasionally an unusual combination of events, such as a power or communications failure, during the process of a transaction can result in a situation in which the Timely, accurate and complete information about the status of a transaction is not immediately available. available to a sub postmaster D um when sub postmasters um experience or report problems the response from the post office may seem unhelpful in unfriendly or simply does not solve the problem uh the lack of a user forum means that the sub postmaster must have few opportunities to raise uh, issues of concern, yeah, etc., when you read this and you say in your witness statement that you received a copy of the interim report and you read it, did you focus on each of the individual concerns raised by the second site here? , including those that don't?
It is related to Horizon itself, for example, the lack of training and support to help Des um facilities investigate those that were aimed at asset recovery and the contract that put subpostmasters at risk or focused in concluding that there were no systemic problems bracketed throughout the system. with software I certainly focus more broadly than that and I certainly remember focusing on training and support issues. I think Lord Arnot had raised them very early, if not at their first meeting, so I know they were on my mind and I think at the time this report came out, but I may be wrong about this, the people within the post office was aware or had talked about the need to improve training and support helpdesk etc. so i.
I was absolutely aware of that, we just talked about the two incidents where I felt you know, it was reassuring that the post office itself had identified them and taken action and that no one had received any disbursement or any share. The worst thing is that on these other issues it seemed to me that they were up in the air and that they would have to be considered. You know they were going to be considered further as part of because this was an interim report. Can we show up? In fact, before doing, what was your interpretation of the phrase no evidence of systemic problems in square brackets throughout the system?
What I understood was that it was a reassuring message that the Horizon system was basically sound. Did you understand that to mean there were no um uh software problems? with Horizon uh no, because of point B, did you understand that point B was the only software problem with Horizon at that point, that would have been my belief? Did you know the extent to which the second site had investigated the extent of the software problems in Horizon Legacy Horizon goes back to the year 2000 and with Horizon online they were not aware of all the details of what they had been doing now.
Can we open paragraph 198 of your witness statement please, which is on page 100? It will appear on the screen, sir, okay, thank you, say page 100. It's just something you say in your witness statement in paragraph 198. You say they're asking me if there was any change in the post office's approach to existence. of errors and defects from the instructions of the second site as explained above. I did not understand that Horizon was subject to errors, errors and defects nor had I heard that acronym until many years after I left the post office, just a clarification if you are saying that you did not understand that some error had affected Horizon at some point during your term as president?
That's what I'm saying here, but it can't be true, right? Because we just read the second site. report that said at least two bugs had affected yes, well oh I see what you're saying, okay both of them, I guess when I was writing this I was thinking of this acronym, BS bugs and defects, um, too it is. the correct position so the correct position is that obviously when I read the um when I first read the interim report I could clearly see that there had been these two things called anomalies in this report um so yes, I was absolutely aware of them I'm afraid that when I was, I think when I wrote this, I wasn't clear about this acronym or the, so it's all about the acronym instead of the errors, that's precisely a fair way to describe it, I think so, because I say that at the end I hadn't even heard of that acronym, so I think that's what you were responding to, and then finally, on this topic, if we can turn to paragraph 21 of your witness statement, which is on page 105, you say that The Horizon system was vitally important to the Post Office, yes, subpostmasters, people in Crown offices and the public across the country relied on it daily for transactions, yes, if there was any suggestion of that you couldn't trust it, you could make the public think that their money wasn't safe with us and people I'm sorry, I'm worried about the people who use the system.
Yes, at no point did I try to bury information that might reveal that there was something wrong with Horizon if something was wrong. I needed to know to be open about it and act accordingly if the clashes were not based on evidence, however, it was going to cause serious damage for no reason and it didn't seem like all the criticism of the second site was going to be adequately evidenced last time. um sentence verse, it didn't seem like the second s CRI critiques were going to be adequate evidence, that's what they told you orally, yeah, and that was based on what someone else had told the person who was telling you saying it was based on I think what.
I had been told by several people over a fairly long period of time when you say here that the Horizon system was important to the public because they depended on it daily for transactions, yes, did you consider that to be a similar or greater concern at the time? should have been whether such suggestions about the integrity of Horizon were relevant to a substantial number of convictions thatThey may have been dangerous. I don't think at that time I don't think I was aware and the board was aware of the scale. of the issue, but we were, I mean, clearly, we were aware that people had been prosecuted, so there had to be a possibility that some of those, can you tell if someone is PR successfully prosecuted?
There would be a possibility that such processing would not have been safe. That is a very abstract statement. I ask this in the context of what you say here about the critical importance of the skyline to the post office and the public it served. I'm asking whether that overshadowed in your mind and the board's mind the possibility that Horizon had been relied upon to produce data that had led to convictions that might be unsafe. No, I don't think it overshadowed that, but I think what I was trying to deal with here. in my witness statement it was suggested that the board or I were unduly concerned about the reputation of the post office and what I was trying to say here, and confirmed by other evidence, is that I was absolutely prepared to face the findings of Los findings of evidence at the second site that things were wrong, but what I really didn't want to happen was for things to be said that couldn't, that wouldn't, I mean, I already said it, that things would be said in that report that He was criticizing the operations of the post office which were not really justified that was the concern and at this point what Mr.
Grant told him had been lost in the middle of time, I think, to be honest, I'm not sure having remembered that conversation at that moment. I mean, that conversation took place in September 2011 in the midst of a huge influx of information not in a blank mind, but in a very empty mind and here we are. It's now July 2, 2013, it's been almost two years, thank you, so it's an appropriate time. We're changing the subject. Could we meet again at 2 p.m. m., please, certainly, yes, thank you very much? e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e late sir, can you see and hear us?
Yes, thank you, good afternoon, Miss Perkins. We were dealing with the publication of the site's second interim report on July 8, 2013 and the events that immediately preceded it and now we move on to the events that followed it. Yes, can we look at the survey? 4075825261 um, it's an attendance note from Simon Richardson, who is one of the lawyers there and it's an attendance note from Susan Kryon and Hugh Flemington and it's July 10, you're not part of this, but it says things about you and about the board that you are a member of, yes, so I want to ask you a few questions about that, okay, can we?
Yes, sorry, if we scroll up a little bit, the second issue from the top is the Horizon challenges. General, yes, and then. If we scroll down, please, and look at paragraph number three. The introduction to this says that there was a general discussion about how we were going to handle complaints and additional resources and essentially where we got to was a fairly long brainstorming session, then three to the board. I want to fire the second site and of course they are not dealing well with the fact that they are independent. Susan Kryon is going to make arrangements to meet with the second site and asked if she could use our offices next Tuesday and then in paragraph s there was generally a general defensive air and The board of directors also feels bruised.
There are tensions between people and that includes Alice Perkins, the president, Paul Avenel, the CEO and Susan Kryon. She said that she thought the minister had handled the questions extremely well and seemed to be in control of the report, evidently she was in charge. office in ripping them off for not having scheduled someone earlier in the day for radio and television interviews, etc., so just going back to paragraph three right now, July 10, 2013, the board of directors I want to fire the second place. No, do you know where Susan Kryon or Hugh Flemington could have gotten the idea that the board wanted to fire the second site?
Well, Susan Kryon, I think she would have been aware of the fact that the board was concerned. about the second site for the reasons I said this morning. I think the phone board meeting we had. I think it was July 1st that we talked about this morning. That's right, yes, that meeting had been in people's diaries for a completely different time. The reason and the discussion about the interim report coming in was kind of shoehorned in that the people on the board weren't expecting that to happen at that time and obviously there were no documents or anything like that, they were just, you know . having to react quickly and, as I said this morning, we were at a critical point in our negotiation with the government about funding for the next five years and I think people were more sensitive, so to speak, than they normally would have been , but they didn't.
I want to say goodbye to the second side. I think questions were asked about the competence of the second side, the capacity, the scale of the Company, if you will, and its competence to address these problems in the context that we all find ourselves in, but I think that really is an exaggeration Of the situation, as far as you know, the board was not dealing well with the fact that the second site was independent no, I don't think so. I don't think it was that at all. I think the board, I mean, would. I'm not saying the board wasn't doing it right, I mean, I've had quite a bit of experience watching how boards work and one of the things that I think almost all boards get wrong is getting taken and bouncing around. being taken by surprise that's not what it's about, it's about the independence of the researchers, no, absolutely, I understand that, but I think what I'm trying to say is that this was something that everyone found very uncomfortable, you can't .
And they shouldn't, it was uncomfortable for them and, you know, maybe they were reacting in a way that they normally wouldn't react, but that wasn't at all the same as saying that they weren't dealing well with an independent review or report. is what we read here, in fact, the truth of the position is not reflected at all in the board minutes, but it pierces the veil, lifts the veil, no, with Susan Kryon speaking on a legally privileged occasion and revealing the truth . Sorry can you take me to what We are looking at, yes the board wants to fire the seconds and they are not dealing well with the fact that the site is independent and you are talking about piercing the veil.
Yes, we do not see in any of the minutes of the meeting of July 1, 2013, yes, or July 9, that in fact it was a different topic in which that meeting was called, yes, any mention of the concern from the board about the second site being independent or any concern that the board wants to dismiss the second site, which I'm asking you. Have the minutes been disinfected? No, no, certainly, the minutes were never sanitized. He can't explain how Hugh Flemington or Susan Kryon are telling the post office's lawyer that the post office wants to fire the second site and its board doesn't. deal well with the fact that they are independent, no I have no idea what they based that on, but I can absolutely assure you that that was not the case in paragraph 7, overall there was a general air of defensiveness and the board feels bruised. the board felt bruised no I don't think the board felt bruised the board felt if I can be colloquial about this oh my gosh you know there's a lot to deal with here and it's difficult but they were.
I don't feel bruised. um, record that Hugh Flemington or Susan Kryon said that there were tensions between people, including you, Paula Venel and Susan Kryon, is that accurate? Well, I think I felt it and I think I say this, don't I in my witness statement? that the post office had not handled the lead up to this well and I was angry that we had been caught off guard this way I didn't do it, it wasn't right for a telephone board meeting to call for something else it was the forum to discuss something as serious as this there were no documents for it no one had time to prepare for it that's not the way I would have ever wanted to conduct a board discussion about something as important as this uh, it was the board of directors operating with Heir defensiveness about it, I don't think that's a correct interpretation and I don't think I can be wrong about this.
I don't think Hugh Flemington was present at any of these discussions, so if this were said, it would be Susan Kryon who would say it. Well, I mean, you know he could have chosen to say it, but if I don't know the truth, if I'm right, he wasn't on the call, I mean, I don't know if I know. true, I don't think it would have been H. Flemington wasn't, so I don't know on what basis he would have said it must be Susan Kryon, well, either he heard something that he's reading too much into or it's Susan or it's both I don't know.
I was very surprised when I first saw this. I have to say that I'm sure that the headline the Post Office took from the site's second interim report was that there were no systemic flaws in Horizon and that the Post Office could go on to say that it was a solid system, yes, and that was also Lord Arnot's opinion at the time he published that, he said that in his press statement about it, so we were not alone in concluding that and therefore there would be no reason to dismiss the second site, no there would be reason for the board to want the second site not to be so independent, there would be no reason for the board to feel hurt if that was indeed the message that the post office took well from the second site report and we accepted the findings of support and training and people were very determined to do something about it.
I mean, I'm not trying to say that there were no reservations about the second site. I just said that, but I want to say that this is This is not a description that I recognize. Can we move on to the July 16, 2013 board meeting? I think you realize this is an important event, right? Yes I know. Can we move on to the documents that were prepared? for the board meeting first looking at survey 309 9218 this is a prepared document if we look at page three please scroll down thank you July 12, 2013 by Susan Kryon yes return to page one please , is an update below. publication of the interim report, yes, the purpose of which was to: One update the board on the latest events and two seek information on how the business is progressing with the three new initiatives outlined in the post office press release, yes, let's look at the footer of the page. establishes the current activities in progress.
I'm not going to read them all if we go through the page and only read 3.6 ongoing and new processing, we are reviewing them on a case by case basis to determine if it is necessary or not. will be postponed or other measures will be taken in light of the publication of the interim report and the review of the criminal case 3.7. With the advice of our external criminal lawyers, we have immediately commenced a review of our criminal cases conducted since its operation on April 1, 2012. Further details are set out in Annex One, as I believe you are aware that the date actually stated is January 1, 2010 in Schedule One.
Can we go to Exhibit One please, which is page four? This is Exhibit One by Susan Kon. uh post office. External offenders will be carrying out a review of all cases dating back to the time of migration from the old Horizon to Horizon online on 1 January 2010 and this has already begun. Basically, they are looking at whether or not something should be noted in the interim report. to the attention of any current or past defendants and, if so, they will write to the relevant defendants providing them with a copy of the second site interim report. We have an ongoing legal duty as prosecutors to do this and then uh 1.1 uh we believe that we will have carried out about 55 prosecutions in a year over the last 10 years, outside counsel has informed us that they believe there will be about 5% in the that will need to reveal additional evidence, it will be up to the defense attorneys to consider the evidence. and apply to the court of appeal and then move on to 1.3 we can also face civil claims for wrongful conviction the consequences of this are malicious falsehood defamation wrongful termination of your contract um harassment uh 1.4 if we abandon the proceedings we can also face claims for example for m

alice

prosecution if, as the Post Office was presenting matters publicly, there were no systemic defects at Horizon, that the two anomalies or exceptions, as renamed courtesy of Miss Ben's husband, did not affect any prosecution or civil case and that the two exceptions have been caught and dealt with entirely appropriately at the time, how could the convictions be overturned and the post office face wrongful conviction claims?
I think we thought that, I mean, you know, we were in the council seat here, since we've already established that there was no one. There are no non-executive directors who had legal knowledge. I think we were just accepting what the general advice was telling us and thought this sounded like the right kind of actionprecautionary measure that should be taken. I'm asking how it would fit if the second The site said there are no systemic problems if the errors had not affected any processing and had been handled entirely appropriately according to normal post office procedures. Why the Post Office Could Face Wrongful Conviction Lawsuits I do not know how I am.
I'm not sure if I really thought that at the time. Can you see the point? Yes, I understand the point you are making. It doesn't really make sense, does it? Whether the post office really believed the conclusions it decided to highlight. in the second site report none of this makes sense there must be something else, shouldn't it be there? I don't know if we would have thought that it might have had something to do with the lack of support the subpost Masters were receiving. given that they were, I mean, you know, one of the things that Lord AB told me from the beginning and repeated was that he thought that some of the subpostmasters had done it because, in his opinion, they had not received the training nor adequate support. they were just put in a position where they felt unable to cope with the situation they were in, so maybe that could be it, it could be the helpline training and support issue, it could be that that could mean that a conviction falls to be annulled, yes. and a claim for wrongful conviction because the treatment had been so inappropriate.
Nothing else was ever mentioned. Something else was mentioned at this stage about a witness giving false evidence. I don't think at this age stage there was a very later self and me. I think it's in my witness statement, I don't remember it firsthand, but then there was a board document that had a one sentence reference to the search for a new independent expert without any explanation as to why that was the case and in the type of inference. What people could reasonably have taken from that was that there was some practical reason for it. Having signed this witness statement very recently, Paula Venel showed me an email that listed a whole series of things that she wanted to tell me and there's a reference to the independent expert in that um um which I think she described as not material, yeah , and we'll get to that later today or probably tomorrow, okay, but at this point we're not going to draw. from this Susan Kryon document, yes, the fact that you thought there was something supernormal or unusual, on the one hand, the second site report was presented to the public as vindicating Horizon and yet privately at the meeting it was said that convictions can uh the application will be voided and the post office may face wrongful conviction claims.
I think we always knew there was a possibility that there could be wrongful conviction claims. I think we would have just thought this was before a proper preventative process, thank you. Can we move on to the board meeting then? Yes, survey 3021 1516, we can see a list of those present, yes, including you, yes, and then those present, those present, if we scroll down a little bit, yes, and then if we go to page six, which is the relevant part please In the Horizon update, Enel CEO Paul explained that although the site's second report had been challenging, it had highlighted some positives as well as opportunities for improvement, the company has been praised in Parliament for establishing the independent review.
The proportionality of the small number of cases was emphasized and no systemic problems were found with the Horizon computer system; however, there were cultural issues that needed to be addressed to improve the support we provided to subpostmasters. The CEO emphasized that this was now a catalyst to make changes to the business uh the board was concerned that the review would open the business to claims of unfair processing the board asked whether Susan Kryon as general counsel was in any way involved in the prosecutions the CEO reported that until 18 months ago raw A male group had led the criminal law team and many of the cases in the review had arisen before the split.
The CEO explained that the company was a tax authority and, as such, initiated its own processes; However, since the separation, the General Council had proposed moving to the more normal category. position of using the CPS for prosecutions this was being explored, the board expressed strong views that the company had not managed the second site review well and emphasized the need for better management and cost control in the future. D the board accepted that this was an independent review and therefore things could happen that were outside the control of the business, however things that could be managed by the business needed to be well managed with strong leadership and the board asked to the CEO if she considered changing the person who was leading the company only to stop there that's a reference to Susan Kon is yes, um if the CEO had considered this and recognized that the company did not have good governance around the second site, but the independence of the review and input from MPS and JFSA had complicated things.
The president requested a review, an autopsy, to inform audit and risk. committee that explains how we award and manage the contract, this should be implemented, sorry, take action quickly Susan kryon um and then on the page, the board of directors requests that the CEO decide the way forward in terms of leadership of this work based on the option that had the least risk to the business and then finally the CFO, i.e. Mr. Day, was asked what the insurance position was. He promised the board a note on this. He was also asked to ensure that both Royal Male Group and commercial insurers were notified of the review's findings now that we have seen that there was a full page July 12, 2013 article written by Susan Kryon Y and it was intended according to the agenda that she presented, yes, who presented the Susan Kon of July 12. board report, uh, Paula Venel, who filed Susan Kon's Exhibit a, uh, presumably, um, I don't think anyone else has filed another one, so Paulen as well, yeah, there was also a major litigation report before the together, it wasn't there, yes.
Can we see that? Please poll 4 9210 and look at page 105. Please, thank you. This is the major litigation report that was presented to the board and is divided into essentially two parts. Part A, a report on Horizon claims. You can see it below Description The Post Office has received several complaints from subpostmasters alleging wrongful contract termination or damages based on alleged defects in the Horizon system and the Post Offices' internal processes. They were made in five claims filed by Shu Smiths, which is not currently moving forward with the claims. through the courts similar accusations have been made through sub postmasters MPS through the jfsa and in defense are the legal proceedings initiated by the post office to recover debts from uh sub postmasters a second independent site has been reviewing these accusations in consultation with James Al bunot and then, um, under state in the last paragraph of the state, the second site continues to investigate the subpostmasters involved.
The post office is cooperating with the investigation of the second site and conducting a review of criminal and civil proceedings that have been issued against subpostmasters where there are issues with Horizon. The system has been put forward to establish which cases may be vulnerable um to question who presented this document to the board was this a um was this a notes document um it's hard to say um okay I mean if it was a notes document then would' Not necessarily normally you wouldn't have shown up unless you knew that if someone wanted to raise a question about it in a note, then if we knew in advance we would arrange for that person to be there and if not, would be picked up. and we continue further, in fact, if we go back to page one of the full document and scroll down and again yes, if you look at number 11, yes, the SLR is for annotation, so it wouldn't necessarily be presented by anyone, no, okay, thank you, so the July 12 document and its annex, yes, the intention was for them to be presented to the board by um Susan Kryon, that had been the intention, yes, in fact, as you say, the Miss Venel introduced herself in place of Susan Kryon, who was not invited to the meeting under your leadership, that is correct, it would be fine if she explained well.
Only if you answer the following questions, it may be, of course, that such an explanation will emerge. The first thing was that it was unilateral. decision uh I'm not sure whether or not it was a unilateral decision and I can explain why, okay, go ahead, you'll see at the top of the agenda that if we scroll up, before the meeting there was a meeting. of non-executive directors on their own um at Beastro Bruno Le exactly, which is just down the road, we used to have these about every six months, it's considered good practice for non-executive directors to meet on their own from time to time.
It would have been organized months in advance, so it would have had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it happened shortly after the interim report was published, but there was the opportunity for the non-executive directors to share with each other things that we were concerned and a lot of concern was expressed at that meeting about the events leading up to the interim report, how things had happened in the way they did, um and it would have been as a result of that and also possibly, but I can't remember these conversations. that I may have had with individual non-executive directors where I felt that we would not be able to have a discussion that we needed to have at the meeting if Susan was present at all times.
I knew there would be critical questions raised about how she would handle things and I thought, for two reasons, it was okay to have that discussion initially without her. I'll go back to why initially one was that I thought non-executive directors needed the opportunity. say what they wanted to say to the full meeting and I knew I was going to be very critical of Susan and I didn't think it was appropriate for her to have to sit there and take it, but my intention was to let that happen and then bring her in and have her present the document, but I think what happened was one of those discussions that just developed and developed and took longer than I had expected, possibly or wanted, and We had other things on the agenda that were really urgent and I don't remember for sure, but you may have felt that I can't ask you to come after hearing all this.
I can't just ask him to leave. I came into this room not knowing some of what had been going on, so that's the background to why she ended up not coming into the room and obviously I understand that that would have been very disconcerting for her and, as I told her later, I'm sorry. a lot. that happened, I've been kept out of boardrooms in my life and it's not a comfortable experience and I knew it, but there were very good reasons for doing what I did, why none of that is reflected in the board minutes , because I don't I don't think we would I don't know why why it wasn't reflected in the I I don't know the answer to that question why what he just said isn't reflected in his 232 page witness statement um that's because it's just was After I signed my witness statement, I saw the um, I saw.
I did two things. One was that I saw some documents that I hadn't seen until that point and they were my note from my meeting with Susan later that month. and a note from Paula from I think two meetings she had with Susan that really were, the one I had written myself, jogged my memory and then I went back to this agenda and thought again about what was going on. at this time and what else was on the agenda and it occurred to me how Ms. Venos could speak to the legal issues mentioned in Susan Kon's July 12 board document.
Well, she really couldn't have spoken. She told us that. She did not know the facts and had no legal knowledge and therefore she could not speak to the newspaper at all. No, I think you would know, right? I would have known and, um, I can see what I should. What I have done in retrospect is that I should have paused and I should have thought that we are not having the kind of discussion on disk about this document before us that we should be having and therefore we will have to have a separate discussion about it.
That's what I should have done. I mean, there were actually two problems, right? One was the legal claims, yes, that the post office faces May and the administration of those, yes, that Susan Kon's newspaper spoke to, yes, and the second was, uh, the administration by her, among others, of the second site process, yes, and by making her sit outside because you wanted to discuss the latter, there was no discussion about the

former

. I think that's absolutely right, yes, and that's one of the reasons I have a lot of regrets about this particular period. because I thinkthat now, looking back at all of this, the way we pursued the interim review combined with the fact that, as I'm sure we'll see later, we didn't see absolutely insightful legal advice, meant that we couldn't take advantage of a really important opportunity to go in a different direction on this.
Tell us. I am going to give the references without going to the witness statement. Okay, that document can go down. Thank you. Tell us in his testimony. statement um, it's paragraph 81.7 point 3 on page 39 that you were surprised that the board um had not received notice from Simon Clark's advice on expert evidence of July 15, 2013 the day before this board meeting, exactly you say that this advice came at a crucial time. when we were considering the Second Sight report and the review of horizon-based investigations, but this was never shown to the board, you say that you were never shown Gareth Jenkins' note entitled Local Suspense Issues, you were never shown the Helen Rose of July 12. 2013, says he was never informed of subsequent advice from Simon Clark on 2 August 2013 about the duty to record and retain Mater material and is surprised this document was never provided to the board, says um in page 82 sorry, paragraph 82 on page 41, you find it extraordinary and very regrettable that this data was not provided to the board.
You look back at these omissions and are very disappointed in B. This means that the board didn't do it. Do not ask questions that could have gotten to the truth of the matter, which was that Horizon was not safe and should not have been trusted in the prosecutions and in other parts of his witness statement, essentially identifying Susan Kryon as the main person responsible. . Yes, she sat down. her outside in a chair and then criticized her lack of revealing information to him as shocking or surprising how those two things come together. I wouldn't describe it as having her sit outside in a chair, but I understand that she wasn't at the meeting she well, I don't know who Simon Clark's advice was originally sent to, but what I do know is that both Simon Clark's advice They arrived at the post office when Susan was general counsel, it is perfectly true that she did not have the opportunity to mention that to the board at the July 16 meeting.
We have no way of knowing. I don't know if she had read it by then. In fact, she had not been provided. it sat in a drawer for 12 days, we were told it's fine, she couldn't have done it even if she had been there, but two pieces of advice of that nature shouldn't just be reported orally, they should have been the subject of some kind of written note, no one note, I mean a proper document saying that we have received this advice, perhaps the original advice was not provided in the first instance, but the conclusions of the advice and their implications should have been presented. to the board of directors, us and there, I'm very sorry to interrupt you, but there was a time, even after the 12 days had passed, when that could have been done and it wasn't.
We can look at what was provided to them and come back. to the report um uh for the meeting of July 12, 2013 survey 30 99218 survey 30 99218 we looked at this a moment ago if we look please on page three please in the next steps thank you next steps a proactive approach there are a Number of areas in where the post office wants to take a proactive approach, for example looking at processes for managing our relationship with our subpostmasters. More details will be shared at the meeting. A reactive approach to criminal cases must wait for them to be overturned. through the appeals court and for compensation claims to be made, it will decide whether to settle or fight on a case-by-case, case-by-case basis, even based on what it was told there were issues for the board to consider and decide.
He didn't, yes, but he didn't. No, he did not do it. One of the issues was, to what extent excluding cases prior to January 2010 from the review was a reasonable approach, was that um identified by the board. I'm scared, I mean, I don't think it's on the record. I don't remember if it was raised or not. The annex to this document, yes, it says that we will return to January 1, 2010. 10, yes, I believe. We knew there were practical difficulties in returning before then. Where did you find out about these practical difficulties? I can't say for sure, but I think there were references over time to that.
Do you accept that kind of The questions that the board should have been asking when it was presented with this document and its Annex are these errors that we have been told: do they predate the introduction of Horizon online or do they postdate the date if some of They are before her, why? Are we just going back to Horizon's introduction online? Why is this a reasonable cut? Sorry, it's a question, yes, it started with Do you accept that? I'm sorry, yeah, I, look, I've said it and I accept it in case the board I didn't give this document um I didn't give the substance of this document the attention that I should have given it and I take responsibility for the fact that I didn't stop to think about having had the conversation and it having turned out that way.
That's right, I should have thought about what we should do then with respect to aspects of this document that had not been discussed and I didn't do that and I very much regret not having done that. What was it? This can go down. Thank you. What was it? Your and the board's reaction to being informed that the post office may face civil lawsuits for unfair prosecution. I think we were concerned about that, what was your reaction and the board's reaction when we were told that if the post office stopped processing, it could face lawsuits for malicious processing?
I think if I had thought that if there were reasons, good reasons to stop it. processing, we should stop processing if you and the board were concerned that the review, the second review of the site had opened the post office, two claims of unfair processing. I think we realized that the interim review put us in a different position than we were in. I had been before. I wouldn't want anyone to interpret that as if we thought that meant it was a bad thing to have done the independent review if you were the person on the board who expressed strong opinions based on the minutes that the post office had not managed well. the second review of the site.
I think it was a widely shared opinion; It was my opinion, but I was by no means alone in that opinion and it was not my style to impose my opinion on the forum. I was always very careful not to lead the board. I would encourage other people to come and express their views before expressing my own point of view. Why were you concerned that the second review of the site had opened the post office to claims of unfair processing? I think they told us yes, but what's the concern. I guess we thought there might be something to do with.
I mean, you know, I think we were thinking there might be other mistakes. I think we've talked. about this we no longer know that lack of proper training and support could have been part of this. I was thinking more about many organizations that have filed claims against them, yes, and you may care about them because they may have a financial impact. about them, yes, they can affect the balance sheet, yes, they can have an impact on staff morale, yes, they may have an abstraction of resources to deal with them, they are concerned that there may be media or reputational damage caused for claims of unfair processing, yes, there.
It might actually be a concern that some people have been unfairly prosecuted. Yes, which of those things was the board's concern? I don't remember the details of these concerns, but I think they could have been all of them. Did you consider the second one? The site investigation needed better management. This is something I know there has been a lot of discussion about. I thought that the post office had not properly communicated with the second site about its work and that the whole basis of the relationship between the second site and the post office had not been put on a proper basis why the post offices they toured the second unsatisfactory site for you um, no, I don't know if I was aware of this at the time, but I was certainly aware of the fact that there would be absolutely no engagement letter for the second site, which seems very strange that, as I told you before, there was an understanding on my part and I think on the part of everyone involved, that the second site was expected to complete its work in a matter of short weeks or months, there was some sort of budget, um set for it. and in practice it took as I said this, so I'm sorry, I'm repeating myself, it went on much, much longer than anyone, I'm sorry to speak in front of you, established who was responsible for that, so part of what was thinking here was why was the board and why was it not so aware that this interim report was coming when it was and The whole thing after the second site was set up was very, very quiet from my perspective and the board's perspective for a long, long time and then it emerged as something that was happening.
In this enormous rush and I simply did not think that was professional, the board approved the reactive strategy, that is, not to itself review the safety or propriety of the convictions that had been obtained, but to reveal the second site report to some deputy directors of and we allowed them to take their cases through the appeals court, as I understand it, that was the advice they gave us and we followed it. Why did the board take a reactive approach instead of saying we should commission a security review ourselves? of the convictions that we got, I think because that was the legal advice that we were given, but I agree that we could have known, of course, we could have had a discussion about that and we could have asked, you know, we could I have asked for another hearing uh if we go back please to the survey 309 9218 I'm page uh three please and the next steps um you'll see the reactive approach um set out there is no note in the meeting minutes of uh that this was um discussed or approved no um I want say that the board is asked to take note of the update and actions set out above and decide whether the risk and aers committee should consider the post office's position as Fiscal Authority which of course was not along with its risk job in September, so I think you're saying he wasn't actually asked to make a decision, he wasn't asked to make a decision, but that doesn't mean you can't make one you know.
Can't I not say for a moment that if the board was asked to take note of something and decided that they really wanted to have a discussion, of course they would have had a discussion, but you know, I think what I've tried The explanation is that this article went off the rails. I think I could say it on very short notice and we didn't have the kind of discussion we should have had about it. You put up a fair and thorough discussion on these topics. Beyond the scope of the board by sitting outside the author of this document, right?
No, I don't think that's fair. I think, in the circumstances I found myself in that day, I think I made a perfectly understandable decision. It was not in anyone's interest for Susan to enter into that discussion at that time and I think if she had events, sometimes the most rational processes are hijacked by events. This was one occasion where that happened and I really don't believe it. that if it had been brought back into the room in that context, we would have had a fruitful discussion. What I do believe, and I have already said this, is that I should take responsibility for this because I was the president of the board or someone else on the board could have told me and they were very capable of doing this Alice, I don't think we have done justice to this and we better have a separate discussion, we were always having separate discussions we were constantly having unscheduled phone meetings about this and that and the next and that could have been done but we didn't do it even at its lowest level .
This um board document asks the board to take note of the update and actions set out above, including reactive. zoom in yeah to possible past miscarriages of justice yeah yeah can we go back to the board minutes please in survey 3021 1518 sorry 1516 page six page six please so no um it was the 30 to 1 poll 1516 and page six please this is the Horizon update we read it in its entirety before if you just scroll down and down and down and down and down down and then you stop, the document doesn't even show well, that's just, I mean, it's stupid, I'm sorry, but I mean you should let yourself know that you know, I can't understand if that was just an admission from the minutes or what it was.
I really think the document was completely overlooked. No, I don't think it was completely overlooked. I don't think it was like that. I think probably what happened was that Paula talked to the parts that she felt able to talk to. I think that's probably what happened, so what's the statusof the recommendation in the board document that the post office should take a reactive rather than a proactive approach to possible past miscarriages of justice. I think where does that fit? There was no discussion about it. I mean, I think all that could be said was in the absence of a discussion and no one said, do I want to talk about this or not?
I don't agree with this thing that you could say it was noticed because people would have read it and no one would have noticed it. would have done and no one had said, um, you know either of those two things, but I agree, I mean the fact that it's didn't even record what the status of the document was at the end of that item. It is not correct, would you agree that in general the handling of the issue of the impact of the second siege report on past criminal convictions by the police? The July 16 board meeting was considerably suboptimal.
I think I have accepted that, in particular, the suggestion of a reactive approach does not seem to have been the subject of discussion, decision or even observation. I think that's right, yes, I think. That's right, can I explore some of your criticisms of Susan Kryon? Please, can that document arrive. I should have said that Susan Kryon has told us in evidence that prior to the July 16 board meeting she met with Paula. venel and told her that, in her opinion, Susan kon's opinion that there would be many successful claims against the post office arising from previous prosecutions was that the information passed to you Paula venel did not, did you know from any other source than that It was Susan Kon's opinion that there would be many successful claims against the Post Office arising from past prosecutions.
No, do you agree that that is important information to have received or would have been important information to have received from your general counsel? I accept that this critical information may have been missed if you had been allowed into the room. I have no way of knowing, but if you look at Exhibit One of that document that we were looking at, there's a sentence there about disclosure being required in about 5% of cases, so that was a sentence that was there, which was a very, very partial account of what Susan understood the position to be. Can I then explore some of your criticisms of Susan Kryon by moving on to poll 00381 1455, yes, this?
It is a note from your meeting with Miss Kryon on July 31, yes, at the post offices, at the premises of 148 um Old Street, yes, if you will excuse me for a moment, I need to reor and if we look, please, in the second page in third paragraph that begins, I understood, um, you record, I understood that the investigation of the second site had to be independent, but in the Civil Service there would be someone marking it who was close to all the key people at the second site, James Arnot jfsa, and I knew what it was. passing between them and then in the next paragraph Susan Kryon said that as a lawyer it was not appropriate for her to influence key stakeholders, they would have criticized her if she had become close to them.
Yes, do you remember that you commented that if she had felt? her unable to play that role, she should have pointed it out and someone else could have been hired to play it privately. I am amazed by this vision that I simply do not recognize from my experience elsewhere. Would you agree that marking someone means staying close? Normally an opponent to hinder your game, if you're a footballer, that's certainly what it means. I realize that that verb and influence give a very particular impression of what I was trying to do. I was actually talking and I wrote this note, so you know I take responsibility for the words in it, what I was talking about was liaison, so I'm talking about someone in an organization that keeps communication channels open with people. . that they are doing an independent review knowing how their time frame is working knowing how their costs are accruing knowing what they plan to do in terms of how they perform their work and when it will be presented and finding out if there are things that they are finding that bother them. are causing difficulties or anything else that the organization can reasonably be expected to want to understand.
It was not at all my intention for Susan or anyone else at the post office to try this. to influence the content of the second part report and that is, in fact, corroborated by other emails I was sending at the time, you were referring to Mark exactly in that sense of influencing hindering their behavior, stay close to them, You wanted the key people, second place, James. R bnot and jfsa influenced his behavior, right? No, if you didn't mean that or it wasn't understood that you meant that, can you explain why Susan Kryon responded in the second paragraph that it was inappropriate for her? to influence key stakeholders, so I think what happened here was that there was a complete failure of communication between what she had in mind and what she interpreted she had in mind, so I already said this.
I am under oath and I am a sincere person. I am absolutely adamant that it was never my intention for anyone at the post office to try to influence findings based on evidence from second sites, so I'm sorry and I can see that if that's what Susan thought I meant why She didn't think it was an appropriate thing for her to do because it wouldn't have been an appropriate thing for her or anyone else, but what she was saying was that this had happened. This complete void, as it seemed to me, where we had designated the second site, we had some expectations about how that work would progress, it had progressed in a completely different way and we knew nothing about it or very little about it, can I explore?
What you said on three bases I first suggest that the answer she

gives

is inappropriate for her. Influencing key stakeholders disproves what you meant, does it not reveal what you meant? reveals her interpretation of what I meant does not reveal my intention at all the second point then is when she says but wait, that's inappropriate It would be inappropriate for me to influence key stakeholders. I would be criticized due to my professional duties for doing so. Why didn't you say wait, Susan? I'm not even suggesting that at all. You have the wrong end of the stick. the wrong end there is a lack of communication between us I'm talking about marking someone in the benevolent sense of being a Lia at the point your understanding of this is completely wrong that didn't happen right my understanding is completely correct from my point of view ?
From the point of view, what I am saying is that I completely failed to communicate what I was trying to say when she gave her evidence to the

inquiry

on April 23, 2024. It is page 142 of the transcript. Susan Kryon said that this is exactly what you were doing, you were suggesting to her that she should have exerted influence on the people responsible for the implementation and completion of the independent uh report and that is why she said what she did about her duties. professionals, but she, I mean, she did it. Say that, you know, but that doesn't make it right, so why didn't she correct herself at that time?
Well, I obviously wish I had paid more attention to make sure the record of this meeting was correct. Description of what you intended, it is not the truth of the matter that through the use of language that you have recorded as coming from you in marking key people involved the natural meaning of that and Susan Kon's response that you were suggesting. that she should have actively influenced them on substantive issues no, I do not accept that, I do not accept it at all, if you were not familiar with the professional duties imposed on lawyers and the code of conduct of lawyers, you would never have made.
Having studied the lawyer's code of conduct is the reality, you were upset that Susan Kryon, who had led the second site project, had not influenced the second site in a way that was sufficiently favorable to the post office. No, she accepts it. I think, as Susan Kon understands it. of why you were berating her, you were asking him to undermine his professional obligations and her integrity. Sorry, someone was talking while you asked me the question. Would you mind repeating that yes? According to Susan Kryton's understanding of why you were reprimanding her in this meeting. in fact, asking you to undermine your professional obligations and your integrity if your interpretation was correct, then it may well be so, but your interpretation was not correct and I didn't misunderstand, I misunderstood your interpretation, um, and I don't know what, I don't know what .
I can really say more about this if that can be narrowed down, thank you, if, as you say, the executive members of the Post Office team were involved in a process of not disclosing serious matters to you, preventing the board from finding out about them, yeah, um. Clark's first tip Clark's second tip Helen Rose's report Gare Jenkins' report um on suspense accounts yeah, why do you think they did it? I don't know, I really don't know. I mean, I'm a believer if I may. I use this phrase instead of the conspiracy theory of life. I tend not to think of people in large, complex organizations as conspirators.
I really don't know why that didn't happen, but it should have happened. I mean, it's extraordinary that it didn't happen and I think what you know when I saw Simon Clark's advice many, many years later, one of the things that struck me was that it was written in such clear language, whereas Many of the documents you've been talking about that we saw and those we didn't see were quite technical in nature and wouldn't necessarily be obvious to someone who didn't have experience in those topics, but if you read the Simon Clark advice, there's no doubt what is what you're saying, looking back, knowing everything that you don't do now and having, I think, heard and observed a substantial body of evidence, yes, in the research and read a substantial number of documents.
Yes, was this done to prevent an emerging scandal from arising? I wish I know. I just do not get it. So for a General Council to receive advice like that to put it at its lowest level, it would be best for you to share it. It is not like this? I mean, you know it wasn't in your best interest to not show it to anyone, so I just can't. I'm sorry, but I don't know and we can all speculate, but I don't know. the answer to that, but I simply see this as one of several failed turning points in this very sorry story and I truly believe that in that summer of 2013 things could have been very different and were not just at one point. in detail I think I suggested earlier that um Jenkins' advice of July 15 sat in the drawer for 12 days;
In fact, it was the October 2nd shredding tip that sat in the drawer for 12 days, okay, you know what you know. Now, and knowing the personalities involved very closely at the time, do you think that the senior executives were trying to deal with the problems themselves in the hope that they could make them go away without revealing them to the board? Is it possible that they were worried? I think the board members could reveal things to the public domain by telling MPS or even the deputy postmasters directly about the matters revealed in Clark's advice, for example, I can't think anyone would have thought we would jump on you , You know?
Assuming I had been shown Clark's advice before it was shown to the board, I would have said this needs to go to the board and we need a proper discussion about this if it had come to the board, to me and the board similarly . I'm absolutely sure people would have wanted a proper discussion about it, but they wouldn't have gone there, there wouldn't have been any jump to telling people outside the post office as a first reaction, if you know what I mean. I mean, we would have liked to talk about it among ourselves, get advice about it and decide.
I mean, the first thing we should have done would have been to talk to the shareholder about this, so that's an appropriate time for a break. Can we take the 15 minute afternoon break please until 25 plus 3? Yes, thank you e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e sir good afternoon, can you continue to see and listen to us? Can I thank you, thank you um M Perkins, can we just finish the note please uh uh? that you wrote about your conversation with Susan Kryon just going back to the last part, um survey 38145 and page three, which is the last page and at the bottom of the last page, uh, is the PD.
PS: At one point Susan Kryon referred. In a recent conversation with the business team, the innovation and business skills team, in which one of them commented that they had always felt uncomfortable with the Horizon cases when asked why they had not moved forward, the person said that It was because The Post Office had always been so forceful in its defense of the issue and its handling caused Susan Kryon to appoint the person in that Government Department who had been uncomfortable with the Horizon cases if she did so. I don't remember who it was if shehad named, would you have recorded it?
Yes I think so. I don't see why he wouldn't have done it. The person said, according to Miss Kryon, that they had not pursued the topic of being uncomfortable with the Horizon cases because The Post Office had always been so forceful in its defense of the issue that an accurate characterization of how you would have seen in This is the post offices' response to criticism of their processing and the Horizon system. That is, forceful. I think we've talked, right? We talked about concerns about accusations without evidence, so I think the post office was forceful about accusations without evidence.
I mean, I certainly had conversations with people in the shareholder executive at various times about this and, you know, I don't think I would describe it. I don't think I would describe those conversations as forceful, what other people said when I wasn't there. I can't say if anyone on the business team said anything with an equivalent effect, as recorded there, that they felt. I feel uncomfortable with the Horizon cases, no, I did, I mean, I remember some of them, you know, I can't remember the details of them, but I do remember that you know, this came up from time to time, but no, absolutely not.
I don't remember and I would have been. I would have been alert to that. If you had followed this up somehow with someone on the business team. I don't think so and why wouldn't you have done it. I don't know I I I I think this conversation happened I think I must have been about to leave for three weeks because it was summer and maybe I didn't go back to it, I just don't remember ever bringing it up to anyone at Biz, it's pretty significant, right? is that someone in the shareholder team that is referred to there not necessarily because at that time there were the two different parts of the business department, was the shareholder executive who sat inside? and there was the post office team that was sitting inside it and they were separated so it could be the shareholder executive or someone in the government itself, I could thank you for being able to come, he says um throughout his statement as witness, as we have addressed in Partly already surprised or surprised by the fact that the post board did not receive Clark's advice of 15 July 2013 about Gareth Jenkins, Clark's advice known as the destruction advice of August 2, 2013 on the document. retention or destruction nor any of the advice written by Mr.
Alman that reveals the existence of those two previous advice. Yes, does that suggest to you that successive General Councils within the Post Office were responsible for the same failure or the same approach at least miss? Kryon and Mr. Oard not revealing the information to you, well, neither of them did, but suddenly Ned J. McLoud, when she became general counsel, right? She didn't tell me anything, certainly not. , no, she was handling the continuing interest in the CCRC post office was not her, she was yes and therefore none of those documents were shown to her by three successive attorneys general.
That's true. Do you know why she was not shown three successive general tips as far as we know? the non-executive members of the board of directors, no, I don't mean, we had a little discussion about this before the last break and I was saying to them that you know, I can't understand why if anyone knew advice like that. I mean, if they had seen tips like that, why wouldn't they have wanted to share them. I mean, if something like that had happened. I mean, you know, obviously I'm not a lawyer, but as a public official for many years I dealt with.
Lots and lots of really difficult things, some of which were really difficult to deal with and if I had really bad news, if you like it, the first thing I would have wanted to do was share it because I mean, why not? you want to share it you want someone else's opinion on it you want to be open about it I don't understand it I don't understand it one of the reasons given is that it was not the practice of the General Council to provide advice originating from the council or from the lawyers to the sub , can we please look at the survey 302 7688 and if we scroll down, yes, thank you, okay, yes, your email from February 8, 2014, this is unrelated to the topic we are on.
I headed to the second I.E site in 2013, yes, but I am analyzing the issue of the practice of sending source documents, legal documents to the board or to you, says um um Alis, it is not yet clear whether it would be possible for me to participate in this conference I will do it by phone if I can. My reaction to this document, which is useful and clear in many respects, is that it does not explain clearly enough why we think it is right, in principle, for us to maintain a different policy to that of other organisations.
Yes, option C by Brian Ultman Point I.E, yes it is dismissed too summarily, yes of course, I understand that we can't just throw our cases at the CPS and walk away in a moment and then move on, the detail is not really relevant to the moment and then if we scroll up, please, Miss Venel, forward that to the then acting General Council, Chris oard, saying that Alice has sent out a good set of challenges, she will be able to respond to most of them and, in fact, I think than the question about cost. It's a case of adding what you already have and then the difference is the second paragraph of my experience and perhaps not immediately obvious to our leading advice is the scale, none of the companies Brian Orman compared us to have a network of the size of ours and while some may operate agencies, none will have the unique relationship we have with subpostmasters or handling cash through individuals.
Etc. This seems to suggest that you had seen Brian Orman's advice on the continuation of the post office's prosecution function or a uh, detailed summary of it. I certainly hadn't seen the original advice and what I remember is that Chris Oard had written an article on this question of the future of prosecutions where he gave some selective quotes from that advice attributed to Brian Alman that could equally have been made in relation to the others councils, Clark's advice of July 15, August 2 or Mr. Orman's reviews, there are two councils in 2013 that he carried out, yes, that was not done even to that extent, was it IE?summary with quotes no, it was the practice that you were generally not provided with original documents emanating from legal people, well OB, yes it clearly was, but I didn't understand until very recently that it was, so to speak, a conscious political policy if you look what I mean instead of something that just hadn't happened.
I didn't realize that and of course I've seen other things, other consultations between um, for example, Susan Kryon and Richard Morgan early on about the recklessness of going down the independent review route that I wasn't fully aware of, I mean, I had no idea that the conversation had taken place because it had taken place at that time when we had decided to go down that route or you know, I mean, I would just point it out, it seems more like she was going to seek some advice than could support his position, couldn't it? You said it.
Not me, that would be part of the unnecessarily backtracking approach you mentioned before. Well, me. I didn't know it when I said that, but now you know it, I know it, yeah, I think it's extraordinary. You know I still use that word in this context anyway. Sorry, that's the position you generally didn't get. um original. legal advice from the authors, but he received documents in which the post office's lawyers summarize and cite him yes, thank you, thank you, that may date back to mid-2013, so it is correct that Aliser Manuk was entrusted to deal or supervise insurance. post office position, right?
Yes, can we please look at survey 309 931 and go to the page at the bottom of page three, at the top of page four, please, thank you. So there is an email from all the Wind Lions for you and the others, yes, yes. and we'll see in a moment this is about July 19, 2013 and Olwin Lion says Dear everyone and then turning the page okay on Tuesday the board is asking for information on the next three things we can skip one and two yeah , and then if we scroll down a little bit more, three, the impact on the second Horizon stroke site on our insurance coverage and then, um, Miss Lion says Chris explains that point next, insurance .
If we scroll down a bit, we discuss what affects the current Horizon. The problem that our insurance could have that our insurance broker Miller advises us on, his opinion is that, although other insurance policies may be affected, the most likely is that there are no directors or officers. This is the added complication that it is the only policy we have. shares with Royal Mail and was placed by its broker jlt the policy excess varies based on different criteria but the main one is £25,000 on each and every claim a meeting is being arranged with jlt and miller to ensure they are fully informed about the problems before jlt contacted the insurer and then there is a lot of email traffic.
Yes, go to page one. Please, it's been removed from the thread now and this is an email conversation between Alist Manuk and Paula Venel. Yes, and Aliser says: "Me." I'm afraid Chris' answer, um, I think that's the answer, um, we just read, okay, as it was supplemented a little bit in the email chain, but we don't need an address that doesn't address the key question of Whether we have it or not you sent me a note suggesting we do it, but it seems to suggest that it would be under the cover of director and officer like you.
I'm worried that we think this policy would cover us for this type of problem, rather I'm sure we will. We have a Pi policy, a professional indemnity or public liability policy, which will cover us for this and any other similar problem. The next problem is that to prevent insurers from rejecting our claim, we must keep them informed of developments and any potential claims on This and any other issues experience tells me that keeping underwriters up to date on these types of developing issues can be very difficult to achieve the right balance in disclosure levels. Normally I would have expected Chris to participate in the discussions with Susan testing the thinking at each stage. of the process and then skip a paragraph, the problem about any disclosure is that it will affect our premiums even if the insurers don't pay, it's a bit like having to report near misses while driving as well as accidents.
There will be higher premiums, um, etc., were you informed of this? No, I certainly had never seen that email at the time, um, I mean, I was aware that Aliser was taking the lead on this, um, as chair of the Risk Commission. risk committee exactly, I think that was perfectly correct, actually, both because of the capacity that he had and also because he would have had a much better understanding of these types of issues than I would have had, thank you, can we move on to some questions related? then, arising from the questions asked by Mr Henry to Chris Day on Tuesday this week, looking at poll 3021 991, I'm afraid there is quite a long period until Wicket here to get to the questions, but I need to give you the context U before we look at the substantive issues, can we look at the bottom of the page, please, thank you, stop there if we go up a little?
It's March 2014 in an email exchange between Andrew Parsons and I Think You'd Know He Was a Partner at Bon Dickinson. I know, yeah, did you know that then? I don't think so, but I can't be sure. No I dont think so. Honestly, David Oliver, yeah, David Oliver was working at the post office uh Chris oard acting general counsel and Gavin Matthews um that's Mr. Parson's colleague at um at Bon Dickinson I don't know and then he says Mr. Parsons, please find attached the key pieces of a formal advice that Bon Dickinson prepared there Obviously, I see thousands of other emails that give more ad hoc advice, so the context, if you look at the topic, is that the post office is bringing suitable reading links to give advice and here Mr Parsons is providing some of the material, some of the legal advice that the post office has previously received so that the linkers can presumably know, okay, yes, so attach a series of documents, there's the note from the meeting with Richard Morgan at the presentation of deal number one at number two and then something called the insurance risk note at three, can you see that? and he says that note had the dual purpose of informing the board, its contents were later reflected in a board document and it acted as notification to the post office's insurers, which is why this doesn't work.
Doesn't sound like traditional legal advice, okay, so this is Mr. Parson saying that in 2014 the insurance risk memo had two purposes: to inform the board, its contents were later reflected in a board document and in a notification to insurers. Thisokay, yeah, can we look at the please note, with that context in mind, survey 30 2196 and if we go to page four, we'll see that it's dated August 15, 2013, okay, yeah, let's go back to page one . Horizon risks and if we then go. to page two Under the heading risks to the post office, yes, um, prosecutions and convictions as above, where circumstances warranted, prosecutions by the post office of postmasters who have acted criminally , the basis for these prosecutions often lies in the transaction records recorded in Horizon as a result of the second chamber investigation interim report The Post Office is reviewing all of its criminal proceedings over the past three years to identify any cases in that a conviction may be unsafe and then this, in particular, the expert evidence of a post office witness, Dr Gareth Jenkins of Fujitsu.
He may have failed to disclose certain historical problems in the Horizon system under criminal prosecution guidelines. The post office is required to disclose, including retrospectively, this previously undisclosed information to the Deputy Postmaster Defense Council post offices required to make these retrospective disclosures where the additional information is located. I.E. Dr. Jenkins knowledge of historical but now resolved issues with Horizon may have undermined a prosecution case or helped with a defendant's defense was that document presented to the board no, I don't think the board has ever seen any documents directly from Bon Dickinson when I looked at these I recently didn't see it in these documents, if you look at the top right corner of the top of Bond Dickson.
Honestly, I don't think I've ever seen that before in my life what the content of this document was like as Mr. Parson. he said in his email that we later read reflected in a board document. No, I mean there was a phrase that I've already referred to in a Chris OA document and I think the phrase may have been repeated in important litigation reports that did this. very mild reference to the search for a new expert witness. I am looking at something that is not exactly Bland and I had never heard of Gareth Jenkins until the high court case and although Mr Parson says that the content of this advice was later reflected on a piece of board paper, his evidence is that As far as you remember, they weren't at all, no, I mean, I'm absolutely sure that if I had known about it, I mean, I, I wouldn't have forgotten about it, uh, and I would have done something about it.
If the document should have reached the board or at least the essence of the information it contains, of course it should, of course we should, so we can add this to the list of documents that were not delivered or were not adequately summarized to the post office board. If we may, I must say just from the note that this is mainly for you, sir, and not for Miss Perkins. I have verified the following considering that this document is dated August 15, 2013 and there was no board meeting in August. 2013 um presumably all were in Tuscany um not all um September 25, 2013 uh the board requested a notation document as to whether any claims on the business uh of Horizon's work would be covered by um Indemnity or insurance dno 35 August 1, 2013 uh no mention of these topics November 27, 2013 no mention of these topics uh December 4, 2013 which was a meeting of a directors subcommittee and the topic was not addressed January 21, 2014 an agenda for the meeting of the The board of directors says that a document called Listing Insurance Coverage for the Sparrow Project should be presented as a notes document, but in fact there is no such document within the board package and there is nothing in the minutes of that meeting. meeting about a discussion on that topic or even a document that has been annotated that way for the project. um board meetings between August 2013 and March 2014 when Mr.
Parson wrote the email from him. At least I can't see any record of this document or a summary of it presented to the board, that's very helpful. Mr. Beer, can I ask that your team um if you haven't started yet or you don't already know the answer um try to determine what uh Mr. Paron well, we don't know if Mr. Parsons was the author of this, can we um if we go to the top of the page, yeah, it's B Dickinson in the right corner, yeah, sorry, at the top of the page, oh, sorry, and then if we scroll down to the bottom left, right At the bottom, we can see a reference number at the bottom of the page. page yes, and then if we go to the last page and scroll up a little bit, we can see that it was signed corporately, yes, that was what I had in mind, so as of the date of the document we still don't know which is. this is correct who wrote it in Bon Dickinson and, equally important, what they did with it when it first appeared, so I think it is correct and of course we will receive useful help from Mr.
Parson on these issues when he presents your evidence. Yes, okay, thank you very much, and what I have been able to establish from the minutes of the board meetings, yes, and the agendas that set out what documents were presented to the board, either for decision or for taking note, suggest that what you said. Admittedly, this was not brought before the board to even take note again. Can you help us with what may have been happening in the executive team that meant there was this collection of quite important advice? Yeah, that was never leaked. to the board, I honestly don't know, maybe people weren't, so obviously there's a whole list of possible reasons for this, one is that people weren't paying attention, they didn't understand, another is that this was Sorry to stop there to talk about you, that would mean a succession of General Councils, um, if the General Councils were not paying attention, it seems silly, on each occasion, yes to a variety of documents, yes, absolutely, however, these are the documents than us.
We're talking about now I've lost, I've lost track of this, but the documents came in at different times, these documents we're talking about in different General Councils, so I think Chris Oard said when he was here, I think he said. that he hadn't seen any of this or had assumed it had already been shared with the board yeah, I mean, Clark's two tips are in and they came before him, that's true, they're in Susan Kon's way, yeah, um, Olman's advice. is postate um at least three of them post September 2013 and therefore are under her supervision yes and as I said Jay McLoud had a continuing interest in these issues because she was managing the post office's relationship with the CCRC yes , well, no No, I just want to say that maybe it was too difficult for me, but I still don't understand it because if something is very difficult, then you want to share it to make it, hopefully, less difficult.
That can be solved. Thank you. We can look? Please, in paragraph 416 of your witness statement, which is page 410, so on page 210, paragraph 416, you say: I welcome the intervention of the ccc. Yes, I think the Horizon system was secure, but I couldn't see how the post office alone could do it. close the issue so I thought it would be helpful to get another well respected independent agency involved despite all the assurances we had been given, both external and internal, there was something wrong, I would see if there was something wrong, the CCRC would do it. in a good position to find it and similarly, um page 142 in um paragraph 291, in fact, that's a separate issue, uh, in dealing with the paragraph that I have drawn your attention to, they already welcomed external scrutiny of the CCRC, absolutely everyone in the publication. office um senior executive team, as far as you know, welcome the external scrutiny that the CCRC would bring I don't remember anyone telling me that they didn't um I think I was um I was pretty quick to say I thought it was that we We should welcome you and we absolutely should cooperate with him because that's what I felt and at the time of the paragraph that you were looking at I think it's in the context of 2015 and by then you know it was clear that I think, as I say, it just didn't seem to me that the post office would be able to find a real solution to this without another body that was a really authoritative body that had its own powers independently. that he could investigate this and decide for himself whether things were right or not and that was consistently his position since the first communication came from the CCRC in July 2013.
Yeah, I mean, you know, I've never worked with the CCRC, but I would have chosen an organization like that. I would have been very respectful of an organization like that and would have wanted everything to be done that needed to be done. Can we please look at survey 1 4674 and if we just look at the top? part, thank you, it's not an email exchange that involves you, okay, but it is a briefing that will be provided to you, it is between Andy Holt and Orwin Lions, do you remember who Mr. Holt was? Not good, says hello Alwin, this is based on an update.
I met for the CEO's report that will be sent to the board. I think this seems to be the right level for Alice James AR Bunot and then cuts off the email with the Sparrow project update. Can you see that? But Bor writes that the cut no, everything, I think, oh, everything, yes, and in the second paragraph of the update proposed for you he says that the first review from Brian Alman qc has already been received. This first review examined the Post Office's compliance with its processing duties in light of the second. The findings of the site, in particular, considered the legal duty of the post office to ensure that the findings of the second site were fully disclosed to any person who is currently or has been prosecuted by the post office and concluded that the post office Post Office is fulfilling its duties and the approach taken by the processing team was fundamentally sound and then the Post Office apologizes, the report gives the Post Office good reason to resist any formal external review of its historical processing. , that is, by the CCRC, was that a feeling that I communicated to you that I had received counseling.
The Post Office received advice from Brian Alman that gave it good reason to resist external scrutiny by the CCRC. No, no, I don't think I've heard that before. Were the feelings conveyed to you in this proposed update? That is, they were taking the opposite view of the CCRC to his own, they were alleging that Mr Alman had given the Post Office reasons to resist scrutiny, they were using the review to defend themselves against the CCRC. I don't remember much about this, but I think I may have caught some kind of flavor, nothing like these terms here, but some kind of flavor of wanting this to go away, we should say, and I think that's why there are minutes of the meeting, I think quite late. 2015 I think where I said or it is recorded that the board had said that we wanted the post office to cooperate fully or words to that effect and I think it may have been me who said that but I am not credited with this if you look at the top of the email um H when this is based on an update I prepared for the CEO report that will be sent to the board of directors, yes, it seems that those within the post office did not receive your message about how they should approach external scrutiny, it is That is, they were prepared to write a CEO report that would go to the board of directors and to you telling good news.
Brian Alman has given us good reason to resist a review by the CCRC. Well, I think at that time I was I was only vaguely aware of the C, if I was aware that there was some correspondence between the CCRC and, uh, Paula Venel and Susan Kryon, I think in 2013, which I don't think I saw at that time, but I think there was some kind. reference to it, one of those passing references in a later board document, my question essentially is that you told us in your witness statement that your opinion is that the post office should accept scrutiny, yes, from of the CCRC, the statutory body, yes.
I know how it is possible that your message apparently did not reach those within the organization who were apparently taking the opposite point of view. I don't know, because I mean, you know. To be fair to whoever these people were. I don't think I expressed that opinion about the CCRC at the time, that's what I'm going to address. Do you think maybe you're less receptive to scrutiny at this point in 2013, as you like to think now? back no no no that's not AB sorry, that's not what I was saying at all. I think what I'm trying to say here is that that correspondence with the CCRC that was happening in 2013 I didn't see at the time and it was only referenced in passing in a board document in 2013 or whenever it was and I don't think who has not expressed an opinion.
I don't think about that at that moment. I'm not sure, but it wasn't my opinion at all.CA, my position at any time was to resist CCC involvement, but it was later in 2015, when we were much more aware of this, that I was explicitly positive about it, thank you at this time, at the end of October 2013, Were you a Ware of a? Fujitsu um employee who was deemed an unsafe witness I didn't know there was a neck this reference not at all I didn't know there was an unsafe witness well actually wait a minute sorry I'm getting a little tired now I think I referred to earlier an email Paul Venel had sent me that had a list of things she was updating me on.
I'll get to that, okay, but I don't remember when it was okay, um, that's right. October 2013 Okay, if you're getting tired now I'll make this the last set of questions and we'll pick it up tomorrow morning. That's fine thanks. So can we look at that email? Yes, survey 3821 uh, footer. please, thanks, it's around the same time as the email we just saw on CCRC, yes, the review may be unnecessary in light of opman's advice, an email from October 21st from Paula Venel to you, yes , logout, hello, Alice don. Don't worry about the note being late, it's 3 minutes until 1 in the morning.
I am liquidating the trade before logging out. I hope your weekend was good despite the fall rains. A couple of updates and then a second update. My concern regarding Sparrow. are our disclosure obligations in respect of an unsure witness in the Fujitsu representative, this is in parentheses, he made statements about no error which could later have been seen to have been undermined by the site's second report. We don't think it's material, but it could be high. -profile uh Martin um Edwards is in the know if you want more details this is just in case and then if we scroll up, say Paula, thank you for all of this, clear and helpful.
I hope you get a real break this week and then talk. on a separate topic, um, miss answers come, um, I put it down to a nighttime grouch that has something to do with um, something else, she's been taking a muddy walk around the local abbey and doing some gardening and then you say and say thank you to the top okay, yes, so this email informed him that there was a disclosure issue related to an unsure witness, yes, that was a Fujitsu representative, yes, he would have been worried that he wouldn't remember have seen this email until it was displayed. for me, very, very recently, in fact, looking at it now, whether you remember an email that was sent over a decade ago or not, yeah, one wouldn't blame you if you didn't remember an email sent a decade ago, looking at it now.
Reading the words as they appear on the page, yes, you would have been concerned about receiving an email saying there was a disclosure issue involving an unsure witness who was a Fujitsu representative, but she goes on to say Can we, yes, yes come on? to the bottom of the page she says we don't think it's material but it could be high profile this is just in case I didn't. You know, it's obvious from the email exchange with her that I didn't react. to that, um, I think you know, I can't explain to you now why I didn't react to that.
I wish I had reacted to that, but I think if your CEO tells you what to do, she doesn't do it. I don't think it's material and this is just in case I'm afraid I took it at face value. I shouldn't have done it. We know this was written on the back of Brian Alman KC's general review, yes, from October 15, 2013. yes, uh, it mentions an unsure witness, um, uh, yes, and um, it doesn't say of no way this is not material, um, he mentions Gareth Jenkins 55 times in his advice and the word material, um, dozens of times and in particular highlights the SEMA misra case um on a dozen occasions, yeah, was this because of the Bal that Miss Venel poured out on you in this email, a missed opportunity to actually see what Mr Alman was saying about the unsure witness, it was clearly a missed opportunity.
I'm serious, of course, not referring to Brian Alman's advice here, no, um, but you know, I, you know, I don't know what I can say about this. I don't remember seeing it, but obviously, it's quite a bit. It is clear from the record that I did not realize and I am very sorry, I am very sorry thank you, it is 10 4 now sir, can we call a procedure room now and restart at 9:45? Tomorrow yes, that's what we'll do, Miss Perkins, I'm sure the last thing on your mind is that he wants to talk about his evidence during the night, but if he does, resist the temptation.
Okay, yeah, I'm happy to resist the temptation. temptation thank you um so we will resume tomorrow at 9:45 thank you sir e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e e

If you have any copyright issue, please Contact