Providing appropriate compensation for past events is a priority for Post Office. We are continuing to make payments every week.
For people whose criminal convictions are overturned where the reliability of Horizon was essential to the prosecution
Interim payments of up to £163,000 have been expedited, ahead of final compensation. These have been made in the vast majority of cases and will continue as further convictions are overturned by the Courts.
On 18 September 2023 the Government announced that every Postmaster, who was wrongly convicted and has had their conviction overturned as it was reliant on Horizon evidence, will be given the option of settling their claims for compensation for an up-front sum of £600,000, without the need to bring a formal claim.
Group Litigation claimants
The 555 Group Litigation claimants reached a jointly agreed settlement with Post Office in December 2019. This included a £57.75 million global payment as full and final redress.
There were 62 claimants with criminal convictions. The terms of the settlement allow those claimants to pursue further certain specified claims arising out of their prosecutions if and when their individual convictions are overturned.
Whilst the settlement was jointly agreed in good faith as fair and appropriate in all the circumstances, subsequent media reports revealed that around £46 million of the £57.75 global payment was directed to the claimants’ funders and legal advisors. We continually urged the Government to address this unfairness.
On 30 June 2022, Government announced a planned compensation package for GLO claimants and we welcomed this action on final, equitable compensation. The Government opened its ex-gratia Group Litigation Order (GLO) Compensation Scheme on 23 March 2023 and further details can be found here.
For other former and current Postmasters
In 2020, Post Office established two schemes that were both open to current and former Postmasters.
The Horizon Shortfall Scheme was launched to independently assess applications from current and former Postmasters who believed they may have experienced shortfalls related to previous versions of the Horizon system.
The founding principles of the Scheme were endorsed by the legal representatives for the Group Litigation claimants’ steering group.
Following Government funding support in 2021, offers and payments are being made each week after the assessment of cases by the Scheme’s independent advisory panel of experts. You can find information on the progress of the Scheme here.
In addition to applicants who are currently part of the Horizon Shortfall Scheme, or who have already accepted offers, we are aware there are people who, for a variety of reasons and circumstances, were unable to apply to the Scheme while it was open in 2020. To recognise this, we will now accept eligible late applications into the Horizon Shortfall Scheme and more information about this is available here.
We also ran the Stamp Scheme for Postmasters who felt they were affected by the way certain discrepancies in stamp stock had previously been resolved. Applications to this scheme are now closed.