Mr Bates v Post Office part 3 - accepting a lemon

The Westminster Tradition

19-02-2024 • 28 mins

Despite hundreds of technical issues and continuing delays in meeting quality requirements, in January 2000, Post Office Board accepted the Horizon IT system as its own.

In this episode, we discuss how hard it is to say 'stop' in the middle of a game of whack-a-mole of problem fixing, especially when there are institutional incentives to keep going.

We also have strong feelings about the idea of 'minimum viable products' where the delivery of social services - and the founding of prosecutions - are concerned.

Opening grab from Mr Stevens KC (Counsel Assisting the Inquiry) and Stuart Sweetman (former Managing Director of Post Office Counters Limited), 17 November 2022.
Subsequent grab from Mr Jeremy Folkes (former Infrastructure Assurance Team Leader, Horizon Programme, Post Office Counters Ltd) and Mr Beer KC (Counsel Assisting),  17 November 2022.

For thorough and detailed coverage of the Post Office Scandal, start with the reporting of Nick Wallis, including his BBC podcast, the Great Post Office Trial.

Now for some appropriately bureaucratic disclaimers....

Those of us in the employ of the State Government speak in a strictly personal capacity, consistent with the Public Sector Code of Ethics that permits public servants to promote an outcome in relation to an issue of public interest - in this case, the betterment of the public service.

Nothing we say should be taken as representing the views of the Government or our employers.

While we have tried to be as thorough in our research as busy full time jobs and lives allow, we definitely don’t guarantee that we’ve got all the details right.

If you want rigorous reporting on Robodebt, we recommend the work of Rick Morton at the Saturday Paper, Chris Knaus and Luke Henriques-Gomes at the Guardian, Ben Eltham at Crikey, Julian Bajkowski at The Mandarin, and of course, the Robodebt Royal Commission itself.

Please feel free to email us corrections, episode suggestions, or anything else, at thewestminstertraditionpod@gmail.com.

Thanks to PanPot audio for our intro and outro music.

'Til next time!

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