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Treasury Committee asks public bodies for details on contracts with Fujitsu

MPs have asked 21 public bodies, including the Bank of England, HMRC and the Treasury, for information on public sector contracts awarded to Fujitsu.

Letters from the Commons Treasury Committee asked for “details of any contracts awarded by your organisation” to Fujitsu since 2019, when the High Court ruled prosecutions based on the company’s Horizon IT system at the Post Office were wrongly brought.

The committee asked for a reply within a fortnight.

Since 2012, the public sector has awarded Fujitsu almost 200 contracts worth a combined total of £6.8 billion, according to analysts Tussell.

About 43 of those contracts are still in operation, worth a total of £3.6 billion, including the contract for the Post Office Horizon system, and multiple Government departments including the Home Office, the Foreign Office, Defra and the Ministry of Defence.

The letter asks for the organisations, which include the Royal Mint and the Financial Conduct Authority, for the value of any contract with Fujitsu, whether there were considerations of supplier risk and whether steps were made to “bar Fujitsu from bidding for contracts put out to tender”.

Processes to measure the performance of any contract are also questioned, along with whether there was “internal or external commentary” on the “appropriateness of the contract” and if the organisations considered terminating the contract with Fujitsu.

More than 700 Post Office branch managers were convicted after Fujitsu’s accounting software Horizon made it look like money was missing from their shops.

The saga prompted outcry from across the country after it was dramatised in a series for ITV this month.

Harriett Baldwin MP, who chairs the Treasury Committee, told the BBC the outcry was justified.

She said: “I think it’s important we can see the extent to which taxpayer money has been spent with Fujitsu since the High Court ruling as they are simultaneously assessed on their fitness to remain a government supplier.”

On Thursday, Fujitsu offered its “deepest apologies” to wronged subpostmasters and their families and confirmed it will contribute to compensation payments to Post Office staff wrongfully convicted in the Horizon IT scandal.

It had earlier emerged that the company will not bid for Government contracts while an inquiry into the scandal is ongoing.