Tuesday 21 April 2015

Exclusive: Second Sight final report in full

This is a confidential document. I am publishing it in my capacity as a freelance journalist and blogger because I believe it is in the overwhelming public interest to do so.

The link directly to it is here [scribd] and here [google drive]. If you are reading this on a mobile device I would recommend using the link which goes to the document on google drive, as scribd makes you download their free app before letting you read it all. If you are reading this on a desktop you will be fine with scribd which is also slightly easier to navigate. Both links let you download the document, which you may want to do, or you might be able to do it from the embedded version of the document below.

The Post Office have written their own 83 page rebuttal to Second Sight's final report, which I have read. It vigourously contests many of the conclusions reached by Second Sight. I have sought permission from the Post Office to publish this rebuttal on my blog.

The Post Office have sent me a press statement with additional information which I have posted here.

As I noted yesterday, the Post Office have already published their own report about the Mediation Scheme in March. This is publicly available.


Further reading: 

Select Committee inquiry written and oral evidence - Feb 2015 
Private Eye pieces about the Select Committee inquiry

Full transcript of Adjournment Debate - Dec 2014  
Private Eye piece about the adjournment debate
The One Show Commissions - Dec 2014
Legal fisking of the 2010 Seema Misra trial by Stephen Mason written in 2016
Second Sight interim report July 2013 
My first BBC film on the subject in 2011

Transcript of my first BBC radio piece on the subject in 2011
Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance 
Computer Weekly Timeline 


  1. Hi

    Well done Nick - fancy a journalist publishing such a document that is so blatantly full of so many truths and accuracies!

    It is a long document and needs to be discussed.

    Could I start with an important point made by Second Sight is that this inquiry was not limited to the Horizon Computer system but also all the other additional systems including manual procedures that are used in conjunction with an SPMRs daily work. POL make every effort at every turn to refer to the Horizon investigation as being limited to the computer system.

    Secondly with reference to the Horizon Computer System there have been, and POL admit this, systemic errors that have affected the whole network. These have been identified and fixed. New ones will appear and also be fixed. No credence should be given to any POL mouthpiece who repeats the party line that there are no systemic issues with Horizon Computer system. There have been and there will be. Whether any exist at the time of the mouthpiece's utterance even they could not be sure. In fact the mouthpiece I am thinking off hasn't the intellectual capacity to be sure of anything.

    Third - just to put it on the public record - I discussed at length with an engineer from Bracknell an error with our system in Duns (which very topically has just resurfaced in a PO I know of down South). To rectify the problem he 'dialled' into our system and reset and repopulated a data table. I have dates and photos recording how the error manifested itself.

    There is more to be said - enough for now.

    Cheers, Tim

    PS just thought that if the problem I encountered several years ago is still in the system and is encountered by many SPMRs around the country then that indeed is a systemic failure (in this particular case I agree that it probably causes no loss to the SPMR but the customer could well be disadvantaged)

  2. very interesting tim are you a POL software chap

    scott darlington

  3. Thanks to Nick Wallis and all his work with this story and in taking the bold step to make the document available for all to see

  4. Thanks Nick for your perseverance the following is an apt comment from a fellow Post master.
    If POL was compared to the Air Travel industry, then POL's response would be a kin to the Air travel industry saying that Air Travel is 100% safe?

    Aircraft do crash and in a number of cases this is due to Crew Error BUT there are a number of cases where technical issues are to blame.

    This number of cases doesn't mean that there are "systemic" problems, it just means that they can't claim it's 100% safe.

    Can you imagine if the Air Travel industry dismissed independent scrutiny of an Air Crash in the way that POL appear to be dismissing Second Sight?

    I think this will run and run but it would be nice to think that it could be put to bed once and for all to settle the uncertainty with the system?

    Can you imagine the air accident investigators being told that they can not have full access to the black box ?!!!! That's what Second Sight were told by POL !!!

    1. If POL were an airline operator, its fleet would be grounded with immediate effect.

      A root and branch examination of training, maintenance and operating procedures would be undertaken, corrective actions imposed by the regulatory authority before being allowed to operate again. Many countries would ban overflight through their airspace until such times as a level of responsible operation could be demonstrated.

      I'm afraid on POLs track record they would remain grounded and be out of business.

      Unfortunately POL have no transparency nor are accountable to a regulatory authority. We must use the mechanisms that exist to bring POL to account. Failing this, we turn their brand toxic and put the business in a terminal tailspin.