The UK awards Fujitsu a $60m contract amid calls to suspend it from government work
The UK government has entered into a new deal with Fujitsu worth £52 million ($60m). This is even after political leaders called for the termination of all local deals with the company while the public hearing into the Post Office Horizon Scandal officially kick off.
The new inquiry aims to establish the real story behind one of the UK’s biggest miscarriages of justice which saw 900 post office managers get wrongly convicted. This was after a computer system built by Fujitsu wrongly showed money was going missing from individual branches between 2000 and 2014.
It was during one of the hearing sessions that Labour MP Kate Osborne raised her concerns over the Japanese company still working with the government.
"I thank the Minister for the constructive meeting that I and others had with him last week regarding the Post Office Horizon scandal, but he will know that no one from the Post Office, Fujitsu or the Government has yet to be held accountable. At that meeting, and last night in the other place, it was raised that despite this scandal, the Government are still awarding multimillion-pound contracts to Fujitsu. An apology from Fujitsu is not enough. Will the Secretary of State commit to pausing and reviewing all existing Government contracts with that appalling company?" She said.
Just a day before the hearing, the UK’s tax collection agency had announced that they had awarded Fujitsu a £52 million deal in return for various IT services from the Japanese supplier.
Fujitsu’s relationship with His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs dates back to July 2004 when together with another technology company, Capgemini, it entered into an arrangement named Aspire. The deal helped both companies make a combined profit of £1.2 billion ($1.4 billion) between July 2004 and March 2014.
Other current ongoing deals between Fujitsu and the UK government include a £48 million ($56.6 million) contract with the Home Office for a police computer system.
The government has set aside £1 billion to cover the costs of compensating victims of the Post Office scandal. However, whether or not Fujitsu faces any consequences for their software’s role in the scandal remains to be seen.