PG and did you?
AB broadly yes
PG says she has now deleted "and so this does not appear to be a problem with Horizon” from her WS
AB agrees - because she did dispute it
PG well, let’s take it by stages.
AB accepts there is no dispute button in Horizon and that Mrs Stubbs did dispute it and therefore her evidence here was wrong.
AB stands by it
PG we move on to pars 103 and 104 of her evidence about Angela Burke (a Horizon trial witness from last week)
AB yes she had done nothing wrong
PG you say the likely reason being user error in your original WS and you don’t say it wasn’t
PB originally you just parroted what he said. because you said you were assuming what the claimants said was true
AB my corrections were made in advance of the evidence...
PG so we’ve only found out about your corrections AFTER they’ve been cross-examined.
you would have assumed that if you didn’t know about phantom transactions you would have assumed user error?
AB yes, but then we would have investigated
AB I don’t recall
[the judge stares at her]
AB well during the mediation scheme we did become aware of allegations of phantom sales
but we investigated them
PG but actual phantom sales have only just been reported to you by your...
PG what do you mean by “the key point to be that such matters provided they relate to stock sales, should not cause a discrepancy in a branch’s accounts”
AB that it should be okay
PG unless vast amount of stock is “self-declaring” then...
[We are onto Master Peaks - these appear to be Horizon errors that keep repeating. Not aware of the phrase Master Peak before.]
In this Master Peak document there is a note that the call is closed...
PG so calls have closed wrongly, is extremely distressed and significant amounts of money have gone missing and the SPM is right to say that Key Barnes is wrong to have closed the call.
PG did you think this contributed to the decision to close the call...
[PG moves down to the document where an SPM is on the phone and notes whilst the call to the helpline is going on 3 stamp transactions fell off the screen and disappeared. PEAK doc notes there should be an investigation into why]
AB no and I understand their frustration
J asks about 1 May 2006 entry on PEAK document about ROMEC - asks who they are
[apols - the date is 2001 not 2006]
PG so ROMEC attend one of the sites and says they’ve done what they can do. Note on helpline that Post Office doesn’t know what to do. ROMEC have visited the site and witnessed the phantom...
[reads more from PEAK]
I now have evidence that unwanted peripheral input is causing transactions to be added (via a dodgy touchscreen).
This is not an isolated...
PG do you agree we now have evidence of phantom transactions?
[PG starts reading from more of this PEAK about a phantom event - saying the Horizon terminal was report writing for 20 mins when it wasn’t]
PG reads conclusion of PEAK report which states all the problems were user error and there was no fault with the product.
PG so despite independent corroboration of error it was decided there wasn’t one. Which is wrong
AB in this case yes
PG moves on to PEAK in Feb 2011. Negative stock appearing in branch. the system is causing a discrepancy. The SPM was told to declare correct stock figures but she won’t as Horizon will turn it into a discrepancy
PG that’s a worry isn’t it?
J before today or before your witness statement
PG if you had any conversation with an SPM about any of this sort of thing happening, you would assume it was user error, wouldn’t you?
AB yes, at first, but then we’d investigate
PG but it would be much harder if the discrepancy were in, say, stamps. Harder to prove a software error.
AB yes it does
PG now this would be very interesting to see this evidence? yes?
PG In par 18.4 and 18.5 you talk about remote access and how it can be done. How long have you known about inserting transactions?
AB last year or so
PG who told you
PG Gareth Jenkins?
PG when you say a remote access...
AB it would be visible on the branch transaction log to the SPM
PG if you don’t know, say
AB I’ve never seen it
PG so you don’t know whether it would be visible to the SPM or not.
AB I’ve never seen it...
We stop for a break. Wow. What a bunch of revelations. That internal email about not investigating a possible Horizon error because @BBCnews was snooping round Horizon errors is quite something!
PG you said you know Andrew Wynne and you said you didn’t work with him for very long and not directly.
PG let’s go back to an email from 2013. At this stage PO had tried to address concerns...
AB yes, branch accounting issues.
PG so he was the person who should deal with...
PG we saw in the common issues trial a big issue with lottery TCs arriving in error - some credits some debits - neither good when sent in error
PG starts talking about the PING fix which was introduced to stop the huge errors...
PG provided that the data coming back from Camelot was correct and there was no data corruption, that should be correct. Overall an improvement?
PG simplified it?
PG and PING dealt...
PG took a long time coming, didn’t it?
PG lottery terminals arrived BEFORE Horizon in Post Offices didn’t they?
[PG takes us to a document which gives background the need for the PING fix]
PG it explains a “number of conformance issues have been identified” with the old system etc etc - so this was a big vote of confidence in the Camelot data stream?
PG so the whole point of this is robust data from Camelot which have to be automatically accepted by the SPM. You then explain this is not implemented until 2012 in your WS. Yes?
PG this is a recognition that it’s taken rather a long time
PG this doc is dated 9 Aug 2016. It also notes that the SPM MUST accept the Camelot data “due to its inherent robustness"
But the documents we’ve just been...
AB yes, I’ve made a mistake.
PG and it suggests there is a problem with Horizon.
J can a SPM challenge a TA?
AB they can call FSC or the helpline
J but they have to accept it
PG because you understand that lots of SPMs have had problems with TA - duplicates etc…
[we can’t see these btw]
PG if we look on individual incidents tab - row 431 - Lottery Transaction Corrects - SPM says still a discrepancy due to a Transaction Acknowledgment problem… [on to another row] TC not received for...
[we move on]
SPM still not received TC for National Lottery TA problem.
PG these are the sort of problems you’ve fairly accepted people have from time to time…
PG also there were problems with SPMs getting TCs re
PG TAs were later introduced for Post and Go transactions weren’t they?
PG goes to note where Crown offices have had discrepancies due to dodgy TAs… so they’re getting them too?
PG Branch User Forum record line 74:
“lottery and paystation - why can’t I sell lottery on Horizon and why isn’t the paystation functionality on Horizon?” SPM then makes point of cost being borne by SPMs…
PG fair observation, but remember Mr Bates was instructed to operate a Horizon terminal that he would operate that Post Office would profit from. Not him.
AB yes, but it was a separate machine.
PG which he was required
AB yes I’m just making the point they were always meant to be different machines.
[we move on to par 154 of WS]
PG and you might have more time to consider the contents than someone contacting/working on a helpline…
[we are going to be talking about failed reversals]
PG notes that this section of AB’s WS has not been revised at all.
PG goes to a specific example about a bill which appears to have been settled by an SPM as the PO is accusing him of a loss.
Helen Rose in the Rose report goes to the credence data which shows the actual keystrokes on the Horizon terminal.
Helen Rose also goes to Gareth Jenkins at Fujitsu...
I see - SPM is disputing having reversed the transaction.
Helen Rose gets to the bottom of it. The Credence data showed an actual data reversal by the SPM, but when Fujitsu looked at it, it was a system recovery reversal.
Conclusion - the system is working as it should.
PG so this was a system design error which caused a loss for an SPM or a customer, but doesn’t require any fixes. That’s a problem for an SPM isn’t it?
[PG goes back to Helen Rose report]
Gareth Jenkins tells Rose that even ARQ data may not show recovery reversals
PG to be fair - you seem to be saying there that the reversal was done by the Subpostmaster.
AB It was definitely done by the system.
J so what is the mistake you say was made?
PG but the point the Rose report makes is almost exactly the opposite point is making in your statment
AB no I knew it was a system error
PG but you explicitly state that Mr Coyne the IT expert had made an error - this wasn’t a casual observation
AB that wasn’t my intention
PG you did not give a true picture...
AB does not give specifics.