Post office computer scandal executive forced to quit Football Association of Wales job


Controversial former Post Office executive Angela van den Bogerd has quit her job at the Football Association of Wales (FAW) after growing pressure over her involvement in the Post Office Horizon scandal.

Van den Bogerd was a central figure in the Post Office Horizon scandal which saw deputy post masters blamed for accounting deficiencies that were actually caused by computer errors. As a result, many have been prosecuted for financial crimes, some have even been sent to prison.

In a High Court trial in 2019 where deputy masters were suing Post, High Court Judge Peter Fraser criticized Van der Bogerd’s testimony in La Poste’s defense, saying she was seeking to l ‘to mislead.

Van den Bogerd quietly left her post as post office manager in May last year after many years of service.

She was later appointed FAW’s personnel manager, but when Jack Sargeant, Welsh MP for Alyn and Deeside, voiced concerns, the pressure increased. In a letter to FAW CEO Jonathan Ford, Sargeant expressed concern that FAW appointed Van den Bogerd despite being involved in a national scandal.

In his letter, he said Ford should be aware of Van den Bogerd’s involvement in the Post Office Horizon scandal and what Justice Fraser said about him in his judgment.

“The judge’s comments and the considerations of the victims of the scandal in Wales and the UK should be at the forefront of your mind,” he wrote.

In a multi-million pound High Court lawsuit, where deputy postmasters sued the post office, they were correct that the Horizon system contained errors that could result in apparent losses. Justice Fraser said: “There were two specific questions where [Van den Bogerd] did not give me straightforward evidence, and sought to obscure and mislead me.

Shortly after Sargeant’s letter, Ford lost a vote of confidence in a FAW board meeting, which was reportedly triggered following criticism of Van der Bogerd’s appointment. He resigned in March, but Van den Bogerd stayed on.

According to BBC WalesVan den Bogerd will leave after the ruling FAW board voted to recommend terminating Van den Bogerd’s employment at a recent meeting. The FAW said it would not comment when contacted by Computer Weekly.

Paula Vennells, CEO of the Post Office during a period when deputy masters were blamed and punished for unexplained losses, also recently quit her managerial position in an NHS trust after pressure from her role in the Horizon scandal.

In his seven years at the helm of the Post from 2012, Vennells earned millions of pounds and in 2019 was awarded a CBE for service to the post and charity. That same year, just before the case ended, Vennells left the post office to take up the post at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, one of the NHS ‘largest trusts.

A 2009 Computer Weekly investigation found that deputy postmasters were blamed for unexplained financial losses, which they said were caused by mistakes made by the Horizon system. La Poste denied this, and many deputy postmasters were subsequently prosecuted for theft and false accounting, with jail terms, community service, criminal records and heavy fines among the injustices that were claimed. ‘they suffered as a result (see chronology below).

The scandal is far from over, with deputy masters seeking to clear their names and receive appropriate compensation, and calls for a legal public inquiry with the power to call witnesses under oath are being launched.

Next week, 42 ​​former deputy postmasters will have their cases of wrongful prosecution heard by the Court of Appeal. This is an unprecedented number of appeals that will be sent as a group by the Criminal Matters Review Board.

Meanwhile, the group of deputy masters who faced the post in court – and won – are now seeking answers about the role of government through the parliamentary ombudsman.

There are also calls from deputy masters, politicians and activists for the government to foot the legal bill of £ 46million the deputy masters had to pay, despite winning the lawsuit.

About Betty J. Snyder

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