Historical Shortfall Scheme due to close and new measure to be introduced
The Historical Shortfall Scheme, set up to independently assess applications from current and former postmasters who believe they may have experienced shortfalls caused by previous versions of Horizon, is due to close to applications at midnight BST on Friday 14 August 2020.
If you wish to apply and haven’t yet done so, please visit onepostoffice.co.uk/scheme for full details and to apply by Friday’s deadline.
The Historical Shortfall Scheme followed the agreed settlement last year of group litigation between Post Office and 555 mainly former postmasters and is part of a major programme addressing past issues and fundamentally reforming Post Office for the future.
Following a close examination of other branch processes unrelated to the technical performance of Horizon, a further specific measure is being introduced to address a historical weakness in stock processes for stamps. While this process has been corrected, this additional review found that Post Office’s stamp stock procedures had the potential to produce cash surpluses or shortfalls for postmasters in certain circumstances and, in some cases involving a shortfall, that there may not have been an equivalent loss to Post Office.
In these circumstances, it is right that steps are taken to provide a redress mechanism for postmasters who believe they may have been disadvantaged by this weakness in the old stock control process. To this end, a new scheme, modelled on the Historical Shortfall Scheme, is being finalised and full details will be communicated to current and former postmasters in the near future. It will, of course, also be open to those of you who have already applied to the Historical Shortfall Scheme, or who plan to do so by tomorrow’s deadline.
Stamp and stock support
Here are some useful tips around stamp and stock processes and the support available:
- Receipt of stock rems – please open them, check the contents and enter onto Horizon manually within 24 hours of receipt
- Discrepancy in your stock rem – if the contents of your stock rem don’t match the advice note, please contact the Branch Support Centre on 0333 345 5567
- Amend Special Stamp Issue standard orders – please contact the Branch Support Centre on 0333 345 5567 to amend your branch standard order
- Sell Special Stamps until you have none left – rather than returning to the National Stock Centre, unless you’re specifically instructed to do so
- Returns of Definitive Stamps – please don’t return Definitive Stamps unless you’re specifically instructed to do so
- Use of open/other postage – selecting the correct buttons will ensure you are remunerated correctly
- Discrepancies – if you experience a discrepancy, please contact the Branch Support Centre on 0333 345 5567 as soon as you become aware of it, and Post Office will work with you to help investigate and resolve it.
You can find much more detail about the support available to you across a wide range of areas in the Postmaster Support Guide we published recently here.