Paula Vennells proudly excluded Horizon risk reference from Royal Mail IPO prospectus

During the Royal Mail flotation in 2013, former CEO Paula Vennells removed a reference to the Post Office Horizon system from the IT risk section of a prospectus, which highlighted issues causing accounting discrepancies and legal repercussions for subpostmasters. She later proudly bragged about this action.

Vennells admitted to taking out the reference despite claiming not to be involved in the privatization process. She explained that she believed the mention of Horizon in the Royal Mail prospectus was inappropriate as it implied a connection between the two separate entities. She contacted the company secretary and had the reference removed, which she later celebrated in an email to the Post Office chair.

During a public inquiry hearing into the Post Office scandal, Vennells was accused of trying to cover up Horizon issues. She denied this accusation but was criticized for prioritizing the interests of the Post Office over addressing the injustices faced by subpostmasters.

Vennells defended herself by pointing fingers at IT executives and former legal advisors for providing her with bad advice. She admitted to being too trusting of these individuals, ultimately leading to the harm caused to subpostmasters.

The Post Office Horizon scandal, which came to light in 2009, exposed the struggles faced by subpostmasters due to accounting software errors.

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