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Golden thread concept can avert Post Office-style scandals | Nish Kotecha

There are huge risks in trusting computer systems to be always right – an illogical position currently backed up by UK law. If we are to avoid future scandals such as the Post Office vs the sub-postmasters, there must be fundamental technology and regulatory change – or employees and franchisees will continue to be at risk. The concept of the ‘golden thread’ of digital information now being introduced in legislation offers a route forward, writes Nish Kotecha.

On 28 January business secretary Kemi Badenoch revealed publicly that she had asked the Post Office chair, Henry Staunton – who had been in his role for just over a year – to resign in the wake of public outcry over the wrongful convictions of hundreds of sub-postmasters. Badenoch – herself no stranger to computing controversy after admitting hacking the website of Labour politician Harriet Harman back when she used to work in IT – claimed that Staunton could not continue in the role because the Post Office needed a change of culture and governance.

“I felt there was a need for new leadership, and we have parted ways with mutual consent,” she said. Some may argue that this was a case of closing the stable door long after the horse had bolted given that the key facts of the huge miscarriage of justice had been established by the High Court three years before Staunton was even appointed.

The Post Office story after all began back in the late 1990s and is constantly evolving, as the public inquiry…

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