The Post Office will this week outline plans to hand two board seats to serving postmasters as it seeks to draw a line under the IT scandal which saw managers wrongly sent to prison.
Sky News has learnt that the government-owned company will announce on Monday that a committee of independent businesspeople is being set up to oversee the board appointments process.
Sources close to the Post Office said it had lined up James Lowman, head of the Association of Convenience Stores; Co-op Group finance chief Shirine Khoury-Haq; and Jean Church, council member at the Institute of Directors to ensure “a transparent and independent selection process”.
The postmasters’ appointment will be the first time that they have had direct board representation in the Post Office’s 460-year history.
An insider said the application process would be open for four weeks, with the successful applicants joining the board in April.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma will be required to approve the appointments because of his department’s oversight of the Post Office.
The decision to appoint two postmasters as non-executive directors – rather than the one originally envisaged – would “strengthen their input on all issues as they help shape the future direction of the Post Office”, the insider said.