So everyone who is disabled/job seeker, or worker is celebrating the mighty ATOS falling from grace ? I think they shouldn’t be so quick to jump up and down as a pig is still a pig regardless of putting lipstick on it.
Today the news is full of their demise, but hello folks they are still in charge of PIP assessments and contracting private enterprises in Occupational Healthcare and still owning the rights to LIMA software where the tick box exercise ‘one size fits all’ scenario will continue. They are still in charge of running multiple IT contracts in government departments and HMRC and a multitude of other things, so they haven’t really gone away have they? So all the celebrations are a falsehood. (See my other two blogs re atos links.)
http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-vote-office/March_2014/27%20March/32-DWP-Atos.pdf (DWP Statement from Mike Penning)
Today they launched a You Tube Channel
Today the Minister for Disabled Mike Penning said ”
The DWP said to ensure a smooth transition, one national provider will be appointed early next year to take over the contract. In the longer term it is intended to move to multiple providers to increase competition.
Mike Penning, Minister for Disabled People, said: “The previous government appointed Atos as the sole provider for carrying out Work Capability Assessments and since then we have carried out several independent reviews and made significant improvements to the assessment.
“Today we are announcing that we are seeking a new provider to replace Atos, with the view to increasing the number of assessments and reducing waiting times.
“I am pleased to confirm that Atos will not receive a single penny of compensation from the taxpayer for the early termination of their contract, quite the contrary, Atos has made a substantial financial settlement to the department.”
Anyone who suffered at the hands of this provider knows full well while Labour brought ATOS in the Condems rewrote contracts and made tests tougher because they thought it was ‘too soft’ ! They set Atos impossible targets from the initial contract which they denied and it is now at stage where they cannot recruit HCP’s hence the backdown and backlog. So realistically Atos are scapegoats for this mess along with Labour because the Condems couldn’t run a Chimpanzee’s Teaparty! While Atos are complicit in facts that they brought about their own demise by reports not being accurate ,cancelling appointments at short notice, losing this contract will be no great shakes for them, probably relief if anything, after claiming their staff were threatened by protesters yet we are still waiting to see that evidence from Atos via a FOI which I still haven’t received a response.
So the new provider will probably come from the governments other three main contractors G4S,Serco, Capita. As Capita already do some assessments they are probably front runners. One question nobody is asking what happens about LIMA software the HCP’s use? Have Atos come to a deal for that still to be used by other providers or have they pulled that rug from under governments feet, or are they going to allow others to pay for right to use it only time will tell but you can bet I’m watching closely and will find out one way or another.