Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Is Atos Penalised for the Large Amount of Errors it makes in its WCA Assessments?

Given the number of successful appeals against Atos assessments for ESA is quite large; is Atos penalised in any way for the errors its assessors make during medical assessments for migration between Incapacity Benefit and ESA, or if unlucky, JSA.

If a building company made errors on the scale that Atos is making them they’d be subject to penalty clauses. Similarly, when we in the workplace mess up we’re, usually, disciplined in some way.

The Tories have for decades promoted private industry over the public sector. The disciplines of the market, we’re informed, ensure that the private sector is more efficient than its over indulged cousin, the public sector. Therefore, it is more economically advantageous for us to use private sector contractors, such as Atos, to carry out DWP medical assessments.

This is the same argument the Tories made when privatising our railways in 1993. Under private management we’d get a cheaper and more efficient service. Nearly twenty years later the privatised railways cost us more than under the old British Rail management – obviously, taking into account cost of living rises in the intervening years. The UK’s privatised rail system is also the most expensive in Europe.

Is it any surprise then that companies such as Atos bid tenaciously for government contracts? Where else, apart from the finance sector, can you expect to be rewarded for failure on such a massive scale?

Why aren’t the readers of the Heil and Telegraph dipping their pens into their wells of poison and scratching vicious letters off complaining about the millions of pounds that Atos is costing the DWP in appeals against their shoddy assessing.

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