Tuesday, 23 July 2013

In the name of the DWP, PwC and Atos...

The DWP has engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to look into improving the performance and, no doubt, image of Atos. They are asked

“...to provide independent advice in relation to strengthening quality    assurance processes across all its health and disability      assessments*. In addition, and in the longer-term, increased provider capacity will ensure that a greater focus on quality can be        achieved alongside enabling the number of assessments the Department requires to be delivered.”

Back in 2006 Remploy engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers ostensibly to look at ways of improving their business, but in reality to sign a protracted death warrant of the Remploy factory system.

For years the consortium of trade unions at Remploy had been petitioning both the company and governments to review the whole of Remploy to bring its business structures and methods up to date. Trade unionists knew that Remploy needed a branch and root reassessment of the industrial sectors within which it conducted its business.

When they engaged PwC the unions approached the accountants offering to put forward the trade union side; the unions also offered a well thought out and costed alternative business plan.

When it presented its findings it was evident they had ignored the input from trade union Remploy members; and had targeted the views of a minority of workers who, for whatever reasons, were not happy at Remploy. Both the company and government chose to use these skewed testimonies as proof that all Remploy factory employees were crying out to be mainstreamed.

As for the business plan, this was totally disregarded.

PwC had a wrecking brief from the company (with government complicity); and instead of providing independent advice in relation to improving Remploy's factory business opportunities, thus securing the future employment of thousands of disabled workers, they recommended closure.   

Seven years on I read that PwC is being called upon "...to provide independent advice in relation to strengthening quality assurance processes across all its health and disability assessments." Assessments carried out by no less than the government's favoured hatchet company, Atos.

It is then hardly surprising that I fully support DPAC and ilegal's exposé of PwC; and the condemnation and cries of 'Whitewash!' made by people whose experience of Atos eminently qualifies them to exercise such a view.

PcW and their ilk are masters of spin; they lie to live. They have transformed the discipline of professional services into a dark art. Pay them enough and they'll get HMRC off your back; they'll turn water into water and charge you for wine; they'll get rid of thousands of bothersome disabled employees by expedient misrepresentation.

*This is all about the rehabilitation of Atos; the most basic of cosmetic surgery.

PwC will not be interested in seeking out Atos' bad practices; nor its unethical treatment of sick and disabled people. Come on, be serious. That'd cost a fortune and involve a seismic shift in the ethos and ethical standing of Atos. No, this'll be a PR exercise par excellence.

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