Atos Join The Army – MOD Hand Out £25 Million Contract To Bungling IT Firm

atos_dr_nickAtos, the French IT firm behind the ruthless and bungled assessments for sickness and disability benefits have been handed a whopping £25 million contract by the MOD.

Atos will head up a team running communications and information technology strategies for the armed forces.  Taleban camp leaders in Afghanistan are believed to have relaxed the local Champagne ban on hearing the news.  Not satisfied with developing the bodged and brutal Work Capability Assessments – which has driven some sick and disabled benefit claimants to suicide – Atos now want to become involved with the war industry.  It seems like they can never have quite too much blood on their hands.

This is just one in a string of contracts the company now has with the UK Government, which also include running much of the new disability assessments for the Personal Independent Payment, countless contracts to provide Occupational Health to public sector workers and chillingly nuclear power station decommissioning.

These contracts have been awarded despite their woeful performance as providers of sickness benefit assessments which have seen over 1 in 7 (15%) of their ‘fit for work’ decisions proved wrong in the courts.  Despite this Government’s obsession with payment by results, it seems Atos are handed a never ending stream of tax payers cash no matter how much they get it wrong.

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83 responses to “Atos Join The Army – MOD Hand Out £25 Million Contract To Bungling IT Firm

  1. Will they be assessing, wounded soldiers?

  2. I hope the soldiers will be assessing them for a firing squad for crimes against humanity. To think they are a French firm the land of the guillotine, it beggars belief.

  3. probably Murray. The government think they are doing a good job!!! The 15% of wrong decisions made during these terrible assessments, is probably nothing less than they expected. If EVERYONE appealed it would probably be nearer 30%

  4. to be honest i don’t think atos are bungling the WCA – it’s designed to do exactly that. leave people unable to claim money. it was designed by unum who are still being sued, i believe, all over the world for their “disability denial factories” which robbed millions of their medical insurance and disability claims.
    to me all it shows is that they can efficiently carry out orders no matter what the moral or ethical consequences are.
    a perfect tool for a corporate psychopath system of government.
    profit before people.

    • Obi Wan Kenobi

      Profit before people is how private providers work – make money and to hell with the human cost – and they even screw their own people working for them if they aren’t meeting targets.

      What a fucked up system – profit at any cost, even if that means people will commit suicide – that won’t stop them.

  5. Anomie shrugs

    Never received Atos assessment outcome documentation, incapacity benefit and HB was stopped without notification, did not want to get trapped penniless in the DWP disability revolving door game so ended up claiming JSA and a couple of months later was enslaved to A4e …. that contention is on-going.

  6. I Have been fighting ATOS for answers regarding aborted assessment since Oct.!2 they just ignore all communication including letters from M.P. With regard to these latest contracts makes you wonder if theres any dodgy payments floating around

    • Obi Wan Kenobi

      ATOS are a froggy company to whom our stupid DWP gave a black box contract – why wasn’t this ‘con’ contract awarded to a British company?

    • Landless Peasant

      any dodgy payments floating around? It’s corrupt as fuck. We’re governed by Gangsters.

  7. lets hope they put them on the front line

  8. Landless Peasant

    £25 Million ? ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING. So much for “austerity”. They throw taxpayers’ money away hand-over-fist whilst starving the poor. I have just been notified that my application for D.H.P. has been refused. A life of crime it is then…

    • £25m, sounds a lot when your skint, but is an insignificant ammount when you consider how much this government wastes on a daily basis!

      • something survived...

        £25m could be divided up between 4 million unemployed/disabled people
        and that comes to £6.25 worth of effort they are spending on each of us. What does that cover, a few leaflets and coffees and biscuits?

        £25m could be used to give 500 people £50,000 each, so they do not claim benefits, and stay off the figures until it’s used up. Or (but you’d have to keep paying benefits out if it was a smaller amount of money) 5000 people £5,000 each. They could go on holiday, pay advance rent on a decent home, etc.

        Or it buys one Eric Pickles one small lunch!

  9. What this government are doing is giving a vote of no confidence in it’s own doctors by employing the services of atos. So why so much money going to gp’s and NHS if their medical opinion is ignored?

    • fawkes….where have you heard….”if you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us”…before?
      yeah, it comes to something when medical facts..and the opinions of eminent physicians…can be overturned by an rgn..

      atos becomes supreme being of medicine….

      now the atos hcp can effectively make medical decisions in prognostic diagnosis.. and this also effectively links in vicious circle, physical descriptors with cognitive descriptors…and override these eminents of the nhs, even more…!

    • ps fawkes the impliction of the latter “magic” are profound in many directions….”warning don’t get sick…you know it makes sense”…say i have a pain in knee and the hcp…deems painkillers will help…i will be deemed fit for work….now if these painkiller have profound side effects…slow down my cognitive abilities for instance…i will have to now reapply for esa for cognitive problems…….kerrching,,,

  10. Yosserian Hughes

    Atos rapidly turnin’ into OCP (Omni Consumer Products)

    Is there no British companies capable of bollocksin’ these sorts of things up for the same money ffs?

  11. Atos are following gov guidelines,who seem undetered to squander money,Giving away freely to foriegn private companies,while we the poorest in this society,have to appeal to get money which is rightly owed.

  12. Anyone know where bob has gone.

  13. No doubt there’s been a few brown envelopes changed hands. How could a bunch of incompetents like Atos keep being awarded lucrative contracts otherwise?

  14. If this is what “Digital by Default” means I’m afraid we’re all screwed – it seems people using modern operating systems/web browsers (i.e. +95% of claimants) will have difficulty claiming benefits such as DLA and Attendance Allowance.

    • Much of the public sector in the UK is firmly wedded to Windows XP, supposedly one of the best of the Windows family of OSes, but still pretty crap. Internet Explorer until recently was a browser that I’d advise anyone to avoid using unless you wanted thousands of nasties to infect your computer. Also, being Windows several ‘bolt-on’ security packages are required to protect yourself from the nasties that can infect your system, as in it’s natural state Windows is terribly insecure. But these security packages come at a cost, usually it means that your computer runs much more slowly.

      However, there is some sense in sticking with XP, as it probably runs on pretty low grade hardware, and to upgrade to a newer version of Windows would almost definitely need a large investment in hardware upgrades as well.

      The UK government, and the public sector in general in the UK is way behind many countries in Europe when it comes to modernising their computer operating systems and saving money. France, for example, has migrated pretty large scale to using various distributions of Linux, and saving wodges of cash at the same time for no change in efficiency. Critics point out that there would be hidden costs to migrating operating systems, and there is an element of truth in this. Sure, there would have to be some retraining of support staff, but any competent IT support person would have little difficulty in getting qualified, (and many are, and are also often huge Linux fans, after all, who wouldn’t be after having spent all day dealing with Windows), and most users would soon adapt to using the slightly different interface that most Linux systems have – I reckon that an average computer user could become competent within ten minutes or so.

      Of course, changing to an operating system that is largely free of cost wouldn’t suit the Tories very well, as there would be no way for their corporate friends to make as much money. Perhaps we should be asking UK government how much they pay to Microsoft for the licensing every year? I asked a similar question of my local council here in Cardiff last year, and received a reply that in the financial year 2010-2011 they paid Microsoft £234,000 in licensing costs. Had they used Linux that figure would have been zero. Now multiply UK wide and include central government departments… That’s a lot of cash. That Linux will often run well on older equipment is an added bonus, saving yet more money. It would also reduce the element of ‘lock-in’ that often accompanies contracts with companies like Microsoft, where an organisation is contacted to use a product and it’s support for an agreed amount of time, and this is also an expensive business.

      I don’t know how much it would save if the public sector changed from using Windows to Linux, but it’s my guess that the savings would be huge.

  15. Isn’t it the government who hand out MOD contracts rather than the MOD? If so then I say this is a closed shop deal just like most of the contracts the governemnt give out.

  16. Surely this contract was put out to tender, if so who else tendered for it ?

  17. Nuclear Power Decommissioning?????
    So that means when we are all glowing in the dark, Atos can write on their ESA85, fit for work, especially suited to nightshifts!

  18. more to the appoint how come somebody else didn’t win the tender.

  19. atos designed a digital weapons system called..boomerang blaster…but it come back on them!

    • I heard that their version of Flash Bang got them into problems as well.

      • something survived...

        Didn’t they used to sell Cillit Bang and BOGOF Safestyle UK Windows?
        Cillit Bang has a practical use: it is the people’s suggested (MANDATED) post-Budget drink for George Osborne.

  20. Did,nt realise they were into musicals as well?

  21. “Local election 2013: ‘Put disabled down’ councillor re-elected in Cornwall”

    I am lost for words!!!.

    • something survived...

      Lamppost with his name on it.
      ‘Kill the disabled’…… I mean he needs a time machine so he can go and be a concentration camp guard. Till they find something physically wrong with him and shove him in a gas chamber too.

  22. Reblogged this on Vox Political and commented:
    Am I the only one who finds it bitterly amusing that, on the day the government is told – in no uncertain terms – how badly wrong it has been, in so many ways, we find out that it has defiantly carried on in exactly the same way. So now Atos is going to be running communications and IT for the armed forces. I wouldn’t wish that on the enemy (whoever that is, these days)! I am reminded of two quotations. The first was (appropriately) from the sitcom Yes, Minister, in which Permanent Secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby, frustrated with minister Jim Hacker’s latest decision, says: “If you’re going to do a damned silly thing, don’t do it in this damned silly way!” The second was (I believe) Peter Cushing – approached by a reviewer who told him the latest Hammer horror film was awful, and asked what he had to say about it, he responded: “We’ve made another”.

  23. Annos

    I’m all in favour of independents being elected to parliament as opposed to parties, but certainly not people like the cornwall one, I meant those with human feelings and caring policies.

  24. what a perverse culture we live the more able one is the better one is treated..
    people have got used to this being the way of our world…

    many are now shocked by the way disabled are being treated in this country…why? the unemployed are treated badly…and the disabled even worse….why is that a shock?…in defending myself i have become very drained…i’ve said my it out…i am glad of this chance…pleased to have taken this opp to express myself…but there are many many more like me..almost housebound…cos of affects of illness…

    i’ve made a massive effort recently to get involved, to get my message out there, and hear the voices of others…i only hope that actions and resistance to evil continues…it is the only way culture will change and transform…it is a difficult time for all of us who care and also suffer..solidarity to all my brothers and sisters..may justice and peace finally prevail….i’m exhausted…how did our culture become so greedy…so self centered?

  25. “GPs ‘flooded’ with letter requests due to UK benefit reforms”

    • yes..annos..
      and as scottish gp’s point out this would not happen if dwp followed logical process…of the original medical findings and the provided and well known medical facts, of provided proven medical conditions, whereby they are translated to favour the dwp’s preferred outcome…
      gp’s say rightly there is no need…for one piece more of information…they already have it…but try to claim an extra bit of info will make all the difference….always another piece of info with them, as if what has already been provided is not enough…they try to put the emphasis on the claimant to prove need….guilty until proven innocent…”dear, dwp i’ve got a broken leg”…dwp reply “is it serious”?
      they simply do not NEED the extra info…they already have it but deny by default that they do…this is designed to make all concerned weary…and it does, so one gives up…claim!
      they always require one more bit of info…always…no matter what!

  26. Annos

    why should gp’s refuse to write support letters for their patients, to say no means you are favouring direct patient care over another patients financial wellbeing?
    It states there are contractual and agreed methods for gp’s to provide medical information to dwp. So why does the dwp and atos not apply to the patients doctor/ consultant before they give out wca appointment, so that they have the relevant information without getting a doctor to sign support letters?
    We have an information highway that can send information in seconds yet none of those agencies dealing with government data appear to have access to it. What did the public pay for such expensive new technologies for in the first place. Although the fact that sites do not always work properly is also used to the governments advantage as a way of harassing patients and benefit claimants.

  27. ps annos…many welfare groups wrongly advise claimants to get this extra medical evidence as well…there is simply no need for it…!

  28. overburdendonkey

    I must have posted almost same time as you, but with regards to welfare groups, these are just job creation duplicates of the services that should be accountable for harassing those summoned by atos, most of them are working for nothing while the legitimate agencies sit on their bum getting well paid.

    • fawkes.. i could not agree more..the whole process is fundamentally simple..i go to gp…gp says not fit for work you need money…
      fit note.tick box..fill in does not i wonder what atos/dwp thinks…
      dwp/atos say gp did not really mean it…so esa 50 sent filled in…then info from gp provided as required…atos ignore this then one gets wca…one fails..wca…no points…send appeal in/ then reconsideration…still no points appeal passed onto tribunal…at tribunal claimant furnishes descriptors,exceptional circumstances regs at macro and micro level do the rest it is all covered…regs 19,29,35…but only if others do there job correctly…which this is the problem, they don’t…!
      fundamentally there is no need for atos…their role is pointless, as is already pointed out eminents over ruled by rgn makes a complete….mockery of health care in britain..people get sicker because of their involvement….therefore costs soar….
      big gravy train…in attack…and defense….so it is no surprise in atos role in both!

  29. ps..fawkes typo…should read “but only if others do their job correctly….which is the problem, they sometimes don’t…!

  30. When you appeal a wca decision you are appealing against dwp decision because we all know that atos are not a legitimate medical centre.
    Vox political has just done a piece on this under the heading daily mail, but he states you have more chance of winning appeal if involve the legal profession, (more on the gravy train) that is if you can get legal aid now to get a solicitor to fight your appeal for you!

    • fawkes…the wca does have a legitimate role…sure the dwp.. should scrutinize all claims, as the wca…after all what is the point of medical science and advances thereof….if the medical facts fit the gp’s decision, then my gp’s decision is upheld..don’t they trust my gp…

      they have “trust issues”….that vox article shows it for the farce the appeals process is….justice/doors/ritz…i’ve resigned myself to £71/per wk..all else a bonus…won 1st/2nd set aside/3rd who knows/then if i win that..

      new atos wca letter.. appears, optimistically declaring my incurable medical conditions might have improved! if i have the benefit relief of not working they will have improved…kluts…start all over again..ho-hum! it is a revolving door, the cure is death/medical breakthrough/can’t think of any other solutions/miracle…perhaps this is what they have in mind! it is fcuking endless…

  31. sorry vox political piece “Daily Fail” not mail.

    • Just read “How much does it cost” on Scriptonite Daily..Bit of an eye opener,as to the subsidies private companies recieve from gov, welfare budget pales into insignificance!!!

  32. have reminded me of a series of fiction books set in roman times…does history repeat its self….galley slaves/whips/ is welfare reform a new form of whip..?.

  33. murray..this was not the personal development model i had in mind….but i guess it is literally do or die..and one gets used to it…what else read and listen to music…have friends round..actually have a social life…some quality of life…i may have no money shortly who knows…then life gets really bad….the idea of benefits is to bring some relieve to absolute poverty

  34. Slight touch of irony,..Im thinking…

  35. Pingback: Atos Join The Army – MOD Hand Out £25 Million Contract To Bungling IT Firm

  36. Tom McFarlane

    It really worries me that the S.N.P. awarded ATOS the contract to provide O.H. councelling for public service workers. When I wrote to Alex Salmond asking why they were even allowed to tender for this contract given the fact they had brought misery to so many vulnerable people, the reply I got was that they had no legal right to deny the application as ATOS met the criteria of the application. ALEX HAD NO ANSWER AS TO WHY THEY WON THE TENDER. PROBABLY BECAUSE THE ANSWER TO THAT MYSTERY COULD COST SCOTLAND ITS INDEPENDENCE. I willstill

  37. It seems all party politics are the same – I would prefer a parliament of independent mp’s who thrashed out policies for their constituents not corporates or shareholders or their own party hierarchy.

  38. Kittykat58

    Thanks for that nugget although in my experience of both solicitors and advocates from cab when I had a tribunal both failed to win for me, so I don’t believe the success rate they quote the professionals attain, it is just that they prefer to deal with the so called professionals rather than the claimants themselves.

  39. “Of course, I knew at the time what the evil David Miliband was doing, and I blogged about it in May 2010″

  40. Annos

    I can honestly say I had never heard of diego gracia and what happened to it’s inhabitants, it is heartbreaking and an absolute scandal that David Miliband should be ashamed of. So who actually owns this land now then the uk or Americans?

    • “So who actually owns this land now then the uk or Americans?”

      guy fawkes

      As you say “the original inhabitants”, but, the UK thinks it should have the ownership!. Imperialism is the word we are looking for!!!.

  41. ps We know who should still own it – the original inhabitants!

  42. Seems the British Government don’t actually think the British people can do anything for themselves…they either contract out to a foreign operation or ,and more often than not, simply sell the opportunity to a foreign company…. We have no confidence in our government and apparently they have no confidence in us….

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