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Atos tightens grip on benefits system

26 September 2006
Atos Origin has won been awarded yet another benefits related government contract, this time worth £46.7 million, the Cabinet Office has announced.

Along with Microsoft, the company will now be responsible for managing information technology related to the Government Gateway. The Government Gateway is a 'single point of entry' where organisations and citizens can carry out transactions online with the government.

Since March of this year it has been possible to make a claim for disability living allowance using an interactive online claim form via the Government Gateway. The Gateway is also used for a wide variety of other transactions, including:

PAYE online
Child benefit claims
Carers Allowance claims
Tax credits online (no longer available)
VAT returns,
Animal movement licensing
Gangmaster licensing
DTI export licences
Self-assessment online

Derek Ward, Executive Vice President for Atos Origin, enthused:

'Atos Origin is delighted to continue contributing to the success of the transformational Government agenda.'

Many observers fear, however, that the government's agenda is to transform the benefits system into an almost entirely private sector enterprise run via call centres and the internet.

Atos Origin are also responsible for carrying out medicals on benefits claimants and for running the IT systems relating to appeals against benefits decisions.

Visit the Government Gateway.