The Cabinet is to review Atos’ performance in every one of its government contracts worth more than £10 million, the Guardian has reported. This will include the personal independence payment (PIP) assessment contracts won by Atos.
The review follows severe criticism of Atos by the Public Accounts Committee in relation to a contract to develop an IT system to extract and sell data from GP practices. The committee said that Atos: “appears to have acted solely with its own short-term best interests in mind”. The expected cost of the system rose from £14m to £40m before it had got past the planning and procurement phase.
In relation to PIP, the committee may well want to look into the enormous disparity between the number of assessment centres Atos claimed it would provide and the much smaller number that are actually available.
Many people will also want to know whether the sometimes considerable travel costs being reimbursed to claimants who have been forced to undertake very long journeys are coming out of the profits of Atos or being met by the taxpayer.
You can read the full story in the Guardian.