ATOS PROTEST BANNER (Photo credit: Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty)
Dr Alf wonders why firms like Atos are not held to account.
It seems that the contract that the DWP has with ATOS cannot be broken without the taxpayer incurring penalties so for this reason the Government allows the nonsense to go on.
This begs the question about performance because as things stand 40% of ATOS’s determinations about fitness to work are overturned by the courts so if these costs are factored in how much money are the DWP really saving from the incapacity benefit bill?
Secondly, if I have a person or organisation working for me under contract and they manifestly fail to perform, I dismiss them and pay them no more money—I do not go on paying them and offer them more work as the Government are poised to do in another area.
The fact that nothing is being done suggests at best that civil servants and Government Ministers are at best incompetent, incapable of negotiating, get poor legal advice or are very stupid.
At worst, it suggests cavalier and almost criminal disregard for taxpayers, any sensible definition of public duty and potential malfeasance.
In corporate life, bank accounts of those directly involved in decision-making and those of their relatives, wives and mistresses would be forensically examined and the investigating authorities unleashed.
With benefit recipients owing more than £2000 gbp it is my local authority’s standard policy to go for a jail sentence but in this case, ATOS and the DWP have gone one better, by making sure through ATOS’s determination of “fitness to work” that this poor unfortunate never lived long enough to make any further claims although the taxpayer will have one final bill, namely his cremation.
There are people who are fit to work and still claiming benefits and I see them in my doctor’s surgery whenever I am there for prescription medicine. It does not take an Einstein to identify them or an ATOS, what it would take is a proper medical examination and some commonsense.
Clearly ATOS, Ministers and civil servants are collectively lacking in the latter.