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National Audit Office criticises Atos ‘under-performance’

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been criticised by the National Audit Office (NAO), for its failure to address weaknesses regarding its medical assessments outsourcing contract with Atos.

The NAO attacked the DWP for failing to penalise Atos for its “under-performance” in assessing the eligibility of patents for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

Labour frontbencher Mr Greatrex, MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, said: “My underlying concern was the fact that the contract is worth £112 million a year to Atos, at the same time, through the Tribunals Service, the appeals are costing about £60 million a year so effectively we are paying twice to try to correct the mistakes in the initial assessments or the process that leads to the assessments and decisions. That isn’t good value for money and this is a contract that really needs a lot more scrutiny to understand how effective it’s been.”

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