Atos fined 30 million for WCA errors

In an exclusive report, The Londoner says that the government contractor Atos was fined £30 million for errors in its delivery of the work capability assessments (WCA).
It was announced at the time that Atos had made a “substantial financial settlement” to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), for “significant quality failures” in its reports on people’s ability to work.
The IT company – which the Department of Work and Pensions put in charge of deciding which people on benefits were well enough to work –   had its contract unceremoniously cancelled a year early this March, following a campaign spearheaded by Paralympian Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson.
Until now details of the fine have been kept quiet to avoid embarrassing the company, which is leaving the contract in February 2015.
When asked, the DWP would only respond with:
“They are paying us a financial settlement but we can’t disclose the amount for commercial reasons”.
When Atos was asked the same question: “It’s all legally bound up, we can’t comment,” was the reply from its company spokesperson.
But is the £30 million correct? “Will you tell me who gave you the figure?” was Atos’s only reply.
What we would like to know is: what exactly were the problems with Atos’ work? The DWP never appeared to care about the poor quality of reports before.
So, was it that Atos were putting too many people in the support group without medicals?
Were decision makers disagreeing with large numbers of Atos findings?
Or was it costing the Department too much when claimants appealed because the reports were inaccurate?
Given that claimants’ well-being is very much tied up with these assessments we have a right to know exactly what it was that was going wrong.
Will those people adversely affected by distress due to this company’s apparent incompetence be compensated?


Read the full article in the London Evening Standard.
Thanks to Robert Livingstone for the art work
Thanks also to Benefits and Work 

11 thoughts on “Atos fined 30 million for WCA errors

  1. The Tories capped ATOS for purely political reasons and I believe there has to be an intention to demand an enquiry which will expose the greed and the bullying at the heart of government. I believe that ATOS (queen of tories’ hearts) must be let go now. If ATOS finds itself mortally wounded, it should humbly move out of its shamed posture and not accept it is due any kind of public money as ‘compensation’. The British public must crack down on those involved in the culling of abandoned folk. It must not be tolerated. Finally, while they polish their self-congratulatory speeches, we must make sure those who rode the ‘useless people’ whose ‘winging’ they love to hear, out of the seat of Humanity. Damn you Cameron.


  2. It’s disgraceful that people have died , and no doubt more will , whilst this criminal government is receiving money that it has fined it’s own contractors . No company is going to be able to fulfill this government’s remit so whoever gets the contract expect more of the same .


  3. I’m not strictly sure the “fine” is due to bad WCA assessment… Rather I think its down to a walkaway penalty.

    ATOS declared they were going to [seek to?] walk from the contract at least a month prior to any DWp misinformation about how the DWP were sacking them. The DWP then came out with the lie that it was all atos’s fault and they were going to seek some kind of financial penalty.

    The “penalty” is little more than a repayment of advanced fees that would no longer be relevant due to the fact atos were no longer doing the job.

    As usual, IDS (Idiot Drunktard Smythee) has spent more time, effort, and money on spinning the story than resolving the problem in the first place… namely the fact that he’s in charge and as such facts are inconvenient and beliefs are more important.


    1. I wish I could “like”, +1, “thumbs up” this response. Absolutely correct, no doubt about it. Lots of people have either forgotten or did not know that ATOS had already publicly stated their intention to leave the contract. It looks like the archetypal case of

      “We quit!”
      “You can’t quit! You’re fired!!”


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