Nov 152012
 

Dear Committee Members,

 Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is being introduced in April 2013 and Atos Healthcare has been selected by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as one of the delivery partners in the UK.

 DPAC wishes to lodge a formal complaint that its name has been inappropriately used in the PIP Tender Documents submitted by Atos to the DWP as part of the Claimant Representative Groups with which Atos claims to have a successful record of engagement.

 The tender document specifically states “Before designing our PIP solution, Atos engaged with Claimant Representative Groups to take their views into account”.

The other references to CRGs in which DPAC has been identified by name as being included, deal with the future level of engagement that Atos will have with CRGs in order to take the needs and wishes of disabled people into account. Successful engagement with CRGs was an important criterion in this tender, as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) made clear in August when it stated that successful PIP assessment bids had “demonstrated strong evidence… of close working with disabled people’s representative groups”.

 DPAC has been shocked to learn that its name (and the names of other CRGs mentioned in the tender which have also protested) has been used to lend credibility to Atos’ claim of future successful engagement with these organisations, on which depends, according to DWP, the successful implementation of assessments responsive to needs of disabled people.  DPAC has staged protests against Atos, in particular during the Paralympics games, and has repeatedly denounced Atos’ treatment of disabled people and the computer based assessments leading to so many wrong outcomes.  DPAC does not wish to be associated with Atos in any way, shape or form, and DPAC’s brand has been compromised by this false association.

 DPAC believes that if one excludes CRGs named in the tender which have never been consulted by Atos, which have never had and never intended to have any engagement with Atos, and which have expressed their dismay at the possibility of engaging with what they see as a flawed process, Atos’s claim in this area is not only weak, but also mendacious. 

 We feel it is essential for these assessments that those employed using taxpayers money to carry them out are not awarded the contracts based on the use of false information and we would like the Public Accounts Committee to investigate these matters further.

 Linda Burnip

Co-founder DPAC on behalf of all DPAC members.